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.