Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Microsoft LifeCam Cinema

Today I decided to take the documentation of my hobby to a new level by adding a HD webcam to my workbench. I originally wanted to take an ordinary camera (2 to 3 mega pixel range) and have it take photos at regular intervals to basically "catch me in the action". I figured that I was already taking plenty of photos as the projects progress, why not have me in them as well... Unfortunately I could not find a camera that could do the job.

Webcams did come to mind early on but the resolution was too low (VGA quality which is not even 1 mega pixel). A few days ago I found out about the Microsoft LifeCam Cinema which can shoot 720p video and up to 4.7 mega pixel photos, much more then what I had been looking for. And it also just so happens that it was on special and I had a gift card making it an easier purchase to justify to my wife since it wouldn't cost a penny!!! The retail price at Future shop is $99 and I got it for $63, that what I call a good deal!

So after testing it on my computer I drilled a small hole in my office which is next door to my workshop and passed the USB cable through, then clamped it to the shelf above my workbench. I then realized after a few adjustments that since the camera will never move I could eventually make a stop motion movie of me building a scale model from A to Z (future project).

Below are photos of how it is setup in my workshop.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fuselage Complete

Just completed cutting and gluing the ribs to the fuselage of the aircraft. In all I am surprised at how quick it is to build and fun. The fuselage has taken a total of 4 hours and 27 minutes to complete.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Triplane Body Assembly

This evening I started to assemble the body of the triplane with a new type of glue that I have never used before called "UHU hart". I was told that this was excellent glue to use on balsa wood since it dries quick and clear. The glue is from Germany and there is no English/French writing on it (instruction on the tube are in German, Greek and two other languages that I do not recognize) and I was a bit sceptical (especially at $10 for a 35ml tube) but just as the guy at the hobby shop stated it works very very well (no buyer remorse).

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fokker DR-1 Triplane

My son Casey who is 3½ will be getting a new room soon with a transportation theme (cars, trucks and planes) and I thought what better then a large plane suspended from his ceiling. Unfortunately plastic models are too small and so I opted for a balsa wood kit which to be honest I have never built before or even considered building.

I chose the Fokker DR-1 Triplane for several reasons:
  1. This particular kit is laser cut so the parts just fall out unlike tranditional balsa kits.

  2. It was on special for $30 instead of $50!

  3. A Red Baron Triplane, what could be more classic!

So over the next few months I will be working with new materials and hopefully turning my favorite hobby into a fasination for my son!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Finished the V-1!

Tonight I finished the V-1 and am happy to have another project completed under my belt. I've tried several new techniques which have taught me valuable lessons for future projects. For the first time I experimented with spraying a clear coat and figured out how to mount a flying model on a stand. Overall it was a simple model which allowed me to improve many skills/techniques, the Tamiya V-1 took 7 hours and 11 minutes to build.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mounting the V-1 (third attempt)

When I cam to remove the alligator clips placed on October 31st the movement was too much despite being very delicate with the model and it snapped the glue bond again! After doing some research I decided to drill into the V-1 and insert the plastic rod into it with some krazy glue. Unlike my previous attempts I decided to glue the rod straight instead of at an angle since the V-1 was designed to fly straight and level due to its gyroscopes.

Despite my hesitations of drilling a hole into a nice model, it worked very well and is sturdy. Looking on forums and web sites no one was really clear on how to mount an aircraft with an acrylic rod, drilling a hole appears to be the best method.