Monday, July 23, 2012

Scale Modeling: Making a Portable Modeling Workstation

Though this topic was posted in this blog way ahead of my entries on my first completed scale model, this project was actually conceived only after my first three armor models were done. The decision to build a workstation actually came when I already had my initial batch of tools and with the realization that working with miniatures does not necessarily mean that I can just set it up anywhere in the house. I initially thought that building small scale models would require only a small space which I can just set up anywhere whenever and wherever inspiration strikes me to pursue the hobby.

Scale Model Workstation sample -beauty and madness (chaos)! This is not mine of course (just saw all over while browsing so I dont know who to attribute it to-sorry for that)-but would GLADLY have one- space, chaos and ALL!
Well…I was wrong. What happened was that the hobby took over the working and daily living spaces of my wife and kids. The only practical available spaces were the dining area, library room table and the bedroom of the kids and that limited my work to the times these areas were free. Whenever my family had to do their own thing, I had to put a cover over my stuff and transfer and make several trips to where I will relocate to bring out my current model, tools, lamp etc…..and where not talking about painting yet! If I needed to do so, I would have to bring out paints, brushes, bottles, fill up containers with water, grab kitchen towel and so on.

The result- scale model chaos all around the house! What was thought of as small space requirement for miniature projects started taking over the house! At the end of a hobby day, the temporary hobby areas would be strewn with tools and bits of models which would more often than not be lost once relocated. Careful relocations would constantly waste my time and usually takes the fun out of the craft.
Since I can’t build a separate hobby room for me at this point in time, I had to improvise considering the small space and the inability to have a permanent set up. The solution was to build a portable modeling workstation with the primary objective of having the ability to start and stop modeling within a few minutes anywhere around the house. I still managed to take over a small space in my kid’s room (see Spray booth post) but still decided on a portable workspace for model building which would address not only the relocation issues (if still necessary to move) and the mess mentioned above,  but also give me more work flexibility. I plan to even bring my basic stuff when I travel to my house in the province!
The plan was a DIY project using scrap wood and other left over items around the house to keep the cost to a minimum. Instead of scrap wood, I chanced upon this wooden model kit display box in one of the malls. It was a wooden display box with compartments for displaying built kits with a sliding clear acrylic plastic sheet as cover/door.

Then, inspiration struck me…… why not buy two of these, put a hinge in between them, a door latch to join the two on the other end and a handle on top… and ..voila!
A portable modeling workstation!

The two wooden Model Display Boxes.
Note the sliding clear acrylic doors.

Door latch
Hinge and cabinet door handle on top
I managed to store my paint bottles and accessories in the different compartments as well as all of my basic tools. I was able to etch out also some slots in the wood separators to accommodate the paint brushes.


Simple…but it works for me….
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1 comment:

  1. That's really awesome. I sent this to my brother who's also having the same issue with space.