Rocketeer finishes a model: Spaceliner "Aventine"

I thought I’d post some pictures of my latest model completion. This started out when I bought a clear electrical crackle thingie intended for use with models of giant robots, and I thought it’d make a nice exhaust “flame” for an electro-aetheric spaceliner.

Four months later, here’s the spaceliner Aventine as it passes Phobos. It uses a 6" clear sphere, intended for crafts use; a bucketload of Tichy Train Group n-scale windows and doors; about three dozen tiny LEDs, and a mess of sheet styrene. All the cabins have interiors, and the top level has a ballroom with a piano and dancing, and a wedding going on in what’s normally the dining room. A few passengers are strolling in the garden, which has a gazebo and a fern grotto, complete with a fountain.

But enough yammerin’, on to pictures:

Inspiration for the fin design

Passenger decks under construction

Drive spine being “planked”

Making electrodes

Casting furniture (16 cabins’ worth)

Wedding in progress

Dancing and drinks in the ballroom
Aventine passes Phobos, outbound for Saturn

Phobos spaceport (Red ship is awaiting takeoff clearance)


Drive section
…and so now I’m looking for another project. *** Aventine*** goes to Wonderfest, the big national-level contest, at the end of this month; wish me luck!

That totally fucking rocks!

I wish you much luck, although with a something that good if you need luck the competition must be fierce.

I love the domed areas on the base and your choice of backdrop was excellent.

I can’t believe you made furniture for every room and that every room has a purpose! The level of detail is amazing!

Damn Slacker! :wink:


The competition at Wonderfest is fierce; tables and tables of models so nice, it… well, it can be kinda depressing, actually: How could I ever be that good? However, the contest isn’t First/Second/Third; it’s based on level of workmanship: All pretty darn good models get Bronzes, models with perfect workmanship generally get Silvers, and models that are perfect and have a certain something–call it charisma–get Golds. So a given class, say “Horror Figures”, could have any number of Bronzes, Silvers, and Golds–and contrarily, some years, some classes haven’t awarded any Golds at all, because none of the entires were up to that level.

But I digress. :slight_smile: Ya got me talking, and I tend to rattle on at length. :rolleyes:

The backdrop was Mrs R’s idea. Always worthwhile listening to her opinion on stuff. :slight_smile:

I forgot to mention, Mrs. R is in there; she’s seated in the back row at the wedding. My daughter asked where I was, and I told her I was down in the engineering section, getting a tour from the Assistant Chief Engineer :wink:

I bow to your skills, Sir. How about something inspired by a steampunk Damnation Alley next? I always loved that tri-wheeled rover they had…

Aaaaah! That’s amazing!

Can’t believe that’s all inside a 6" sphere!!! LOVE IT!!

Look up his tread on the mechanical Bison. You’ll love it!

I’m curious: what is it that you look for when selecting a new project? Difficulty? Pure aesthetics? A connection to your own interests?

I think that’s a very cool way of doing things as it judges each piece on it’s own merits rather than make a personal competition of it all.

Wow! That’s amazing! I know you’re good at this, but we need a urine sample.

Holy Mandragora, that’s lovely!

Your models are an absolute joy. Top hole old chap!

Thanks to you all for the kind words! :slight_smile:

What do I look for? Wow, good question. Of course, I tend to build things that correspond to my own interests–I’ve done a commission or two, but I don’t seek them out. I tend to like things from the early years of science-fiction, anything from late Victorian through about 1939 or so; and the Buck Rogers aesthetic is especially appealing to me.

I don’t deliberately pick difficult projects, but there aren’t many (any?) kits of the things I like, so I end up kitbashing or scratchbuilding, and so that automatically creates difficulty :rolleyes:

The big projects tend to be mechanical subjects. I also build figure kits, but I’m not really good at it; I usually work on them between the big projects, or while paint is drying, as a way of taking a break.

The way the decision process works is that after a project is done, I’ll clean my workbench and then putter around with various ideas, pulling model kits off the shelf and playing with the parts, thumbing through galleries of art, making quick sketches. I think of it as fueling my subconscious; eventually something good bubbles to the surface and sort of catches fire, and then I charge ahead on that one. (Hmm, bit of a swamp metaphor there :wink: )

Yes, I like it much more than the usual First/Second/Third contest. However, it’s a lot more work for the judges. :frowning:

The only other outfit I know that does it is an armor modelling group, AMPS.

That’s amazing. Lovely work!


Holy crap! That’s fantastic!

Such an original idea too.

I have zero knowledge of this sort of modeling, but damn, your stuff always looks amazing. I can imagine the satisfaction of putting work into materials to have them come out the way you’ve pictured it in your head.

Also, you’ve gotten the one thing right most people get wrong about rockets—they’re not like ocean cruisers, but rather, like tall buildings, because when accelerating, the ‘down’ direction will point towards the drive section. It’s a detail and easy to handwave, but I like that you paid attention to it.

Utterly incredible.

When you display this at a competition, do you include photos of the construction? I ask because how else would the judges know that you cast the furniture yourself (are those silicone molds?!) rather than buying something prefinished from a model railroad shop? I should think that would be worth some extra points.

Thank you all for your nice comments!

I had to; otherwise I had to invent artificial gravity–and I thought the electro-aetheric drive was quite enough inventing for one model, thank you :wink:

No, I don’t. Judging, surprisingly enough, doesn’t nominally depend on how difficult the model was to build or how much effort you put into it. IPMS (International Plastic Modeling Society, a very large national organization with many many local chapters), for instance, judges only based on craftsmanship: Are all the seams filled? Does the model sit straight? Is it properly symmetrical? Is the paint smooth? It’s astonishing how many models you can eliminate from the running based on that sort of basic stuff.

That said, judges are only human, and, knowing something of modelling, they’re more likely to be wowed by something that they know has a lot of effort involved. (Also, big stuff and red stuff tends to do better, especially in contest where awards are decided by popular vote :wink: )

I used to put some details of the build on a little placard next to the model for the edification of the audience, but 1. I found I wasn’t reading other peoples’ placards, so how could I expect them to be reading mine; and 2. Most spectators are pretty knowledgeable, so they usually realize what kind of effort went into something. So now I confine myself to a little tiny slip of paper with a half-snarky sentence or two. For instance, next to this model, I usually put a slip reading:

Demoness of Love
This started when a friend gave me the cool coals-and-skulls base.
After a lot of work, what was a slightly vulgar kit of a pregnant bride
is now a slightly vulgar figure of a pregnant demoness.
My psychiatrist says this is “…interesting.”

I enjoyed this.