One fabrication technique that is not often associated with model making is welding. While styrene plastic and glue are staples of some model designs, many more are made out of metal for stability, longevity and appearance. One way to fasten metal model parts to each other is by welding, or a similar technique: soldering. While not every model maker is skilled in this trade, it’s helpful to have the training and equipment on hand in a professional model shop.
Welding is the process of bonding parts together by applying heat to two pieces of metal and melting them together along with a filler material to form a strong joint when cooled. Soldering is similar but does not actually melt the work pieces themselves, only the filler material between them which has a lower melting point, thus requiring less heat application.
Types of models that may need welding or soldering application vary. If a model needs to hold up to heavy handling by the client it might be considered a good candidate for brass, sheet metal or stainless steel. A more delicate material would not hold up to rigorous use. As with most models, the purpose or intended use informs the materials and fabrication techniques involved.
Currently KiwiMill has two models in the shop that required welding. One is a large-scale model of an asphalt plant and the other is a model of an expandable shipping container. One of our model makers has apprenticed with another in-house master welder to complete these projects.
KiwiMill’s model shop recently acquired additional office furniture for their expanding needs. Chairs, tables, desks etc… A fairly straightforward approach was used to outfit the office space .
But when it comes to the workshop area, creativity reigns. Why buy a table when a model maker is capable of making his own? Looking around the shop space, a too large table was not being utilized enough. Solution? Cut it down into two tables, lower the height, reweld it together – and you have two “new” tables that serve a better purpose.
Inventiveness in the model making profession does not always result in highly exciting end projects. Sometimes it’s used to solve everyday, mundane problems.
KiwiMill created 4 distinct model displays for our client, MSM, designers of the Kodak trade show exhibit at CES 2011. The purpose of the displays were to highlight the motion capture abilities of newly introduced cameras. Trade show participants could explore highly visual scenes through the camera’s lens while visiting the Kodak booth.
Our model makers were given the task of designing four separate model displays incorporating motion, color, lights and intriguing visuals. The themes were the following:
a realistic miniature scale model of Times Square
a vignette of real objects in a Las Vegas casino
a stylistic sculpture evoking the atmosphere of a night club
a whimsical display capturing a snowboarding sports scene
In two days Las Vegas will be descended upon by the biggest names in consumer technology. January 6-9 marks the 45th year of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Hosted by CEA, it’s the biggest trade show event of the consumer electronics industry, with companies typically introducing new products and technology over a 4 day period. Past products and technologies debuted at this event include: Blu-Ray discs, HDTV – 3D, DVR, HD radio, Plasma TV, Xbox, NES, DVD, CD, Camcorder, Laserdisc, and VCR.
KiwiMill made several display models for our client, Mirror Show Management, to be displayed in the Kodak trade show booth at CES this weekend. (Booth 31400, South Hall Upper level). Check back here in the coming weeks for in-shop pictures and tutorials of the models we provided for MSM’s Exhibit Greatness ™.
The trade show models are finished. Final details have been applied, displays blown off and cleaned up from sitting in the dusty shop and photographs taken for the company portfolio. (Check back for pictures of the final displays in the near future).
Finishing up a project in themodel makingworld means undertaking yet one more assignment : the design and creation of shipping crates. Model makers uniquely know what is the best way to transport their wares. Measurements are taken and boxes are built according to the specific needs of the model itself, as well as the client.
After careful placement in their crates, the trade show model displays go out the door to our valued client and on to the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Safe travels…
Model shop workers at KiwiMill are busy this week creating trade show displays. The conception or design phase of the project – determining how and with what materials to build the displays and ordering and gathering those materials – has given way to fruitful days of action fabricating and assembling these creations. Soon it will be time to provide the detailing and finishing touches that will bring the team’s vision alive in a final product for the client.
KiwiMill model makers (formerly A & M Model Makers), recently moved to a larger space with nary a pause in production. The newly designed space offers a more efficient layout and additional equipment to continue to provide clients with state-of-the-art designs in the shortest time frame possible. Superior quality, in a safe environment, remains the paramount focus at all times. KiwiMill is very excited about its new model shop.