Friday, June 29, 2018

How is 2018 half over already? Time for a half-yearly update.

What? It's the end of June already? How is 2018 already half over? That's slightly horrifying. All those scale model projects we plan each year - how are yours progressing? A half-year reflection is the perfect time for a video update, with my special guest presenter alongside.

In this video I discuss what projects I'm currently working on, what's happening on the Dave's Model Workshop YouTube channel, and what videos are in the pipeline to be released very soon.

Half way through the year, how are your scale model projects progressing?

The main topic is that I've been building something purely for the fun of it. I'm almost at the stage of painting the bodyshell of my Sand Scorcher. I haven't been taking lots of videos of the build and sharing them, for several reasons:

  1. I really wanted to build a fast build. Having spent ten months on my last project, I wanted to knock over something big but not obsess over it for months and months and months.
  2. I don't think my audience is actually that interested in RC.
  3. I know that there are thousands of people out there already producing youTube videos about RC, and every single one of them is better informed and more experienced than I am! I am never going to set myself up as an authority on radio control - I am purely a dilettante ;)

Not bad for a dilettante.

Anyways, enough reading about it - just watch the video. It's far more entertaining. Plus my daughter insisted on me including some extra bonus footage at the end.

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
How is 2018 half over already? Time for a half-yearly update!



Friday, June 22, 2018

New video: What modelling tool have you been using the longest?

I recorded a couple of videos while I was finishing up The Seahorse, which I will release in the next couple of weeks. This is one of them. I was cracking open a tin of Humbrol enamel paint, a garish metallic green left over from my very early days of making models when I was rather partial to a loud hot rod model. Then I realised that I've been using this same tin of paint, albeit sparingly, since about 1988. That's thirty years.

What tool have you been using the longest in making scale models?

It got me to thinking: what are people's oldest modelling tools? What have you been using the longest?

For me, it would have to be a pair of surgical scissors that I use to cut pieces from plastic sprue. I've been using these since my very first model ever.

I'd love to say let's use this as an opportunity for us modellers to work out amazing products, to celebrate brands that make quality tools and use that for future purchases... But I rather suspect that most of the answers are going to be for products from the 1960s-1980s, and I very much doubt they are made to the same standards today. Cue old man complaining about modern things and how they don't make 'em like they used to...


Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
What tool have you been using the longest in making scale models?



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Next project started: RC Tamiya Sand Scorcher

It's been a big week, I've spent a lot of time just staring at the trophy I won eight days ago, resting on my laurels and basking in the glow of victory... which would make me an insufferable douchebag. In all seriousness, of course I haven't - I've moved on to the next project, my 1/10 scale remote controlled Tamiya Sand Scorcher.

I have to admit, it is an absolute pleasure to put together. I was a tiny bit daunted when I opened the box - so much serious looking metal! So many tiny screw and bolts and nuts! Electronics! But as soon as I started building the engine case and gearbox, it all just fell into place. The engineering of the pieces is just astounding. the tolerances for 3mm diameter screws to work in cast alloy gear casings - just wow.

Perhaps it is because I've spent the last ten months scratchbuilding. You know, every single thing you want on your model you have to construct it yourself. In contract, it feels very breezy and simple to just open a box and pull out the exact piece you need at that very moment.

The very first step.

The rear end.

One disappointment I have is that my kit was missing one single 6x22mm screw. Doesn't sound like much, but that single missing screw is one of two that holds the entire back rollcage together, and that back rollcage is what supports a large part of the rear engine and mounts it to the chassis. So I've had to put those steps on hold while I ordered a replacement online (AU$4.50 for six screws, courtesy of ebay) and wait for them to be delivered. That's been a bit of a pain in the arse if I'm being honest, but it's just a case of bad luck I guess - someone had a sake hangover that morning at the Tamiya factory while filling the tiny plastic bags full of their prescribed selection of screws!

My other disappointment so far is that the shock absorbers leak damper fluid. They go together beautifully, but they do seem to seep. I had done a little research online before I started building, and I knew this was a fairly common problem with Sand Scorchers. I also knew that one solution was to mount the shock absorbers upside down, so that gravity isn't working against me.

Other than that, I have nothing but praise for this kit. It really is a pleasure to put together. I'd estimate I'm about 30% through after less than a week - I'm not bothering to video the entire build like I did with The Seahorse, partly because I just wanted a fun, fast build and partly because I don't think I have the credibility on YouTube to publish many RC videos - I'm an utter noob, and there are a gazillion other channels out there who can discuss RC more authoritatively than I can! Plus I also don't think that it's really what my audience are interested in.

Front suspension and steering. These shock absorbers are deliberately mounted upside down, I promise!

Ooooh, shiny hubs!

Anyway, back to the build. Even when I encounter problems, I'm still finding myself sitting there thinking "Ahhhhh, this is easy!"



Saturday, June 16, 2018

New video: The 2018 Australian Model Expo experience

Since last weekend's Australian Model Expo I've been busy editing together all the footage I shot, and I've finally put together a video of the whole event. There were 779 models entered from 248 entrants - that's a big show, and I tried my best to film as much of it as possible. That's why the video is almost an hour long!

