Beach hut in progress

Week 32: The secret beach hut.

My first installment of a little “how to” in case anyone else fancies dipping their toe into model making :o) This is what I’ve been up to and how the beach hut gift was created. I spent some time researching online, so hopefully this might pull some resources into one place as a quick-start guide. In the first stage of this project I just concetrated on how to build the main hut structure. Here’s how I went about that:

Beach hut in progress
Beach hut in progress
  • First things first I had to source the materials and tools I needed – a selection are shown in pic 1.
    Tools: I settled on getting a few key items as I wasn’t sure when I’d be using some of these tools again. I bought a razor saw with 2 different blades and several different grains of sandpaper. I also needed a good quality craft knife and cutting board. A glue gun and glue sticks. And paintbrushes (no problem there).
    Materials: Some different thicknesses of balsa wood for the walls and panelling, denser square and triangular balsa rods to form the skeleton of the hut. Acrylic paints (apparently they are good for working on balsa wood). As well as a few different bits and bobs that I needed to decorate.
  • Design… I was very happy with my beach hut illustration in 2D but I need to work out how to translate that into a real 3D object. So I sketched up some designs with measurements and then did a dummy run with some old cardboard using my measurements to check my maths was right (pic 2). This led to a few adjustments and then my design was all set.
  • Next I starting cutting out the balsa panels using a craft knife. This would form the walls, the little windows and the roof. Plus there were LOTS of little panels to be cut for the outside of the hut (pic 3).
  • Painting the wood… I wanted it to have that nice beachy feel and to still be able to see the woodgrain through the paint so I used a combination of painting and sanding, painting and sanding etc.
  • Glueing: I blooming love my gluegun, it makes life so much easier (except when it sticks that little bit  too quickly and the wood isn’t *quite* in position yet!) The panels were all glued into place and then cut to shape with a craft knife. Edges were sanded down to get everything nice and neat.
  • Creating the structure. The rods were sawn to length so that they could form a skeleton which would support the hut, these were then attached gradually to the walls (pics 4 and 5) and roof pieces to form…
  • The final structure! (pic 6) With lots of tweaking, fiddling, sanding and extra painting to get it neat and tidy at this point!

So that was how I created the basic hut… another “how to” on further stages to follow!

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