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Scale Modeling Tips & Tools Monthly, Issue #060-Last Month At This Stand
December 15, 2011
December 15, 2011

Merry Christmas

and Happy New Year

Last Month At This Address

A lot of things will be changing as we move into 1212, not the least of which is my office/bedroom.

My wife and I are moving from an apartment complex where we have lived for the past 10-plus years into a condominium about a mile from here in the same city, Nashua, NH.

This is a move set in place by God, we left it entirely in His hands. Despite the fact we are dealing with an owner located in Minnesota and that it never went on the market, this has been the easiest $100,000-plus sale I have ever been a part of.

When I contrast it with our other home purchase about 40 years ago when my wife and I were doing the steering, the difference is so obvious. At that time, we ended up with too small a home with a sieve for a roof, an electrical system that needed to be re-built and the need to add on a bedroom.

In the new condo, my office/bedroom will be about twice the size of the one I now have with a walk-in shower.

In addition, I can commute by mobility scooter to a nearby mall, hobby shop and restaurants. Here I am pretty much apartment bound. I am looking forward to the independence.

Recycled Plastic:
New Rail Tie Prototype

You don't often see plastic imitations of wood modeling structure items that become the real-life version for the prototype.

This is happening now as plastic railroad ties are beginning to replace the normal wooden ties to support steel rails.

Do I see pre-assembled Flex Track in the future?

These recycled plastic ties can be used in place of concrete ties and would be much easier to install.

Railroads may have not got to the point where flex track would make any sense a three-foot section in HO translates to 255 feet in real life. Can you imagine bending that for an “S” curve?

They already use section track in some areas especially to fix wreck spots. I could see these ties on a MOW train making it a lot faster to lay track.

Wouldn’t it be nice to imagine needing to dig up old landfills in order to mine the scrap plastic for railroad ties!

I wonder how they will weather them?

Erosion Vital Concern
To Christian Hobbiests

If you look at the seven natural wonders of this world in their full scale size, you will find God has built some award winning “dioramas” that can take your breath away, for instance. Stand on the rim of the Grand Canyon at Yaki Point to watch either the sunrise or sunset.

As a scale modeler who is foremost a Christian, I have become increasingly aware, most of my modeling efforts to date have been to immortalize man’s achievements whether for winning wars or transporting people and goods.

Granted, I am not going to start a scale model of the Grand Canyon, but I do think it is important to commemorate at least one instance from Biblical history. Some of these I have come across like the model of Harod’s Temple; another of the Noah’s Ark (I’m working on one myself).

Why tackle something like this? It allows me to spend some of my alone-time with God doing something both He and I can appreciate. I have become an admirer of what an inspired man can do and I found such a man when I was researching for my Noah’s Ark scratch build. He is Ken Ham, founder and CEO of Answers In Genesis, The organization which built the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY. I recently listened to his “State of the Nation 2, The Erosion of Christian America”.

You can download it from the website.

                       Biblical-Based Scale Models
noah's ark Jeruselum
Noah's  Ark Jeruselum  Model
Harod's Temple Tabernacle
Harod's  Temple Tabernacle  Kit

Let's Mix It Up

No matter what you are modeling, you can’t really call it your own until you change its appearance. Whether your starting point is a plastic rattle box, a few pieces of stripwood, or a blob of plaster, you never will be very satisfied with the original color. It just ain’t cool.

And since we’ve just come through New England’s most beautiful season, we’re devoting the rest of this issue to color, how to mix it, how to apply it and how to age it.

So if you are mixing, applying or aging, hopefully you will find something here to guide you.

Without a doubt model builders could easily spend a lifetime exploring the results of mixing paints to get specific colors, there are just so many possible results from mixing two or three colors together. One man’s auburn, for instance, is another man’s rust and what one individual sees as rust. What one calls chestnut, another refers to be as being hazel-colored. What one person sees as burnt sienna, another sees as reddish brown.

If it was only a question of what you call the color by decreeing this particular color will always be called auburn.

