Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas too One and All

Just a short note to say I received another 1:200 scale airline model of the BAE 146/RJ-85 in NWA Airlink markings for Christmas from my loving wife. Merry Christmas Honey!

Friday, December 11, 2009

1/200 Scale

Among my hobbies I collect, are 1/1250 scale waterline model ships and 1/200 scale model airplanes. Both types I have collected for many years; and I have also over the years had to sell many of them for one reason or another. Once to help purchase a new car for my wife when her old Chevy was about to give up the ghost, I sold almost my entire collection of Wiking 1/200 airplanes. These were World War 2 German spotter models and were made by the Wiking Company GmbH during the war. My collection came from Czechoslovakia a few models at a time; and were used by the Germans as ID models. We used the 1/72 scale hard rubber black ID models that you see hanging from the celling in the pilots ready room on board any aircraft carrier in most World War 2 movies.
The Wiking Company GmbH, in Germany, no longer makes any of these models choosing instead to concentrate on making 'HO' scale model cars and trucks etc. So over the years these have become highly collectable.
In recent years, the Herpa company GmbH also in Germany and also who makes 'HO' scale models branched out into making models of airliners. They started with models in 1/500 scale. Soon they were expanding to 1/400 and then 1/200 and 1/600 scale. Today many companies make airline models in 1/200 scale and they enjoy a growing number of collectors, among them myself. That said, I have slowly started to collect some of these models. Now made mostly of metal, the models are very nice in detail. Not as highly detailed as what Herpa calls their Premium Models; for those models are made of composite materials where one can see inside the cockpit and many have spring loaded undercarriages, clear red and white lights etc. The Lower priced models are none the less still nicely made. So here is a picture or two of one of the models now in my collection.
After my military discharge, I went to work for Delta Airlines for a short while as a 'Cabin Service' agent; meaning we cleaned the inside of the aircraft after each flight. Not always the nicest job, but 'hey!' someone had to do it. At the time, my favorite airplane in Delta's fleet was the Convair 440, twin propellor engined airliner. I was too late to purchase the Delta Model made by Herpa as they have all been sold out and discontinued. However; I was able to get a Lufthansa marked 440 and have added to my slowly growing collection.
If you are interested in starting your own collection, The Airplane Shop: carries a good collection of Herpa Models and does mail order. You may also want to visit herpa at As I mentioned earlier, there are a number of manufacturers now making models in this scale and one can 'Google' to find many other sources.

One last thing, If anyone happens to have a Delta Convair 440 and wants to trade it or sell it, let me know please.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

St. Basil's Cathedral, Russia

Canon Paper Craft has done it again! Produced a fine model of the famous St. Basil's Cathedral located in Red Square Moscow, Russia. To boot, the model is a free download from Canon's Web site. See my links for the webs address.

Building is straight forward with very clear diagrams. Perhaps the trickiest part is making the colorful dome tops. These domes make St. Basil's such an attraction. Once you realize that each dome must take on an onion shape while gluing each segment to each other, the domes go together quite well. As for the rest of the model, each part is marked clearly on how it is to be folded and glued. Canon does an excellent job designing the instructions to be very clear and easy to follow.
It took me the entire week to build the model, working approximately two to four hours each day. As with any card model, the more accurate you cut each part, the better the fit. I always dry fit any part before gluing to avoid any problem later on in the assembly.

One other thing I do is copy most of the pages at the local copy center in black and white. I do not like the idea of using the glue tabs on the base of the towers I remove these and using parts of the copied sheets I glue to heavy card stock, I cut out the location base so that it fits the tower and glue this part to the base of the model where it is to go and then glue the tower to the model. This makes the tower stable and I believe enhances the looks.

To make it a little better to understand, lets use a cylinder tower for example. Using the piece paper I copied I cutout the tower base circle and glue this to a piece heavy card stock. Then I cut out the circle fitting it into the assembled tower. Once I am satisfied with the fit, I glue the circle unto the place where it is supposed to go on the base part and when dried, I glue the cylinder tower over it.

