Saturday, June 15, 2019

New video: Australian Model Expo 2019

Last weekend was the 2019 Australian Model Expo, showcasing the best scale models in Australia. There were some cracker entries this year.


Australian Model Expo 2019 highlights


There were over 880 entries - as such, it's a long video! I have broken it up into categories as follows so you can jump to those areas that interest you:

00:38 Aircraft
15:56 Armor & Dioramas
35:38 Figures
39:32 Sci-Fi & Fantasy
47:44 Automotive
50:35 Ships
51:58 ...and the rest
55:56 People's Choice and Best in Show

Enjoy!

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
Highlights of the Australian Model Expo 2019

Cheers,

Dave



Saturday, June 1, 2019

New video: The 5 Brothers Cuban Sandwich shop

I've just completed my current commission piece, the 5 Brothers Cuban sandwich and grocery in Key West, Florida.


scale model of the 5 Brothers Cuban sandwich and grocery in Key West, Florida


This was commissioned to be a very shallow build, so it could be framed and hung on a wall.

scale model of the 5 Brothers Cuban sandwich and grocery in Key West, Florida
You can see how shallow the build is in this view.


scale model of the 5 Brothers Cuban sandwich and grocery in Key West, Florida


I was asked to replicate how it looked in the 1980s - the business is still there, you can check it out on Google street view here - so I had to go by old photos I could find online, similar to what I did with the Olympic Doughnuts van. It's not as hard as I imagined. Pretty much any iconic building has enough old photos freely available out there. We live in extraordinary times.

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
Scratch built scale model - 5 Brothers Cuban Sandwich store

Cheers,

Dave



Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Completed my scratchbuilt miniature Olympic Doughnuts van

I recently completed my miniature of the iconic Olympic Doughnuts van which stood outside Footscray train station here in Melbourne for 30 odd years. It was a Melbourne institution, which sadly was removed during a station upgrade about eight years ago.


Olympic Doughnuts van, Footscray - scale model miniature by David Hourigan


The miniature is in 1:20 scale, and is mostly constructed from Evergreen plastic card.

Olympic Doughnuts van, Footscray - scale model miniature by David Hourigan

Olympic Doughnuts van, Footscray - scale model miniature by David Hourigan

Olympic Doughnuts van, Footscray - scale model miniature by David Hourigan


Because the original is no longer there for me to measure and record, I had to work from photos available online. This was a bit of a challenge, but in the end I think I captured the original.

Olympic Doughnuts van, Footscray - scale model miniature by David Hourigan

Olympic Doughnuts van, Footscray - scale model miniature by David Hourigan


It was a pleasure to build this and capture a little piece of lost history.

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
Scratchbuilt scale model Olympic Doughnuts van in Footscray, Melbourne

Cheers,

Dave


Sunday, May 26, 2019

New video: How to make a mini diorama scene of chopping wood

Here's my latest video, it's a long one! In it I go step-by-step on how to create a natural miniature diorama of a chopping block tree trunk. It's in-depth, showing that literally anyone could make this - there are no phenomenal skills or techniques involved.



How to make a mini diorama scene of chopping wood


The scale is roughly 1:15 or so - it was guided more by the base than any specific measurements.

The only really unusual bit is the use of aluminium cooking foil to give size, strength and a basic skeleton for the sculpture.

How to make a mini diorama scene of chopping wood


Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
How to make a wood-cutting mini diorama scene

Cheers,

Dave


Friday, May 10, 2019

New video: Hot wire foam cutter - the tool I didn't think I needed...

You guys know me. I like to save money where I can when building models. I'm always banging on about not wasting money on single-use tools or the latest gizmo. Usually this advice is sound, but sometimes you encounter so much grief and frustration trying to use a workaround that it makes sense to cough up and buy the proper tool. Trying to neatly and cleanly cut foam is one of those times.




For months I avoided purchasing a hot wire foam cutter. I know you can make your own, but my electrical skills are dodgy and I didn't want to burn my house down. So I used workaround solutions. And the results weren't pretty. I believe the term "butchery" is used in this video.

Am I happy with it? You betcha. Every time I use it, it makes me smile because I'm not swearing at the terrible results I previously achieved!

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
Hot wire foam cutter - the tool I didn't think I needed...

Cheers,

Dave





Wednesday, May 8, 2019

New video: How to scratch build metal trash cans for dioramas

Here's my latest video, showing you how to scratch build your own old-school metal trash cans for scale model dioramas. Perfect for adding a sense of grit and grime to any streetscape! I show you mine built in 1:20 scale, but in the video I also give dimensions to make these in 1:35 scale as well.



