Nov 2014 24

A home for the sanatorium

The saga of the Sanatorium continues...

It's funny, but after months of stop-start progress getting the sanatorium completed, I am not on fire and have achieved more in a few days than I have in months!

First up were some holes for the lift towers. Luckily I had a hole cutter that was just a few mm bigger than I needed. It made short work of the plaster shell / polystyrene core scenery. Then I was able to gingerly lower it into position and admire the result:


The holes were miles too deep, so I made up packers to raise them back to the right height. Once the spirit level was happy I wrapped the tubes in masking tape and made up some sculptamold to fill in the around them.

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Nov 2014 24

Sanatorium progress - the final sprint

The saga of the Sanatorium continues...

More sanding, more painting

Just when I thought I'd done enough, I had still more painting and sanding to do! The final stage of it though. After sanding everything smooth I had to paint the top black to prevent any light seeping through.

You can see that, for some reason, the bits that I filled with baby-epoxy-powder have a different look to those that are just styrene!? Easily fixed with a few more coats of white, finished off with some white Vallejo acrylic airbrushed on for a nice uniform finish. End result is very smooth and white looking!

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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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Feb 2014 15

A quick workbench update

With the lack of communication you may think nothing is happening in Utrainia, but that isn't quite the case. As usual I have a few pots on the boil.

First of all, a new arrival! A little wee tram recently turned up in a box from Japan, and delightful it sure is. As usual for Utainia, the international theme continues, and this tram is no exception. It is a German tram, gifted to Hiroshima after the war. Now it is running in the vaguely New Zealand setting of Raparapa, passing British and American cars, while French trains scream past on the other track.

I have also been playing with a halogen bulb for photography, which emulates the strong shadows of daylight very nicely.

Meanwhile, a huge truckload of our stuff from Christchurch arrived; amongst it is the best new ...

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Feb 2014 6

Ranuska progress

Today marks one month and one day of marriage, and so to celebrate a national holiday was declared for all citizens. Much was achieved today on several of the projects I currently have on the go.

Druzhba Sanatorium

Exciting progress has been made here. I have been busy casting and cleaning up the window assemblies, as for some reason each casting tends to include a few rather visible air bubbles, requiring quite a bit of cleaning up and filling. I've been working away on that when I have time, and today I had enough to move onto the next stage: assembling it.

I started by designing a cutting template for the floor, to ensure everything was correctly angled and formed a smooth circle. Autodesk Inventor made short work of that. Once I'd cut out the pattern in styrene I set about arranging the window assemblies. Luckily it all went to plan and soon I was looking at this:

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