Saturday, July 25, 2015

Goodbye to a friend...

Don Joyce, with whom I did a very, very small number of live radio shows years ago, died last week, and I decided to pay tribute to him with my next build of a Clever Model. I'm modifying their Rudy's Printing structure into "Don's Radio Shop." It's a silly thing to do, but I'm a silly person, and silly people deal with grief in silly ways.

Here's the modified sign.

Crosley and Bendix are brands of radios, and Crosley Bendix was a character Don performed on the show.

Don was also established in 1944.

On the side of the building will be this ghost sign...

"Mertz" is one of Don's more inspired inventions: a fictional, brain-shaped pill which cures chronic indecision.

I'll also add a vintage Pepsi poster, as a reference to Negativland's Disepsi album. And I'll throw in whatever other stupid inside jokes I can think of as I go along.

Don's show, Over the Edge, ran on KPFA for an incredible thirty four years, making him the Satchel Paige of avant-garde radio. Here's an extremely brief autobiographical sketch Don once sent to his home station: “You’ll find I generally keep to my show (which I LOVE!) and don’t get too involved in station business, politics, or whatever. I’m sort of a social recluse, have a history in art/painting, and am in radio strictly for the art of it. That’s all I care about, live mix radio as audio art.”

That may have been all you cared about, Don, but we cared about you. Thanks for the laughs, for the rewiring of my brain, and for showing me how radio was done.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Gorre Engine House in N Scale, Part II


Only had a couple brief moments today to work on this: in the morning as my wife fixed breakfast, and again this afternoon after I'd done the grocery shopping. Managed to cut holes for the windows along the back wall and install the windows, and to make and install six more window frames (without the transparencies) for the interior. Pics to follow.


Had a little over an hour in the morning. Treated some trim pieces with CA glue, laminated and cut openings in one entrance, added the round and rectangular windows, then dry-fitted what I had so far.

NOTE TO THOM: slight correction needed -- the door on the wall with the round window needs to have the trim added around the rectangular window and the door frame. If I cut out the white areas as printed, the holes would be the size of the door and window frames, rather than the size of the door and window. My window sub-assembly nearly fell through the hole.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Clever Models Gorre Engine House in N Scale, Day 1

Spent most of the day working on these windows for the Clever Models Gorre Engine House. I still need to make the interior trim (because this is a building you can see into) and the skylights. I decided to work on windows first, because I was experimenting, and I wasn't sure how they would turn out -- I didn't want to be nearly finished with the building and have no way to make decent windows.

Penny for scale.

The mullions are inkjet printed on transparency film, while the trim is cardstock which I soaked in cyanoacrylate before cutting. This made it easier to avoid overcutting because the cardstock is a little tougher and more like plastic. 

While the building would look better with several windows open, I decided that one was enough, because it was really difficult to do. 

My new Glue Looper tools proved very useful today. They're little doodads that fit in an X-Acto handle and give you a tiny metal loop you can use to transfer CA glue to tiny spots. I clamped the transparencies to the frames with wee clothespins, dipped the Glue Looper into a drop of CA, gently touched the edge of the transparency -- and just the right amount of glue seeped between the parts through capillary action. Slick!

I stopped shortly after taking this photo because the CA was misbehaving as I soaked window frames, and it began dripping onto my workspace. It was just a matter of time before I glued my fingers together, which, surprisingly, I didn't do all afternoon. Thank you, Glue Looper!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Gorre & Daphetid's #13 Engine, "Emma the Organic Switcher" in N Scale

Fooling around with N scale stuff, and I'm about to begin building Clever Model's version of John Allen's famous engine house at Gorre, when it dawned on me that I'd need Allen's "Organic Switcher" #13, Emma the stegosaurus. Couldn't find a toy dinosaur in the appropriate size, so I made one from Sculpey.

 Here she is standing on a penny.

Aluminium foil armature, painted with acrylics, gold ink for the number 13, coated with MicroScale satin to give it that 1960s plastic dinosaur look. She's not an exact match, but close enough.

Here's the prototype...

She's hiding on a hillside in this shot, 
just under the NMRA Bulletin masthead.

Now I have to make a harness.