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I’m still getting into my stride at work and I’ve been a bit short of energy for model making, which is why instead of working on the Big diesel as planned I decided to take it easy and finish the cardboard rocket.

I’d mentioned that I wanted to use a variation on the “hairspray method”. This is where you paint the model, usually rusty brown but I went for silver, spray liberal amounts of hairspray over the model, let that dry and paint the ‘final’ colour on top. Then you scrub the lot with a wet brush and all the exposed corners start to show up in the undercoat leaving the impression the model is rather battered and made of metal.

This worked mostly, although I found that artist’s acrylics are remarkably good at holding onto hairspray, and in one or two cases I went straight through to the milk carton underneath and had to touch it up.

Being me I couldn’t let it lie and gave the model a going over with black and brown pastels to break up the colour. I briefly tried using water with the pastels but made such a mess I had to clean it all off, so I went back with dry.

As it stands this will be a getaway/pursuit vehicle for pulp tabletop games as soon as I get my act together making buildings and other bits and pieces. I have a feeling it may gain a few customisations when the boys get a hold of it though, as I’ve already heard mutterings about machine guns and ‘catapults to throw things at cars behind’. We shall see…

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For the last two years the focus of pretty well everything I’d been doing has been April the 19th 2018: Exam Day for my Occupational Therapists qualification.

Suddenly Exam Day has come and gone, and I have a couple of shiny new certificates, a sense of anticlimax, and huge pile of revision notes. It’s quite a shock to realise just how much I’d been focusing on this for the last eighteen months or so. It’s also a shock not to have to keep going through these every time I have five minutes to spare:

Those revision notes were extremely important until last week, and now they’re just so much notepaper. I’ve even used a couple for model making experiments.

Anyway, I’ve got a bit of time off, but I’m using a lot of it to get ready for starting work with an organisation helping people with Psychological and addiction issues. I expect that this will leave me pretty tired for the first few weeks, so until things have calmed down a bit and I’m in a routine I’ll leave the ‘serious’ model railways, and work on a stack of simpler projects based around tabletop games and other creative things I’m trying to do with my boys.

I’ll still be posting once a week, but it may look a bit different for a while…

 

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In my annual attempt to squeeze a blog post out of no model making whatsoever, I’ve been looking at the resolutions I made last January to see how I did:

1: Blog once a week,
It’s good for me to keep writing. Besides, I have to step away from college and breathe on occasion, so I’ll try to make sure there is an entry every week, in fact, every Saturday morning.  Anyone bored with this blog should find that my other one is updated weekly as well.

I occasionally use the same material, but hey, it’s free…

I think I actually managed this, much to my surprise. Admittedly this is at the expense of immediacy so I have a couple of posts ready in case of unforeseen family events or exams. I’m not sure if I’ll keep this up for the next year as I’ll have final exams for my Occupational Therapist qualification in the next months and then the fun of finding a job afterwards. We shall see.

2: Build more models.
After all, I need more blogging material. Being an extreme introvert surrounded by people, I need to switch off to be able to breathe each day, and I find model making is excellent for this as a break before dealing with the family in the evening. I also want to use different materials: card wagons, for example, possibly with the finish printed on paper, or clay and wood for buildings.

This years tally is a completed post office, garage, cartoon gate and developing farmhouse, while the Höfelbachbahn is better off by one railcar and a still unfinished van, and the Körschtalbahn has a big diesel coming along slowly. I seem to have made more buildings than trains. That may just be because I find buildings easier, or because I start all my locomotives twice.

3: Finish half built models.
Like the KÖB railcar (which could well rank as the slowest scratchbuilding project ever although it is much further on than this picture from 2011 suggests), or a rebuild of ‘Growler 1’ which has been languishing in a box for (yikes) ten years as it was far too big for 1:43 scale, let alone 1:55. I’d like it to run one day.

Not doing so well here. The Körschtalbahn railcar is now in primer with some piping, but that’s as far as it got, and I didn’t have the heart to lay a finger on the diesel shunter yet.

4: Maybe, just maybe, get Spitzenwald running.
I feel like I owe it to myself after the fight it took to build the baseboards.