But what do you call the same color that has a little more red or a little more brown?

In the final analysis the “that’s it!” decision will be made by the viewer and not you.

A general formula for creating brown is one part red, one part blue and a little yellow, but how much of each will depend on what you and your girlfriend recognize. You can make a substantial change with just a drop or two difference in any of the primary or secondary colors involved.

To be more specific, you can use the formula part of burnt umber, three parts of golden ochre and twenty parts of white lead (I n art, lead white is known as flake white, also sometimes known as Cremnitz white.) It depends on how artistic you want to get.

Things to remember when mixing paints:

1. Get Out your paints (I find you can mix brands as long as you stay within the acrylic or oil-based paint families.
2. Use a color wheel to help you learn to mix paints to get the colors you want. Color mixing adds detail and excitement to your work.
3. It is a very good visual tool that demonstrates the relationship between the different types of colors of the spectrum. Learn the three elementary divisions of color:

• Primary colors are red, blue, yellow. These are the three 'starter' pigments and can’t be created using any other combination of colors, hence the term 'primary'.
• Secondary colors are orange, purple, green. They are the products of the three combinations of primary colors.
• Tertiary colors are those that involve all three primary colors (red, yellow and blue) in some combination or another.

4. Recognize the various hues of a color. All colors have various shades and are either 'warm' or 'cool'. Warm colors are prominent and bold, whereas cool colors are subdued and sober. Traditionally, yellow, orange and red are considered warm colors while blue, green and purple would be classified as “cool”.
5. Create a color grid. Use a piece of water color paper and mark of a grid with several blocks. In each block, place a splotch of your one of your “created colors with the “recipe” (measured color combinations) beneath it.

Incidently you will find a color wheel in the Download Center.

Give SBI Magic a Try

I am looking at a lot of exciting changes coming as 2012 begins. It promises to be one of my favorites as I look back over seven decades. This reminds me of the utter foolishness of teen suicide.

My wife and I are moving into our own Condo after a decade of renting (I know, the rent alone would have paid for it). We're excited by the prospect (a garage in snow country is a big deal).

I am launching a new website shortly after my 73rd birthday all about my  experiences with mobility scooters. You can bet it is another SiteBuildIt site Check it out: Magic Happens As soon as I get my new domain name, I'll pass it along.

I am excited about what God has in mind for my future. I intend to get closer to Him. That is my New Year's Resolution.


Your Help and Ideas Needed
To Expand SMH Idea Base

Making daily decisions involving for the past 62 months has led to the creation of over 425 pages of articles on the various facets of scale modeling, this monthly e-zine and a host of modeling questions answered.

As we get ready to embark on our fifth year, I am hoping to open the site up to input from other scale modelers. You may have noticed the Navigation Bar has been sub-divided into the major hobbies covered.

Each of these sections now has one or two pages that invite participation with questions, tips and pictures regarding your various modeling endeavors.

We want to hear from you as do the other 25,000 modelers who log onto this site monthly.

As I get ready to roll into my 73rd year, I can’t believe how much I have learned about hobby activities In the past two years. I have heard from other modelers with similar experiences.

To help me develop and maintain my website your comments on its content are essential. You can send me your comments by visiting the “Voice Your Opinion” feature at the top of the Navigation stack in the left column on each page.

It was never my intention to make this website a one way street as my knowledge is no where deep enough for me to be termed an “Authority”. I hunger for your feedback, comments, ideas, tutorials, plans, pictures and even your negative comments if considered constructive.

The Internet and that includes work best when they are interactive and that is collaboration only you can provide. It has been a pleasure serving as your guide for these past two years and by no means am I throwing in the towel, for I honestly believe the building and maintaining of this website are instrumental in keeping my mind active.

I want to open up this site in the fast lane. That is your part of the two-way street.

Its In Your Best Interest

If you have been giving some thought to launching your own home business in 2010, it is worth your time to take a look at what I found:

Steps To Success

Until Next Month

Make It Your Best Effort!

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