Wooden model class at Columbia Area Career Center

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Would you like to build and display something like this? Building wooden models engages the mind and hands, teaching patience and craftsmanship. It’s a hobby I really enjoy, and can be pursued on a tight budget with creativity and planning. While interacting with communities online, I’ve found that many new modelers tend to ask the same questions, face the same confusions, and make the same mistakes. Model-building is a hands-on, tactile experience and it’s hard to convey answers and experience through the web, yet many people also don’t have in-person access to other modelers.

On Saturday, February 20th, 2016, I’m offering an Introduction to Building Wooden Models class through the Columbia Area Career Center, from 9 a.m. to noon. Attendees will explore basic skills for kit or scratch-built models. While I’ll be drawing on my own experience with maritime, aircraft, and model-railroad structural models, I hope to facilitate discussion within the group to bring out as many different experiences and perspectives as possible.

Topics and skills discussed will include:

  • Choosing kits or designs (will include perusal of several unbuilt kits)
  • Laying out a workspace
  • Acquiring materials
  • Cutting, bending, and shaping wood
  • Choosing and using tools & glues
  • Stains, paints, and other finishes
  • Online & text resources for modelers
  • Open discussion of questions & experiences

I will display numerous models (see below) for attendees to examine and critique, and encourage attendees to bring their own, whether finished or in-progress, for the same purpose. I hope to make this class as hands-on and interactive as possible, so that afterwards attendees can draw on the experience for the confidence to tackle modelling projects. All ages from young adult upward are welcome.

Here’s my current project, a scratch-built model of the Missouri River steamboat Bertrand, which sank north of Omaha, NE in 1865 and is the subject of a museum at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge.bertrand_20c

Other models on display, both kit- and scratch-built, will include various other watercraft, a working aircraft, and an array of buildings:

keelboats

railroad_buildings

I hope this will be a fun morning of sharing experiences and ideas among the attending group, and look forward to both teaching and learning more about this interesting hobby.

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