Monday, 19 March 2012

Seeing the light

Highlighting the way I make models

When I started producing models in my current house, I was using a small coffee table and sitting on the couch.  Now as you all cringe of the thought of such bad posture, it was not too bad (but even so I would not reccomend it!) and worked for a while.  I tried using the kitchen table but this was too anti-social, I couldnt talk to my other half and the TV was not in sight either, this clearly was not going to work!  Then came Christmas.  Last Christmas (2010) we had a real tree, I was lovely, the smell and the look, but now that the 3 month old is 15 months old, pulling was a very real danger.  I reluctantly agreed to get a fake tree and my other half said her mum had a 'Christmas table'.  I was very intrigued how a table could be in the 'Christmas' catagory, was it covered in tinsel? Did it have Santa festooned accross it?  Imagine my dissapointment when it turned out to be a normal square table, about 2ft square with folding crossed legs and a baize top.  Once covered with a nice cloth the tree looked nice, then it was explained the table only came out at Christmas time to put the tree on, seems obvious really.

It was during another coffee table modelling session, with tools falling off all over the place and no space to put  things, I looked up and my eyes fell upon the 'Christmas' table.  Could I give this table a new purpose all year round?  I didnt breach the subject straight away, SWMBO actually borrowed the table from the dredded Mother-in-law (cue shudder) and she has a certain love of this table as it used to be her Dads.  Fair enough, its an old table (possibly even antique?), and so she would have to agree to it's new life.  The subject was mooted to the other half just before the tree was put to bed and she agreed in principle but the final say would of course mean a conversation with the M-i-l!

Completly out of the blue she was very nice about it and actually glad it was going to get some use so she was happy for me to have it rather than it languishing in her basement.  What a difference!  Sitting in the arm charir the table is at a perfect height for working and it is about 8 times the area of the coffee table meaning everything stays where I want it to (meddling toddlers excluded!).  I actually believe this has improved my modelling, not massively, but there has been a noticable improvement.  This is down, mainly, to the fact I dont have to have things sitting on tables/chairs/floor around me and I can lay things out to get thing right first time.  Also I can have a tool kit on the table ready to use at any time.

So I have my perfect surface, but another bone of contention between me and 'her' is the lights.  Good lighting is a must for creating good models, you can spend a good chunk of a weeks wages on a 'modelling' light but I have always made-do with the main light in the room.  SWMBO, on the other hand, only every wants the little lamps on.  These are only just enough to enable you to navigate through the room, nevermind produce a model to any degree of accuracy.  Then came a suggestion, 'Why not get yourself a lamp?'.  The little lightbulb above my head went on (but not the main light, she wouldnt allow that!).  A quick internet search left me a few questions still to be answered and I decided to only buy one I had seen and know would be good enough for me.

A trip to Newbank garden centre produced my solution.  An angle poise lamp with a small but very weighty base in matt black.  I would have liked a clip on lamp but the sides of the table arn't great and are quite thick so getting a clamp to fit was a problem.  This lamp has a tall enough arm not to get in the way but still flexible enough to get it exactly where I want it.  The best part though was that it only cost a tenner!  Yes £10 for a quality lamp, OK it was end of line reduced from £24 because it had a tatty box but its a lot cheaper than others.

I have now realised that one of the most important parts of model making is the light which you have at the table, without it you will not be able to see the extra little details to make your model stand out from the rest.
Bright and spacious, better models will result

No comments:

Post a Comment