Video tutorial: how to make scale model metal trash can diorama scenery


It's a very satisfying technique. I won't lie, it's fiddly and tricky and time-consuming, but the results are well worth it.

Full disclosure: I first saw this technique in a Facebook photo tutorial by a modeller named Luc Po. So all credit for the technique must go to him. I just thought that the world could use a video tutorial, it's a lot easier to follow, and here it is.

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:

Cheers,

Dave



Saturday, April 13, 2019

New video: The easy way to paint a rust effect on scale models

This week is a follow up to last week - today it's all about the easiest way to paint rusted metal. Honestly, it's almost impossible to stuff this up. Plus it's another one of those fun, random, not-quite-sure-how-it-will-look-until-its-completed processes that I love so much.


The easy way to paint a rust effect for scale models


It's incredibly simple.


  1. Paint something with random splotches of Tamiya Red Brown XF-64.
  2. Then splatter on speckles of other shades of reddish, orangey, brownish tones.
  3. Then judiciously apply rust pigments.


Voila! You now have a piece of rusty metal.

There's really not a lot more to it than that - yes, there's room to finesse it, and of course feel free to play around with the technique, but it's pretty hard to mess it up. I love a process that can't go wrong!

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
The easy way to paint a rust effect on scale models.

Cheers,

Dave



Friday, April 5, 2019

New video: How to paint a weathered galvanized metal effect for scale models

I received a few queries last week, asking me how I had painted the roofing in my corrugated iron video. So I'm releasing two videos in response - one showing how to paint a weathered, galvanized natural metal finish (this week) and next week I'll be showing you the easiest method ever for painting rusted metal.


How to paint a weathered galvanized metal effect for scale models and dioramas



For a galvanized metal finish, all you need is:

  • a dark metallic paint
  • a light metallic paint
  • a light grey paint
  • salt


That's it. Easy-peasey.

I'll let the video do the talking, but I think it gives a suitably realistic and weathered finish. The spots of darker metal could be slightly smaller to be more in scale, but I can live with it.

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
How to paint a galvanized metal effect for scale models

Cheers,

Dave




Friday, March 29, 2019

New video: Dave's Cool Tool #1 - Corrugated iron maker

I've been playing around this week with a new gizmo, and it gives amazing results. It's a tool for making scale corrugated iron sheets. Normally I don't like to waste money on single-use tools, but I've been spending lots of cash on corrugated styrene sheet and I realised that there had to be a better solution. Now I can make as much corrugated roofing as I want at a tiny, tiny cost.



How to make corrugated iron for scale models and dioramas


I was starting to muck about trying to form my own scale corrugated iron using the corrugations inside cardboard... it wasn't effective.

I saw a couple of online tutorials about making your own tool. Hmmm, possibly...

Then I found this. It's from a hobby shop here in Melbourne, and they invented it themselves. For $20 it looks and performs much better than anything I could have jerry-rigged together, so I grabbed one. And I'm very, very happy with it. (You can kinda tell in the slightly overexcited video - I think I need to get out more...)

It was invented by Brunel Hobbies, and is available from their website - Brunel Hobbies.

By the way, this is in no way a paid recommendation - I have not received any commission, and I paid for my tool like a normal person. When I do find something good, I like to share it with you guys.

Plus, as an added bonus, it just looks slick.


Video is embedded below, but in case it doesn't work here is the link:
Cool Tool No1: make corrugated iron for scale models and dioramas

Cheers,

Dave




Monday, March 18, 2019

New video: Airbrushing - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Last week I had a mixed week with my airbrushing. There was some good - my new Mr Hobby PS-270 airbrush is amazing. There was some bad - I managed to snap off the thread on the tiny nozzle of my old workhorse Sparmax DH-103 airbrush. And there was some ugly - I've realised I'm really rather bad at replicating graffiti on my scale model buildings...





I find graffiti very tricky. It's probably because I never did graffiti when I was an impressionable teenager. But I find it very hard to capture that fluid, smooth motion in the strokes of the pen or airbrush. Because I'm so carefully copying something that feels a bit alien to me, I don't have a fast and easy hand, and I think it shows. Oh well, c'est la vie - as I regularly tell my daughter, we all get better with practice.

But the good news is that I did manage to remove the stuck broken-off thread from inside my airbrush. A couple of people suggested I use an Xacto blade as a sort of jerry-rigged screwdriver, jam it into the broken thread and then screw it out. Hurrah - it worked!

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
Airbrushing scale models - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

Cheers,

Dave