Wind Turbines and Wind Farm

One of the more unusual models we have done came at the request of a local group promoting Wind Energy in the New England area. They asked us for some ideas to promote their cause. We came up with the idea of doing two models for them. One showing a large scale Turbine and the other several small turbines in a diorama showing how they fit into the environment.

The large model of a single 80m Wind Turbine was built to a scale of 1:72. The model’s tower was built using a piece of PVC pipe. It was cut into four pieces at the top down about 80% of its length. The cuts removed wedges out of the sides which let me pull the top in to form a constant taper. The pipe was reduced in diameter from 80mm at the base to 50mm at the top over a length of just over 1 metre.

The top section was made from a combination of MDF and styrene to let me taper the round front of the generator to a square section at the back. The side was cut away so that the internals could be seen. It showed the gear box section, generator and walkways inside and when the blades were turned, the gears turned to show how the reduction system worked.

The three blades were made using a piece of spruce timber as the centre section of the blade. The spruce timber stretched from the tip to the base of each blade. To fill out the blade on each side it was laminated with MDF sheet and auto filler to build up thickness. This was carefully sanded and shaped until the correct shape was achieved. At first only one was made as it was intended to mold this one and make three identical ones in polyurethane resin. However after a couple of attempts to mold the blade, it was decided to make two more blades in the same way as the first. The blades were fitted with bolts in the base of each so that they could be screwed into the hub for removal for transport. Each blade was 850mm long so the model measured nearly 2m in height when assembled and a rotor diameter of 1.6 metres.

Once it was all test fitted, the model was painted in gloss white paint and details painted to highlight different features. The model was fitted to a base board which was made to look like the gravel areas they are placed on. A couple of 1:72 scale figures and a small van were made and fitted to the base to give the model a sense of scale.

The smaller model was a diorama of three turbines built to a scale of 1:500. The base board measured 750mm x 750mm and featured a ridge line of farm land with a small dam and a flock of sheep grazing in the paddock. The model was built using foam, chicken wire and plaster and then painted and covered with model railway flocking. Some small trees and shrubs added to add more details. A one piece acrylic display case covers the model. A base plinth was made by one of the New England Wind team and the model fitted to it. The model has been travelling around the country being shown to various groups promoting wind power.