Sunday, July 28, 2013

Miniature Raw Salmon Cuts

 1:12 miniature fish merchandiser/fridge display unit. Made out of acrylic and aluminum sheets. Still WIP. I want to add a signboard in the front, and maybe more refrigeration details, and perhaps a logo/brand for the fridge.

The idea all started with these little styrofoam plates. I had been meaning to make them since discovering the vacuumform method, however material wise, it's quite a pain to obtain them locally. The craft stores mainly supply 1mm thick PVC, and although styrene sheets are available, they are pretty costly in comparison. I made these out of polypropylene folders from Popular (a local chain of bookstores) :P PP is pretty tricky to work with, when compared with styrene and PVC for thermoforming, and the working temperatures can vary depending on the fillers etc. which means alot of wasted plastic (SORRY EARTH T-T)

not sure what i'm going on about? yeah me neither. lots of technical reading and i did fail my organic chem the first time who knew school would teach me valuable stuff that i'd need for minis? HA HA HA

right. so also fired up inkscape again to do the graphics for the labels (and the 'grill' details on the aluminum, no tools to do that sort of precision work....) - printed on decals, each one has a different weight and price but i'm not sure if you'd be able to tell anyway :( here're the cutlets...

and then, the fillets. OH and i also learnt about the colour differences in the different breeds of salmon. I love you Professor Google :D these are more "Sockeye" salmon coloured, and the pinker/oranger ones are 'pink' and...i forgets. :S

 here are my prototypes....the first few I made looked more like cooked or "Chub" salmon....
(oh and yes, that's clingfilm, 'Extra Strong' according to the label)

and the prototype cutlets, which I thought were 'steaks'... again, probably looking more like poached salmon than raw ones. the oranger fillets at the back were the 2nd run, but wasn't translucent enough for my liking though I think they can pass for raw "King" salmon maybe. it's more the colour of salmon I get at sushi restaurants.

final try, and a new, larger size too ^ ^ and no, i did not use the caning method, these were detailed individually by hand out of polymer clay. though I did cut down a few steps by moulding the rough shape first, and finished off with acrylic paints for the rest of the details.

aaand, some of you who follow my Instagram might have seen this a few days back. the molding material I used is Oyumaru, from Daiso. it's some algae-based re-useable molding material that dentists use too. it's always a little strange returning to polymer clay after working on larger items and air dry clay for the past half-year or so. BUT HOW I MISS IT SO~ don't miss the aching and painful throbbing wrists and hands from conditioning it though :S

 oh and it lights up too (odd place for lighting? yeah it is, but actually meant it for the signboard)! of course, couldn't have done this without this amazing tutorial from Pepper :D :D :D (remember to click on the tutorials tag for more of her other tutes, i want to try out -every-  -single- -one-.

so this is what i've got so far. will add more details as I figure out what else to add....BACK TO THE GRIND

Friday, July 19, 2013

Miniature IKEA HUSET furniture set review!

 WOOHOO! Cousin and aunt came over today, and since she had to pick up some items from IKEA, I happily went along, and on the way, babbled incessantly about how I cannot wait for August, the supposed release date for this set. So sorry, but I totally forgot where I first read about it, I do know it was from my FB stream, but I searched and searched and can't find the original link :( 

So anyway, when I came across it, I nearly died from the cuteness!~!~!! Don't care if it's to scale or whatever, it's toooooo cute! The box itself is 19.8 x 11.4 x 29cm (7 3/4 x 4 1/2 x 11 3/8 inches).

SO cute, my friend thought it's supposed to come with 2 sofas, but actually it's the sofa and the slip cover XD 

 so cute. the box has printed and punched drawings to use as background props!
 picture frames, books...
even windows! a fruit bowl that stands!!! and a parakeet!!!! so cute naaaa~

 Green side table LACK (thanks to those who alerted me to this! it didn't come in green so somehow never connected in my mind XD) is 7.1 (W) x 5.85 (H)cm or 2 3/4 x 2 9/32 inches. As for the yellow chair, I think it's the IKEA PS VÅGÖ, and according to the product dimensions, it has a seat height of 36cm. The seat height is approx 4.1cm (at lowest point, brought out my vernier callipers and stuck it through the hole :P), which makes it approximately 1:9 scale. REVISION: I measured it at the highest seat point, and it's 4.6cm, which means it's rounded up to 1:8 scale! You can view how it scales against my Revoltech Yotsuba, she is approximately 1:8 - 1:9 scale so I think it's a better fit for her :S

FAMNIG HJÄRTA heart cushion is 6cm wide (excluding arms!), although the product info says it's 40cm, i measured the 1:1 item instore, and it was approx 45cm. so that makes it approx 1:8 (1:7.5 actually, but if you haven't noticed, i'm mostly rounding up!) scale. 

