Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Rubbish Re-used Part Three

Another photo update showing further progress on the new Ghost Town models built only from recycled boxes, card and coffee sticks. The first model is now awaiting a quick rub down with sand paper before undercoating. I’ll tackle this job once a couple more models are ready and do them together.

Model two is this cycle is progressing well, this looks a bit like a church now it has started to take shape.

Model three has been put together from more boxes and the roof, as before, created from Amazon package card. I find these quite good to work with.

I now have a whole box of boxes awaiting treatment, so I think it’s time to allow some to head back to the recycle bin for now; otherwise I won’t be able to move in the kitchen. However, in honour of the many readers of this blog in the US, imported at great expense I hope you notice the Twinkies boxes in this collection ;-)

Friday, 2 October 2015

Karl Book Two Offer

The 66% discount has now expired 
but you can still get book 2 for a 33% discount 
on the Kindle edition until Friday 9th October.

This weekend book two of the Karl Axilion Trilogy, 'Karl - The Lost Adventurer' enters the Kindle Countdown Deals, in the same way that book one did back in August.

The deals start low with the greatest reduction then the price slowly rises back up as the week progresses. So if you previously downloaded book one and have yet to download book two now is a good time.

On Amazon.co.uk the price drops to 99p for the weekend this Saturday 3rd October and Sunday 4th October then rises back later in the week to £1.99 then finally it will be restored to £2.99

On Amazon.com the price drops to 99c for the weekend, this Saturday 3rd October and Sunday 4th October then rises back later in the week to $1.99 then finally it will be restored to $2.99

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Rubbish Re-used Part Two

A quick photo post update today showing the recent progress on the latest ghost town model which started life a couple of weeks back as a pile of small old boxes. The roof was made from the card out of an Amazon box. Now the model is almost complete as far as being covered in coffee sticks to give the wooden structure its required appearance.

Here is the next one, basic shape brought together with the boxes having been tried in various configurations before being settled and glued together. Again a roof made from the rest of the Amazon packaging, note I’ve used the natural bond on their packaging to give a ridge along the top of the building which will be covered in sticks as well.  I’ve left one side of the roof open, here I intend to have a hole in the side of the roof as if something has broken out.

And finally an exclusive heads up to blog readers.

The Kindle edition of book 2 of Karl’s trilogy
'Karl - The Lost Adventurer' 
will be on special offer Countdown Deal starting October 3rd

Don’t miss your chance to continue the adventure...

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Rubbish Re-used Part One

Aborted support, even sticking strips 
together at 90 degrees so that they 
supported each other the support 
was not rigid enough.
I’ve started to make use of the recycled materials I mentioned in the last blog post. The aim here, to add a couple more models to the Ghost Town made from the coffee sticks. 

A couple of these had their base shape constructed from foam board; others were made from old boxes. 

There were a few issues with some of them during construction which I hope I can address this time round.

Boxes turned inside out

The main problem is the weakness of this cardboard to hold up under building, but once they are fully coated with the sticks then they become quite solid. I start by taking the boxes apart and reversing them, so that they are inside out. This turns the shiny sides in, which means when you leave some card bare for the windows it will take the paint better.

It was whilst sitting in contemplation that thanks to an empty loo roll I was reminded of the strength of the humble tube. I tried a couple of ideas to add support to the inside of the boxes before sealing them up, but the tube is the best strengthening idea other than filling them with plaster – but that’s excessive, expensive and too heavy.

With the first of the tubes as support.

The tube was cut down and slid into the box before the end was fitted. Depending on the size of the box you’ll need several of these to support the middle and corners. Toilet roll tubes don't come round that frequently, so other tubes are needed. Some I made by rolling up those annoying flyers that come through the letterbox and what drop out of magazines, glued and taped in a roll then cut to the right length to support the boxes. Other tubes were made from corrugated card from a mail-order delivery. The thing to remember when using this cardboard is to ensure that you cut the card so that the direction of the corrugations is vertical for your tube, if they stand horizontal the tube will collapse under pressure.
New collection of boxes

I put the three boxes together in various patterns before deciding on this configuration. Then started to collect my next set of boxes. I did not expect these to be mainly made up of medicine boxes and ice cream boxes, but with a recent chest and throat infection this became the origin of the next collection.

I used one of the Lemsip boxes collected from the medicinal collection as an additional front entrance to the first of these buildings.

This model doesn’t look like much at the moment, but just wait and see what happens to it.

Previous blog in this series: Rubbish or Raw Material?

