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Scale Modeling Tips & Tools Monthly, Issue #013-- "Anticipation"
February 15, 2008
February 15, 2007

Anticipation Does Weird Things

Anticipation does weird things to the psyche. Take the order for your first real craftsman kit which you have planned for the centerpiece of a new layout that is still lines on a piece of paper.

That’s right, I ordered Sam Cahoon’s Fish Pier from Northeastern Scale Models and was given a delivery date of seven days.

Anticipation shows in many ways; for example, some people seem to smile uncontrollably during this period, while others seem ill or sick. It is not uncommon for the brain to be so focused on an event, that the body is affected in such a way

Me, I shift into planning mode talking to others who have built the same model or similar endeavors to get as much how-to information and tips, techniques and jig ideas that will be helpful.

Next, I start gathering the tools I’ll need, adhesives and paints so they’ll be handy when the time comes.

Seven Days! I could have gotten it from eBay faster. Anyway on the second day of waiting, I was going about my usual activities of the day and planning how to tackle this construction project..

I got a sheet of 2-inch foamcore board and fronted it with a barrier wall that will be recessed under the wharf that fronts the buildings. I am planning another structure for the light gray portion.

Then the front door buzzer sounded at just about the same time Postal guy usually arrives.

It couldn’t be…

Yup, there he was, uniform and all. He was carrying a box that looked to be the right size. I could hardly wait to get it into my hands. Yup, the box in the envelope was about the right size and sort of spongy…

I couldn’t find the scissors so I ripped it open before putting on my glasses…

It contained four boxes of Miracle Burner for my wife.

Maybe next week…

Mixing Yen To Fish With RC Boating Desire

Got a question the other day from a woman looking to surprise her significant other:

I am looking for an RC boat large enough for my boyfriend to use when he goes fishing. Any idea where I can find one that will catch a fish?

I haven’t yet been angling with an RC powered boat, I prefer a full size bass boat with seating for me and a couple of friends. We have some great fishing spots here in New Hampshire, some less than a mile away.

Hopefully, even the small-mouth bass would be big enough to tow an RC powered boat beneath the surface of the Connecticut River.

Here is a YouTube offering on the topic:

I have come across discussions about Remote Control angling and for one thing, learned this is all but a new idea.

Back before the turn of the century Rcers were already fooling around with the idea. One guy in Texas modified his fly rod with a spring-loaded reel and mounted it to his boat. The original idea was for the fish just to snatch the bait and the reel would start to work. But fishing laws prevent the use of automatic reels so he had to add a servo to trigger the retrieval.

Electric motors seem to work best for fishing and providing the boat is large enough, you can conceivably haul in a trophy fish. One method of bringing the big ones to shore is to use two batteries, a 6-Volt for running the trolling operations and a 12-Volt for the real action. When a fish starts working the bait, a flag should trigger. When you see the flag, trip the second battery switch to set the hook.

This provides enough power and the ability to run long enough to wear out the fish and eventually drag him to shore.

In August my church family is planning on renting an ocean going fishing boat for an evening of Blue Fish fishing in the Atlantic….I wonder…

Still Writing

Last month I began a scale modeling ebook about card stock building construction. This will be based on my experiences in scratch building background building flats. It has naturally carried over into an economical alternative to the typical craftsman kit.

There are many things I learned in developing this process that make me realize this is a technique long overlooked by the scratch building community.

  • Why build railroad layout buildings from paper?
  • Using your computer and printer to design and produce buildings you want.
  • Why paper models are better for the environment.
  • Working with Foamcore boards
  • Make them stick, what adhesives to use.

These are just a few of the topics I intend to cover in providing a modus operandi for railroad modelers and dioramists (I know, it isn’t a word) who scratch build structures or portions of structures on a regular basis.

You can find examples of the buildings I have made while

building N Scale Background flats As we roll into an uncertain economy, many of us are looking for ways we can cut costs without sacrificing the excellence of our work.

This new Adobe Acrobat book will join my “Model Masters Tips Log” (there is a link on the

home page and “Practice Today, BYOB” , my diatribe on making modeling practice a regular part of your hobby.

Making A Do-It-Yourself Modeling Chisel

Chisels for tiny spaces are not always the easiest tool to find even in the well-equipped hardware emporium.

Whether you are working on wooden buildings or wooden ships, here is a quick Do It Yourself project that will pay for itself over and over again.

You will need a razor blade, a razor saw, a dowel and some epoxy glue. For a precision width blade on your chisel you may also want your Dremel with a grinding stone.

Break the razor blade to the width you require. You may find this easier if you place the blade in a vise and snap it just below the collar. Now trim it with the grinding stone.

Use your razor saw to slot the end of the dowel.

Epoxy the blade into the slot. When it starts getting dull, saw off the dowel above the blade and repeat.

Modeling College at your fingertips

Whatever your modeling niche railroading, ship modeling, RC, dioramas or static model cars, you will find the Internet offers a whopper of a resource through Web forums, message boards and discussion groups that dovetail your interests.

There are also a large number of sites similar to

My site devoted to helping modelers improve their skills.

I have found hobbyists who use the forums and discussion groups to be among the friendliest and helpful sources of good, practical information. These sites are very informative and most offer a tremendous archive of model photos in various stages of completion. It is like having a modeling club right in your living room.

They are virtually a community of regular users who often visit daily to review information and add their comments or post photos and files.

You will find most of these groups allow you to surf through in anonymity, but the most advantages go to those who register with a user name and password giving them additional privileges such as editing their previous posts, starting new topics and controlling their own settings.

These sites bring together people from around the world with similar interests and levels of experience who share a passion. Most forums and user groups have administrators or moderators who can edit, delete or modify any entry, ban, delete or create members. They monitor the “netiquette” of those who post. Forum netiquette can vary on different forums. On default, individuals must agree to a Registry Agreement that defines a forum's rules before joining that particular forum, but whether those rules are actively enforced varies from forum to forum. For example, a hobby forums generally prohibit sexually explicit content. Typically, they do not tolerate cursing and rude behavior.

Activities to avoid include:

Multiple Posts—Posting the same message twice is normally considered a faux pas. Repeating this form of abuse will normally attract administrative action.
Spamming—Spamming a board is generally considered repeating the same word or phrase over and over—usually a willful act with malicious intent. This is a good way to get banned.
Trolls—A troll willfully and repeatedly disregards netiquette, often posting offensive comments or derogatory postings. A sure way to get deleted or edited.

Modeling Groups Directory

Until Next Month...

Make It Your Best Effort!

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