I guess this is a good time and place to explain what a “Gizmo” is. In short .. whatever you wish it to be. I just played around in Sketchup having a grand time coming up with a piece of .. to me .. unknown, unknowing and perhaps questionable piece of machinery to hang on a wall. That’s it .. it can be whatever makes you happy. Me? I just call it a ‘Gizmo’ and let it go at that. It could also be a “greeble” – A greeble (/ˈɡriːb(ə)l/) or nurnie is a fine detailing added to the surface of a larger object that makes it appear more complex, and therefore more visually interesting. It usually gives the audience an impression of increased scale. The detail can be made from simple geometric primitives (such as cylinders, cubes, and rectangles), or more complex shapes, such as pieces of machinery (cables, tanks, sprockets). Greebles are often present on models or drawings of fictional spacecraft or architectural constructs in science fiction and are used in the movie industry (special effects). 1

Wall Gizmo – V3

When I put items up on Shapeways I will often label them “Whatever” – V1 or V3 or (heh) whatever. This is to separate differing designs .. I *always* have to go back to the ‘drawing board’.

This version I included the pipe fittings (the pipe is simply 1/8″ Evergreen tubing). In Ver 3 I increased the wall thickness from .4mm to .7mm as I had felt the walls in the original print were too thin. I also beefed up (doubled) the thickness of the walls for the elbows as I had broke one off too easily on the original.

These are not cheap .. and this is where I insert a *shrug* .. the cost of 3D printing my friends .. unless you own your own printer or have access to one. I think though .. I could do something similar that could use tubing for the main body so the print cost would only be .. well .. everything BUT the body.

Wall Gizmo – V3


The Gizmos cleaned. I sloshed them around in some Bestine to remove any oils then used a toothbrush and Dawn Dish Soap .. finally .. ran through my Ultrasonic Cleaner.

Since I wrote this I have found that Simple Green works great for cleaning such printed parts. You can leave soaking for 1/2 hour and remove most if not all of any oily residue – or leave for 24 hours without any damage to the print. Cleans up with warm water.


Sprayed American Accents Terra Cotta Fine Textured spray paint as a base. I followed up with other red brown colors and vallejo Rust and Dark Gray washes.

Rusting of metals .. how it is colored depends on the makeup of the metal as different mixtures in a steel will effect the rust. If you think about it .. rust is simply a chemical change with various metals reacting which creates various oxides and other chemical mixes. This changes depending on the length of time for the rust as the chemical oxides also continue to change. Generally the older the rust the darker it is sometimes looking almost a bluish black all the way to new rust which can be bright orange red or yellow, again depending on chemical traces and time. That means when you paint your ‘rust coat’ keep that in mind and paint accordingly. The bits that are constantly subject to rain may show new’ish rusting unless the thing being rusted is old, while parts more protected by overhangs might be darker.

Which Technique?

I have to decide which technique I will use …
(1) Hairspray Technique
(2) Salt Technique

(1) The Hairspray Technique takes more work. You spray on a couple of thin coats of a cheap hairspray. Then the top coat of paint which will be chipped. What paint you use is important. To some extent all paint brands will work since the water used in chipping is dissolving the HS not the paint. It DOES make a difference though.

Tamiya – works best. Tamiya acrylics do not dry to a solid vinyl layer of a shell. That means the chips are finer.
Vallejo – this is a vinyl acrylic. That means you get a vinyl shell and the chips are larger.
Lifecolor – somewhere in between Tamiya and Vallejo.

Since Tamiya are preferred it requires cranking up the airbrush etc.

(2) The Salt Technique is simpler. The rust undercoat is the same. With that dry you dampen the surface of the model, sift salt over it and when dry you spray the top coat on .. even rattle can will work.

The main difference for the modeler then is that with the Hairspray Technique you have total control over removal of paint exposing the rust underneath .. the chipping. The Salt Technique has much less control … you are sifting salt on a wet surface .. somewhat at random. When the salt dries you can go back with a brush and remove salt before you paint.

Now I have to determine which technique I want to use. I will probably go with the Hairspray Technique just because of the control over the chipping.


Paint .. Tamiya white and khaki – thinned with 50% water .. sprayed on a little too thick probably .. but that is fine since the surface is supposed to be heavily weathered

Notice that some of the underlying rust coat is showing through the tan. That’s fine as this can represent where paint has simply worn or washed away rather than the chipping and pealing effect.


Chipped without any other weathering. I will use a dark wash as well as rust washes. Then I will use OPR to enhance the rusty spots and stains.


I used Vallejo Dark Grey and Rust washes. I may use a bit of brown oils .. OPR (Oil Paint Rendering) .. perhaps the best way to finish up a weathering


OPR .. or .. Oil Paint Rendering. I used some Mig ‘Wash Brown’ to add a little brown .. both darker and stains here and there across the Gizmos. I think that I will call this “Good Nuff” and work on adding the piping next.


The various pipes were glued on. I have made a jig to drill holes in the structure for the piping. I will have to be really careful as working with FUD is more like working with week old cake frosting rather than styrene.


Gizmos mounted. Talking to Patrick Welch we have been tossing ideas. I beams sticking out of the building under the Gizmos .. supports buried in the internals .. screw jacks added later to help support the weight .. stairs and walkways to give access etc.

Gizmo – Type 2 V1B

Structures & Stuff» Machinery» Wise Engineering Works Gizmos» Gizmo – Type 2 V1B» The Gizmo I recently posted an article on my blog about my Wise Engineering Works Gizmos .. and also I suggest they could be called a "Greeble". This is a piece of machinery that hangs on a wall with multiple pipe connections,...

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