Tag Archives: kiwimill

Busy Summer at the Model Shop

This has been a very busy time at KiwiMill model shop. Many exciting projects have been quoted, awarded, drawn up, fabricated, finished and shipped these past few months. All of our model makers love being busy. It’s what they are trained for – going from one project to the next without a break, crafting pieces that go right out the door as soon as they are complete. It’s easy to take for granted the depth and breadth of models that leave the shop when you work at this level of  artistry, precision and speed.

Sometimes it’s nice to step back for a moment and reflect on the projects that come through the model shop during any given time period. The past few months alone have seen military vehicles, warehouses, satellites, solar arrays, nuclear reactors, rockets, tank skids, servers, radiators, bioreactors an airport hanger and a nose cone. The creative energy of our model makers thrives on this variety. No two custom model projects are the same. Every day something new is learned by our master craftspeople.

There is never enough time to revel in the accomplishments here at KiwiMill; always the next project is waiting for our attention. But I wanted to take a moment to share some casual model shop pictures of the models I have watched go out the door so far this summer.

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Pending Model Shop Move

model shop

Next month KiwiMill will be moving to a new model shop. Our model makers are very excited to have this building designed and renovated to their specifications. The new building is self standing, and will include everything necessary to continue producing world class scale models. There will be several individual computer work stations and work benches, a clean room, assembly area, staging and packing space, paint booth, large machinery room, cast and mold station, 3D printing area, offices and reception area.

KiwiMill’s owner has been looking for the perfect space to purchase for some time. The staff has toured the new model shop and helped design the flow of the space so that it maximizes efficiency and production. Currently the interior rooms are being gutted, rewired, dry walled and painted along with new lighting, flooring and windows. We will continue updating our blog with the progress as the moving date gets closer.

model shop

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House Model Prop for “How It’s Made” Television Program

KiwiMill just built a house model for Cavco to be used as a television prop for How It’s Made, on the Discovery Channel (Canada) and  Science Channel (USA).

This scale house model was created in less than a week and shipped to Canada in time for a taping of the show.  After the model is used in the TV episode it will serve as a sales model back at the home offices.

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Model Maker How To: Martini Glass Display Model

Making a Martini Glass

display model

Everyone needs to know how to create their own display model of a martini glass, don’t you think?

What you need for this project:

  •  clear & fluorescent acrylic
  •  ren board
  •  plywood & bolts
  •  wood dowels
  •  laser cutter
  •  lathe
  •  band saw
  •  disc sander
  •  drill press
  •  oven
  •  paint
  •  solvent

Model Maker, Scott, started with a piece of plywood, cutting an 8 inch diameter circle in it to form a frame for the lip of the martini glass. He then clamped a piece of clear acrylic into the frame using bolts.

The frame was given legs to lift it off the surface. This gave room for the slumping action to take place underneath. The frame was placed in the oven to be heated.

It came out of the oven with a typical parabola shape to it. Immediately a wooden dowel was pushed down into the center of it while still hot to form the more conical shape of a martini glass. The dowel was held in place until the shape cooled.

While the glass shape was still in its frame it was brought to the laser cutter. The laser was used to cut the martini glass out, following the inside edge of the 8 inch diameter frame.

The base of the martini glass was slumped in a similar manner. Less heat was applied because the slump was much shallower on the base.

Clear acrylic tubing was then put in the lathe and tapered to match the curve of both the top and base of the martini glass. Solvent bonded the three pieces together.

The olive was made from ren board and shaped on the lathe. A hole was drilled through the center of the olive for the “tooth pick” using the drill press.

The pimento was a strip of fluorescent acrylic heated flat in the oven. It was folded over and stuffed into the core of the olive. Then the olive was primed and painted.

Finally, a wooden dowel was tapered with the disc sander and thread through the hole in the olive and placed into the glass.

Voilà!

At this point our model maker went home and fixed himself a real martini.

Click HERE for a picture of the martini glass on display at CES2011, Las Vegas.

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