Highlights from the 2018 Australian Model Expo scale model competition contest, the biggest model show in Australia

To make it a bit less daunting I've split it into categories:

  1. Aircraft
  2. Armour
  3. Dioramas and Vignettes
  4. Figures
  5. Sci-Fi and Fantasy
  6. Ships
  7. Cars (I got a lot of feedback last year that I didn't do this category any justice by not filming it!)
  8. Miscellaneous - including Scratchbuilt
  9. Best of Show

Going back over it all I was blown away by some of the skill involved. There are some truly outstanding models this year.

That said, I didn't spot anything that really, really captured my imagination and just blew me away like the big beached submarine in the 2017 Australian Model Expo.

I was also a little disappointed in the dioramas category this year - there were a lot less entries than previous years. Not sure why, perhaps it's cyclical, perhaps people were daunted by the high, high calibre of dioramas last year and steered away from it this year? (I certainly did if I'm being honest!)

I also cover off the Scratchbuilt category that I entered in, so you can see the high calibre of the other entries. That Starbug was lovely, I actually found its build log online and there was a lot of detailed work that went into it - you can check it out here.

This was an alternate title card I made - jeez I loved this plane...

So dive on in and check it out. It was a great model competition, and while 50+ minutes of video might seem a lot you can jump around and look at what interests you.

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
The 2018 Australian Model Expo experience



Thursday, June 14, 2018

Started my new project: the Tamiya Sand Scorcher RC racing buggy

RC is a bit of a challenge compared to what I'm used to making static display scale models, but after ten months of scratch building every element I needed on a model, it is an absolute pleasure to build a model where you just pick the piece you need out of the box and attach it!

And I have to say, the engineering of the Sand Scorcher is a joy to behold. The precision and effortless fit of the cast metal pieces is astounding.

Building the Tamiya Sand Scorcher RC racing buggy
Also, please note how clean and tidy my work bench is! Ten months of crap has been cleaned away...

Building the Tamiya Sand Scorcher RC racing buggy

Building the Tamiya Sand Scorcher RC racing buggy
The pieces just fit. Wow.



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

So, umm, bloody hell... I won!

I feel rather honoured and rather proud: The Seahorse won First in the Scratchbuilt category at the 2018 Australian Model Expo. There was some stiff competition in this category, second place went to an impressive Starbug from Red Dwarf, and third went to a scratchbuilt Russian tractor.

The Seahorse won First in the Scratchbuilt category at the 2018 Australian Model Expo

Whew. Ten months of grind paid off.

I've been entering models in the Australian Model Expo on and off since 2007, and this is the first time I've ever placed, I've never even gotten a Commended before.

There was the inevitable damage on the way home (yep, the superstructure toppled over again) but it's been repaired now and The Seahorse can take its place on the Shelf of Pride next to its 2018 trophy.

The Seahorse won First in the Scratchbuilt category at the 2018 Australian Model Expo
Carefully not pictured: the shattered antennas at the top of the communications mast.

Thanks for coming along for the ride with me punters.



P.S. I will be putting together a big video showcasing the entire 2018 Australian Model Expo this week.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

New video: Entering my scale model at the 2018 Australian Model Expo

Last night I dropped off The Seahorse at the 2018 Australian Model Expo. I recorded a video of the journey there, and how badly my hands were shaking after I finally placed my entry on the judging tables. It was hair-raising...

Entering my scale model at the 2018 Australian Model Expo

Damn, those supporting wires are wobbly. It's like a bloody jack-in-the-box.

A further video showcasing the entire Expo and all the amazing models on display will be coming very, very soon.

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
Entering my model in the 2018 Australian Model Expo.



Friday, June 8, 2018

On the way to the 2018 Australian Model Expo

I realised there is no "safe" way to transport my latest build. The Seahorse is so delicate, with so many frail bits that poke out at the sides, that I haven't been able to come up with any packaging to place it in for transport. Plus, let's not forget it is mounted on what are effectively two bouncy springs! So here it is, on its way to the 2018 Australian Model Expo.

Transporting my scratch built model to the 2018 Australian Model Expo
God, look at how rubbish my car is...

I've got my emergency repair kit with me: CA glue, tweezers, touch-up paint, paintbrush, toothpicks.

It's an hour's drive from my home. Fingers crossed we make it in one piece.




Yes, those are very bouncy springs it is mounted on. We made it around the very first corner before the vigorous bouncing made the cabin topple off, and the lighthouse broke apart. Sigh...

Thursday, June 7, 2018

It. Is. Finished.

The Seahorse is complete!

I started this back in September, ten months ago.

I'll show videos and photography in the coming days, but for now I'm just content to walk away from it and start to clean up my messy, messy work bench.



Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Special rather over-excited update: The Seahorse is almost finished!

Tonight I put together some of the very last pieces of The Seahorse, and I was so excited I had to make a quick video and share it with you all!

I will be producing a properly-lit, properly staged showcase video soon, I promise, but for now - check out the almost finished model!

And the best news is.... it actually floats on those two pain-in-the-arse wires!!! ;)

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
My scratch built 1/35 scale sci-fi model is almost finished!



Tuesday, June 5, 2018

New video: Scratch building 1/35 scale sci-fi project - PART 9

Ehrmagawd! The Seahorse is almost finished! In my latest video it's about 95% complete.

Jebus, it has been a long journey! I started this project back in September, ten months ago...

Video is embedded below, but in case it doesn't work here is the link:
Scratch building a 1/35 scale sci-fi model -Part 9