My model was printed on 68lb card stock and printed using a Kodak printer. I like the printer because it uses a dye ink rather then a water soluble ink as most printers do. For the base, I deviated from Canon's base by mounting the floor plan on a piece of Core Board; it makes for a stronger base to build upon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Simple Paper Model

People will often ask me when I mention that I build models from paper or card stock, "You mean like paper dolls?" No, I answer I build 3d volumetric models. So I go on to explain the different types.
Then I'm often asked if I cut out the models with scissors; so I explain that I use a straight edge and modeling knife like an Exacto; cut, fold, shape and glue.
For this reason, I present here a simple model that took no longer then six hours from start to finish. I cut out each piece before assembly to give you the idea of how simple it is to build.
I added a few personal touches to help improve the model. I added a core board base. Circles are laminated to thicker stock to make them more rigid. Colored the edges with a black tip marker.
As to what it is I cannot tell you. It's to small to be a pencil holder. Perhaps it was meant to hold coins as the Totem Head can be removed. It again is a model included in the ABC Magazine that I have mentioned before in this Blog.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Ship in a Bottle that Isn't

Yes, it is the ship in a bottle that isn't. Here's the story...ABC Magazine, which is published in Czechoslovakia, for young adults always has a least two paper models in every issue. This model was in a issue from several years back. It was to be assembled and inserted into a bottle. The magazine is written in the Czech language and although there are illustrations it is often not clear how some items are intended to work. Such is the case of this little ship.

The instructions do tell you how to make the funnel and the mast on a hinge and where to place the tread so that once inside the bottle, a pull on the thread will allow the mast and funnel to seat in place. What I did not know and still do not know is what goes inside to hold the ship in place and how to tie off the ends so that it appears to be complete inside the bottle. This part of the assembly may have been a little easier then the normal for a ship in a bottle; as this model is larger then most. Measuring about 4 inches in length and about an inch. or so wide, it would not fit into a normal small mouth opening bottle thus requiring a bottle with a larger mouth. Hard to find a glass bottle that size in this plastic world we live in.

As a result, I chose to make this little tug as a stand along static model, glueing the mast and funnel into place nice and solid. A little iota of cotton for smoke and we have a cute little ship model for our curio cabinet.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cathedrale Notre-Dame De Paris

A few years back, Canon Paper-Craft- -produced a paper model of the Cathedrale Notre-Dame. The model is very well designed and is a free download to booth. This model is now rests in a curio cabinet of a neighbor.

I thought I would share a few pictures of the model with readers. Building the Notre-Dame is straight forward in terms of following the instructions provide with the model. I printed the model on standard card stock available almost everywhere. It was printed on an Epson printer. Epson printers offer waterproof ink and does not lend itself to marks as easy as most ink jet inks do. The only change I made to the model was to double the braces that surround the nave area.

So for your enjoyment.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Minox "THE SPY CAMERA" Extraordinaire!

Of the many cameras I have owned over the years of my life, the Minox has been one of my favorites. These cameras carry the distinct label of "Spy Camera". Minox cameras were never designed as such and except for one or two rare occasions never used by any Secret Agency.
The term "Spy Camera" is due in most parts to Hollywood movies, It has been used in several movies most recently in the Movie "Shinning Through" with Michael Douglas and Melanie Griffith. Other such movies like James Bond and a few World War 2 era films are mostly responsible for attaching the term "Spy Camera" to the Minox.

Without going into a great amount of detail about how the Minox works and all the technical details, let me say it is suffice to say the Minox uses a strip of photographic film inside a cartridge and yields several negative images measuring 8 mm x 11 mm per image. Today one can still purchase several different models of these cameras on Ebay although finding film and processing is getting harder to obtain. I always carry my Minox with me daily even yet today.

While thinning out a vast amount of photo CD's in my collection, I came across some Minox pictures that were transfered to CD by the processing lab a few years back. I came across three pictures that I thought I would share with you. The tractor, I understand dates back to the 1920's and the photos were taken in the late afternoon with my Minox model ECX. When one considers the size of the original negative 8 mm x 11 mm, the pictures are pretty good.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Liberty Ship "John w. Brown"

During the summer of 2003, the Liberty Ship "John W. Brown" came up the Detroit River for a fundraising cruise to help pay for new rivets she badly needed. A dry dock in Toledo, Ohio is still the only dock that makes rivets and could handle a ship her size. So she sailed up the St. Lawrence Seaway and had over a thousand new rivets installed. To help pay for this, she made a trip up the Detroit River for a one day cruise out into Lake Ste. Claire and return to Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

My wife and I purchased tickets and we became part of that historic cruise. It was a beautiful July Saturday with temperatures in the low 80's, mostly sunny with calm waters. As luck would have it, an Air Show was happening at Selfridge ANG Base that same day. It truly turned out to be one of many high lights of our Golden years of retirement. We had box lunches, below decks in one of the forward cargo holds while listening to music of the era. On deck, a band dressed in uniform played and a group of dancers also in costume danced the Jitterbug and various swing dances. Later an actor who is part of the ships company dressed as General Patton gave Patton's famous speech.

