Monday, July 16, 2018

Back to the yard

Regular readers might remember that last month I started building a Petite Properties "Harper's Yard" kit. I got as far as sticking some Plastikard on the front, and then it all went quiet.

I had carried out a bit more work - the openings were all lined with plastic and I'd got as far as trying the windows. At this point I realsied that losing 1mm off each side made the pre-printed glazing look odd. On the PP stand, the model is covered with their brickpaper and the problem doesn't occur.

So, the lining was carefully removed despite all the effort I'd gone to to put it in neatly. Then the plastic started to peel from the front. Then it tore. Then I'm embarrassed to say, I had a bit of a meltdown and screwed the whole kit up and lobbed it in the bin.

But, I still like the model and with the bit more care, I think I can do a good job. So I ordered a replacement kit which has arrived and I'm back to making progress.

This time, the inside edges of the openings will just be painted. Some need to be a painted wood colour, others brick. While the lack of mortar lines might annoy me a little, once on a larger model, no-one is going to notice. At least I'm not going to tell them.

So, I'm going to learn from my mistakes. A slightly different tack to the build and no more modelling while stressed.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Smallspace 2018


It's 40 years since the superb BBC sci-fi drama Blakes 7 debuted on our TV screens and a very young Phil sat and watched some dystopian telly, missing the sub-plot completely and just enjoying the special effects and spaceships. It was grittier than Dr Who but I didn't care.

Smallspace this year celebrated this with the original Liberator (in a VERY bad way) and an appearance by Michael Keating, who played Vila Restal in the series along with the designer and model makers from the show. A shuffle of displays allowed us to enjoy "Vila's Vault" with a collection of props and costumes, bot real and reproduction. You can tell the later, they are better made and more detailed!

UFO hunters

Along side this there were examples of more sic-fi modelmaking, a bit of steampunk and the most amazingly detailed bakers shop where every item was hand made from clay and I wanted to tuck in!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday film club: Accucraft open day 2018

A couple of weeks ago, I headed over to Wales for Accucraft UK's open day. 

Once the bargains had gone (I missed out on IOM coaches for a tenner - perfect for a carriage cottage) people  spent the time runing trains on the test track - and I filmed some of them. There's a good variety of scales from G to 7/8th and some really interesting stock.

Friday, July 13, 2018

A working paddle boat for under 4 quid?

Loitering on a model boat forum, I spot a topic with a title along the lines of "This would be a good boat for the kids". Inside is a link to an eBay shop and a paddle boat costing £3.75. It looks like a bit of fun and so I hit the "Buy it now" link and then add a load of waterproof switches from the same shop for good measure.

A week or so later a package arrives in a jiffy bag from China. The switches are brilliant, and impossible to find in the UK (I've looked a lot) but the kit is contained in a plastic bag. Opening this up and I have the bits above on my bench.

The instructions show that you basically use double sided tape to stick the foam shape to the plywood board, attach the double-ended motor with cable ties, wrap some wires around terminals and push the plastic paddles on the shafts.

I broke out the soldering iron for the wiring, twisting the wires didn't work for me and the paddles took a bit of brute force to fit on the motor, but the whole job was done in under 20 minutes.

On a pool, the little model potters around beautifully. Care is needed to make sure the paddles don't catch on the foam, but when working well, it's quite fast and utterly charming.

Paddle boat

I'm already wondering what I can do to make more of this kit. For the price, it's a bit of fun and yes, would be good for kids. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Looking through the square windows

I've been working on a few model building projects recently and if there is one thing I will do my best to avoid, it's being able to see things inside the model you shouldn't be able to. Mainly this is being able to look through a building when there should be walls in the way, but can also refer to seeing the construction of the model.

Now, you can equip a model with a fully fitted interior. That's what the guys at Pendon would do, but I don't have the luxury of that much time and to be honest, for most models, it would be overkill. Fine if you like sticking things on the layout that no-one sees, but that's not for me most of the time.

My solution is to make up little boxes for the back of the windows. Inside is painted dark grey, not black, and then stuck in place to blank out the view. There needs, in my opinion, to be a little separation between the "glass" and the blackness or this looks odd too.

The job doesn't take long, but adds immensely to the look of a model.