Wednesday, August 7, 2019

New video: How to scratch build a scale model house - Part 3

In this final episode of my 3 part series on how to scratch build a modern building, I go through building the base and groundwork, as well as accessories such as trees, pot plants, fences, gas meters, etc. It's pretty satisfying to see it all come together!


How to scratch build a scale model house - Part 3


In Part 1 I built the main, frontal structure. In Part 2 I constructed the rest of the building, including the side stairwell and the backing section. Now in Part 3 it all gets a base and the surrounding garden.


How to scratch build a scale model house - Part 3


My favourite part was combining the natural front garden with the straight-edged architecture - this mix of organic and inorganic is really interesting to me. Making the two work together requires a deft touch!

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
How to scratch build a scale model house - Part 3

Cheers,

Dave




Sunday, July 28, 2019

New video: How to scratch build a scale model house - Part 2

Here's Part 2 of my three-part series showing you how I construct a miniature building. In this video I show you how the main structure all comes together, as well as starting on some of the detailed architectural features like the front porch.


How to scratch build a scale model miniature building Part 2



At the end of Part 1 this is what the building looked like:



And here's where it is now:



As you can see, a lot of the overall shape and detail has been added. There are so many textures and angles and sub-assemblies on this build, it's really a challenge in organising myself.

Add to that the fact that it's not a very weathered or dilapidated house like I normally build, and I'm finding this build an exercise in discipline. I can't hide any mistakes under a layer of dirt or peeling paint. I can't cut wonky angles and just say to myself "Oh it's an old place, it's worn away there". I miss the wear and tear, but I'm enjoying the self-discipline required for this one.

Part 3 next week will be all about the groundwork and garden, so come on back then for that.

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
How to scratch build a scale model modern house - Part 2

Cheers,

Dave



Saturday, July 20, 2019

New video: How to scratch build a scale model house - Part 1

Over the last few months I've had a lot of people ask me to video step-by-step what goes into making one of my miniatures. So with my latest I've decided to do just that.



video tutorial how to scratch build a scale model house


I'm currently building a commission piece, of a specific house here in Yarraville. It's a lot more modern than what I have previously built, and it doesn't have much weathering, peeled paint or falling-down stuff. So this is a bit more of a challenge for me, to make something more pristine - I don't have the safety net of being able to cover up any mistakes with dirt or grime!


The original house.


I expect this will be a three part series. In this Part 1, I build the front structure of the house. It's not a particularly systematic approach, I just happened to start with this section first.

As you'll see, there are no incredibly tricky techniques involved - it's all a matter of planning, measuring and having the patience to see it through.

Keep an eye out for Parts 2 and 3 in the next weeks.

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
How to scratch build a scale model house - Part 1

Cheers,

Dave



Sunday, July 7, 2019

New video: My completed TV & Hi-Fi repair store building

Here's my latest miniature - the Footscray TV & Hi-Fi Repair store. It's a building near where I live, and I love it. the paintwork is so weatherbeaten, the signwriting is so faded, that I just couldn't resist recording it in miniature. Plus, as an added extra, I've confronted my electronic ignorance and added internal lighting, wooooo!



Footscray TV and HiFi repair store miniature



Here's a comparison of the miniature and the actual building.

Footscray TV and HiFi repair store miniature


The building itself was a pretty straightforward build, even if time consuming. But when I was doing my final photography of the completed artwork, I somehow shook loose a desk inside the room. It was rattling around on its side, and the entire building was all sealed up...

So as you'll see in the video, I gritted my teeth and opened up the roof. There are some uncomfortable noises during this process - some coming from the miniature, and some coming from me.

However, I decided that since I was ripping the roof open I may as well try illuminating the interior, because as it was all that beautiful scratch built detail just wasn't visible in the dim interior. So I went to my local electronic bits and pieces store (is there a better term for that???) and confessed my ignorance to the guy there, and he drew me a great and idiotptoof diagram. As a result, I now have a shopfront with an illuminated interior - yay!

Footscray TV and HiFi repair store miniature
Hurrah, it worked!


It just goes to prove you can teach an old dog new tricks. (As long as you spell it out in very simple terms...)

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
Scratch built model miniature: TV and HiFi Repair Store

Cheers,

Dave



Friday, June 21, 2019

New video: Scratch build model tutorial - how to make electric appliances

Making your own props for dioramas is easy. In this tutorial I show you how I made various electric appliances like televisions, stereos, radios, CD players and boomboxes - all things that add a little extra realism to an urban scene or the inside of a house, garage or shop scene. All you need are some basic materials and some imagination.


How to scratch build scale model electric appliances for dioramas or dollhouses


These would also work well for dollhouses, or for car modellers these would add something to a 1:24 garage scene. They can be built in any scale - mine are around 1:24 scale, but 1:35 would be just as easy.

How to scratch build scale model electric appliances for dioramas or dollhouses
Oh yes, that is a funky 1980s ghettoblaster...
How to scratch build scale model electric appliances for dioramas or dollhouses
... while that greenish television is pure 1990s.



Hopefully this video shows you that pretty much anything is possible, with the right mindset. (Although towards the end I do show you one attempt that turned out rather crap...)

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
Scratch built model tutorial: how to make electric appliances

Cheers,

Dave





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