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Wednesday
Jun292011

A couple of pix from 1st. Street

I recently had a request for pictures of Mc Elders and Hoosier Mamas.  Both of these kits are on the 1st. Street disc and apparently, I’ve neglected to get them posted before, so here they are.

Sunday
Jun192011

Paper dust

Each evening (almost) I take a quick look at our download sales to see how we did that day and to try to get a feel for what people want. It’s mostly automated. Occasionally an issue arises that needs a hand on it but if I dropped off the planet tomorrow, (Raptured perhaps) the Clever Models sales juggernaught (that’s a joke) would go on. In a lot of ways that’s pretty cool but in another it’s a bit disconnected. When ever we sell a DVD, I get a notice and I can write a small personal note of thanks. With the automatic downloads, that doesn’t happen. I just get a list of transactions. Sure I can get the contact info but it’s not right there and I don’t generally get to thank people.

So Thanks. It makes a difference and your support is sincerely appreciated.

I think one of the missions we should have is to help all of our users to become better modelers. Mostly our advanced builders are always ready to help. When I design a new kit I try to be aware of making the steps accessible to 1st time builders and yet not limit the advanced folks. Keep in mind there are no real rules involved building cardstock models. First and foremost are theygood models? The material is secondary and adding castings and adding other materials or modifying the card is standard model building procedure for the more advanced builders.

We have a small but great community here. It’s growing slowly, but it is growing.

I’ll try to post more techniques and I hope everyone here will do the same. For instance, back in the stone age when I would do a pen and ink drawing, I would always use top quality paper, usually a velum or Strathmore. As fine as those papers are, I would always take the extra step of using “pounce” to prepare the surface for the ink. Pounce is a super fine pumice or clay powder that would be rubbed into the paper surface. It filled the pores and removed any oil that would cause the ink pen to skid and skip. It guaranteed a solid black line. We always recommend that a good quality card stock of 60 or 80 LB be used but that’s too general. A master level builder will use different stocks for different purposes, even using thin typing paper for shingles and tar paper. We have never really said to do this but it’s obviously a good idea. For all of it’s superior properties, paper does have one or two issues. It’s natural springiness can cause corner folds that can bow a wall in or out. It can be frustrating, but just a little careful work will solve the problem. Thinner paper of course will fold with more sharpness but lacks the depth needed for layering. 100 or 120 lb card is as thick as wood, but does not fold well. In that case perhaps you will choose to remove the tabs and butt join the parts. Why not? In short, do what works for you. Are the windows to small to cut cleanly? Why not cut them apart and build them back board by board. Beautiful, smooth, clean card stock. Maybe too smooth. Try printing wood or even brick parts on textured water color paper. It’s thick and soft and you can easily emboss a few bricks, wood grain or nail holes. How about printing windows on overhead transparency material. It can be tricky, but looks great.

OK, back to the Pumice or clay. Some times a card stock part gets cracked, frayed or furry. I’ve used a small ball of air dry clay to seal and repair edges. Just take a little clay and rub it into the crack or edge. Weird, but it works.

You are all craftsman and therefore creative. Keep open minds and by all means try things. If you get a good result, please share it here.

Thanks all.

Thom

Sunday
Jun192011

Happy fathers  day

How fortunate to be a dad. A day to kick back have the kids visit and build a model or two.

I havent ranted about paper being such a great modeling matereial in a wile but it really struck me this morning how great a fresh clean, unblemished material it is. I just don’t get why anyone would want to mess with that grainy, splinterey, often stained and warped wood stuff or that souless, vile petrochemical product called plastic.

Ahhhh, pure clean paper.

Thom

Thursday
Jun092011

A NEW contest for the month of July. Deadline Aug 1st

Actually for the remainder of this month and July.

We are asking any interested modelers to create a Kit Bash using Clever models parts. The models will be judged using craftsmanship and creativity as the guide line. A really creative model will win out over a perfect craftsman build but if there are 2 really creative models the better crafted build will be the deciding factor.

The prize will be a custom kit designed for and bearing the winners name.

Photographs and a writen discription of the process must be turned in by no later then AUGUST 1st.

Entrants may be sent in before that time but will not be posted untill after the close date.

Have fun and blow the doord off.