Before long, we were under siege by aircraft from the Air Show. Passes were made by a Spitfire, an Avenger, a Swordfish, a B-25 Mitchell Bomber and a Japanese Zero fighter. The guns on deck were maned by members of the Navy Guard which sailed on every Liberty Ship during the War. These guards are also part of the ships company and in uniform. The guns have been rigged to simulate via electric circuitry the flash and noise of the guns, mounted in an open gun tubs protected by thick pads of cork.

When we reached the turn around point, a prayer was said and a wreath tossed overboard to honor those lives that were lost during the war from the United States and Canada. When the ship returned to Windsor, visitors were allowed on board the next day, Sunday, before she left to return to her home port in Baltimore, Maryland.

Here are a few pictures of the "John W. Brown" taken by me as she arrived in Detroit on the Friday afternoon before.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Paper Model

One of my favorite paper models is this Dornier DO-27. The real aircraft was made by Dornier GmbH in Germany. This model was the first civilian model and made for the Serengeti Safari accounting for its Zebra like paint scheme. Unfortunately it crashed when it collided with an animal in January of 1958.

This paper model was made by the J.F. Schreiber GmbH also of Germany. As far as I am concerned, this is one of the best models designed by this company. When cutout and assembled the Zebra stripes line up perfectly and the parts fit just as they should. This is my third model, over the past twenty years, I have built two others. My first was made sometime in the 1980's and I had not yet mastered making the wing to perfection. My second model was made four years ago and promptly sold to a airplane buff.

Now comes this, my third model. I knew where some additional help might be needed and paid attention to these areas. One such part is the tail wheel. which is quite weak. So I doubled it by gluing it to a spare piece of card stock. Once cut out and attached to the fuselage, I coated it with "Hard as Nails" polish thus giving it more strength.

Thanks to the local florist, I was able to obtain a small amount of a green sticky gum like substance. Using this green Gummy stuff, I packed the first section of the fuselage with it and then glued the the fuselage front plate in place after boring a hole for the propellor shaft. After the propellor was finished and with a straight pin fitted inside the propellor nose cone, I push the propellor into the fuselage front and into the green gummy stuff. it held in place and now I have a really nice spinning prop. I would highly recommend this model for anyone who would like a change of pace from the more complex models.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Paper Shipwright's MV "Maria" Grab Dredger

David Hathaway owns Paper Shipwright, a company in the UK that produces some very nice and well designed paper models of unusual ships. Here is one of his latest in 1:250 scale of a Grab Dredger. The initial design is from a Scottish firm Seadrec. The "Maria" was never built but rather a model based on Seadrec's plans.

This model is certainly not my best work, however it was a fun build.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

From Anker Set Number 4 (Listed as a Fortress Tower)

Officially listed in Anker's Plan Set 4 on page 13, number 2 called a "Fortress Tower". With the figure that I have placed next to it, it now looks more like a monument. Something in the arch would enhance the appearance; perhaps a clock face or a small statue would help.

Again using a tripod I tried to photograph the model without any distorted perspective. And I still want to improve the background a bit more. Our weather is beginning to warm up as we approach May. Today as an example it is mostly sunny and we should top out about 58°F. In the photo to your left, the tripod was not level enough and so there is a slight tilt to the tower.

The sweeper incidentally is a Schieich figure from 2007 an stands about 3 inches tall..

Monday, April 27, 2009

Grabkapelle Revisited

Alan Winston, who's Blog "Block Play":, clued me in on a program very useful in correcting perspective: when working with items that render themselves to look better when this correction is made.

In my early youth, I worked for a company in the City of Detroit, that did all their photography using View Cameras. View Cameras usually come in 8 x 10 film size and have a number of corrections that can make almost anything appear straight. The film plane can be swung from left to right, up and down and tilted almost 75° from vertical. Likewise in the front where the lens is located, those same movements can be obtained. This allows for a great many corrections in perspective. General Motors used View Cameras when photographing each years new model automobiles for example.

Another method that works well is a tripod. Tripods work best when you are photographing objects that fit into the tripods category. Scale models are a good example. Height can be adjusted to give one that street level look. A sharper image is captured when using a cable release or the cameras self timer. Biggest problem with tripods, come in setting them up to be just right. I'm just to lazy to go through all the effort involved. But to give one a look at what can be done, these two photos show what I did in about ten minutes of set-up time using my digital cameras self timer. My camera is an old third generation model and thanks to its viewing screen in the back, I do not have to worry about parallax correction and digital photography is great for macro work as the depth of field problem is almost nonexistent.

