Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Seaside Cottages ..... and a new toy

At the moment I'm quite into the idea of constructing small dioramas so as to experiment with different modelling techniques in a small and contained area.   I came across a photo of seaside cottages at Mousehole which I fancied having a go at modelling, full of character and in an attractive setting too. But should the walls be of embossed styrene sheet or DAS?  Since the idea of the diorama is experimentation, it had to be DAS.

After cutting out the structure from 30 thou styrene and lots (I thought) of bracing, the walls were covered with PVA followed by a couple of millimeters of DAS, smoothed with a wallpaper seam roller.  None of this is new of course. I copied all of the techniques from Iain Robinson's blog which is full of superb examples. Have a look here at the latest.

The drying process overnight showed up some inadequacies in the bracing with a few warped walls. However, they can be bent back into shape and braced after the event and any cracks filled with DAS.

Then comes the scribing which leaves a sore forefinger but is actually quite relaxing when accompanied by Radio 4 (or Radio 4 Extra when the alternative is Front Row with Mark Lawson).

What about windows?  Off the shelf, bespoke, home made? On Mikkel's blog I read a discussion on the Silhouette Cameo cutter.  I couldn't resist buying the smaller version - the Portrait - and what a wonderful toy!  Reasonably priced too considering the cost of bespoke windows. With forgiving and easy to use design software included it was no trouble to produce a few sample window built up in layers -  window frame, top sash and bottom sash for example.  I couldn't get it to cut through 15 thou styrene but the sheet was sufficiently deeply scored to make cutting through by hand with a scalpel a very simple task.

I just wonder how durable it will be and how often the blade will need replacing but so far so good.  It goes without saying that I am looking for more excuses to play with it.

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