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ing Tips & Tools Monthly, Issue #96-76 Promisew
January 15, 2015
Jan,. 15, 2014

76 Promises Changes In Thought

I have so many birthday wishes that I want to send to you
I wish you strength, joy, and happiness, too
I hope you have an awesome 76th birthday
I hope you spend it in a fantastic way.

I hope this 76th birthday is your favorite day of the year.

I also hope you are taking seriously the terrorism that is sweeping the world.

Looking For A Winter Project?

If you are looking for a winter modeling project, take a look at this email I received last week:

Dear Reg Hardy, I don’t build models, but I do love them. It is a delightful little world to be in, at least for a few moments of time. And I enjoy your writing and your occasional philosophizing. That said, we in the Half Moon Bay (California) History Association continue to look for a skilled and perhaps charitable model builder who might be willing and able to help us finish our historical diorama. It is a model of our town as it was in 1861. We are a modest little organization and don’t have a lot of money. About six months ago I sent a similar note to you. Subsequently a nice fellow from New Jersey offered to help. But health issues got in the way, and we are again looking for someone who would be inclined to help for modest compensation. Our diorama needs a few buildings in HO scale. We will do drawings. We are not perfectionists, but we have established a foundation of very good quality craftsmanship. Can you think of a way to express this opportunity for community service (with modest compensation) to people in your following? Website: Regards, Dave Cresson Half Moon Bay History Association (650)726-4468

Speaking of Winter Projects...

Snow plowing: The Next Lost Art

As I looked out the window at that 1 inch of snow on the ground it's hard to imagine that I knew days that looked like this.

I can remember digging a tunnel in the roadside snowbank which connected my house to my neighbors that tunnel was big enough to stand up in. Of course I was quite a bit younger and definitely shorter.

Watching the above video gave rise to the thought I have never seen such activity live in New England in over 50 years. That's not to say it never took place but the incidents took place when I wasn't near a rail line.

But from what I have seen for winter weather the past few years, rail lines are easily cleared by waiting for the sun, or just backing a rail car down the track.

Modeling a railroad winter wonderland today relies more on imagination than actual sighting.

It is actually kind of funny. I had wanted a snow scene with one of my models so I went out and bought a jar of imitation snow. I have used a tablespoon so far, and that looks like overkill. I'd have been better off to ask my wife for a 1/2 cup of baking soda. Even four or five packs of sweetner would have done it.

As far as the weather goes, Things are uncharacteristically balmy in The northeast. You can even find an occasional kid walking around in flip-flops and shorts.

7 Ways To Motivate Your Modeling

I often find, specially now that I am beyond 75, my motivation to get going needs a good kick start to turn on the flow of my modeling juices.

It's frustrating, isn't it?

You define tasks that you need to accomplish, you gather the resources needed , and set the time and place to get it done.

You notice it's not getting done.

You wait some more.

It still isn't getting done. What you need is: Motivational Help

1. Develop your own plan in outline form so you go through the same steps with each model you begin. Do it on your computer or PDA so changes and updates are easily executed.

2. Don’t model in silence. Provide your modeling area with music, a good source is the Cable TV music channel.

3. Movies, Photographs, Drawings -- What the eye takes in can be a stimulus to your motivation to pick up the knife, the brush or the tweezers. In addition they bring to life the detail you are trying to emulate. Do not get bogged down in research but knowing the history of your subject helps in its recreation. Google Images and model railroading forums are valuable resources I couldn’t be without.

4. Talk to get motivated. I know once I tell my wife about a phase of the layout I am going to build, I feel a sense of commitment to carry it out.

5. Seeing the finished project stimulates my desire. I imagine it finished. Here again, pictures of layouts I am emulating provide an inducement to get to work. Also, of the project will bring in money, it will take precedence.

6. How do you eat an elephant—One bite at a time. You will get more done more quickly by breaking your modeling project into modules. Then take any small step; you’ll want another

7. Find your niche. You will be much more motivated if what you are modeling is something in which you have a sincere interest.

Share Your Successes and your problems

Be an active participant in Internet forums which focus on your modeling subject. I currently have a dozen of them bookmarked in my favorites and check in with each weekly. They are valuable for a number of reasons:

• Relationships - good forums can be incredible communities with a lot of good personal interaction between members. Some of the people that I have worked with more closely over the years are people I have met in forums.

• Learning/Post Ideas - one of the best parts about participating in a forum is that as you use them you’ll find yourself with a lot of new knowledge and potential post ideas. Forums are full of threads from beginners in topics asking questions. Grab these questions and answer them on your blog. You can also get scoops on stories from forums if you monitor them well. There are plenty of forums out there on most topics. Go on a forum hunt today and when you find one that has a similar topic to your modeling niche sign up and become an active member. To find them simply search Google for ‘your topic forum’ (try a few of your main keywords).

Modeling Ocean Dioramas

I have had several questions recently on modeling water, specifically for shipping dioramas dealing with things you don’t often think about like wave colors, distance between swells and what color items take on after an extensive amount of time underwater.

A lot of this is detailed in a website article about ocean dioramas. Water makes the Scene I find Google Images to be a great resource for getting the look of an ocean-going vessel accurate. Just Google ‘ships at sea’ without the quotes and you will get back a gaggle of images of everything from futuristic cloud ships to a British man-of-war plying the ocean waves.

I copy/paste the ones that depict the scene I am attempting to model and place them in a folder for referral when I get to that stage of the modeling effort.

Another great source for images of your planned project is YouTube where you can capture some close-to-live views like these:

sea-going going under break-out

These images are captured by pausing the video, using a program called SnagIt to capture the image and save it to a file. Seldom does a day pass when I don’t use SnagIt.

Another way of using YouTube is to look up actual diorama building techniques. For instance, this one shows how to make use of a smashed model:

Until Next Month

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