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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chapter 47 - The Bannister to the First Floor Landing, The Shōji to Left Front Porch, The Telephone

May 20 - 24th 2012

Well, right off, the phone has already been put together so here is a little pic of it inside the phone booth.  As I had already written, I added the LED light in there to give it a kind of run down look inside the booth.  I think it came out great - also considering I almost lost some pieces...

The shōji was simple yet at the same time, when it comes time to install them into the runners, the paper backing creates some obstacle to smooth movement.  Next time, I will install the paper a little further up so they will slide easier for opening and closing.  There is no pic of this since the last chapter showed two out of the four installed.  Just the same thing.

The next project was the bannister and the floor landing from a  previous chapter.  That meant I had to properly install the 1st floor on top of the bottom to insure a good fit for the landing.  Working that out, the stairs wouldn’t fit so I had to dismantle them and start over.  Since, honestly, this bummed me out, I avoided it for a few days and decided to make a shamisen.  The reason was since I had navigated lots of sites and couldn’t find a decent mini shamisen in the right scale, I figured I’d just find some detailed pics and make my own.

I checked out the actual dimensions.  Lots of these sort of banjo-like instruments are made with snakeskin or worse yet, dog skin, but I found a nice pic of one that was a simple white skin.  So I used that.  I then downloaded and printed off a pic of kimono silk fabric to use as a decoration on the external part.  I think it is quite successful.  All the little pieces were just left overs or pieces I picked up from my friend’s Dad who is a huge 1:78 scale model builder (mostly ships and boats) but he has lots of materials left that he figures he’s never going to use so he gave me some.  Very generous indeed.

My inspiration for the Shamisen
Once I finished the shamisen, I had no more excuses so I had to attach the stairs again.  I repaired the unglued areas and managed to fit in as close as possible - just wasn’t going to fit perfectly.  Glued, braced and left overnite.  The instructions say not to actually join by glueing the two floors.  Just attach the stairs.  So I did.  The bannister had to be slightly unattached from the wall because I made my wall hanging there but I still think the area looks quite nice finished.
Miniature shamisen finished

And if you're interested, here is what a shamisen sounds like - a video of dueling Shamisen! Very cool.

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