|Back to Back Issues Page|
Scale Modeling Tips & Tools Monthly, Issue #038-- "DIY-Details For Details Your Way"
February 15, 2010
|February 15, 2010
Detailing Brings New Life To Junk Box Finds
This month I ventured into the world of N Scale building interiors building grist mill equipment and “furnishings” from scratch. I learned a lot about early grist mill operations and what it takes to bring things like a 2,500-pound millstone down to N Scale size.
I find so many give up N Scale when they get into their sixth or seventh decade opting for the more behemoth scales to deal with diminished eyesight and shakiness without realizing both are normal and correctable.
I have stayed with N Scale despite occasions or experiencing both aspects of getting along in years. Giving up the challenge of N Scale is not something I am considering any time soon. I have a minimal amount of space for my modeling endeavors so it is my intention to pack as much detail as possible into these few buildings. I find that employing a few scale details makes my buildings more believable and at the same, makes their construction more challenging.
To come up with a plausible interior for a gristmill meant researching this activity which proved to be a mainstay in community life in the early 20th century. You also come to realize the importance of phrases like “stone ground” when doing your food shopping today. A lot of nutritional value goes by the wayside in today’s flour production which relies on steel wheels to do the grinding. The wheels heat up and bake off some of the nutritional value in the grinding process.
Realizing what we have lost through modernization, I wanted to re-create what our ancestors knew as a better way.
That’s what gets me into working with small details and coming up with tricks that make it possible because (1) a lot of these small building components just aren’t available on the commercial market, and (2) the diminutive size makes duplication of such parts difficult when self-made.
For instance, I am now kitbashing a quality kit of a grist mill complete with water wheel like one I remember in northern Vermont. But there were always two or three millstones lying around like spare tires. Only these were four-feet in diameter (.30 in N Scale) with a hole in the center.
Actually, a round wooden pencil is just about the right size so I sliced one into “1-foot” pieces and found if I centered it over the jaws of my modeler’s vise spread about a quarter-inch apart, I could use a small Phillips head screwdriver and pop out the lead from the middle. If I wanted, I could belt out 25 of them from one pencil in less than 15 minutes.
You will find this article about Gristmill Details continued on the website along with several other details you can make from your junk box.
Thought I'd Put It In PrintSo far, I haven’t even been able to find a workshop on scale modeling that offers any kind of course credit or a degree. It is unlikely I ever will.
But I’ve always been interested in better ways to build models, new painting and weathering techniques and unique ways to display the results.
If you have a spot over your modeling bench, you might want to clip and post this to give your chosen spot more privacy.
I still have the original which measures 7" by 10.5". If you would like a copy of it in a larger format than is offered in the e-zine simply email me at Reg Hardy
Take A Regular Laugh BreakScale modeling can get intense when the hour starts getting late and mistakes start creeping into the knife work, gluing, painting or weathering. It doesn’t take much, I know, it happens to me a lot and what was initially planned as a very relaxing interlude becomes stress-packed.
I was bouncing through the channels the other night after a workout with the paint brush and stumbled across a PMS presentation at the Kennedy Center, The 20th Mark Twain Comedy Award presented to Bill Cosby who is a couple years closer to 75then I am, but his comic timing hasn’t lost a thing. I soon found myself laughing so hard tears were blurting from my eyes.
The show’s producers ran in a number of Cosby’s skits that kept me in stitches, they brought back memories of when I first heard them and all of a sudden, they paint splotches lost heavily, their importance. I got to thinking about how great it would be if I could save some of these to perk up my down days.
That's how the Laughter Mixer was born. Need a laugh, give it a spin.
Your Help and Ideas Needed
Making daily decisions involving
for the past 35 months has led to the creation of over 375 pages of articles on the various facets of scale modeling, this monthly e-zine and a host of modeling questions answered.
|Back to Back Issues Page|