Nov 2014 24

Sanatorium progress - the end is nigh!

The saga of the Sanatorium continues...

Quietly over the last few months I've been plodding away on the insanitorium. In the month of July, I clamped one of the layers to my CNC machine and very slowly cut out a circle. My CNC machine isn't really cut out for machine wood, and so it was a slow and noisy process.

Despite pinning it to the bench, the piece kept breaking free or otherwise moving. After that I invented a better method of clamping the Dremel to a saw horse and pivoting the workpiece at the right radius; made the job much quicker!

After that I proceeded to, in a series of fits and starts, build more of the cursed thing over the coming months. The typical process was: stare at it for a month; do three hours work on...

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Nov 2014 19

Breaking news

Hot off the press: the sanatorium lives!

Yes, after 9 months of work, the sanatorium is complete enough to move into its final spot on Ranuska. When I started this project, the Druzhba Sanatorium was still a part of Ukraine. Now, it is administered by Russia as part of the Republic of Crimea. I didn't think it would take that long to build.

So, watch this space.

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Nov 2014 2

Modular building, part 3

My modular building project continues on from part 2... 

Nearly two months since the last update! Gosh. Now that the spring warmth has arrived, there is a lot to do in the garden. Combine that with numerous other small jobs and building a new laundry, there hasn't been much time for blogging. I haven't been idle though, just nothing of much note has been happening. Then there was the entire week that I spent debugging and fixing the electronics after I sent 15VDC down the RS485 bus by mistake. Took out most of the ICs in the system with it. Sigh!

Anyway, late in August I gave the whole building a zap with black primer.

This helps stop any light leaking through from the inside. It looks pretty racy all ...

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Sep 2014 9

Modular building, part 2

My modular building project continues on from part 1...


Once I had all the components, construction proceeded very quickly. I made a wall at a time, using lots of bracing on the back, and sections of 0.75 x 0.75mm styrene trim on the front to tidy up the corners.

The bracing on the back made joining together the corners pretty easy.

While shopping at our local discount asian warehouse I came across some rather neat miniature wooden clothes pegs that I knew would make great clamps:

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Sep 2014 7

Modular building, part 1

I'm building a new building for Ranuska, a small hotel by the seaside. Of course, it has to be interesting and a little different, and I'm trying out some new techniques too.


My inspiration for this build comes from a few places. First is a residential building from Bobrujsk, Belarus, from the Soviet Modernism era of architecture:

Closely related to this is the Nakagin capsule tower, built in the 1970s in Tokyo:


(Read a

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Sep 2014 1

Funicular mechanicals

Part two of my funicular building series...


Funiculars need something to roll along on, i.e. some track. I didn't want to use regular N scale track though as this would look a bit over-sized for my tiny funicular. Instead I quickly (read: crudely) soldered up some code 40 track to 6mm gauge. To help with traction, I added a sheet of metal under the sleepers, the thinking being that if I magnetised the funicular, it would stay stuck to the track.

With the aid of some hot glue I attached the track to the scene and built up the surrounding landscape with some plaster. Some ballast was added, and then the whole thing toned down with some dirt-coloured watery plaster. This does a nice job of making the track look a bit worn out.


What I really wanted was a moving funicular. I decided fairly early on that a DC gear motor underneath the baseboard would be the way to go, driving a continuous loop of "cable...

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