Saturday, October 5, 2019

Is this really "the most beautiful model kit ever released"?

This week I discuss the famous 1:8 scale Bugatti kit by Pocher. It's been described by many as "the most beautiful model kit ever released", but does it live up to the hype?




It's certainly awe inspiring, partly just because of the massive 1:8 scale size of it - it's about 55cm long!

The details are phenomenal. The windows wind up and down. It has a working handbrake. Apparently when put together correctly, you can even see the cams turn in the incredibly detailed engine.

Am I impressed? Yes. Is it the most beautiful model ever? Watch the video to find out ;)

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
Is this really "the most beautiful model kit ever released"?

Cheers,

Dave



Saturday, September 21, 2019

What's on the bench this week?

This week I'm working on a new scratchbuild of a large Masonic temple, as well as completing a small abandoned shopfront. I also discuss my latest kit purchases, a Wingnut Wings DH.2 in 1/32 scale and a 1/48 Revell Ju88. Plus, scratch building is just the best.





Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
What's on the bench this Week?

Cheers,

Dave




Wednesday, September 18, 2019

New video: 1/35 scale scratch built scale model warehouse

Blimey, I've been rather quiet lately. I've been in the zone, utterly concentrated on building a commissioned miniature of a local warehouse. Because I've been so intent on that project, and I had a rather tight deadline to work to, I didn't record the process as comprehensively as I have recently.


As a result, my latest video is composed of still photography rather than video - you still get narration, and a pretty solid idea of how the build progressed, but it's not quite as comprehensive as my recent 3-part series on building a model house.

1/35 scale model warehouse building

I've not really built much in 1/35 scale recently, but as the client wanted the entire structure, including the interior, I had to choose a scale which would give a reasonably-sized final result. This ended up being about 40cm deep, which is about the maximum size I want any of my miniatures to end up. Any larger than that and it is just too bulky to display for any average person. Plus, in choosing 1/35 scale, I was able to use a Tamiya bicycle kit for one of the interior items, which saved me from having to entirely scratch-build a bicycle - phew!

I added a few elements like brake lines, wheel reflectors, etc.


Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
1/35 scale scratch built scale model warehouse

Cheers,

Dave



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