Model Making, A Let’s Build Resource


I’ve been a scale model builder since I was about seven or so. At least I remember having a box of kits that somebody gave me before we move to Ct in 1967.  A box that was tossed in the move and I really wish hadn’t been because one of the kits in that box was first pop Starship Enterprise, but I digress.  In any case I’ve been working various materials making small and large thing for a very long time.

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Saving The Enterprise

The model of the Star Trek ship, Enterprise is falling apart.  This model has been on display at the NASM for decades and the original glue that held it together is starting to fall apart.  Also the poorly done paint done during the restoration back in the 1990’s needs to be removed and the ship placed back as it was during the shooting of the TV show.  Earlier I posted about conserving the model at the Smithsonian in Tech Stuff 3 with these links.

Trek Core has a series of videos about the restoration.

More from Trek Core.

More pics at

And Popular Mechanics.

Pics from an earlier restoration

Models tend to have hard lives. Especially shooting models like the Enterprise. Consider what happened to the 2001 models after the shooting was over.  So having the Enterprise get the museum treatment is a good thing. Of course not all models, even Star Trek models get this level of attention. Consider the Enterprise’s Klingon nemesis.

Years ago, I discovered the shooting model for that ship suspended from the ceiling in the lobby of the Virginia Air and Space museum in Hampton VA.  As far as I know it’s still there, far from the attention that the Enterprise gets.

Miniatur Wunderland Goes Google

Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg Germany is the largest model railroad in the world.  Since it was opened it’s become a well known attraction in Hamburg and amongst the railfan and model railroader community.  But Hamburg may be off your driven path.  Well never fear, now you can travel the railroad via the Google Streetview cam.

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A Rant About Scales and Gauges

Tom the Toy Man discusses scales and gauges for model railroading.

Here’s the Proto 48 layout that he is talking about.

The problem for railroad modeling is that the scales that models are built are based on gauges that were made to come out even in dimensions in inches based on a rail gauge that is no way even to anything.  That’s why model railroaders have always either compromised gauge, scale or both.  There’s also the problem that many of the standards were promulgated when the access to tools was limited and the materials were not likely to hold up it the dimensions were correct in scale.  So wheel treads in standard HO, are in the National Model Railroad Association much wider than real railroad wheel.  The Proto gauges are an attempt by some modelers to correct those deficiencies.

The rail modelers in Japan have it even more interesting as the standard gauge in Japan for most trains is Cape Gauge at 3’6″ because of the big push for narrow gauge in the late 19th Century.   Followed in the mid 20th Century the Shinkansen in standard gauges.  So Japanese modelers have had to compromise on either scale or gauge to fit on the manufactured track that follows NMRA standards.  Which has led to some three HO scales or gauges, and at least two N scales.

More Miniatures

Some more miniatures links.  Wonderful stuff here.

Architects Design Kit

I was a building set junkie when I was a kid.  I had a bunch of different sets that I scrounged up from tag sales and church sales including lots of Lego. This is interesting, but it seems inflexible and I’m thinking that you could drop down to a Lego store and just do some scrounging in the bins to get about the same result.  Of course you wouldn’t have the Cad models.