Roundhouse retrospective

Are models ever really finished?  Maybe some are, but mine seem to get just finished enough.  That’s the roundhouse now: I could continue to fuss with it, but I think it’s time to move on.

To tell the truth, I didn’t really intend to build a roundhouse!  I’m supposed to be building 622, but I promised to do a clinic on using the Cricut at the Railway Modellers’ Meet last November, and for that I had to learn how to use it!  I guess I could have stopped after the clinic, but I felt I was pretty nearly finished then, and so, I may as well complete it.

So, what have I learned through this year and 47 blog posts?

  • Obviously, I learned a great deal about the use of the Cricut.  I found its limits and explored some interesting techniques for making things that aren’t obviously possible.
  • While the Cricut can cut materials thick enough to represent the studs inside the walls, they are not sufficiently clean for my liking.  Building up the studs from wood didn’t take too long.
  • Roundhouses are complex buildings to model because, well, they’re round!  All the angles make for a challenging model.
  • I made all the inside posts longer than the outside ones to facilitate plugging the model into its base. This worked: to plug the model in, you line up those internal posts first and then the outside posts fall into place. However, it made the internal posts vulnerable. It would have been better to make the internal posts the shorter ones as the external posts have the whole wall to help stabilize them.
  • I really ought to have pinned those four internal posts.  I kept knocking them off, and probably paid the time required to pin them several times over by gluing them back on.
  • White glue shrinks as it sets. This makes it good for gluing – say – two pieces of wood together as it draws them together as it sets. However, if you put a layer on a piece of card and stick it to another piece of card, the sandwich will warp. For gluing layers together, you should use a solvent-based glue like contact cement.
  • The mini project plan at the end was invaluable for not only keeping me on track, but also for ensuring I knew what to work on next.  Sometimes I quit for the night simply because I’m unsure of the next step.

At the meet this weekend, I asked the AP judges to have a look at the model, and offered to smudge their glasses to help.  When I happened into the room later to pick something up, I found them poring over the model with a flashlight!  Yes, I know about that gap, and the gobs of glue in there!  Even so, they awarded it 100 points and a merit award – thank-you!


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