Cabin Fever

My workbench away from home

Easter means a trip to the mountain for many Norwegians. For some bizarre reason we follow the receeding snow up the mountainside as it melts. To get the most out of the winter, many of us have cabins (US) or cottages (UK) so we can spend some more days in the snow. Strange, but that´s us.

But what do you do inside when the skiing is done for the day? Usually I pack a serious block of books and do some intense reading in the afternoon and evenings. But this year I was more frustrated than usual with the lack of modelling progress during the winter. It is limitited what you can do on a kitchen table in a small cabin, so I thought it was best to set simple goals. I decided to build some mockups of buildings for the layout of the model railroad club in Trondheim. So I packed up sheets of cardboard, some steel rulers, a cutting mat and a stanley knife with plenty of fresh blades. And not to forget, my trusty old powerbook. No Internet in the mountains, but with all my prototype photos and digital drawings, it is a very valuable modelling tool.

To make a long story short, I was able to finish three buildings. A sawmill, a small engine shed and a large stone products warehouse with an attached aerial tramway terminal. For the stone products warehouse, figuring out the rooflines and general arrangment of things was quite some work. Together with a friend I photographed and took some key measurements a while back. For a complex building like this a mockup is a very valuable tool. By making some glaring mistakes I was able to figure out how things really goes together, and a lot of changes will be made when building the “real” model.

Østlandske Stenexport
Østlandske Stenexport

Building mockups in the mountains was a great success. To bring tools and materials to the family cabin proved to be far less controversial than I feared. And using only white glue I received no complaints for building in the livingroom. So next year I will take things a step further and bring Kappler stripwood, some waterbased stains and glue. Then I can build some “real” buldings as well!

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