Project "Bruce" - page two
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The adventure continues...!!

As my project goes on, I'll continue to post updates on the progress of the shark's construction, and hopefully there will eventually be some photos of the model in action!!


The end... kinda!

Here is Bruce's 'rudder', finished and photographed.  Whilst trying to make the model of the famous monster accurate, I can't help wondering if that grey colour should really be lighter?

But, the verdict of several Jaws fans seems to suggest I've got it spot on!

A rudder? Sharks don't have rudders!

You're maybe wondering why I've described the tail as the "rudder", right?  Well, if you haven't read the first page describing my "Bruce" build, I shall explain...

As we all know, sharks use their tails to propel themselves forward (see pic), but replicating this feature in a model shark (or any fish, or indeed the up/down movement in a whale or dolphin) would be extremely difficult.  That's not to say it hasn't been done - it would just be far too complex for my current capabilities!

So, instead of trying to over-complicate things, I've decided to fit a propeller (or two) in the underside of the shark, finishing up near the tail, and use the tail itself to steer the shark instead.  Sorted!

The story so far....

This image shows the parts of the shark that I have so far constructed - dorsal fin (the thin sliver of grey in the middle of this shot), the tail/rudder, and the two pectoral fins which will control pitch (up and down) movement in the water.

The plan being used as a background was serving as a guide for the size of the pectoral fins.

Bruce progress - 11/01/05

Here's the progress made so far - the main fins and tail painted and finished (well, pretty much).

The head of the shark on the plans is still the generic great white shark drawing that I drew originally.  This will be changed when the time comes to make the head (which will probably be the last thing to build).

I'm also planning on making the body just a little longer to give "Bruce" the right proportions.

Bruce progress - 5/2/05

What you can see here is the body of the shark, constructed entirely from layers of 10mm balsa wood.  You can see here the first seven layers, plus an extra "shaping" layer for helping to cut out the balsa. 

The excess balsa at the rear will be cut away to achieve the correct profile for the body, before being sanded to shape.

To give a sense of scale, the rubber shark behind it is 29" long!

Bruce progress - 25/02/05

Being off sick from work does give one the opportunity to catch up on one's projects!!  As can be seen here, the remaining sections of the lower body have been glued, and the upper (hatch) section made up and, for the purposes of this photo only, stuck on.

The black lines denote the areas which are to be cut off and sanded to shape.  He is getting there...!!

Bruce update - 04/03/05

After cutting and sanding the body down, I decided to get some model aeroplane hinges and trial-fit them to the body and tail.  I also took the opportunity to have a trial-assembly photo...!!

You'll notice that the tail section has been lengthened.  This was to give the shark better proportions, as I had to move the dorsal fin a bit further back, and keeping the tail in the original position would have made the shark appear rather stumpy!!

I'm currently working on the next big part of the model - the shark's head.  This is gonna be a laugh...!!

Bruce update - 29/03/05

Well... building the head was fun and games!

Basically, the head was built in a similar fashion to the body - layers of (8mm) balsa wood glued together and sanded to shape.  I'm not quite sure the nose is correct, so I'll be attempting to rectify this soon.  Also, the head needs a bit of trimming and correcting to get right.

Bruce update - 29/3/05

In this view you can see Bruce's big mouth - currently devoid of teeth - and the "jowels" which were so particular to the first Jaws movie shark.  The lower jaw also needs a bit of trimming and altering to get it right, but at least the shark doesn't look like a coffin with fins any more! :o)

Bruce update - 27/4/05

I slapped some plastic wood around the upper jaw and sanded it to shape.  What I found was that, when I sanded the plastic wood down, I began to get a more accurate shape to the underside of the nose!  Groovy! 

Here's yet another trial assembly shot.

(Apologies for the quality of the images - I was trying to snap the shot before the batteries in my digital camera went dead!!)

Bruce update - 27/4/05

Bruce head-on.  You can see the improved nose shape more clearly here (compare with the previous head-on shot). 

Also evident is the work I've done on the lower jaw.

I have an idea of how to build the eyes into the model, which worked pretty well on the static Great White seen on previous pages.

The real "Bruce"

A photo borrowed from my mate Eddie's site, www.jawsmoviearchives.com, this shows the shark head-on during its construction phase.  Apart from the shape of the top of the head, which would be too difficult to rectify now anyway, I would say my model is fairly close.

Bruce update - 02/05/05

After a bit of work over the bank holiday weekend, here's a trial assembly shot.

The pelvic fins are attached and just need some finishing, while the head and back are more rounded at the top and sides.

The final, major bit of work (aside from fitting out) is the making of a strong torque rod that will join the pectoral fins through the body, and enable them to pivot around it to enable the shark to dive and surface.

Bruce update - 11/5/05

After a bit of head-scratching about how to make the eyes, I came up with the idea of using a couple of small glass beads (the kind you use for decorating plant pots) sunk into the head, then using plastic wood to make the sockets around them.

After a bit of sanding, they came out pretty good.  I notice, however, that they do stick out a bit more than the eyes of the actual shark - a bit late to try and change it now, however! 

Once painted, though, the lumps and bumps will pretty much blend in.  Next, sealing the beast...!!