I’m currently putting the finishing touches to the Spinning the Compass video.  I’ve been filming a few shots of the airship over the last week and combining them with some of the footage we previously shot in Crystal Palace Park.

I’ve done a few green screen shots of the airship now but to be honest I always find they tend to look abit flat so I’ve instead been filming the model against the sky.  This has been abit difficult as I live in such a built up area that finding a blank patch of sky without a tree or house in it has been difficult.  Luckily I’ve found a spot in the garden and have stuck the ship on a pole up a ladder.

It got abit dodgy when there was a strong breeze but was otherwise OK.  I’ve recently got a smoke machine so I’ve been blowing clouds across it to try and give it a sense of motion.

Should have a finished vid soon!

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Fiddling around with compositing

I’m now working on shooting the airship for the video.  I’ve decided to do a few chroma key shots as well as filming it live.  I’m also looking into getting  a smoke machine to add some clouds to the shots.  They’re pretty cheap these days.


Here’s a quick vid I’ve done. It’s quite rough – I’m slightly embarassed to show it – but illustrates the idea. I’m working on getting the motion of the ship smoother – it’s jerky because I’m physically moving the stand it’s sitting on from below camera! I kinda like the ‘vintage FX’ look though ;0)

The clouds here are all done with a filter in my editing program which works much better than I’d expected it might.  The mountains are all taken from a holiday snap from when I went Switzerland!

Finished Steampunk Galleon

So here’s the steampunk galleon finished, more or less (I can never stop tinkering).  Next step is to film it and put it in the vid.  This is proving slightly less than straightforward as I live in a fairly inner city area so getting some unobscured shots of the ship against the sky is difficult (unless you’re happy with a garden fence in the background).

I figure I can get away with tight close ups of the ship against the sky but I’m trying to do some wide shots with it chroma keyed into some aerial background stills I’ve got from google images.  I’m overlaying these with some clouds using a filter in my editing program.  Not sure how good this is going to look.  I may invest in this if they’re not up to scratch:

It includes a particle engine for putting in smoke and clouds which looks quite good.




My, what a crusty hull you have.

A small update on the flying boat.  I’ve been adding barnacles and other details to the hull of the boat.  I figured this thing would’ve had a lifetime as a real boat before having a ‘hover conversion’ ;0)


This is a mixture of milliput and modelling grass from model railways.


I’ve also added an orange light to the windows at the back of the boat.


This is intended to marry it to the set from the video which is supposed to be aboard the boat.

Thar she blows!

Work continues on the airship.  Very close to finishing now – the main outstanding points are a light to stick behind the windows to give them an orange glow and some sort of roller mechanism to attach to my photography background frame so I can fly the model about abit.

I’ve bought some model ship bits and pieces from ebay so I’ve now been able to add rigging and that sort of thing.  Here’re some pics:

Yoghurt propulsion laboratory

Been painting my yoghurt pot engines.  I want ’em to look corroded like the rest of the ship but less green – maybe they’re not made out of brass like the rest of the metal bits on the ship.  I’ve therefore gone for a browny look which works with the existing copper colour quite well I think.



Figureheads and yoghurt pot engines.

Work continues on the airship.  I’ve got the main body built and painted so it’s now a question of covering it in layers of detail.

I’ve also finally succeeded in fibre glassing a balloon!  I had a rather messy accident earlier when I was trying to put a layer of fibre glass around it which promptly caused it burst throwing resin everywhere.  Nice.

The balloon will take the place of the mockup in the pic to keep the ship aloft, as it were.


I’ve sculpted up a small figure head for the bow (?) of the boat.  I think the body could use some other brass fixtures perhaps so I might sculpt a few more.  I’ve also added in various other corroded brass fittings.  The ball shaped projections will support two engines.


I’ve been constructing the engines out of junk.  I did have a brief look on ebay for something suitable but couldn’t find anything so I decided to build them from scratch.  My item of choice for jet exhausts are muller light yoghurt pots, so I’ve been eating a fair bit of yoghurt ;0)


The look abit more convincing with some paint on!



Here’s a new piece that I’m currently working on. It’s an airship that’s the final piece for the Spinning the Compass video.

Once finished it’ll have a large balloon above it to keep it aloft.

The main body’s primarily made of mdf and cardboard to get the basic shape. I’ve then added a layer of sculpey to sculpt the hull as it’s an irregular shape.