Improving the summery office - microproject's revenge


Pressured by my coworkers and my own slightly disturbed mind I ended up doing what was expected. I decided to get back to modifying my desk fan a bit further. I left the blade bit to the office and carried to so far untouched parts home to be worked on.

Excesses off and off to work

First off I removed the molded-on plastic rear grille with side cutters. Luckily the plastic was weak and didn't fight me one bit. The remaining stubs I cut off with the xacto and then I sanded the whole device thoroughly. At this point the device looked quite silly... but a bit of paint would hopefully fix it all.

One of my coworkers had suggested that I'd glue all sorts of greeblies to make it look more engine-like. I did consider that but after a bit of thousand-box browsage I realized that I mostly had just styrene sheets, track links and sprockets. Also, I didn't quite trust in my scratchbuilding skills at all.


Working very eagerly I forgot to take any work in progress photos, so you have to tolerate my explanations instead. To begin with I taped the motor box's holes shut, not pondering if I needed to or not. Again I used a grey primer so that I could see if I missed anything on the white plastic. After the airbrushing was done I removed the masks and applied the primer on the remaining bits with a paintbrush.

When all this was done I selected a couple of paint bottles and I guess pretty guessably took the Luftwaffe approach with its RLM colours. In other words, I was going for something like my previous Fw-190 project.

The only thing that was crystal clear in my head even before I started anything, was that I wanted this thing to have a yellow Eastern Front kind of chin. So I masked an area on the lower front and started airbrushing some medium yellow to cover it. I had to apply a number of layers for a decent coverage.

A Luftwaffe pattern

The base part I painted completely with a lighter grey, just like the underside of a plane. Most of the engine bit I painted with the darker grey but left an obscure area for the grey violet, mostly on the top. These I airbrushed this way and that way, with broad strokes and not stressing too much about the evenness of the coverage. With the darker grey I did some attempt at mottling on the top edge of the base. Of course I forgot to do the same with lighter grey on the bottom of the top block.

Later on I fixed the thinnest parts of the paintjob with a paintbrush and did all the painting on the front and back sides that were kept untouched because of all the holes. This was quicker and easier than recovering or plugging the holes, as I would still have had to fix them manually in the end.

Finally I dabbed the edges of the camo pattern with a sponge bit, as they were a bit too hard-edged to my liking. Then I also did the forgotten mottling on the bottom of the main piece. At last.

The dials and knobs

At this point I masked off the surroundings of the speed dial, as soon as things were dry. Then I airbrushed it black as well as the tilt-lock knob. I was pondering if I should paint some indicators, rotation arrows and open/close -texts and such.

Anyhow, I drybrushed both these pretty heavily with gunmetal and while I was at it did some more drybrushing here and there. I attempted to leave the overall feeling on the cleaner side of the spectrum as in this scale excesive bumping might look a bit weird. To wrap this up I washed the whole top module with brown. After the drying time was suffered through I matt varnished the device.

Detail work

The original markings on the speed dial 0 - 1 - 2 were just boring. With a coworker we thought that they could be renamed. After a short but uninhibited brainstorming session we ended up with "Aus - Achtung - Gefahr". Pretty soon I had to admit that there just wasn't enough space for everything, so something like "Aus - Ein - Achtung" could be crammed in readably. Being the funny guy I am I came up with the idea that instead of a warning an outright denial ("Verboten") would be even more amusing, so I declared that the fan would be either on or off - the strongest blow was forbidden as dangerous. Or something.

Of course my Germanizied fan needed a proper name. Google's translator tried to suggest something as mundane as Fan and that wasn't fun at all. I mangled the words of the language of love a bit to get what I wanted. Just as I read that the fan's diameter was six inches, or 152mm in human measurements, the idea became very clear. This would be called the 152mm air through-blowing device, model 2016. As I already admitted, with a bit of violence and word-mangling I ended up with 152Luftdurchblasengerät16 and was most pleased with that.

To make the labeling part as easy for me as possible I printed out the necessary words with a properly gothic font (I found this from somewhere: Canterbury). It was readable, sufficiently gothic but still too complicated to by cut open into masks, so I did manually what I could. I was told it was readable. After this was done and the paint dry I applied a matt varnish layer to protect my precious texts.


Before I rereinstalled the blades I took a couple of "this is how it ended up" - photos. If someone was wondering the base's bottom being yellow, I can say that I once pondered paintin the caution stripes on it but then came to my senses as that stuff wouldn't have fit this project at all. Now it brought the rear-airfame's yellow band to mind. Or at least that's what I hoped you thought of.

As assumed, the propeller hid most of the front side's details. But the point was that they were there, they were done, even if no one ever saw or noticed them.

Just to show how things differ I took one of the untouched Matsui fans next to mine to show where we started from. The difference was noticeable and in my non-neutral opinion the difference is in my fan's favour ;)

Materials used

* VSP Grey Primer
* VMA 71002 Medium Yellow
* VMA 71103 Grey RLM84
* VMA 71054 Dark Grey Blue
* VMA 71128 Grey Violet
* VMA 71046 Pale Blue Grey
* VMA 71057 Black
* VMA 71065 Steel
* VMC 70863 Gunmetal Grey
* VMA 71001 White
* VMW 765135 Brown
* 70520 Matt Varnish

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