The next problem was how to suspend the model in such a way to avoid using a stand which would destroy the illusion of flight. I decided
to run a pair of struts out of the back of the ship into a painted background, using the ship as a masking agent. One of the struts was a length of brass stock and the other a 1/8” diameter piece of copper tubing which also acted a conduit to the light's
I painted a sky background on a 9” x 15” piece of Masonite (a clipboard actually with
the clip removed) which was stiff enough to suspend the ship from but not too bulky for the setup as a whole. I drilled holes to insert the supporting struts through and reinforced from the back with two part epoxy and metal washers. The Masonite also offered
a nice foundation for my 9 volt power supply case.
Finally, came the base itself. I made a light frame 15”
wide by 13” deep from ¼ ”x 1” pine into which I placed a piece of 1” foam insulation board. I coated it with a layer of Hodge Modge and filled in any seams around the perimeter with the same to seal the foam from any corrosives
I might get from spray paint. (Note: When using foam board, its a good practice to seal it with something like Modge Podge or white glue if you will be using paint from a rattle can later down the road. The spray paint has solvents in it that can literally
melt the foam or cause it to react in weird ways. You've been warned).
I gave the whole base a coat of gray primer
from a rattle can. I then came back with my ocean colors (teal and dark blues & greens) randomly blotched over the surface, blending the colors to avoid any sharp lines. I finished it off with a couple coats of Gallery Glass Crystal Clear (#16081) which
dries clear and suggests a rippled surface. (Note: Gallery Glass is a line of faux stained glass acrylic paint you can find in your craft store or online).
The two breaching humpbacks came from my 3D printer (I LOVE that thing!) and the whale ship was a N scale kit from Greenmax (Kit # 2168) which I altered to look more like a whaler than a fishing trawler. After their
placement, I laid down another thick, stippled coat of the Crystal Clear Gallery Glass. Once that dried, I used white Liquitex modeling paste for splash effects around the whales and ship.
I had fun building this little display though I'm not sure if I would light it again if I gave it another go. Still, I liked the way it came out and though the purists out there might have some objections
around the scale issues, I think it captures the scene from the film pretty nicely. 6/20/19