Test fitting the pieces on the jig also helps me make certain everything is on spec and how I want it to be before soldering everything together.
A closer exam revealed something was off, as one end wasn’t lining up correctly on my marks. Tracking down the source of the error, showed the the mating edge between the middle bay and one end was out of square (photo above). A little careful filing by hand trued up the fit.
I also checked the other mating edges for squareness as now is the time to fix things. Accurate scratch building is as much about thorough detective work as making the parts.
The mating edge slope sheets is square (photo left). Left as is, this joint would be weak and use an excessive amount of solder. As seen on the right, I added a bevel for a tighter fit and to provide more surface area for the solder to bond to. It’s a small step that results in cleaner work and more strength.
In the image below, the hopper bays are joined and a preliminary cleanup of both joints begun. Once again I didn’t bother to secure anything in place. Using a torch to heat the parts allowed gravity to be a useful clamp until the solder flowed.
Scratch building truly starts inside
I don’t consider myself to be a skilled modeler. There is no end to the number of people who are more talented and experienced than I am. I am however, exceptionally happy with this progress and outcome. Work like this doesn’t happen by itself. It’s the result of a deliberate process of developing new habits. As a result, at the end of each day I know more about the work than I did the previous day. I’ll know more tomorrow and next week than I do today.
This understanding has proven critical to developing as a modeler. I’ve learned beyond doubt that a bunch of fancy tools and techniques is truly secondary to your ability to learn and grow from the inside. I love the challenges involved and coming up with simple solutions using materials I have on hand. The more I do this, the more readily the answers come. I haven’t been this engaged or contented by the work in a long, long time.
As I shared in the response to Chris Roy’s comment from the last post, I’ve internalized the knowledge that I can do work of this nature. Our literature doesn’t touch on this, so it may sound strange and unfamiliar. Instead, readers are encouraged to look for answers outside of ourselves rather than within. In my experience this is sad and robs people of the joy of discovery and satisfaction that only comes from a personal victory over a troublesome problem. It may be an old fashioned viewpoint but I’m an old fashioned modeler. My willingness to do practice pieces and remake parts as many times as needed until I get the desired quality may seem a waste of time and materials to some. In my view however, they are an investment in the future of the work. I believe them to be well worth the effort.
I won’t be giving a step by step update or review of this work but will return to it now and then.