Saturday, September 20, 2014

Too much is never enough

Battleship Bismarck in the famous Baltic camouflage paint scheme.  All polymer clay with only a bit of wire for the masts.

Swastikas?  No, even if I wanted to include them, at this scale it's impossible.  Those are just smudges.

What is that scale, you ask?  I estimate it to be between 1:6500 and 1:6600.  For reference, I believe naval wargaming miniatures "mini out" at 1:6000, with larger scales being more common.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Project XYZ

This is the first major assignment in the 3-D design fundamentals class I'm currently taking, creating a sculpture with shapes defining it along X (width), Y (height) and Z (depth) axe, made of flat, intersecting segments.  Unfortunately our professor had to go on some sort of business trip and the professor who substituted last week had a very different idea of what the assignment involved - our regular professor wanted only right angles but would've accepted closed structures, while the one who covered for her wanted open structures but would've allowed curved lines.  I wound up following both restrictions.

I initially wanted to make a castle, but using an open structure would've required far too much work.  Instead I just went for the front wall with its two turrets and fortified gate.  Even just that required several hours of drafting and calculations to ensure the pieces actually fit together.

 I used cardboard, and initially wanted to cut with a box cutter, but after the first stroke left me a ragged lower edge and a jab in the thigh, I instead resorted to tedious punching and sawing with a hobby knife.  As you can see, the pieces are actually fitted together with slots.

 The whole thing is assembled with paper tape and the edges sealed with strips of scrap paper and glue.  A classmate pointed out that the tape remained visible through the paint and perhaps glueing the main pieces together would've been preferable.

The paint is spray-on metal primer detailed with cheap poster paint.

I don't like this thing.  I dislike the whole XYZ sculpture style.  I think it looks like a boxed craft project for grade schoolers.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Things That Aren't Here Anymore, part III

Newtown Station in the summer of 2004, 21 years after train service stopped.  Newtown used to be the final stop on the R8 line, which passed over Neshaminy Creek and behind George School.  The abandoned tracks can be followed as far as the creek, and fences are regularly installed there which George School students just as regularly cut through so they can hang out on the crumbling bridge.  After 1983, service was cut off north of Fox Chase, although the map at the Langhorne station wasn't replaced until 2000 or 2001 and, if I recall, just had corrections scribbled on in permanent marker.

The other end of the R8 line is in Chestnut Hill.  If I'd gone to Crefeld* 20 years earlier, I could've strolled down the road and dozed off on the train the entire way.

The little shelter, one of the few relics you could easily and safely stroll into, has since been removed, although another one remains at the still-operational SEPTA bus stop a short distance away.

The parking lot, such as it is, remains, but the name of the station has been co-opted by a group of expensive Toll Brothers condos behind the station where Frost-Watson Lumber Corp. used to be.  It was, ironically, the fact that big builders such as Toll Brothers have vertically integrated their own lumber yards that drove companies like Frost-Watson out of business; they weren't needed anymore.

* I don't know when the name changed from Miquon Upper.  It is always stressed that Miquon Upper and Crefeld are the same school; nothing officially changed except the name.