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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ultrasonic Cleaner ... as Paint Bottle Shaker

Yesterday I bought a small Ultrasonic cleaner with 35 watts power and 16 fluid oz. capacity. It is normally used for cleaning jewelry and other fine metals and I believe railway enthusiasts use it to clean etched brass frets and metal train parts. I recall that I read somewhere that it can also be used to shake up paint bottles, which seemed to me a good enough reason to pick one up.

I filled the cleaner with tap water and began to place handfuls of 17ml Vallejo paint bottles into it.  Most of my Vallejo bottles are several years old and have not been stirred/shaken very often since I purchased them. Even the metal pellets I put into some of them had become impossible to shake loose due to settled pigments. 

I put each batch of bottles through one to two 3-min cycles (auto-timed default for the model I have). I then took the bottles out and towel dried them. The result was better than I expected. After the ultrasonic treatment, a quick shake was all it took to re-integrate the pigments with the medium/carrying fluids.

So I am quite happy with this purchase and can't wait to see what else I may be able to use this machine for. Perhaps I will even use it to clean something some day...

1/72 Churches WIP - yet further updates

1/72 Italeri Church ... the 2 bell tower roofs (terracotta vs. slate) compared. The one on Right is made from original kit parts and that on Left is what I scratched built with balsa, plastic roof tiles sheets, epoxy putty and plastic miniature bells. 

I may have to build another new roof along the same lines since the current one was made in haste and is therefore somewhat shoddy (edges not quite square). 

Below are the two mounted on the bell tower.  I didn't think the original roof has enough pitch and think that the new one is a little better on that score at least.

Italeri Church: alternate roof made from mounting card.  Version Mk. I that I made with celluloid foamcore was far too thick, which makes the side roof very difficult to fit on. The thick card one is just right thickness-wise and once I have stabilized the warpage I will mount the plastic roof tiles sheets on.

Mediterranean Church Progress ( photo colors are more vivid than in real life):
1. Started work on the tower.
2. Scratched another gallery using foamcore, tamiya masking tape and toothpicks, as the resin original is somewhat lacking.
3. Started painting on the one-piece terrain base and church crypt/basement. The painting on the basement/crypt may be a little too cartoonish now.