I'm loving the sofa and the bookcase. The set also comes with a black and white rug, but I'm not gonna measure that :P The KLIPPAN pink sofa is 8.5(H) x 10.85 (W) x 22 (L) 3 5/16 x 4 1/4 x 8 3/4 inches. This makes this approx. 1:8 scale.

The EXPEDIT white shelving unit is 9.9 (W) x 4.9 (D) x 18.8 (H) cm  3 7/8 x 1 15/16 x 7 3/8 inches. So this shelf is also 1:8 scale.

 Of course, Yotsuba is approx 1:8 or 1:9 scale, which means she's more suited for this set (as a kid, she'd of course be smallish when seated on a large sofa!). 

 The sofa cover is removeable, and held together at the bottom with a velcro strip. 

Which means you can slip it off and replace it with your own cover ^ ^ YAY TIME TO PUT THAT SEWING MACHINE TO USE AGAIN. 

So overall, this has been a totally worthwhile purchase, the IKEA fan that I am :D Although it is rather small for Clover (she's a 1:4 10-12 y/o girl), I'm thinking the playscale/Barbie/Pullip/Blythe fans should have this set in their collection! As for BJD collectors, perhaps this could work for a YoSD, more as 'child-sized furniture'. I'll wait for any of my YoSD collector friends to update with photos :P :P :P 

All items are made of ABS plastic, and fabric made of polyester fibre.

BTW, I purchased this at the IKEA Tampines branch, and heard from a friend that the Alexandra branch has stocks too. It costs 25.90 SGD, and can be found at the Children's section.

For the tl;dr crowd, here's a summary of the measurements, and my rough scale conversions:

  • Green side table - LACK - 7.1(W) x 5.85(H)cm or 2 3/4" x 2 9/32" - 1:8 scale
  • Yellow chair - PS VÅGÖ, 4.6cm or 1 3/4" seat height - 1:8 scale
  • Heart cushion - FAMNIG HJÄRTA, 6cm or 2 3/8" wide - 1:8 scale
  • Pink Sofa - KLIPPAN is 8.5(H) x 10.85(W) x 22(L)cm or 3 5/16" x 4 1/4" x 8 3/4" - 1:8 scale
  • White Shelf - EXPEDIT is 9.9(W) x 4.9(D) x 18.8(H)cm  3 7/8" x 1 15/16" x 7 3/8" - 1:8 scale
EDIT: So after thinking about it a little more last night, I decided to re-measure the PS VAGO at the highest seat point, and TADAH EVERYTHING IS APPROX 1:8 SCALE! those who are more finicky will figure out it's about 1:7.5, 1:7.6 ish, but for the general population i'm sure 1:8 works just fine XD Also, thanks to a couple of my friends who highlighted that the side table was the LACK! :D

YEAH! So although it's hardly strict dollhouse one inch scale, i'm sure there are many mini modern collectors out there who wouldn't mind having this set in their collection. Rather affordable too, for its quality. Just a fair warning though, it is quite heavy. Also, hope i'm not repeating myself, though it's highly probable that someone else has already blogged about this.....I'm just so excited to finally get this WHEEE!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

DIY Miniature Lathe

This used to be my mother's Singer sewing machine. I spent most of last evening sitting on the floor, screwdriver in hand, dismantling it for parts. You can see how it used to look like here:

(sorry, don't know how to embed photos from instagram! don't think i can..........:( ) most of the plastic gears had broken, and i figured, it's cheaper to just get a new sewing machine (which i did) than get replacement parts. so i snuck it out of mom's room and took it apart hyukhyuk.

 Rather than muck about with the connections, decided it would be best to keep everything 'as is'. here's the switch.....

the motor...... 

the plug/socket

actually, the light was even kept (you can see it in the first photo)....there's even a short video clip of it in action after the first part of it was put together:

(click above link to view it!)

 The whole contraption was put together in a cheap wooden box that used to be my 'mini' woodworking worktop. the width just so happened to be perfect for the motor! ^ ^ The motor casing has wires sticking out of it at the base, so the four blocks were used to 'lift' it so it rests parallel to the table. 

 Here's the shaft thingy. I have no idea what everything is called, and struggled to find suitable parts on ebay :( Can anyone help with suggestions? I know the shaft is 1/4" and so I should get like maybe a socket with a 1/4" drive, but the collet that I use for my dremel doesn't (and won't) work since that plug thingy (the one with that small screw to hold it in place). It's smooth on the inside, no threads so there's no way for me to secure any other parts to it either....

