Sunday, 10 June 2012

Coffee Stick Houses, Experiments and Conclusions

Considering I have had a week off work, I haven’t managed to get much model work completed. The weather has been quite foul really, and even the garden has not been tackled. Not one dry day in the week so far.  This is the time of year I should be using the table outside to be able to get more work done, but it does not look like it will be the case.

I have managed to finally get the wood work finished (I think) on the three outstanding coffee stick buildings I have been working on now for several months (on and off). I really want to get  these finished as I want to get on to the ‘Axilion Trade’ shop and public house ‘The Ship and Hankor’ as featured my novel. These will be more labours of love than some of the other projects. But I will get some of these other unfinished projects done first, just for my own sanity and space in the kitchen where they end up when half finished.

I tried a couple of experiments with these three buildings, as featured in earlier postings.


(1) The use of recycled boxes, although they do finally turn out quite sturdy once the coffee sticks have been stuck on they are very flimsy to work with . When I tried to strengthen them by using the boxes glued up it meant that I had no internal way of holding them whilst working. Also it made it hard to use the clamps to hold everything together. I ended up tearing into the bases to give hand holds or to allow the clamps to grip.

Although putting together random boxes gave for some interesting shapes and structure to the buildings, which I might not have achieved just working from scratch. Working with foam board means I need to use the outdoor table to lay it out and cut it, I do not have room to do this inside. I experimented with gluing boxes together during the winter months when it was not an option to work out on the garden table.

In summary I’m going back to the foam board, I think I do prefer this as a base core. I will certainly use foam board for the two new projects I mentioned above.

(2) The way I glued the sticks down originally was to build the skeleton frame work of the building stuck over the foam board core. Then I applied the side panel sticks after. In the linked post above I started to experiment with what I thought would be a quicker way to get the job done. This was to stick full sides on first then over lay the frame work on top after.

A couple of you said you preferred the look of the original method to the sample I posted at the time. 

I persevered with the new to see if the overall effect I wanted could still be achieved. In fact this method when applied to a whole building came off worse.

I ended up doing more remedial work and fixing than before, and I agree the final effect is not as pleasing. I hope when the paint goes on it will cover some of the real patched up work I’ve had to do.

In summary, next time I work on more of these buildings (and there will be more I have more coffee sticks than you can wave an entire coffee plantation at, at the moment) it will be the old method of frame work first then fill in the panels.

My next post will cover the edging on the round sided building, some photos of these once sanded down and ready for the under coat.

Here you can see where I had to cut away the side of the roof which had dented back on itself. I've re-seated the side piece and the roof slates I had to cut away, and it is looking much better. Photos next time.

I've also added a new Gallery Page for the completed coffee stick buildings that make up the Ghost Town.

... and finally, another teaser from Karl - Birth of Mystery

As Max approached, the small weasel faced man peered at him long and hard. Then in a voice that resembled someone who had just found that he had been sitting in something unmentionable and unpleasant, the port inspector addressed him.
     ‘Two crates.’
     Was it a question or a statement? Max could not decide what the inspector was saying. He thought hard to remember if he was expecting a delivery. The inspector obviously did not feel like waiting for a reply.
     'Two crates from Mirdi. What do they contain?’ He expanded, in the same cringing voice.
     Max considered. ‘Pottery,’ he said.
   The inspector’s eyes bore through him, it was obvious that any moment he would declare the crates as being impassable and would have them split open on the dock there and then.
    The port inspector considered and rechecked his list of shipments. A smile cut across his face, it looked like a split in a wrinkled orange thought Max. The inspector looked up again.
    ‘I shall pass these.’ He declared, as if he was doing Max a great favour. ‘However I see also a shipment from the Isle of Mishdine. That intrigues me. Why was not this crate on my manifest, nor brought over by the ferry?’