Snack salami and ice tea, model’s own

Measuring things to make smaller things

Recently I was in Austria, measuring and photographing items I might want to make models of later. This is just a few notes about what I found useful from what I’d taken with me.

On my previous trip to the Ziller valley I’d not taken anything to measure buildings and scenery with and ended up having a rather frustrating time when I found new and exciting things going on and nothing to measure with (apart from the 30cm ruler I bought one day). This time I decided to leave nothing to chance.

Out of the items I took, some items stood out as super useful. The first of these is a new purchase, a Silverline telescopic measuring wheel. In terms of surveying a building quickly it’s significantly faster and just as accurate as a longer measuring tape, especially when measuring on your own. It can also be gently rolled up buildings and structures to measure heights.

The second new useful item is a selfie stick. All too often you’d like a picture of the tops of a locomotive’s tanks or of boiler fittings. The selfie stick allows you to take pictures from much higher up.

An old favourite are the waterproof notebooks from Field Notes. Austrian weather can be very changeable and these notebooks are brilliant for noting down measurements in the rain as their plastic pages are wipe dry and unaffected by rain.

Another new item which was very handy was the measuring stick. It’s 3D printed and has magnets to attach the blocks to each other into a stick. I also added another magnet in the back of one of the blocks which allowed me to photograph the blocks attached to metal objects to get a sense of scale in photographs.

I’m now going through 4 notebooks of measurements and a couple of thousand photographs. I’ll be writing some posts to act as modelling guides for me and also to help other Zillertalbahn fans. I may even try one or two in German!

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