The Barge: Episode 3 – Fine Detailing

It's the end of the road! The final episode of The Barge is now live on YouTube. I have to say it was quite an experience making such a detailed series, and a part of me is glad that it's over so that I can move on to the next thing.

Now this episode is all about adding details to the barge. The objective was to try on different techniques to achieve precisely what I wanted to achieve - basically an ugly old barge still generating revenue for its owner. There were a variety of topics that I covered in this episode:

  • Weathering wood in an easy 4 step method (a technique I intend to perfect in my future projects)

  • Making model tarp. I just went cheap and used parchment paper from Mouli's kitchen supply.

  • Making N Scale tires out of heat shrink tubes, now that was fun. I found that heat shrink tubes have the ingrained rubbery texture, and with a little effort it is very easy to used tired out of them, at least in smaller scales like N and HO.

  • Customizing N Scale figures to suit a scene. Now that was somewhat challenging and I have to say that my figure painting efforts in 1:72 definitely helped (Video below). But yes, the humans are less than half the size in N Scale and it was quite a challenge, and in the end I am satisfied with the end results considering those humans are just 11 mm tall.

  • Making grain out of saw dust, the classic model scenery material. It was quite exciting how something so commonplace looks accurate in miniature if used right.

  • Finally, some realistic mooring details. I am really a fond of doing mooring the way it's done in real life - using the friction of the rope (read thread) to hold things in place. You'll be surprised to see that the principle works as good in a world that is 160 times smaller as it does in ours!

Overall, it was a very satisfying project. Needless to say that I spent much more time filming, editing, doing voice over and mastering the series as I spent on the actual build - in my rough estimate, well over 100 hours. I hope it serves as a good reference for N Scale model making for people out there since it is quite an effort to make these videos. And more time I spend making them, more I started to realize how difficult it is for all the top creators out there in YouTube - it literally a full time job! I have no goal of being an YouTube celebrity (though the appreciation that I received so far towards all the effort is definitely encouraging), I've really started appreciating people out there who make a living out of it.

Coming to the build itself, that wasn't very easy either, but that is much closer to my comfort zone. I refreshed my favorite port of the hobby - scratch building, and reminded myself that irrespective of how good the latest kits and ready made models are, for me, building things ground up completely on your own using commonplace items is still the most exciting part of the hobby. Yes, it takes a lot of time - so much so, that Wrightsville Port is still not complete (*sigh), but whenever I look at my models, I can relate. The models have evolved over time - the materials, my skills and maturity, my knowledge of the real world, the money I can spend to purchase new item... all that contribute to the evolution of how I build, but every time I look at my old models, I see that I did the best I could at that stage of my life and stayed true to the spirit of model making - replicate the world in miniatures. When I placed the barge in the middle of the quay, it basically became a background model. My ships Severus and Sirius or Goj the tug boat in front of the barge have many flaws compared to the barge, but somehow, they all fit in the perfect harmony for the fact that they are my best efforts at the time of building them. And surprisingly none of them stand out despite being made a decade apart. Now, that is something.

On another positive note, the Facebook page has hit over a 1000 likes - so that's pretty cool as well! So if you haven't done it already, just hit that subscribe button on the page that you can find on the right hand side widget.

Well, now that the big project is done, time to do something else. My hands itch to build something new - so, what's it gonna be?

 

By the way, here is the 1:72 scale figure painting video:

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