Another tool that helps a great deal, is a good photo program. I have only a simple photo program that came pre installed on my Macbook. This program although allowing for just minor corrections gives me enough to correct for exposure, cropping and rotation. Speaking of cropping, I'm still working on improving the background to enhance the overall effect.

As soon as time allows, I'm going to give Alan's suggestion a try, for I do admire the quality of his photos and I look forward to visiting his page daily.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Anker Grabkapelle by Rolf Fritsche for Set 8

Grabkapelle as near as I could translate is a Funeral Chapel or perhaps just a small chapel located on church grounds or the like.

This model is just one of many designs by Rolf Fritsche. It was designed for use with stones up to set 8 or set 6 and set 6A which makes a set 8. As I have several extra stones, I substituted a few stones during the building process such as one number red 15 for two number red 19's and one red 19 for two red number 210's.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Small Model using Heinzelmannchen Stone Set

Here is a small model based on a design by William Seppeler from his Blog. Having received my wife's monthly Social Security check, it was off to purchase a backdrop for photos and a small grass mat. Now... what to do with my newly acquired back drop but quickly make a model to photograph and publish.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Paper Model Carousel by Canon Paper Craft

Here is a cute little paper model of a carousel. The model is a free download from the Canon Companies "Paper Craft" web site. This is the same Canon company that makes the Canon Cameras, Copy and Fax Machines, Printers and a host of other items.

If you are into paper models and have never been to Canon's site, I urge you to do so. The amount and quality of the models is hard to beat for the price "FREE". If you have children and want to get them involved in something other then computer games, pay a visit to Canon's Web Site. There is a host of things to be done from models to digital pictures enhancements or any number of other paper craft projects for the whole family.

This model was printed on three sheets of standard card stock available at Wal Mart, Staples, Office Depot or any number of craft type stores. Building time was about 2 hours plus or minus a few minutes. The instructions give you a good idea of what is needed in the way of tools. Not much more then a straight edge ruler, scissors, white glue and some sort of hobby knife.

To lend a little strength to the base, I mounted it on a piece of foam saved from something we purchased recently. As you move the Carousel by hand, the four horses move up and down to simulate a real carousel in action. The web site has two models and this is the simpler one of the two, so pay attention to the picture when looking for this model.

One of my plans in the future along with so many other uncompleted projects is to make the model move via a small electric motor. The mechanics of making it work are easy enough just need to take the time to sit down and do it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Coast Guard Station

While looking through the recent 6 ½ set plan book as mentioned in my last post, an idea came to me after seeing a plan for a Dam model. I started building the Dam and wondered how one of my card model boats would look if I changed the design to be more of a bridge rather then a Dam. So I raise the center section to appear as a high arch under which a small boat could pass under. It looked pretty good, but for some reason, my photos did not come out well and I had taken apart the model to soon, thus no pictures.

I will have to wait till my next Social Security Check arrives so I can get something that looks like water at the hobby store. Still wanting to expand on the idea, I took an old blue mouse pad and started my own design for a dock and station building. The pictures show how the model turned out and the small German Patrol Boat made it perfect to name the model a Coast Guard Station. Both boats are card models from Germany and cutting them out and building them is another pleasant past time of mind.

Maybe one of these days, I get all my eggs in oder and assemble a model that is not distracted by all the background clutter.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Anker Set 6½ Pavilion

The other day I discover some designs from an early set in the GK-NS Series; Set size 6½ √§ltere Ausgabe. I believe these sets are from the earlier Richter Stones before they converted to the current system of measurement in standard "mm" sizes 25 mm, 50 mm, 75 mm, 100 mm etc. These corresponding approximately to the American inch system of measurement.

The model required a little modification at the ceiling line to make it all fit as the plan shows. As I own a few sets and some odd stones, it was not a problem to solve. If I am incorrect in my assumption about the measurements of this series, please let me know so I may correct this.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Many of you may not be aware that Anker-Richter produced many stone puzzle sets in the early years when that sort of thing was in Vogue. Many of these early puzzles are very rare and hard to find. Now thanks to the new Anker Company, some of these sets however; are once again available.

With board gaming becoming the (new stay at home - spending time with the family), "in thing"; stone puzzles are enjoying some return to popularly. The Tamgram puzzles being without a doubt the most popular. Using seven stones, the designs are almost unlimited. Many web sites are devoted to creating and preserving hundreds of designs. The Anker Steinbaukaston Company today has made available several different stone puzzle sets which cam be purchased in the States from

Chris I believe stocks all the puzzle sets of which there are six.

