Another addition to the fleet, soon to be on sale with the rest at Basically Wooden – MixPly.
I finally got round to painting one or two models, using a tiny amount of acrylic, two coats. I don’t supply paint in the kits but they are very cheap, at pound shops and such. Models are on sale at Basically Wooden.
A little work to correct some errors and it is ready.
This is the rear paddle version, which proved easier to design and seems to be well received. On sale soon.
Still toiling over another model/toy boat. Laser cutting is a great way to make things and the precision available constantly tempts me to make more complex designs. But complex is not necessarily the way to go, when what I am looking for is play value, simple clean lines and ease of assembly.
This (detail) drawing in Affinity Designer is getting quite complicated, hopefully the final design will reflect the ideas above, rather than any underlying complexity. I had a trip down memory lane trying to measure the length of an arc. Finding π on the keyboard was not as straightforward as it should be – Alt 227 won’t work for me, I don’t know why.
Many years ago my father taught me to use a fretsaw and then a treadle fretsaw; I was so proud to make cut-out models and shapes, happy to spend cool evenings in our tiny kitchen sawing, sanding and gluing with a hot, smelly glue pot and a sticky brush. Dad made lots of wooden toys – forts, garages, vehicles &c., often working from plans in Hobbies magazine. He invariably gave them away. I think he would have loved the laser cutter.
I went to Ross-on-Wye yesterday where my son Luke has a lovely organic food shop, Field Fayre.
The town has started having a craft market on Saturdays; Field Fayre has some homemade items and I thought we might sell some of the MixPly models. That did happen but the day was slow regarding sales. But it was most enjoyable sitting in the Spring sunshine. I made some posters and a banner for the stall.
Four boats (more soon) and one helicopter, lots of fun assembling these toys, lots of fun playing with them. Available here, etsy and ebay for just £12 each kit including postage, they are ideal presents for girls and boys.
A trip through the rain to Basically Wooden in Devon to collect many laser-cut toy boats, ready for packaging and hopefully for some sales. Sue and Andrew at Basically Wooden design, laser-cut and assemble fine objects for the gaming world, and some other items. They have just made a new dice tower, really lovely. They use quite a lot of fine, detailed engraving, something I have avoided with these toys.
My toy/models have moving doors and a working winch. They are suitable for children over 3 (small parts), come with visual instructions, glue (not strictly necessary but makes a more permanent toy), and string for the winch. I am selling on Etse and ebay , £11.95 each including UK postage, add £3 for postage worldwide. Buy all five for £50, (plus £5 for shipping outside the UK).
I’ve been living on the historic (it goes back a few hundred years) Bristol Harbourside for more than a year. Recently it was announced in the ‘papers that this is one of the best places to live in the UK, which would make it pretty good worldwide, in my book, especially in the summer of 2018. I’m still not quite sure I want to live anywhere since my Janet let me go, just a year and a half ago.
Still, as I dodge the bemused tourists, phone zombies – available everywhere – jogger packs, (no, it’s because it’s flat, not because it’s interesting) kamikaze cyclists, bemused + lost tourists; avoiding as far as possible the tedious aquatic activities (frequently ending in fireworks during the summer), I have to admit that living on the old dock does have some charms.
Food is not generally one of those delights (this is still Britain, after all), although there are some exceptions. I haven’t counted the number of places to eat around the harbour, but in a year I have sampled them all, some several times. The nearest to where I live – Baltic Wharf housing estate – is the Cottage Inn. Between me and them is The Baltic Wharf Caravan Park, (those travellers get everywhere – fill in according to prejudice) which is busy all year round, mainly with camper vans, and is a welcome bulwark. The dingy yard is next door. So The Cottage has easy pickings, (tourists and sailors being known for their thirsty ways) which is more than you can say for the food they serve. Take the ‘Beer Battered Fish (not Cod you will observe) n’ Chips. Fine if you enjoy batter and hate fish, you won’t be disappointed, other than with the ‘mushy peas’ which accompany the said batter and semi-frozen chunky-style chips; although they are actually garden peas served in a rusty enamel mug and stirred up with a fork, a bit.
The mash potato is a revelation, any old pots will do it seems whether they are suitable for mash or not, unadorned with herb, milk or butter, dropped onto the plate with all the care of an old-time boatman casting his slop pail into the aforementioned harbour.
Recently, feeling rather thirsty – it is the nearest by several feet – I stopped in for a libation and was informed by the landlord that I would, have to join the queue, over there, mate. Charm personified.
Moving on rapidly past the Harbour Master’s office one arrives at the ‘historic’ – it’s been there a while – Underfall Yard, a small working doc and associate cafe, which is licensed, possibly it’s best feature. Strange, over-sized sandwiches await the wanderer, which is good for the sea birds and pigeons I suppose. A few overpriced metres further on is the Nova Scotia, overlooking the Cumberland Basin locks, sluices and swing bridge. A working pub with a tourist input, the Nova Scotia boasts a chef who enjoys cooking, and a long-standing rather wonderful folk night, Mondays. Food is quite good, especially the cauliflower cheese and the excellent value sirloin steak. Avoid the veal, unless you have your good teeth in.
Yours for just £9.95, introductory offer while stocks last. This press-out version is supplied with pva glue.
3mm plywood, laser-cut and sanded on both sides, approx 20cm x 10cm. Instructions included. Contains small parts so not suitable for children under 3. Assembly may need adult assistance. Free postage in the UK, £3 for the European Union.
Working on a steampunk design for a helicopter, I have struggled the last few days to get a look that will translate to plywood. The devil really is in the detail. My plywood laser-cut toys are plain and unadorned but steampunk is not about clean lines.
I spent a while this morning drawing this window in the style of an old diving helmet, here as a .png file (WordPress won’t allow vector files, if anyone wants a copy let me know and I will send).
Affinity Designer is perfectly adequate for 2D drawing like this.