As someone who hates Xmas shopping I love Amazon wishlists, although sometimes I think my darling wife might use this to her advantage.
Every railway and model railway enthusiast will, I'm sure, have received presents in the past from a well meaning relative that either replicated something they've had on their bookshelves for years, or that fell into the bumper book of trains category. Pointing people in the direction of a wishlist means you are much more likely to open a present that it is genuinely useful.
This year I have to say it worked rather well, although for the third year in a row Caroline is still to make an appearance on Xmas morning. What did appear were various tools, most notably a Silhouette Portrait cutter. For those of you unfamiliar with these it is worth checking out the relevant RMWeb thread. Yes, sometime it still has its uses. Essentially we are talking about a poor man's substitute for a laser cutter.
I've disclosed my dyspraxia in the past, and this gizmo offers real hope to those of us who struggle with cutting basic straight lines. To make best use of it you do need to be able to find your way around a basic vector graphics program, like Silhouette Studio that ships with it,
You also need to do a lot of advance thinking about how you are going to build the final model. I messed up my first attempt, Llynclys weighbridge, because halfway through construction I decided to use a thicker card for the basic shell.
These are the initial cuts I produced, but when I moved to using thicker card I didn't make enough allowance for the change in dimensions so the "fold up" brick work no longer fitted. I had to resort to Photoshop to cover up the resulting cracks.
The other thing I think is apparent from this photo is that it isn't a substitute for every problem. The door, for instance, was scribed by the Silhouette but would have been much better if I'd fabricated it.
On the plus side producing a corrected version tomorrow will only take ten minutes.
I'm really impressed with how it can be used to produce windows. It certainly makes the prospect of building signal boxes a lot more attractive.
There are a couple of tricks to play around with that I hope will enable me to align cuts and score marks with brickwork and other artwork. In theory it might even be possible to use it to accurately cut out existing paper and card models.
Yes, I know the rest of you clever b*****s out there could achieve the same results with a ruler and a fresh Swann Morton blade, but I can't.
Meanwhile, in other news....
... a new Apa display unit has been thrown together to highlight the Lcut range, and starting construction of their latest products is next on my to do list. I've also finally taken a scalpel to the brace of 14XX I've been hoarding. The early Airfix chassis really was awful, so i suspect I'm committing to more chassis building.
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