It is hard to believe that it was almost ten years ago I witnessed a CNC router in action for the very first time. I was fascinated and simply had to have one! Although I had been in the creative end of the three dimensional sign business for most of my life I didn't really know what I would do with one of these machines - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Along with the CNC router I discovered the wonderful material called Precision Board and the glues, primers and other companion products they offer. Since then we have gone through many tons of the material using it in most signs and projects we tackle. This journal will chronicle our many adventures both past, present and future. I'll talk from the perspective of someone who pushes these products to the creative limit on a daily basis. I'll be adding to the stories two or three times each week. -dan

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Pirate train model

We are building a pirate train for Scallywag Bay. We have partnered with one of the best train builders in the world for the project. Hillcrest Shops, from California is building the chassis of the engine and rail cars. It all started with a concept drawing. The first version was an 0-40 meaning it didn't have any forward wheels, but had four driving wheels. No trailer or tender wheels were present.

As we progressed through the design it became an 0-6-0 to ensure it was stable on the winding track.

The chassis is coming along quickly in the shop in California. Look close at the picture below and you'll see a Disney steam engine in the background. It is undergoing a full rebuild.

As we talked about endless things with the chassis builder we decided the easiest way to get our ideas across was to build two models. One would be for our permanent collection and the second would go the Hillcrest shops.  Because the real chassis is so precise the model needed the same treatment. It was routed from thirty pound Precision Board.

Once the mechanical bits were in place it was time for some sculpting. I did the first bit on the first model to set the tone and scale. 

Then Jenessa took over with minimal art direction from me. She did a fabulous job on every detail.

On Friday Jenessa finished the sculpting process. I still have to stick on the rope rigging and the connecting rods and running gear. Then we are on to paint.