Unseen University

Discussion in 'Architecture Models' started by Roxxii, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. Roxxii

    Roxxii New Member

    Hello folks,
    I've started this thread for anyone who is building/contemplating Pratchett's Unseen University model.

    I started building the campus three weeks ago, and it has totally taken over and absorbed my life ever since.

    The first agony was summoning up the courage to hack the pages out of such a beautiful book. But I reminded myself that I had bought it to build, not to collect.

    I started with the library, as it was the first one in the book. After making a bit of a botch of the spheres on the HEM building, I decided to jump to a less demanding piece, and completed the boat shed. Those tiny boats are very fiddly, but everything finally fitted into place.

    Because of the heat here in Oz, I've been using two different glues. Aleene's Thick Designer Tacky Glue for those tiny tabs and anything that needs to be grabbed immediately, and a thinner variety, Spotlight's own Craft Smart Tacky Craft Glue for larger surfaces, and things that need to be moved around a little. It's very frustrating to have the glue dry before you're ready.

    At present I'm working on the Tower of Art. The base is a real feat of engineering. I've left the massively intricate Clock Tower until last.

    All up, it's a very exciting and challenging project. I'm loving it.

  2. B-Manic

    B-Manic Peripheral Visionary

    I'd like to see pictures of your build progress :) please.
  3. Amazyah

    Amazyah Senior Member

    Aaaah, Roxxii, You have me licking my chops for this model!
    Show us some pics...., please!?:grin:

  4. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    pretty pretty please with sugar on it! :)
  5. Roxxii

    Roxxii New Member

    Sorry to keep you in suspense - yes I will, just as soon as I can iron out some digital camera probs.
  6. Roxxii

    Roxxii New Member

    Photos of UU

    Success! I've managed to upload 5 pics to


    of the work in progress.

    I have been very wary about the library, on account of a glaring white edge line in the dome, which I neglected to shade. However I haven't stuck the ribs on yet, which will cover that up. As long as I remember to shade the edges of the ribs!

  7. B-Manic

    B-Manic Peripheral Visionary

    That is a pretty cool model.

    I really enjoyed the books. Now I have to put it on my to do list.
  8. Roxxii

    Roxxii New Member

    Collectors of Discworld books and memorabilia have told me that they've bought two copies of the book - one to cut up, and one to keep. I am getting around to thinking I might do the same - if only to show people what it was like before I built it.

    I have a query about varnishing the completed model. I've had success in the past with Jo Sonja's Satin varnish, it's a polyurethane water based craft product, originally made for folk art and decoupage. I'm wondering if even a little shine would detract from the fine detail of the model, should I use the matt finish?
  9. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Nice detail! Great job putting it together - nice and square (my buildings always end up a little off)

    My personal suggestion would be a matte finish. Never seen a shiny brick/stone building.
  10. plasticman

    plasticman Member

    I've got every one of Terry's Discworld books! Never stop reading them. Please keep working on it as I simply refuse to pay the exorbitant prices being asked for any figure or other discworld model, (mostly resin).
    Great stuff. Now you lot of model designer persons out there, how about a 2 foot dia. model of the Discworld itself then?????
    Think of it, a giant turtle, (pockmarked by space debris of course), with 4 elephants on it's back with a disc-shaped world sitting on THERE backs!
    Keep it up and remember, 'Nil Illegitimae Carborunum'.:grin:
  11. plasticman

    plasticman Member

    That should have been 'Carborundum'. Ooops!
  12. Roxxii

    Roxxii New Member

    Thanks Chris, for both the compliment and the suggestion.

    Having shelled out $45 AUD for the book, I was determined to spend the time doing it as accurately as I could. Maybe that's not altogether the right reason, but it got me started.

    Having not made any card models for a long time, I curbed my natural impatience, and ruminated on the "PPPPPPP" principle for a while. (Proper Preparation & Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance)

    I cut out using a small perspex quilter's square instead of a steel ruler. That way, I can see everything, and there's less risk of slicing through something that shouldn't be cut.

    The flat cut-outs are stored in a display book, 10 pieces to a page. I only cut about 20 or so bits ahead of gluing. I score my folds on the back of the printed bits, putting a fine pin-prick through to mark the exact ends of the dashed lines. After folding with fingers, I roll the fold with the cylindrical handle of the scalpel.

    The exposed edges are toned with a soft grey lead pencil. I use two glues, a fast tack for tiny tabs, and a slower one for larger areas and positioning. Hey presto, it all lines up. Testament to the skill of the designer more than the maker.

    That's an excellent point about the matt finish, thanks. I will experiment with the finish on a part of the model which is obscured when it's all placed together.
  13. B-Manic

    B-Manic Peripheral Visionary

    I would not put any finish on it myself. It looks great as is. If however you must, then a matte finish would probably look best. The place is supposed to be old and rundown after all.
  14. Roxxii

    Roxxii New Member

    Hi plasticman, thanks for the feedback. I guess you know about Bernard Pearson's website,




    where there is a forum for all things Discworld.

    Having embarked on the UU, I am now eager to see Alan produce more cutouts from Bernard's models - the Post Office, Seamstresses Guild, etc. I agree, it certainly is a cheaper alternative to the resin variety. I'm reading "Eric" at the moment, but I'm not a collector of TP stuff, I have just rediscovered a long-dormant passion for cut-outs. Yes I'd love to see A'tuin paperised!

    My fav. at the moment is the image of Rincewind standing on a mountaintop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour.... and Quezovercoatl would be fun.... did you know you can get a free download of the Luggage?
  15. plasticman

    plasticman Member

    Yup, got it. There's so much it's possible to convert to paper model format in Discworld I'm really surprised it's not been tackled before now.
    ConsideringTP is Britains best-selling Author, where are all the world-wide fans?
    Surely some of them are modelers?
    Keep up the good work my friend and I can only hope, (and pray to Blind IO), that you will let us have a copy.:wink:
  16. The-Jazzman

    The-Jazzman Member

    It's out there...and It's a free model.. Sorry I built it so long ago I don't remember where I got it... I am sure someone will come along with the addy

  17. Roxxii

    Roxxii New Member

    Progress report: I have completed the top of the Tower of Art. The piecing and positioning of all the turrets took me 8 hours. I've started on the Clock Tower. It's the biggest and most complicated of all the structures.

    Now that I'm getting close to finishing all the buildings, I'm contemplating the next project. Time to get amongst the catalogues.
  18. plasticman

    plasticman Member

    Can't wait to see it Roxxii! (Hint, hint):wink:
  19. Roxxii

    Roxxii New Member

Share This Page