....instead i used my hot glue gun to try and hold the rod in kinda sorta worked but since there's no way of placing the rod dead centre my initial turnings were kinda wonky T-T

The idea is not mine at all! I had been looking for an affordable lathe for a beginner, and since I have no intention of becoming a woodturner it seemed quite a costly investment (USD$500 after shipping!? might as well get a Unimat, though am not sure i'm ready for that either). So a quick search on Google threw up quite a number of DIY ideas, the one I especially liked was by Youtube user Kula Moku (pyroneph)

TBH, I think it was his old craft blog with how-to on making molds from silicon sealants that led me to his videos and I tucked the idea at the back of my mind. He has all sorts of cool videos on DIY and How-Tos, check out the one where he converts a coke glass bottle into a drinking glass! yow! makes me nervous thinking i'd have to drink from it, but the technique is cool!

here's the video where he shows how to put everything together. 

Also, back then when I was researching lathes and drill presses, the room setup didn't quite allow for more machines. Not that it does now, which is why I'm glad this contraption is so compact it fits in a Daiso shoebox WOOT WOOT

So after initial playing around using acrylic rods (from Art Friend), it became evident that a better way to secure the rods that were larger than the hole was necessary. that, and finding the centre :( short of rushing down to the DIY store, which I also highly doubt would carry what I need, decided to go ahead and add the last part, the uhm, forgot the name. dead centre? anchor? 

uhm. this part. found a 1.5cm square length of wood in the storeroom, glued, screwed and nailed this part together. the bottom length is adjustable and was clamped down as i worked on that teeny 4mm diameter dowel.

the results were MUCH MUCH better just with that holding the end down, which makes me think maybe i needn't worry that much about finding an accurate centre, this isn't precision work after all. but it's still very irritating having to pluck out the dried hot glue stuff each time i change the rod. grr.

as for the carving tools, am still learning how to hold it against the turned item, and i think the next thing to learn is how to sharpen them :-/ as you can see, everything fits neatly into a shoebox ^ ^

i hope to have better results tomorrow, will see if i can turn like, a bowl or plate or summat. WISH ME LUCK!

p.s. no animals or Cindys were hurt in the process :D

Friday, July 5, 2013

1:12 Miniature Dimsum Steamer Baskets, DONE!

 Look at me, blogging more than once a week again ;) I got a momentum going and made more steamers in various sizes, 1/2, 3/4 and 1 inch diameters!

 enjoyed the weaving process, though the preparation of the bamboo bark is quite a pain. went with the chevron pattern again :)

I started weaving the lid last night, and my eyesight has never been good (astigmatism) especially at night, and hadn't noticed the colour difference till it was done *heavy sigh* I know it's kind of 'realistic' but there's just this stupid niggly bug in my brain that craves uniformity and symmetry. yeah yeah, you know this of me already. and I'm SUPER SURE many of you miniaturists out there are THE SAME so 'fess up!!! ;P

wanted to weave a base for the larger 1" steamer, and turns out the same chevron pattern can look quite different! ^ ^ super happy.

my attempt at an arty-farty shot of the base. added 3 strips for 'reinforcement', thinking a foot wide steamer would need it eh? i think it's purty.

I am going to write a full tutorial for these and put it up on Etsy, but not so soon. Will have to figure out lighting issues first heh :-/

now I'm craving dimsum, and there's no good stalls nearby. MEH! the perils of being a mini-food maker XD first world problems.................*mental kick to own head*

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Miniature Dimsum Steamer Basket

Hello!~ It's SO GOOD to be back working in 1:12. :D I spent more than 9 hours making this set of dimsum steamer baskets. You can view a short video clip on how well it stacks up over on my Instagram :)

It is 1/2" diameter (1.25cm) and made out of bamboo strips (which I got from Daiso ages ago!). The hardest part is the weaving of the cover portion, I didn't want to do a typical crossweave, and though I did a google search for how to weave chevron patterns, my patience wore out quickly (less than 10 mins haha) and decided to just GO FOR IT.

2 splinters and a dusty workspace later, TADAH~! DONE
more failures AIEEEEEE OTL

It's been really nice getting back to 1:12. so many ideas bouncing around in my head. Also, ordered some more resins and silicon pours from Wee Tee Tong,  (you can read about my earlier misadventures with moldmaking here), and am shopping around for a good reuseable mask. I'm thinking of getting the 3M 7000 series, but with filters and attachments and whatnots, it's gonna set me back SGD$100++ :( grarggh. this minimaking thing is like some RPG, keep having to earn gold to upkeep and upgrade my gear. hnnnghhhhhhhhhh. and i HATE grinding!!! T-T

ah well. really oughta go concentrate on getting more done. IT'S SO GOOD TO BE BACK!~!!

(seems traffic here has died down somewhat, guess instagram and facebook has something to do with it :-/ do people still read blogs at all!??)