We See But We Do Not Observe…


I hope that was Sherlock Holmes who said that…the original SH and not the latest tele-vision of him. I think he was castigating Watson for not being able to tell the profession of a passer-by in the street. As it is, it serves as the perfect introduction to this blog about miniature building.

I am currently discovering how true Holmes’ statement was as I try my hand at 1:18 scratch building. There have been projects like a Sherwood diner, 14 cu yd roll-off trash bins, and any number of small accessories. Currently a service station and a mobile home are under construction. All these have been jolly eye-openers… as to just how closed my eyes have been in the past.

Today I realised that if my 1:18 mobile home is in Alberta, it will need heating in the winter – a lot of it out on the prairies. I can choose oil for the furnace or propane. As it is a stationary trailer I decided on oil, and have had to research what the older forms of heating oil tank looked like. Hard to do when you find that oil heating has gone out of fashion around here and all the tanks and accessories have been scrapped. Fortunately I turned up a picture of a tank beside a house in Maine and that will do nicely.

Nagged by the thought that I still needed a propane bottle. I researched the appearance and dimensions  from the firms that supply propane in Canada. Fortunately the 200 lb. bottle is the same size as plastic water pipe from our local hardware shop. Balsa ends, plastic bands, and a paper cap make it the perfect way to supply gas to the stove and oven.

Now I gotta research the mobile home stove and oven. And bathtub and toilet. And so on.

The maddening thing is I lived in exactly these circumstances but did not observe the precise shapes of things at the time. I never bothered to take pictures of such mundane objects. I can remember smells, and textures, but until I see someone’s old photo so many good details are a mystery.

It will be interesting indeed to see if there is any reply to an enquiry I sent to the A&W root beer people in Canada regarding some views of their older stands. I can build if I can see it. I hope they have a sense of humour and adventure.


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