The Little World – Mark II

One of the interesting characteristics of an older person is their capacity to do it again. It? Something that they did before, but have become dissatisfied with.

This is not a project that they have abandoned, nor the one that they have become disinterested in. It is not something that they have run out of money on…though that is always a possibility these days. It is something that they have decided to do better.

I had one of these occasions this week, when I unceremoniously tore apart a model that had been done a few months ago. It was a simple utilitarian box that housed a battery for model lighting. Made of foamcore board and then clad with painted matte board, it was dull and surprisingly unsatisfying to see. When it started to separate at a seam, I realised that my previous effort had been simultaneously complex and shoddy.

I need a battery box to power the 1:12th scale studio lights on my model film set. These have turned out splendidly, as anything that you make from yoghurt containers does. It is also needed for the  1:18th scale garage – leading to a possible scale disparity.

The answer was to make it as a nondescript but detailed mobile starter cart like they have at airports. A coffin body with four rubber-tyred wheels at each corner and a low-slung profile. Perhaps a tow hitch at one end – certainly the switch and plug connectors at the other. And the top need not be hinged – it can just be removable.

Scrap 3mm mdf board and some oak strip reinforcement went together easily and this time no fussy cladding was needed. I primed and painted the chassis a good light grey and then put bright warning signs about voltage on it to jazz it up. It can park near any model and provide 3 x 12 volt DC for as long as an exhibition lasts.

Best of all is the cost. Under the $ 5 mark all up – and I am much more satisfied with myself for having done it.