The Puzzler (Tamgram)
The Egg of Columbus
The Circular Puzzle
The Heart Puzzle
The Nine Puzzle
the Wrath-Breaker Puzzle.

So I have put my new Flip Camcorder to use once again to give you a little idea of the Tamgram Puzzles by making three different designs. Enjoy!

Friday, March 13, 2009

William Seppeler's Barn

Having seen William Seppeler's Barn on his Blog, I just had to make it. The design is simple and makes a really nice little model for builders of any age.

I have tried to encourage William to make a CD of his plans for any of us who would like to keep his plans for the future.
Thanks William for the nice model!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Small City Building for Set 10

The other evening while watching TV with the wife, I was looking through some other Anker Stone plan books I have. I came across this "Rathaus Kleinstadt" by Gerhart Bruckmann. It looked intriguing and so paying proper respects to my better half; it was off to my workroom.
(I'm really not a CSI fan anyway)

Here is the results.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Apple iPhone and an Application

As many of you know I own an Apple iPhone and yes! here in the states I was one who waited in line to purchase one on Release Day.  I was fortunate to wait only 45 minutes or so.  I was not in time to purchase an 8 GB phone as they were already sold out, but did get a 4 GB model.  I loved it the day I purchased it and still do today.  I won't up-grade until the next generation model is released; but in the meantime am enjoying mine to no end.   Apple has released the iPhone code to developers World wide to make applications for the iPhone.

One such application is called "Color Splash".  This application allows you to take your digital photos and highlight parts in color and the application sells for 99 cents USD from Apple's iTune Store.  In the States and I presume World wide, a great many television commercials are aired in Black and White with only the main product in color.  This picture is a good example of what I did with one of my photos.

In order for this to work, your original must be in color.  Any digital photo can be used.  I took this photo on the Detroit River during Detroit's 300 Anniversary parade of tall ships.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


First off, I'm sorry for the misspelling of the word entrance in the movie you are about to watch.  

I had a chance to purchase a brand new "Flip Camcorder" at a very good price recently and just received it.  What better test to try with it, but to use my anker Stones to create a structure.  So here is an Entrance Gate from set number 4.  Note in the set they refer to it as a "Theatre", It looks more like a portal or a gateway to me.

The last few moments are a little shaky as I did not have the camera set so as to include the top of the structure well enough; so I had to hand pan around the building thus causing the shakiness.


Saturday, February 7, 2009


I really have not published much about our dog Schula.  Schula is a survivor from the animal shelter.  Apparently she was born in Mexico and brought here where she was given to the shelter.  She was adopted and returned.  After we lost our third dog Kokie we were devastated.  Kokie was born with a heart defect and we lost her in just three months. Having searched pet shops, private sales and other shelters in the area; we were about to give up finding a replacement for our beloved Kokie. 

Thus the Macomb animal shelter was our last stop for the day.  We had been there before and had  not see anything we liked.  On this day, it was approaching closing time and we had only 45 minutes or so to find a dog and start the adoption paperwork.  Schula made herself known almost immediately upon seeing us.  So we took her to a room where both dog and humans can get aquatinted.  Schula knew she was going with us although we had not yet realized this.  Joan, my wife, said we should take her, as it was getting late and neither of us wanted to spend still another night in a lonely pet-less home.

While completing the adoption paperwork, an officer called my wife aside.  "I hope you are going to adopt her", he said.  "Yes, my husband is paying for her now, Why?"  She is on the list to be euthanized after closing today.  "Why?" Asked my wife. "She was returned once already and has been here for three days without anybody even asking about her, and she has some separation issues."  "I know you and your husband will be able to help her become a good dog, I can see the love you both have for her in yours eyes; and I have never seen her tail wag so hard when your husband is in the room."  "She tries to climb all over him."

That was almost 2-1/2 years ago.  We are still learning how to deal with her issues; for you see Schula is a mixed Terrier, and very high energy; also we believe she is afraid she will be abandoned again.  For our age, it's a real effort to keep her in check all the time, but either we are learning to adopt or Schula is.  School's still out on that.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

And some more steps

Todays pictures

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Todays Pictures 4

The next series

Saturday, January 17, 2009

TODAYs Pictures 3

 A work in progress

Friday, January 16, 2009

Todays Pictures 2

Here's three for today, note the yellow arch was first placed the wrong way.