... to convey the scale of an Offshore Sub Station.
From a distance it's obviously big, but it's not until you get right up to it....
.... that its sheer size becomes apparent. There was something surreal about the structure; it was as though we were docking with an off-world transit station in a sci-fi movie.
Some of the tighter, unsupported ply skin needed a bit of help to keep station while the glue set. Wooden blocks super-glued to the inside of the skin, a judicious cut to 'shrink' the surplus and all pulled together with string, did the trick.
Another hole in the bodywork - this one I got right - was for the blister to accommodate the driver's foot on the accelerator pedal.
I wasn't quite sure how to make this, but after some thought, I dug a suitably shaped hole in the garden and whacked the ali into shape with a wooden mallet, leaving a bit of surplus to create the flange. You'll notice I overdid it and a small split appeared in the front. That learnt me, and earned me a glass of wine!
The next hole - also successful (I was on a roll here) - was for the spare wheel carrier.
Maybe it was a bit wet of me, but I decided that the tail cone was going to be too tight to continue the ply strips all the way round, so I cut them off at the rearmost bulkhead. I then needed some wood to construct a frame to support the tail cone strips. I happened to pop into town for a haircut and the barber was doing some mods to his shop. There was a big pile of off-cuts going to the skip.....
.... which I was able to put to good use.....
... and complete the skinning of the tail. I still wish that I'd at least tried to continue the strips all the way, but maybe there was some other limiting factor which I can't now recall.
For light relief, I next tackled the windscreen pillars. I've always enjoyed making metal fittings - the more complicated the better. I make up the obligatory cardboard pattern, always forming a radius where others might choose to have a straight corner. A bit of trouble taken in the detail (which is often a lot of extra work) always makes the difference between something that's just functional and something that sets the job apart.
I can't say I was ever completely happy with the centre windscreen pillar - the rectangular bit was the rear-view mirror mounting. Interestingly, the picture in the mirror was always a bit of a blur with the general vibration - until the big-end let go and I again rebuilt the engine with new white-metalling - hmm.
The windscreen channel was ordinary commercial ali channel bought from a DIY store. I thought about how I was going to bend it to the radius of the cockpit coaming, but not for too long. I just went for it with a decent bit of surplus to act as a lever and cut it to length afterwards. Not difficult.