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[challenge entry] An ongoing project

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Not a convential image challenge entry, but I wanted to share this:



In 1978, Ford Prefect said 'It's so BLACK, you can hardly make out its shape. Light just falls into it.'

In 1979, some poor bugger at the BBC had to try to make a model that would fit that description.

No kit or toy of that ship was ever released - why would it be? It spent about a minute and a half on screen, total.

But in 2022, I realised that (a) 3d printers exist and (b) vertically-aligned-nanotube-array coatings exist... which means I could get a model of Disaster Area's stuntship into which light really did fall and not come out.

I've been working on this for a while. What you see before you is two of the three models I'll eventually have (I hope). The models are physically completely identical.

On the left, a model painted 'conventionally' - black paint, highlights on bits like the engines and field projectors, custom 'Disaster Area' decals like off the telly.

On the right - Musou black, the blackest conventional paint I could find. In person it's hard to look at, seeming almost velvety and defying your eyes to get a grip on it.

There is a paint called Singularity Black that I'm trying to get hold of for a third model, but it's shipped from the US, costs $350 for 250ml, and the solvent is tetrahydrofuran, which is fairly nasty, and it has to be cured at 120C, which I'm not sure the model will take. But it's real carbon nanotube black, like Vantablack, so I need to at least try.

From the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy challenge. See all 46 entries (open)

(, Thu 2 Jun 2022, 19:44, archived)
#
Absolutely fucking awesome. I’ve been listening to the original HGTG radio show today with the kids.
(, Thu 2 Jun 2022, 20:31, archived)
# None more black
(, Thu 2 Jun 2022, 20:34, archived)
# Nice
(, Thu 2 Jun 2022, 20:40, archived)
# Check out culture hustle
Culture hustle make an affordable and amazing super black paint called Black 3.0 (I normally stick to Black 2.0 as it appears better).
You cannot buy it of you are Anish Kapoor but otherwise, you are golden.
(, Thu 2 Jun 2022, 21:07, archived)
#
I got some Black 3.0. Musou black looked better when I tested them both.
(, Thu 2 Jun 2022, 22:35, archived)
# Fair play!
I might have to get my hands on some of this here Musou black!
(, Mon 6 Jun 2022, 12:42, archived)
# Anish Kapoor and I went to the same zen master, but not at the same time.
(, Fri 3 Jun 2022, 0:06, archived)
# But then... what is time?
(, Fri 3 Jun 2022, 9:41, archived)
# Nice!
Now do the Liberator...
(, Thu 2 Jun 2022, 21:33, archived)
# Make sure to make spare for when it inevitably melts.
(, Thu 2 Jun 2022, 21:46, archived)
# Team up with Hummel and make it fly!
(, Thu 2 Jun 2022, 21:51, archived)
# For the purpose of just making a photograph
Going through the "none so black as" Vantablack process would be a waste of time - you are there already! Seeing something coated with that stuff in person is quite eerie, though - does your brain right in!
(, Fri 3 Jun 2022, 1:43, archived)
# it's too brown and i don't like the font
(, Fri 3 Jun 2022, 2:40, archived)
# I applaud your efforts. \o/
(, Fri 3 Jun 2022, 2:49, archived)
# out of curiosity, how many coats did you put on
it looks chilly in there
(, Fri 3 Jun 2022, 4:30, archived)
# I didn't count the coats
The underlying model was white PLA with the dish assembly in grey resin, so it needed quite a bit. I just kept spraying until I couldn't see any white any more. The surface is quite fragile, so I drilled and tapped for an M10 bolt into the bottom of each so I could have something to hold them by.

Musou black feels like a powder coat. Not sure if you can overdo it. That photo was taken in direct sunlight with my phone, so it's as bright and detailed as I could make it. A photo taken this evening under a 60W bulb would make it look like Vantablack.
(, Fri 3 Jun 2022, 19:09, archived)
# None more black
(, Fri 3 Jun 2022, 7:49, archived)
# nice
(, Fri 3 Jun 2022, 23:00, archived)
# Update: not happening
I've now been advised that on top of the $375 I'd have to pay for 250ml of the Singularity Black, I'd have to fork out $200 for shipping (it's nasty stuff). I'd also have to pay an unspecified amount in taxes and duties or whatever. On that basis, I'm pulling the plug on my quest to have the blackest black ship in the world. Even now, I've no guarantee that if I got the paint and sprayed it on the model that said model wouldn't melt when I applied the heat required to "activate" the nanocoating - it needs to see 120 C for two minutes.

If there's anyone out there who fancies sponsoring this project to the tune of probably six or seven hundred quid, just to get find out whether it's even possible, do let me know. Failing that, Musou is as black as it gets. I'm still pretty happy with it. The two are getting mounted on a black baseplate with a plaque that has the Ford Prefect quote on it, with the date of original transmission, then inside a perspex display case to keep the dust off.
(, Wed 8 Jun 2022, 20:48, archived)