How's things? Hope you've all had a great week. Well… we did it! We got the whole darn showroom carpet laid last weekend and even managed to get half of the racking back in place before we knocked off for our Saturday curry. Rather tough on the knees but it was worth the effort, and it's made the showroom feel much more welcoming and indeed more like a room. We had a bit of a shuffle around too, moving the Dunn Street layout back downstairs as that always draws attention and rejigging the layout of the product displays to make them more engaging too. The next step now is to source some suitable seating to create a comfortable waiting area where you guys can sit for a few minutes while you're waiting for your orders to be prepared or for something to be cut on the lasers.
And as we're not really doing exhibitions at the moment, we've hung our growing collection of show banners up on the wall on the far side of the shopfloor which makes a rather large, boring white wall a little more “on brand” as they say. Now we just need to get more stuff on show for when you visit.
Here's how the showroom looks as of Friday afternoon… Not bad at all I don't think… And those stairs look far better in dark grey than they did unpainted :)
Other than getting that all sorted, we've been cracking on with more behind the scenes stuff this week… Tina's been sorting offcuts out in the laser room. And of course we've been getting your orders out the door pretty sharpish too!
Oh… and big news… we've been nominated for the Customer Service award in the BRM awards 2023… and I think in the TT:120 category too. So I've got a big ask… If you love what we do and are happy with the service we provide, please will you consider voting for us? If you would like to, all you need to do is click here and follow your nose to vote.
Product Development - Latest News
Stu's been busy working on a lovely wooden rural platform this week which is almost ready to release. Sam's been off for a couple of days but he's been making a little progress on a diorama he's working on for his Beginners Corner on the blog which will be launching soon.
And I've finally had a little time at my desk… not a lot… but a little and I've finished the new KX049-OO Engineering Works which is a low relief building based on the real thing which is up in Loughborough. It's a lovely, brick built industrial building, that uses the rather quirky Flemish Garden Brick Bond for quite a unique finish. I have to say, I've loved every minute of the design of this building. Even though it's got 17 windows! As part of the development, I've also created a brand-new wooden flooring texture which we've used on the upper floors and I'm absolutely in love with it! So, I'll make that available as a separate texture asap. I was hoping to have it ready yesterday but kinda ran out of time. So that'll be first on my list for Monday now.
Right then… time to hand over to Sam for this weekend's videos…
Morning all. Hope everyone is doing well and is having a great week. Things seem to have settled in the hobby a bit after the last few weeks. Have to say I've been seeing some fantastic modelling of late, especially over in our community so if you aren't a part of that I'd definitely recommend joining. Anyway, time for my selection of videos.
Building Simpsons house miniature out of scratch // Diorama building
I'm a massive fan of The Simpsons (I'm sure many of you are too) and have been watching it since I was young so when I saw this video I knew I had to feature it in the newsletter. The diorama itself is brilliantly made and captures the style of the show perfectly. ONNI Crafts have many other videos recreating buildings, scenes and objects from TV shows, movies, games and books. Another video by them that I really enjoyed was their recreation of the Planet Express building from Futurama which I am also a huge fan of - hence Fry being my profile picture on the club. In the video, everything is made from scratch and every step is filmed.
My only complaint about this video is the music can get slightly irritating so if you aren't good with that sort of thing then it might be worth watching on mute! Apart from this, it's a cracking video and I love seeing stuff like this.
Modelling Roads And Pavements
Next, we have a tutorial from Charles Smiley Presents Videos. There is an incredible amount of tips in the video, even briefly covering embankments and hills. A couple notable points he makes is the inclusion of a raised center to ensure water doesn't pile up in the middle and the use of pressed fibre soundboards to form distressed pavements. I'm currently making a diorama (which will be filmed and put on YouTube) and it does feature a road so I will personally be giving this video a watch when I'm creating it. His presentation skills are great and clearly goes through every step that you'll need to create some brilliant roads.
The Secret Weapon for Making REALISTIC Rocks?!
Look at that, another video with "secret" in the title! However, this isn't exactly a secret but none-the-less it is a great method to create realistic rock faces. Geordie Crafts goes over how you can use plastercine to create a mould which she then fills with Sculptamold but a homemade version works as well. When I was younger I used to love creating little models with plastercine and wanted to go into animation so it's cool to see it being used for a diorama. The production of this video is up to scratch, every step is clear and she goes through what products and methods are being used. Her channel is full of high quality content so it's worth checking out if you enjoy this one.
Building A Zen Garden Diorama
Andddd for my last selection, I wanted to go for something calming. Jordi Elias is a YouTuber who has a small selection of videos but they are all impressive. In the one I've decided to show you guys, he creates a Zen Garden Diorama. This is a more ASMR style video compared to the other ones which I do prefer as you get a bit lost in it. Therapeutic stuff. Like the other videos, he takes you through step by step on how he creates this diorama. First, using extruded polystyrene which he carves to give him the base. From here, he uses clay to add texture and smooth out some surfaces. For the main building, he uses a laser cut kit of a little dojo. Won't spoil the whole video so give it a watch!
Well, that's it from me. Fingers crossed that you enjoyed these videos. Unfortunately no LEGO this week but I do believe Brickcrafts uploads weekly so you know I'm going to be checking it out. Have a great weekend.
Right then… it's time for links to the new stuff. Or at least the new thing!
- KX049-OO G.T.C. Engineering Works - OO/4mm/1:76
As I said earlier… super pleased with the way this has turned out. Lots of scope for customisation (the real thing is being turned into swanky modern flats so that's an option if you're modelling the present day)… And it's got fully detailing interior walls, floors & ceilings too. If you fancy one, you can find out more and order yours here.
More Industrial Buildings & Detailing Accessories
If you're building an industrial scene on your layout, as well as the new KX049-OO Engineering Works, we have a growing range of industrial buildings spanning a wide range of eras dating back to the 1930's and earlier, through to the present day. We also produce a huge range of industrial detailing accessories too:
Right… that's about it for this edition of the weekly news. We're off to take Lola for a walk then I think we might pop into the village for a coffee. Then we've got some sorting out to do in the shed (we've still got boxes of junk we've not touched since we moved down here nearly 4 years ago).
Have an amazing weekend folks… and of course…
Keep on shunting…
Justin, Tina, Elizabeth, Lola & The Team
P.P.S. Missed a newsletter? You can read all of our recent newsletters online here.