Friday, 28 August 2015

Rubbish or Raw Material?

In Doctor Who – Pyramids of Mars, Sutekh tells the Doctor: ‘Your evil is my good.’ The same reversal of truth often stands with scratch building models.

You can spend a huge fortune in a model shop buying polystyrene strips and blocks, thin strips of wood or sheets of cardboard to use in the construction of the model in question, and then throw away exactly the same materials as rubbish the next day.

It’s no secret on here that I collect up old coffee sticks and firework sticks post Bonfire Night to use for the wooden planking and beams on my models instead of buying strips of balsa wood, but there are so many other raw materials for building that can be sourced cheaply or for free that can make this a very cost efficient hobby indeed.

My mind has sometimes been described as a scary place. I admit it can tick over slightly differently to many others. It has been known for its darker side, as you would know if you have read the Karl trilogy, but it also tries to see more than is obvious.  Hence any unusual packaging that comes my way is almost always sized up for its potential.

A colleague at work came back from vacation with some chocolaty treats to share. Very nice they were too. However my greater excitement came at the packaging, there I could see exactly what I needed to make more window panes or broken windows from. This is just the right sort of stiff plastic that I need, and this time it is slightly cloudy hence these windows will be either misted over or dirt smeared depending on what effect I’m going to go for this time.

With a growing CD collection of audio drama I have had to invest in a couple of new storage towers. These came as flat packs, and once the Krypton Factor (Look it up) test had been completed without any of the listed pieces being left over I did have left over pieces that were not going to end up in the rubbish skip. These blocks and strips of polystyrene packing will make excellent starting points for walls and other constructions.

All the items in the above photo have been viewed as potential in one way or another and later I’ll share more of these thoughts. In the meantime since my coffee stick mountain is growing I am going to add a couple more cheap and simple buildings to the ghost town layout. The exact style and shape of these will depend solely on the next few empty boxes that come my way.

The first will be made from the Nature Valley, Cupasoup and Gu boxes...

Karl Bank Holiday Offer


The Kindle edition of the first volume of Karl’s trilogy is now available as part of the Amazon Countdown Deals promotion starting today 28th August. This will run until Thursday 3rd September. So why not give the adventure a try this Bank Holiday. With Countdown Deals the biggest discount is applied at the start of the deal and over the week the discount is reduced so that the price steps up eventually returning to its original price at the end of the run. The steps will vary from product to product depending on the exact length of time the deals run for, and the original price.

For more information on the trilogy click the links on the right hand rail.

For Amazon.co.uk the original price is £2.99. For the first half of the week the price will be just 99p, it will rise to £1.99 before returning to £2.99 on the 3rd September.

For Amazon.com the original price is $2.99. For the first half of the week the price will be just 99c, it will rise to $1.99 before returning to $2.99 on the 3rd September.

As far as I know these deals only run on these two Amazon markets.

See the following for more details on Amazon Kindle Countdown Deals.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Moss on the Roof

The standalone haunted house model is almost complete. I’ve finished the white dry-brush/dusting around the woodwork and turned my attention back onto the roof. I felt it needed a little something, and that was a greenish tint for moss. I got the idea after missing my train on Saturday and whilst stood on the platform at Romford, I found myself looking out onto a roof that was tinted in such a way. So using a deep moss green paint, which I also picked up from a pound store as part of that shopping trip, I mixed with it some PVA glue and a sprinkle of dark green flock and proceeded to tint the roof in patches. In most cases it was a fast flick of the wrist in downward strokes using the paint in the same dry-brushing approach, and on occasions picking up a little of the thicker mix just to add that little extra depth where the moss has actually taken.

I also gave the front tower a light brush with the green as well just to age the tower up and make that feel slightly more decayed than the rest. Something more sinister about the tower, maybe?

I’ll take some more photos in outdoor light before and after I varnish.

Finally I’ve glued the stone pillar in place on the bottom corner, and now I’m leaving that to dry before making a final check prior to varnishing. My next stage will be to build a baseboard to set the model off in its grounds, maybe a crumbling outer wall and an old gate, an over grown path leading up to the front door.  Who knows?

For anyone who might be interested in the first volume of my trilogy, a heads up, the first volume will be available at a discounted price for a week starting this Friday, 28th August. It will be part of the Kindle Countdown Deals which will have the greatest discount at the start of the offer but then the discount is reduced as the week goes on. That will be on Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk from Friday morning.

Previous post in the Haunted House series: Woodwork Painting

Next post: Coming soon