Nope, nothing doing.

What with exams and possibly a house move, I’ve been thinking about my current projects and how they fit in life generally. I’ve got some ideas but they aren’t really complete and you’ve been pretty patient reading this far, so I’ll not bore you further…

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Happy Christmas…

It is Christmas eve here and all around us people are opening presents, but because we are traditionalists our boys are being forced to wait until tomorrow morning as they would in the UK.

So, in the unlikely event anyone is online and reading this, happy Christmas to all three of my readers, and thanks for following along my misadventures.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as we have all recovered.

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So, having fixed the dodgy track, I can now think about Resolutions. Hmm…

1: Blog once a week,
It’s good for me to keep writing. Besides, I have to step away from college and breathe on occasion, so I’ll try to make sure there is an entry every week, in fact, every Saturday morning.  Anyone bored with this blog should find that my other one is updated weekly as well.

I occasionally use the same material, but hey, it’s free…

2: Build more models.
After all, I need more blogging material. Being an extreme introvert surrounded by people, I need to switch off to be able to breathe each day, and I find model making is excellent for this as a break before dealing with the family in the evening. I also want to use different materials: card wagons, for example, possibly with the finish printed on paper, or clay and wood for buildings.

3: Finish half built models.
Like the KÖB railcar (which could well rank as the slowest scratchbuilding project ever although it is much further on than this picture from 2011 suggests), or a rebuild of ‘Growler 1’ which has been languishing in a box for (yikes) ten years as it was far too big for 1:43 scale, let alone 1:55. I’d like it to run one day.

4: Maybe, just maybe, get Spitzenwald running.
I feel like I owe it to myself after the fight it took to build the baseboards.

So, there you are, I’ve cunningly generated a blog post out of no modelmaking progress whatsoever. Now we’ll have to see if I can achieve these things or if I’ll end up just cutting and pasting this next year…

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Officially foreign

mess

So, the first exam came and went, and I’m told I did reasonably well. This week I get to do it all again, graded this time, and hopefully remembering all the reccomendations the examiner made.

Oh, and now I have to go and find out what our long-term immigration status looks like thanks to a sizable minority of the UK being tricked into believing it will be a good idea to go it alone. We have a lifelong visa here so we are okay for the time being, but with everything shifting under us I feel the need to plan ahead.

Thse two are taking a lot of time and energy, hence the low posting rate at the moment….

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So, yes, it’s been a while since I even posted on here. Almost exactly two years in fact

When I last posted in December 2013, I was in the middle of Baseboard Building School (known to the ignorant masses as a Carpentry Apprenticeship). I graduated sooner than expected because I was diagnosed with Asthma, but as I have no desire to spend the next thirty years making kitchen units out of chipboard, this wasn’t a disaster. Even better, theres a chance I’ll get a grant to start a new course to learn how to use my carpentry training to work with people.

This process involved government departments and therefore took a ridiculous amount of time and energy, so making models didn’t seem such an attractive idea for a while. Besides, it seemed a bit pointless and wasteful making things that will ultimately be thrown away.

On the other hand, what if the point of the exercise is the process, rather than the end result? Someone at my current training placement pointed out that you can use “Literally anything” for training people because whatever work you do is a medium to help people. If the project one day ends up in the bin, well, so do most school books. The point is that the person working on them has learned something.

Railway modellers -at least the ones who can converse in normal sentences- frequently point out that building a layout involves working as a carpenter, electrician, artist, historian, and many others. It is perfect, in fact, for teaching new skills to people such as my three growing sons, or at least getting them off the computer for a while so they do something useful.

Anything that reduces time playing Minecraft has got to be good.

After this, I realised that I work in a city farm with a ‘Making Space’ for children and young people, with useful things like saws and drills and workbenches, and space to make things.

Being me, I faffed about and put off doing anything like making a baseboard for ages.

Then, last week, my employer came and asked if I needed anything from the builders merchants and on a whim I asked him to get two sheets of ply.

KÖB_Spitzenwald_BB_01

More updates to follow…

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