The Bench, December 2020

I did it! I beat last year’s record builds! Fifteen builds vs last year’s eleven. Sure, the pandemic helped, but I also took on other projects that took a great deal of my spare time. I also wondered if I should count the 1/64 scale projects since they don’t take as long. Regardless of how you want to quantify a build, I built 12 models and 3 1/64th diecasts. Given the frantic pace I maintained towards the end of the year, I may try to pull back next year. We’ll see!

57 Corvette

Quick wrap-up on the ’57 Corvette:

Aside from the interior, most of the major components were ready for assembly. The chassis was assembled, and wheels attached. I located the rear wheels by lowering the rear axle; a much easier proposition than the front! The front had no locating pin and required epoxy to hold them in place. I set the ride height with business cards and taped the model to a mirror. Epoxy afford the time necessary to get the alignment right!

Once the wheels were glued in place, it was time to finish the interior and pull it all together. The chrome bumpers and fixtures were nerve-wracking to attach given the fact there were no locating pins. The windshield, not surprisingly, did give me trouble. I had to shape and sand to get it to sit nicely behind the frame.

Overall, I’m beyond thrilled with this build! The stance and overall appearance are prefect.

Class of 2020:

Here they are. All fifteen builds. I’m proud of the work I accomplished. I managed to maintain and improve upon the caliber of my builds all while getting more done!

What about the last half of December?

Last year, I worked on a lighting project in my main display case. While every kit was out, I decided to use my new photo booth and get better pictures. The photos from that session looked decent….unless the model was red or had red in it. My booth and lighting had very little red light or my phone was doing strange things. I’m not a professional photographer…

I tried different lighting and background and found my reds to be much richer. Once I finish photographing the class of 2020, I pulled all of my red builds. The results were much more satisfying!

Speaking of lighting projects: I bought another Ikea case and rather than use their lighting, which uses 2700k lighting, I wanted to add 4000k lighting. I picked up LED’s for the new case and the original case. After a few days of soldering, drilling and getting everything together, I have even more space, with great lighting, for all of my builds.

The lighting I bought came in strips and needed a way to cleanly install them. Using the idea I came up with for my main case, I bought more aluminum angle to act as both a smooth mounting surface and a shroud. Once I finished attaching the strip and soldering wires, I attached them to the bottom of the shelves with screws.

The wires were fed to the bottom of the cases and attached to the distribution blocks and power supplies.

When mounting the lighting, I used the same location I used with the original lighting. Unfortunately, the shroud cast a shadow on the front half of each shelf. To remedy the issue, I moved the strips closer to the front of the shelves and was very satisfied with the results.

With regards to my hobbies and hobby space, it was a really good year.

Happy New Year!