June 2010 Miniature Collector

 I don’t often do the projects in miniature magazines (dunno why), but the half-inch scale travel trailer project by Robin Betterley, in the June and July 2010 issues of Miniature Collector magazine, caught my eye. I love her 1/4-scale kits, plus I needed a relaxing, inexpensive and fun project, so I went for it. All of the artwork for the trailer is included in the magazine (both issues), plus easy to follow instructions.

Scroll down for lots of pics, plus some tips for making the project.

Attaching sides (windows/door with screens and trim in place) using gluing jig with magnets.

Gluing sides to floor.

Gluing sides to floor, another shot. Jig helps keep the sides perfectly square to the floor.

More challenging: Gluing on the roof. I started by securing the highest side (where the table will go)

Another shot of roof gluing in progress. Securing the tallest side. Gluing jig is my friend.

Roof in progress with assistant looking on...er...sleeping.

Roof glued in place: Front. Window with awning cut. I decided not to cut a hole for the roof vent, afraid of messing up the roof. Will fake it later.

Roof in place: Back. Silver tape has been added to bottom of both sides.

Roof finished with silver tape on the edges, the awning window trimmed, with awning braces in place.

Next I need to finish the outside (bumper, roof vent, etc.), then I start with the interior.

Helpful hints (Or, what I learned the hard way):

1. Have plenty of waxed paper around when gluing the artwork to the walls and roof. The YES paste gets everywhere!! (On me, the worktable, the project, the cat). Apply paste sparingly and work everything on waxed paper.

2. When creating the roof curve (see the instructions in the magazine), put the roof inside a folded piece of waxed paper. That way, when the cardboard is curved around and clamped (I used masking tape), it’s not mistakenly glued together. Plus I could use masking tape to clamp it to dry and not ruin the artwork.

3. I didn’t have any black gauze handy, so I painted white gauze black. That gave it a nice stiffness as well.

4. Go slowly. It’s not a long project but take time to make it pretty–it’s cardboard and paper which is easily damaged (although surprisingly sturdy once it’s constructed.)

5. I’ve been using Folk Art metallic silver acrylic paint for the whole project, in my quest to be as non-toxic as possible (partly because I am a clutz). It might not be as glossy as spray paint, but it looks fine and hey, a trailer like this would sit out in the rain.

6. My masking tape stuck to the waxed paper pretty thoroughly once it was painted (in other words, I couldn’t get the tape off again!). So I left a “tail” of tape sticking out so I could start peeling it from the paper.

7.  If pieces of the silver tape don’t stick, tacky glue helps stick it down.

8. Trimming the interior of the two roof windows was a booger once the roof was on, and my messiest work. Hard to see how to do it before, though, because the window essentially bends.

9. Have a “helper” to keep you company (see photo).

The helper. He’s excited about this project.


The June 2010 and July 2010 issues of Miniature Collector can be ordered from: http://scottpublications.com/mcmag/ My local mini shop also carries back issues (I imagine many do). (The quarter-inch project on the cover of the Oct. issue looks good too, sigh.)