For something a little different, I thought I’d share a bit of what I do for a living. Several people on the RNL have asked in the past, and though I have tried to explain it, it is difficult to understand. What I do is one of those things that is easier to understand when you see it. For instance, this is a commission job I recently finished (anybody recognize what it is and which squadron it’s from?):
And this is a project I finished this week and am now selling to the global modeling community. It is a resin replacement cockpit for a WW II German fighter plane, a FW 190A-8 to be specific:
What I do is take the original kit parts and either correct them by modification or replacement or – as in the case with this cockpit – I make a completely new, historically accurate and highly detailed replacement for what comes in the kit. I make most of the masters from scratch, usually with just plain plastic stock and hand tools, or — sometimes — a miniature milling machine and a lathe. Then I use the masters to make rubber molds, which I then use to make 2-part polymer resin castings which are packaged and sold to the end user to build up in his own model. I am the very epitome of the cottage industry as I run EVERY aspect of my business, and I do it from a shop in my back yard (and yes, I sometimes work in my PJ’s).
As a comparison, this is a technical drawing from a German maintenance manual for the FW 190A-8:
In addition to what I have posted here, I do rapid-prototyping work for the electronics industry. I have cast for the U.S. Air Force, Motorola USA, Honeywell Batteries and Global Technologies. I have also done work for a rather accomplished Hollywood special effects artist who is something of a mentor of mine. If you have seen the Terminator series, Spiderman and Dr. Octopus, AI and any number of Spielberg movies, you have seen my mentor’s work.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be in business. This is a manufacturing company that depends on petroleum-based materials. I am treated just like I was Dow Corning Chemical — NO BREAKS for being a small, 1-man shop. As a result, I have a big, fat, Obama-Target on my back and the EPA-IRS-99%er drones overhead. Needless to say, I feel very much like an unappreciated and very endangered species.
Anyway, I had a few minutes and thought I’d post something a little different for a change.Consider this my best effort at a human interest story (with just the right amount of self-conceit thrown in – just for Kells ;-) )
My ultimate master piece and crowning glory can be seen in this thread. LOTS of pictures of something that fits in your hand..