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ing Tips & Tools Monthly, Issue #73--Forward-into-2013
January 15, 2013
|January 15, 2013
Getting Back Into the Traces
I sort of hit a slump in my scale modeling a couple months ago and am looking for some get-up-and-go.
Of course winter (even if it is only 2-3 inches of snow) had a lot to do with it. There is nothing that will bring a mobility scooter to a halt like a snow bank and 2-3 inches of snow and ice.
That means no trips to the LHS or any stores, not even the gym until spring. I am having problems getting the city street department to recognize I need access to sidewalks if I'm going to get anywhere.
And I was having problems with the planking on the USS Eagle,so I decided to set it aside for awhile.
It's been awhile.
I'm still not planning to jump right back on board, it almost requires ripping off the first planking and I'm not ready to deal with that yet.
It's my 74th birthday and I get to choose something a little more forgiving.
20-mule team getting hitched upI have been doing a lot of research on the century old Borax 20-mule team that was used to haul nearly 18 tons (that's about max for an 18-wheeler) of Boron 162miles (324 round trip)through Death Valley. Mules are remarkable animals and so were the mule skinners who made the trip.
In the early days of Borax, the company used to make available a plastic model of the mules and wagons that made these trips at a nominal fee. Some can still be found today on eBay (price not so nominal).
I came across a website http://www.muleteamkits.com/ where Steve Breckenridge sells an updated 20-mule team kit at a reasonable price. The detail is a lot sharper and so are the assembly instructions. I also like the fact it is produced with a new set of molds.
I'm starting it today, just trying to figure out where I can let 20 mules graze until they are ready to be hitched to the wagons.
Suddenly, a Life Changing eventI learned 48 hours ago of the death of my pastor, a true man of God.
There is a hole in my heart which will not be easily filled and matters like the above seem trivial at best.
I am in awe of God's power and compassion to comfort and even encourage the hearts of my fellow disciples who have each shared remarkable life experiences with him, Granted, these chosen few are heavy of heart burdened with sorrow and despair.
But we all know, as if one, that our Pastor has gone on ahead of us to a place where despair and sorrow can never exist.
Making you modeling time worthwhileInstead of trying to wedge in another finished model to your display area, how about honoring a Vet or two?
Consider contacting your closest Veteran's Hospital to learn of a Vet who might want a finished model of a ship he sailed on, a plane he has flown, even a Humvee or Hummer he may have driven. You could even add a plaque designating the Veteran's service
It's a win-win, you get a modeling project to perfect and a meaningful way to thank the Veteran for his or her service.
Meanwhile, back at the research desk...Oh come on now, we're talking about an iPad, a Google Search Engine and either sitting upon bed or in a recliner.
Anyway, I have always wanted to scratch build a Roman warship like in the movie Ben Hur. Funny how these things hang on decade after decade, I mean this is a movie I saw 48 years ago.
Typically, these vessels were over 125 feet (39.3 meters) in length with a hull width of 12 feet (3.67 meters) and a depth of 6.75 feet (2.08 meters). Oars ranged from 22.75 feet (6.81 meters) to 25 .75 feet (7.86 meters) in length.
For a model in say, HO scale, that's over 100 three inch oars. Maybe for the first one, a plastic model is the way to go.
The Romans, and Greeks for that matter, utilized a variety of these galleys: Bireme, two banks of oars per side; trireme, three banks; and larger ships like Quadriremes , or "fours" started to appear in the latter half century BC.
It almost became a game of who could build the largest and fastest galley by building ships with both larger numbers of oars or larger numbers of oarsmen per oar. Quickly moving through fives, sixes, sevens, eights and nines into double digits. There has been found archeological evidence of 15s, 20s and even 30s.
The latter required thousands of rowers and hundreds of deck personnel and contrary to what the Ben Hur flick portrayed the rowers weren't slaves but were freemen.
Romans were dubious of using slaves for such an important position aboard their ships both for reliability reasons and depth of experience. Letting one or two oars get out of sync and they had the makings of a disaster.
Also contrary to the Ben Hur depiction of ramming as the weapon of choice, many ship commanders would first come alongside an enemy, breaking as many oars as possible to incapacitate the vessel and return later to ram and sink.
Motivation Gets You Up...
Keeps You GoingI often find, specially now that Age 75 has passed, my motivation to get going needs a good kick start to 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:
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.
The Road AheadI am looking at a lot of exciting changes this coming summer. 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 have launched my new website all about my experiences with mobility scooters. You can bet it is another SiteBuildIt site Check it out:
Your Help and Ideas Needed
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.
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