After the yard and the work outside under the midnight sun definitely have priority in summer, in September / October I can with a clear conscience pay more attention to the space at the desk / work table and work creatively on a small scale. So it's time to leave a few words here again. 2021 is now two weeks old and many started the new year with a look back and a look into the future. Then I am so uncreative and do it like the crowd.
Can you look back on this year without mentioning Corona? I do not think so. Nevertheless, I have to say that we have only been touched slightly by the pandemic here in Northern Norway in Vesterålen. Very few infected people with known sources of infection and no deaths. Overall, the whole of Norway has gotten off very lightly with regard to the spread of Covid-19. But here too there are strict measures, some of which have a strong social and financial impact.
And the model building, how does it look? I can say that 2020 was an extremely exciting year. Not so much when it comes to finished models or even a system / module, no, 2020 was still clearly characterized by planning and research. But as far as production and construction are concerned, 2020 was a milestone in my revived, young “model making career”. On the one hand there was the aforementioned acquisition of a Prusa SL1 3D printer and the deepening in the CAD software FreeCAD. On the other hand, I also discovered my love for laser cut kits and the associated materials, wood, cardboard and paper. This then resulted in the purchase of one FabCreator FabCore 40 W laser cutter. FabCreator is a young company and produces in Geldrop-Mierlo, the Netherlands. The FabCore is a classic entry-level laser cutter and is more than sufficient for all my model building work - cutting 10 mm poplar plywood or extremely fine engravings and details - no problem. I am extremely satisfied with the FabCore and with the nice, personal contact with the manufacturer. Similar to 3D printing, all possibilities and limits have to be explored at the beginning, as this device is also completely new territory for me. But I am always surprised how many possibilities and how few limits there are. And the results are promising. At the moment I am working on Saxon railway constructions, such as the waiting hall at the Obstmühle station, but also on half-timbered houses with thatched roofs, as they were typical for Saxony at the end of the 19th century. A first finished laser cut model is part of an elf campaign in TT board emerged - a building with rooms for dispatchers and shunters of the Dessau-Wörlitzer Railway. Not perfect, but for a first try I was pretty happy. Even if this is not a Saxon building, I can certainly imagine investing a little more time in this small model and perhaps offering it as a laser cut kit this year. Oh, I wrote "this year" so quickly to the next paragraph.
Exactly, you read that right. I plan to offer small laser cut kits in 2021. The focus here should initially be on Era I at the time of the Royal Saxon State Railways. I am also planning a couple of historic building kits from Northern Norway. These should be created in TT 1: 120 as well as in H0 1:87. That is the plan. Since these kits should not only be beautiful, but also be fun to assemble and later on on the system, I will still have to test a few construction options and materials. Even though I have had very good experience with Finnboard for the basic structure of the building models, I was still looking for a more stable, more durable material. I am looking for this very thing Kraftplex which consists of 100% unbleached cellulose fibers, which in turn are pressed into panels with the help of thermal energy and thus do not require any adhesives or chemical additives. An extremely stable and environmentally friendly material which is also perfect for cutting with the laser cutter. I will soon receive a delivery of Kraftplex ST in thicknesses of 1 mm, 1,5 mm and 3 mm as well as Kraftplex CL in 0,5 mm thickness, which I will then continue to put through their paces. An attempt to make a thatched roof on a TT 1: 120 scale from Kraftplex ST also resulted in a fine, stable engraving and was therefore very promising.
And the 3D printer, should something come from it too? Yes, this one does not remain unemployed either. In addition to small parts for buildings, I am also working on the implementation of a Saxon G1 (serial no. 349). The construction of the chassis is finished and a few details are still pending on the car body. However, it has not yet been clarified in which material mix I will be offering the car. In addition to pure 3D printing, the combination of a brass investment cast chassis with a resin cast car body is a higher quality alternative. We will see.
The first kits should appear in 2021 - under the name FINSKALA MODEL. This is a development that goes much further than what I saw two or three years ago when I only wanted to build a small model railway. But I enjoy researching role models and implementing them in the model so much that it feels right to offer these models to others. And whether the models will also be correspondingly good? Yes I hope so. Model railroaders are often very critical, including me! And I think that's a good prerequisite. 🙂