While I was building my two phat Greek scooters, I needed a second build stand. Something that gets the model up and away from the chaos of the workbench. My first thought was to find the Etsy seller of the first build stand I bought and reorder another. And after looking at it, I figured I could just build one. Took some rough dimensions, gather the supplies needed and got to work. Here’s a list of supplies you would need. Some foam core, a straight edge, straight or T-pins, a ruler or scale, some form of writing utensil and a hot glue gun. I build in 48th scale so my base is 285mm long X 200mm wide (11 1/4in X 8in). The three supports are 100mm tall X 50mm wide (4in X 2in) with a triangle brace. You can scale your stand up or down to suit your build needs. I strengthened the underside with two strips of foam core crossing corner to corner. You can see the T-pins are used to connect the supports to the base. I did some layout lines on the bottom to find the centerline and spacing for the two wing supports. The only support I made different is the front one. I made a cutout for the nose of a model would rest in the cutout and prevent it from sliding side to side. For my scooters, the cutout was too deep. So, I put a little pad to raise it up. It took me about 20 minutes from start to finish. Thanks for looking!
Have you ever wondered how people took pictures of their models with a seamless single-color background? The secret is having a curve in whatever material you are using for a background. And I’m going to show you how to make a simple and inexpensive one. You’re going to need a couple of pieces of foam core or cardboard, a straight edge, an X-Acto blade, a pen, a hot glue gun, some double-sided tape and a solid color sheet of paper. The thicker the better. For mine, I used a Letter size sheet of glossy photo paper. Whatever size you choose, you’ll need to hot glue two pieces of foam core or cardboard at 90 degrees. And to support it as well as keep it from falling back, hot glue two support/legs to the rear of the vertical wall of the backdrop. Now place two strips of double-sided tape to the base. One should be on the edge and the other about 24mm(1in) parallel to it. It is crucial that these two pieces of tape are parallel. As the second piece of tape is where the curve is going to start. If this piece of tape is not parallel and if its wiggly, it’s going to bitch up your background curve. To find the location of the third piece on the vertical wall, hold your piece of paper at the edge of the base and gently flex it into shape. Keep in mind you want to have a flat section before the curve. This section is where you will place your photo subjects. Now mark a line on the vertical wall where your piece of paper ends. Making sure it runs high enough so when you are taking pictures, it will fill the frame. Place the double-sided tape, making sure they’re all straight and parallel to one another. The order in which I removed the backing of the tape was, the two on the base then the one on the vertical wall. Now comes the tricky part. Lift the edge of the paper carefully to remove the backing of the last piece of tape. Don’t flex it too much and put a crease in it. You want to have a seamless defect free curve. Now just setup your lights, put your camera on a tripod and shoot away. I made mine this size so it could easily fit on my workbench so I can take some “In Progress” shots and keep working without making a production out of it. This way I didn’t have to stop what I’m doing, relocate to my so-called “shooting area”, set everything up, shoot, then locate back to the workbench to continue working. You can scale it up to any size to meet your needs. If you go larger, I recommend using something stronger like Gator board or Masonite for the base and vertical wall. Along with styrene or some other sheet plastic for the background curve. And to secure it into position with your favorite two-part epoxy. If you struggle with photographing your models, you may want to look into this post, “Photographing Scale Models”. Hope you found this useful and helpful.
Build what brings you joy,
Love it or hate it, it’s an important part of building. From addressing joints to polishing clear parts, all are some forms of abrasives. And since sanding covers a wide range of areas, there’s a matching range of sanding options. There are myriad types of papers one of my favorites is sanding sponges. (3M softback😉) Another favorite of mine is a flat surface with a piece of sandpaper glued to it. It’s wonderful for flattening two mating pieces to create a joint that visually disappears when done correctly. Finally, sanding sticks. My favorite source is nail files from beauty supply stores. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go to a beauty supply store to get them. Shop online! I’ve found they are far less expensive than the “Hobby” brand ones. But they will not meet all your sanding stick needs. Companies like Alpha Abrasive and Flex-I-File have tons of specialty products to get to those hard-to-reach areas. And if they can’t meet your needs; you can always make your own. With a box of tongue depressors, some spray glue or double-sided tape, along with your favorite sandpaper, a straight edge, and a hobby knife, you can make any shape you wish. Keep busy and happy modeling!
Sick and tired of spilling paint, liquid cement, thinner? Here’s an easy fix. All you need is a circle template (or a pair of dividers) some foam core and a hot glue gun. First, measure the diameter of whatever jar or bottle you want to secure. Next, measure and cut the base. Make sure it has at least 1 inch of space around the diameter of your jar or bottle for the supports. Then measure and cut the supports, making sure they are tall enough but not too much so that they get in the way of opening and closing. Place your jar or bottle in the center of the base and hot glue the supports around it every 90 degrees. Tada! Keep busy and Happy modelings.