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Blast from the past

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  • Blast from the past

    I haven't been able to focus on modeling the past few months, and felt I needed to do something else for a while until I get out of this funk. So I've been going through my old slides and prints, and scanning them. Big job -- I have LOTS of large boxes full of photos, in various locations, some difficult to reach, and almost completely unorganized.

    Anyway, I came across this photo of a model I built in 1975. It was my first scale model of a real structure. I didn't have an HO scale ruler so it was done in the scale of 1/8th inch to the foot. It's a replica of a small stone cabin incorporating a couple natural boulders, located in Rockhouse Canyon, in the Anza-Borrego desert. My brother and I had backpacked there. I only had a couple photos to work from (haven't found those yet, if I even still have them). I tried to duplicate the size, shape and position of all the rocks and boulders around the cabin.

    It's really crude by my current standards, naturally, but kind of neat to see. BTW, my only previous structure models had been in 1/16th inch scale.

  • #2
    That's really nice Ray. I am not familiar with the desert but it sure looks good to me. It's

    sometimes fun to pull those old photos and see what we did long ago. Like you my skills have

    grown over the years but sadly I find that my hands and eyes do not allow me to do as fine

    work as I did just a few years ago. Those old photos are like old friends.

    Now get back to work on that station, we are all holding our breaths to see what you do with it.



    • #3

      It's great to look back at old model photos to see our interest then and how we have progressed in our skill sets. Good luck with the photo file organization. I hope your funk goes away soon...miss your forum updates!!



      • #4
        Nothing 'crude' about the dio that I see. Niffty starting level for scratchbuilding.
        -- KP --

        Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.


        • #5
          That is very nice Ray, Now lets get back to the present. Enough reminiscing'.

          I have been waiting to see the depot completion'...You know, none of us are getting any younger and our eyes and hand are failing'.... to some degree' lets get going Raymond'...[:-dopey]



          • #6
            Looks fine to me Ray. First scratch build sure came out nice.

            "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln


            • #7
              I like it Ray. I've always thought that a cabin or house built between boulders would be a good desert home.

              Hang in there and get that modeling mojo back!


              • #8
                Ray: Your first structure certainly looks better than mine. Afraid I no longer have the model or photos, but believe me it was beyond crude.

                I've been like you for the past couple of months. What with the health problems my wife and I have had I've been up against a real block. Very little has gotten done on Ruth's Place.

                We are finally in a place where we can make the trip to our kids in Idaho. I intend to sit down with my great grandson and put together a couple of snap kits. He is only five, but he loves cars and I think he has the attention span to enjoy himself. We will see how it goes. If nothing else I think it will get me going again.

                In any event it will be good to see you working again. I always enjoy seeing your projects.
                John Johnson

                "I\'m right 98% of the time. Who cares about the other 3%."


                • #9
                  I think it looks great Ray. We tend to be our own worst critics.


                  • #10
                    After I did that stone cabin, my next model was a replica of a feed store/gas station that used to be in Bonita, CA. I actually had an HO scale ruler when I made this one, so it was my first model to true HO scale. It was built mostly out of balsa and card stock. I think the gas pumps may have been the only commercial details parts, everything else was scratch built.

                    First, here are two photos of of the prototype:

                    Now here are a couple pics of the model. I built this in 1975, but the photos were taken in 1984. I scanned these from the original slides. This was the first time I had regular access to the structure I was modeling, so I was able to get lots of measurements, drawings, and photos to make the model as accurate as possible. Back in the day I thought this was a pretty decent model, but looking at the pics now I'm kind of appalled by how crude it is:

                    Somehow this diorama disappeared in 1989 when we did some remodeling on our house and had to put a lot of my stuff in storage.

                    BTW, the signs were all done by hand. I had no access to dry transfers or decals, and of course back then I could shoot a digital photo, edit it in the computer, and print it out to scale like I do now.


                    • #11
                      My next model was a freelanced, high-desert ranch house in HO scale. I built this sometime in 1982 and maybe early 1983. This was the first time I was able to used better quality materials, such as basswood scribed siding and scale stripwood. I also used some more commercial parts, such as windows, a Jordan Model T, cattle by Preiser, etc.

                      When I shot the above photos in 1984, I also experimented with some special effects "night" photography, using a backdrop sprayed with black and fluorescent blue paints, and speckled with fluorescent "stars":

                      Unfortunately the diorama was never more than about 85-90% finished. After shooting these photos, I stored it in a cabinet for a long time and then later found that the cat had found a way in and had damaged the model by sleeping on it.

                      My next model project was a HOn30 layout. I got the benchwork done and hand laid a bit of track, but then had to tear it all out when we remodeled. I switched to doing rocket aerial photography, and never did any other scale modeling after that, until I started my current 1/24th scale railroad in 2006.


                      • #12
                        WOW!! That's great stuff, and grand memories. I wish I had some photos of my early models, but I

                        don't. I remember that I did a sailing ship model as a kid, I used a ton of string for the

                        rigging (that was before I learned what each piece of rigging was for). An aunt talked me out

                        of it and I have no idea what happened to it. A friend and I scratchbuilt models of aircraft all

                        through WW II. They had balsa fuselages and card wings and tails. All hand painted and markings

                        the same. I remember them as "pretty good" but you know how memories are. It wasn't until after

                        school and military service that I have a few model photographs. You are a lucky man and an

                        excellent model builder.




                        • #13
                          Thanks, Bob.


                          • #14
                            I don't think it is so crude Ray. You certainly captured the essence of the real structure...

                            And it is a very interesting model'..



                            • #15
                              Ray: There is no denying that you got good in a hurry. My wife and I are visiting our daughter in Idaho, but will be home in the morning. When we get home I'll post some photos of my early work to see what you think.
                              John Johnson

                              "I\'m right 98% of the time. Who cares about the other 3%."