Saturday, March 16, 2013

Cotton Wool Chimney Pots

I've almost finished building the small coal office I started a few days ago, but I'm not quite ready for the big reveal yet. In this post I wanted to talk about cotton wool buds.

In a comment on the first post I wrote about this building, ADRIAN mentioned that cotton wool buds make great tubing for gutters and drainpipes. The way the model is designed means I don't need to worry about gutters and drain pipes, but there is one missing item where a cotton wool bud comes in handy; the chimney.

On previous models I've seen chimney pots made by tightly rolling cardboard into a little tube. This can work okay, but limits you to simple cylindrical chimney pots which aren't always appropriate for the building you are modelling. The instructions suggest that Chimney pots can easily be created by painting any tubing of a suitable diameter (eg. brass, styrene, ballpoint ink tubes, cotton buds etc...) a red brown colour. Alternatively commercially available pots can be used. I decided to go with the cotton bud approach as I already had a pot full for modelling purposes (they are great for applying vaseline to gears).

Unfortunately I didn't have any red brown paint available. What I did have though was a packet of terracotta coloured milliput. Milliput (I find it hard not to refer to it as milliputty) is (according to their website) a two-part, cold setting, non shrinking epoxy putty. Essentially this means it comes as two sticks, and you mix equal amounts together which, over a period of a few hours, sets hard. I've used the stuff for years not only for modelling but for household tasks as well, as once dry it can be both sanded and drilled and is water tight.

I mixed up a small amount and used it to cover the end of a cotton wool bud (after having removed the cotton wool). I originally intended to allow it to dry before drilling out the centre, but in the end I used a cocktail stick to push out the hole, which had the added advantage of introducing a slight lip to the top of the pot. Once it had set I chopped off the extra cotton bud and then glued it into the pre-drilled hole in the chimney stack. It's not perfect (it actually looks better than these photos show, partly as the light was bad when I took the photos) but I'm happy enough with it that I'll use the same approach again in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Mark, you could make fancy pots if you mounted it in a drill chuck and took a small triangular file to it. The same tool could also castellate the top.
    The job is looking good.