Monday, 12 September 2011

Water towers and a bridge

Want to know how to make a water-tower, kids? Well, gather round! First, grab yourself some large round thing. I've used a bit of plastic drainpipe. I cut two to a height of 3". Then you need something to coat it in. So I got a spot of balsa wood, and cut it into 3" long planks that are 10mm across. Talk about a confusion of measurements! Then I glued them carefully in place with liquid superglue. I seem to have got better result with this stuff than with gel superglue. There's probably an excellent reason. Anyway, see pictures 1 and 2 below for the aftermath.

One of these water-towers will sit on my hotel, and the other will be one for the town. I'm going to watch Tremors again soon, as there's a good looking water-tower in that film. I have a pretty fair notion of how I want this thing to go together, though, so I've done the basic work. Knowing me, I'll find out I need to tear a hole in it to fit in some essential part! :-D Anyway, I got a piece of balsa about 4" by 4", and scribed it on either side so it looked like it had 10mm wide planks. Then I measured 15mm in along each side and marked a point to put a pin through. I made a schoolboy error here. The thing to do with pins is to glue first, then put them in later. I did it the wrong way round, and paid the price in blood, as picture 3 shows! Also in that picture, you can see the kind of pins I used, a short poster pin. I removed the plastic ball by cutting a line with a knife, then gently rocking it back and forth with a pair of pliers. Don't be rough or you'll twist it.

But just the legs on their own are a bit rickety, so if you take a look at real water towers, you'll see the legs linked together for strength. So I set out to do this, first gluing lengths of balsa between the legs, then gently hammering in these pins. See pictures 4 and 5. There's no point having a water tower unless you can get up to the thing and snipe from it - or get shot off it. In the real world, there may even be folks who want to repair it or somesuch, but a vantage point is as good a reason for a ladder as any. So after securing the legs, with Z-frames on two sides, I added a ladder. See pictures 5, 6 and 7. There are a few more details to add to this beasty, but she's well on her way to completion.

As well as this, I started a bit of work on a bridge. I have the idea sketched out, and you can get an idea of her size from pictures 8 and 9. I went a bit overboard on this one, and hammered a pin through every fake plank at four different points. The end bits, which are now sticking out, will be cut back, and a ramp added at either end. She might sit on a specially made river base, and then again, she might stand apart. I haven't made any river terrain yet, but I've long intended to! This might be just the impetus I need. Until next time, dear reader!

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