Mike Has a Hobby

One of my favorite hobbies is building things, putting things together.  I LOVE Lego sets, I have several sets, but my current projects are metal models.  They are from Fascinations and are called Metal Works, you can find them on the web at www.fascinations.com/mm.  I’ve done about nine so far, but they have a huge selection of models.  Here are a few I’ve done so far:

The Titanic, before the mishap

The Titanic, before the mishap

A Mitsubishi Zero

A Mitsubishi Zero

A Windmill

A Windmill

Some tower in France

Some tower in France

A Lighthouse

A Lighthouse

Some building in New York

Some building in New York

The greatest castle of all time

The greatest castle of all time

London Bridge in package.

London Bridge in package.

I just got a new one in, The London Bridge. I’m going to talk about putting one of these together, and I wanted to see what I could do with photos. 🙂 This is what the packaging looks like…

Out of the package

Out of the package

First, you have to take it out of the packaging, I learned this the hard way on my first one! This is what the sprue looks like…

This particular one has two sheets of metal, some have one and others have three, the castle above used three. The instructions are pretty simple, sometimes a little too simple. It’s just a drawing with numbers on it showing you vaguely how it goes together.  You pop the pieces out either by cutting or wiggling.  You then bend them to the correct shape and attach them together with tabs inserted into slots, then you either bend the tab or twist it 90 degrees, whichever is needed at the time.

Step One

Step One

These are the first three pieces, the first tower and the walkways that will attach to the other tower. In this case both sides are assembled the exact same, so they only showed how to do it once. Pretty good space saver, eh? When attaching the walkways, I decided to twist the tabs because space was limited and the tabs were not going to be seen. This does give it a nice, firm connection, as long as you don’t over twist and break the tab off. I hear that happens…

Step two

Step 2

Here, we add the towers and cables to the main towers. The small towers were a pain to bend just right, and the cables need to be attached to them before you attach the corner tower to the main tower. Twisting the tabs is necessary here due to space limitations. Adding things like this to a corner is a pain in the ass. You will have two sets of tabs going two different directions, and it can be tricky. There was a lot of that on the castle.

Gate House

Step 3, 4, and 5

I’ve finished the four towers on each of the main towers, now I’ve added the gate house, one at each end as well as the roadway itself. The gate part was pretty easy as it’s just a square. I did attach it to the cables first, then bend it around, but still, pretty simple. The road itself wasn’t bent at all, just the tabs.  It was about this time I realized I have the Divinals song “I Touch Myself” running through my head.  It had been there all day, and I’m not sure why.

 

One of the things I love about building things like this is the fact that my mind clears while I work on it.  When I was in the loony bin (technical term you know) they had us do these arts and crafts projects to occupy our minds.  In my case, it doesn’t take any thought at all and I kind of zone out.  My stresses disappear and i can think clearly.  It’s a good time to let creative ideas just flow naturally through my head.

 

Connected Sides

The Two Towers

Here I jumped ahead a bit, sorry about that.  I added the bases to the two towers, which the rounded parts were a pain to get right.  There are two tabs at either end of it that are parallel to the straight part of the base, so you have to pre-bend them a bit to get them to go in right.  I found going from the outside in looked better and hid the tabs nicely.  After that we connected the walkways to the other tower.  This was a bitch, as there were four tabs to try to go into the slots all at the same time.  This is almost always a pain.  Twisting wasn’t happening this time as the tabs are down inside the already formed tower, so I used a metal nail file to bend them instead.  Some soothing music might help here.

The draw bridge.

Step…I forget

Here I added the draw bridge under the towers. It was one piece with two easy bends. About this time I was thinking about how soon my wife would be home and I couldn’t wait for kisses. Weird fact: because of my OCD, I almost always have to kiss her three times. Not sure why, but I kinda freak a little if its only one or two. There do seem to be exceptions to this rule, but I don’t know them. Sometimes one is fine, never two though.

The roof, the roof...

The roof, the roof…

 

Here is a really bad picture of the roof on the towers. They were simply two triangles on each side with two tabs holding them on. You have to bend here since they are external and can be seen. Don’t want sharp bits poking out, do we?

Bridge Done

Finished!

 

 

 

Here we have the finished London Bridge. This was not the most difficult one I have done (Titanic) nor the easiest (Eiffel Tower) but it was still a lot of fun.

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed sharing my hobby with you.  If you would like to see my next model, the Tower of Pisa, let me know.  I’m also thinking of doing reviews of movies and games, if you would like, comment on that.  Hell, tell me what movie or game (board, card, video) you would like to know about.

I love you all, be good to each other.

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3 Responses to Mike Has a Hobby

  1. mom says:

    Im so glad you found a hobby to help you with your creativity and relaxation. Love seeing the finished project come together.

  2. I love the zone out activities. The things that you only realize you need to stop b/c your hand is shaking too much from not eating in so long and you keep messing up so, unfortunately, you have to stop and get back to the rest of the world. Priceless when we find things that do this to us.

    • mikemeader says:

      I had to do that with my counted cross stitch. Was off one whole row on a section, had to tear it all out. Thankfully I have an amazing wife who makes sure I eat and take care of myself. Without her, I’d probably be dead.

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