Wednesday, 29 October 2008


One of the other next big steps I need to take with my model is landscaping the baseboard to create the gradients of the ground. The land the lighthouse would have been built on was along a beach so the ground will be relatively flat however all the buildings sit at slightly different heights. I'm going to make the contours leaving room for an insert, where I can sit the buildings into the countours. This will allow me to work on both the landscape and building separately, whilst making my model more stable.

I plan to build the contours up using foam board, which will be lighter than wood. I'll then smooth then over with car body filler.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Half Way Point Update

At this point I have five weeks left until my project deadline. Unfortunately for the last couple of days there has been a bit of a lul in proceedings as I have been unwell. Up to this point however and since my last post I have started constructing the outbuilding, finished off my lathing work of the top components of the lighthouse and I have also started creating the brickwork pattern to be used on the lighthouse itself.
  • Outbuilding: I have decided to make this out of thin MDF and clad it with resin casts of the brickwork pattern I moulded in silicone. I'm cutting out the required shapes of the windows and door and will slot these into place last.
  • Lathing top features of Lighthouse: I lathed the dome at the top and the balcony of the lighthouse in grey chemi-wood. It's actually been my first time working in chemiwood and it was a nice material to use on the lathe and can be finished to a quite high standard. NOTE: When sticking pieces of chemi-wood together to use on the lathe DO NOT use pva glue use superglue.
  • Lighthouse Brickwork pattern: For the main body of the lighthouse I want to show the texture of brickwork. I don't want the pattern to look too obvious so I'll try some samples of rendering over the top of it. To transfer a brick pattern onto the MDF cone I have so far, I'm sculpting it flat into carbody filler and moulding it in silicone. I'll then use the silicone as a texture mat to imprint the pattern into a thin layer of car body filler that I'll cover the cone in. Once I have this imprint I can get on and make a fibreglass mould of the lighthouse, which is the next big step I need to take on the project.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Bringing the lighthouse to life

Today I finished making the basic cone structure of my lighthouse. I started off by cutting uniform square blocks of MDF and drilling a hole in the centre point of each one. I then glued and clamped them all together along a piece of wooden dowel that ran through the central holes I had drilled. From their I turned the wood on the lathe at a 3 degree angle to create the tapered shape of the lighthouse. From this shape I'll probably make a two part mould in fibreglass so I can cast from it a shell of the lighthouse.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Bricking It

Today I've been working on creating a sample for the brickwork of the outbuilding of my model. I need to make the surface look quite aged and weathered. I have so far experimented with covering wood with car body filler and then scoring the brickwork pattern into it. I think the result of this is effective however it is a time consuming process. I would like to try experimenting with a few other techniques. I might attempt laser cutting the brickwork pattern into acrylic and using filler to give it the texture of brick.

Cut out the problem of this method being too time consuming by making a silicone mould of the master, which picks up the small detail well. I have since experimented casting this panels of brick in fast cast and car body filler slush. Both work well however the fast cast is quicker to mix up and doesn't take as long to set, therefore I think this is the best method to use. I've tried pigmenting the fast cast in different colours so I have a base colour to begin with, however unless I can replicate the colour well enough there may be continuity issues. Over the top of the brick I'm dry brushing with acrylic paint to try and create the weathered look I need. NOTE: Try not to make the brick colour too intense, remember lighthouse tower is lighter in colour.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Rocking Samples

This week I have been experimenting with trying to create coastal rocks. The method I have used so far is by hotwiring the shape of the rock from blue foam and then with my fingernails digging out random pits in it. I then covered the foam in a layer of PVA glue to seal it and used plaster to cover it over. Once the plaster had nearly set I tried out different ways of creating surface texture. These included using a stipling motion with a hard bristle paint brush and dabbing over the plaster with my fingers. I then painted them up with different layers of paint.
I am fairly pleased with the results so far, however I need to spend more time on them and make more samples to ensure they look authentic on the model.
Need to carry out further research into the geology and types of rock of the region I'm looking at to give me a reference point. (Indonesian Geology) (Geology of Western Java)

The type of rock making up West Java region is Quaternary Volcanic rock, similar to the types from the links below.

Proposed Making Method

I plan to construct the shape of the lighthouse tower using a block of MDF that I'll turn on the wood lathe. As of yet I'm unsure what steps to take after that, however I may from the MDF structure create a two part mould in fibreglass and later cast the tower from that again in fibreglass, which is lightweight and durable.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Mocking Up

I have decided to create my model lighthouse at a scale of 1:50, making the lighthouse tower itself approximately 50cm in height. I would have liked to make it at a larger size however making it at 1:50 should give me the opportunity to finish the model to a better standard. Below is the sketch model I've mocked up in cardboard at my decided scale.

As specified by my client hyperthetically my model would be filmed from a frontal angle. Ideally, as in industry I would build out the baseboard a lot more around the front and left hand side of the model to create good depth of field for the camera. However for practical reasons my baseboard will be a more managable size, but I will include some of the surrounding coastal rock.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Introduction to my brief

For my External Brief project I contacted a company called The Model Unit who specify in making models and miniatures for television and film. The brief provided by them is to make a model miniature of a lighthouse that could be used for filming in a documentary. The lighthouse that I am making my model of was located on the Indonesian island of Java during the middle of the 19th Century. The island at the time was under Dutch rule and they built Fourth Point Lighthouse in the town of Anyer to help guide ships through the Sunda Strait. It was destroyed in 1883 by one of the huge tidal waves caused when Mount Krakatoa erupted.