Lunar Models
Time Machine
Ed Turner

The Base

Contact Ed Turner

As with any of the other parts of this model, the base will most likely need some clean-up work also. It will probably have some jagged edging and flashing to be ground away and sanded. The four feet or legs will, too. Sometimes you'll find some bumps in the smooth surfaces of the base, no doubt due to imperfections in the rubber cast that it's made from. These can be easily sanded flat to the rest of the surface. And, as usual, if any air bubbles are found, these too can be filled in with modeling filler or common auto body filler and sanded smooth.


Pic 1 shows the raw pieces ready for work.
Pic 2 displays in the drawings how the rear legs of the base are further apart than how Lunar indicates the placement of the legs to be.
Pic 3 can give you an idea of the distance from the back of the base the rear legs should be placed.
Pic 4 shows the underside of the base and how Lunar has etched rectangular marks to show where the legs should be placed. The etchings at the front are placed properly, so it's alright to attach the front legs here. The rear legs, however, should be placed a bit further apart than where indicated.
Pics 5 and 6 show close-ups of roughly where the rear legs should be positioned. You can faintly see Lunar's markings as opposed to where the legs should truly go.
Pic 7 shows all the placements of the legs. After they are attached with super glue, for strength and durability I've drilled pilot holes through the legs at a slight angle where indicated by arrows in pic 7.Caution should be taken to keep from drilling the pilot holes all the way through to the top surface of the base, but if this accidently happens, some body filler can be used to fill in the hole on top and sanded smooth. The pilot holes are to accept small doll house screws for a secure mounting of the legs to the base. It helps to slightly drill away around the hole's edges so the screws will be countersunk when screwed in. After the screws are in place, fill in the area around and on top of the screw with body filler, covering them. After the filler has set, the area may be sanded smooth. The screws will now be hidden. The base is almost ready for priming now.
Pic 8 shows the molded indentations that were going to accept the pegs that are on the resin-cast vertical rails that are supposed to be placed later. These will be drilled all the way through the base to instead accept small nuts and bolts that will secure the vertical rails to the base. The indentations don't have to be drilled at this stage, but can be drilled if preferred.
Pic 9 indicates the molded tacks surrounding the molded foot cushion. With a fine drill bit, drill through all of these "tacks", being careful not to drill all the way through the base. These holes are for the tiny brass tacks that will be inserted after paint and flocking are applied. Before priming, wash the piece in warm water and soap to remove any release agent that might be caught in any creases or crevises, as well as any particles from drilling, sanding or filing. An old soft toothbrush is good for this. Dry with paper towels or cloth, but also let it air dry for a time - water can get trapped within the creases of the molding around the edge of the base and in any of the drilled holes that you may not be able to reach with the towel.
So, don't go right to priming after the base is washed. Once it's thoroghly dried, you may want to use masking liquid to mask off the entire foot cushion if desired. Apply a light coat of primer all around, including the underside and the legs. As usual, if any imperfections show up at this stage, do the appropriate sanding if needed, then apply another light coat of primer. After the primer is dried, apply the brown paint. I've chosen a deep walnut brown gloss spray paint. More than one coat will probably be necessary. Do not apply more than two or three light coats of paint or the fine indentations of the surrounding molding can get too filled with paint. Keep the molding crisp-looking. With the paint thoroughly dried and any masking is removed from the foot cushion if it was used, apply the colored flocking adhesive to the cushion with a brush. This is the same process as was used for the cushions of the chair. The application of the adhesive should be done as quickly and as neatly as possible - the adhesive dries fairly quickly, but you can wet it with water as you work to keep it wet. Try not to get any adhesive on any other portions of the base itself. Remember the flocking will adhere to any place that the adhesive is on and you wouldn't want any fuzzy little patches anywhere else other than the cushioning. As soon as the flocking has been applied and has had time to set, the left over flocking material can be dumped back into the bottle.
Pic 10 shows the tiny brass tacks or nails to be inserted into the drilled holes around the cushion. These are found in any craft store that sells doll house supplies. Touch the pointed end of the tacks into some super glue and place them in the holes all around the cushion. If you need to, use a sewing thimble on your finger to push any stubborn tacks all the way into the holes. If by accident you rub or scrape off any of the flocking, it can be fixed easily enough by painting on a bit of the adhesive and more flocking applied. The base is now done!
Pics (a), (b), (c), and (d) show details of the finished base. The flocking and the brass tacks add a much more realistic feel to the base than simply painting on the colors. It now looks more like a piece of furniture than a piece of a model kit.
Next time,
the rear lamp assembly and dish support!

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The Time Machine Project 1998 Don Coleman
Web Site 1999 Don Coleman
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