Moisture Vaporator

The planet Tatooine has a very special place in my heart. I wonder how many times I’ve daydreamed about traveling the wastes of this dry and barren planet, visiting the isolated communities of moisture farmers. The moisture vaporator is perhaps one of the most beloved artifacts to be found in those remote regions. I had to have one in my living room.

This 184cm model is made from polystyrene sheets and PVC tubes. It took me four months to build this apartment killer, but it was a relatively easy job. Detailing it was just plain fun.

I drafted the construction plans based on an image showing it from the side. This gave me enough reference for sizing up each module.

The main body is pure styrene. I constructed the separate sections from 2 and 3 millimeter sheets and glued them together. The inside of each section is reinforced with ribs through the center.

The cooling filters on the square box in the center of the model were scratched from styrene and cast in resin. The 3 cooling rods on the sides and the top section of the model are PVC tubes. I also turned a lot of couplings, tubes, and details from PVC on my lathe.

The detailing almost drained my stock of model kits. That is the great thing about these vaporators. You can go crazy with the details. No vaporator looks the same since their owners have extensively modified them. This allowed me tremendous freedom in choosing my own personal style. My vaporator belongs to the homestead of Lasse Henning. (If my buddy Lars had built it, I could say it belonged to the Lars Homestead.)

Painting it was also rewarding, since there was so much dirt and grime everywhere. I base-coated several parts of the model in Tamyia gunmetal. I then dabbled some Humbrol mascol (liquid rubber) where the paint would be peeling off. After the rubber had dried, I painted the whole model in an off-white/yellowish color.

For the weathering I used the airbrush. I sprayed shades and rust, dirt and grime. I then mixed several washes of thinner and oil colors. Some washes were brown and rusty while some were black. I even made a white wash for selected details. I let the washes flow into everything, let it dry, and washed some more. I also used pure oil colors to touch up details and fine grease lines.

The best part is the awesome effect it has. It really looks good in the living room.