Improving the summery office - microproject

The office desk fan

I had a small desk fan on the edge of my desk at the office. One of those tiny flimsy devices (Matsui MF152W) with a plastic propeller. From somewhere I got an inspiration to modify it a bit, to make it less boring. So last Wednesday afternoon when leaving for home I pulled the propeller off and carried it with me.


First I sanded the bit all around both to give it some odd surface texture and to, hopefully, provide a bit more of a grip for the primer. I had straight on assumed that the shiny plastic wouldn't take the paint as well as could be hoped for.

This time I chose the grey primer just because it'd stand out better than the white one. On top of that I airbrushed an uneven and imperfect layer of German Grey. Later that evening I painted a good bunch of layers of Medium Yellow on the outer edges of the blades. I didn't take a masking and airbrushing route for that but paintbrushed a pretty narrow line instead. The yellow band naturally followed the physical slanted edge of the plastic. Of course I did that on the front and the back of the blades.

The next morning I spent almost five minutes before leaving to work with my drybrushing brush and Gunmetal Grey. I concentrated my efforts on the middle bit and the leading edges of the blades.

The spinner's spiral

I had really, really seriously meant to paint a Messerschmitt 109 -like spiral to the spinner. But because the shape of the central bit was so stupid and I couldn't find a properly shaped* piece from home anywhere, I decided that I couldn't paint a spiral so that it wouldn't look somehow wrong. I googled  bit and chose to paint a white sector instead, but not a quarter or half.

Then I just laid some masking tape to get a good-looking angle and then protected the rest of the piece from overflow. Of course I didn't bother hauling my airbrush and compressor out just for this but did it by hand.

*) Of course I figured out too late that I could've bought one of those giant Kinder eggs (because the normal ones have a capsule which wouldn't help here) or something and used that to complete a proper spinner's shape. Maybe later in the future we get to see the part II for this project.

Finishing up

Then I gave the whole setup, especially on the clean white section a new Gunmetal Grey treatment, to change the overall look a bit further. After that I washed it all with a grey wash and finally in the late evening I applied a matt varnish to protect the result of my madness.

The list of materials

I had used the very familiar Vallejo products, this time I thought I'd list them this way. It's amusing to see the amount of stuff that ended piling up on as simple a thing as this one...

VSP 73601 Grey Primer
VMA 71052 German Grey
VMA 71002 Medium Yellow
VMC 70863 Gunmetal Grey
VMA 71001 White
VMA 71057 Black
VMW 76516 Grey
70520 Matt Varnish

At the office

On early Friday morning I reinstalled the propeller and turned the power on full. The project was a success, nothing broke!

P.S. I wrote all this in advance on Thursday, I just took and added these last two photos while sipping some morning coffee. So the lost work time could've been counted in minutes by a blind buzzsaw operator's left hand's fingers :)

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