Ruben Marcos – Weblog A creative model maker's blog…


Vibe Gallery + Custom Picture Frames

I have recently started collaborating with Mark Bean at the Biscuit Factory and have since made 4 Frames for the show that the Gallery has currently on "Alternative Christmas Grotto OH, OH, OH!". We have also agreed that it could be a good idea to install a sample board showing different examples and a price list next to the board. These frames are all made from scratch.. the cuts, the detail, dimensions, length and the paint finish. I will also be adding a price list on the scales & Models website, but this one I made for Mark is exclusive to the Vibe Gallery as the price list made so far only works in conjunction with the sample board I made for the Vibe Gallery.

This Gallery is an interesting place, recently opened but with great potentials and ideas. I look forward to seeing how it develops over time. Vibe Gallery:


Patinating brass etchings

For my latest architectural commission I suggested my clients the use of patinated brass to represent a specific material finish in the proposed building design, since they liked the idea.. We went ahead with it!

I particularly like this process and find it quite fascinating how the metal reacts to the chemicals. Specially the stage before the brass is totally patinated, half way through the process.. it goes through an unstable moment.. that was the point which I aiming for to remove the sheets from the acid. This 'half way" method makes the material 'roughly' or badly patinated (in the good sense though) giving the effect of random metallic toned reflections with some subtle blueish and red, brown tinted blotches.. Purposely avoiding the consistently patinated look throughout.. Which is of course another option! Depending on the requirements and purposes.. The full patination method is also a great option to represent bronze finished details in general, not just in models..

I hope the photos not only show what I try to describe above, but also the process from start to finish. I had to adapt the original cad drawings received by the architects, then sent it to be etched at 4D modelshop who were very helpful in delivering these on a very tight schedule! Once the cad drawings are modified and sent I receive the sheets in brass at 0.38mm thickness by request and the ideal thickness for my purpose. Then the patination process starts.. 3x trays were needed (acid resistant trays used for photography) 1 filled with rust cleaner (watered down), 1 with water and 1 with antique fluid (the patinating stuff!). 1st I dip the sheet in the rust cleaner of a couple of minutes rubbing in gently with a super soft brush to avoid scratching the metal.. this helps to clean any grease as this will show in the end result (finger prints..), 2nd I rinse it and dip it in water again roughly 2 minutes.. rubbing it gently on both sides, then rinse and dip it in patenting fluid for about 5 to 6 minutes to achieve the rugged reflective look.. if I wanted it fully patinated, this could be achieved in around 10 minutes. After patinating the sheets I dipped it one last time in water to clean off any patination fluid excess and rinsed it.. then cleaned it very well with much tissue until it's all dry.. left it to rest for 10 minutes +- and then treated it with 'liberon' Jade oil rubbed on a tissue, which seals the metal sheet and also prevents the patination process from being active in the longer run.. which is also an interesting thought! But not for this occasion..

I hope this post is constructive and educational as I personally don't see a lot of explanations or tutorials on how this particular process is done and I think it's something that it's relatively easy enough for anyone to do even from their own home. It's extremely effective and I really enjoy experimenting with this stuff!


Progressive aftermath!

From setting up my modelshop nice and tidy, ready to build a model for a very tight schedule.. and finally the result of how the place looked immediately after we completed the model! Now I've got some serious cleaning to do.. Ouch!

Realistically I needed 2 weeks to build this model, but I only had 5 days total and still receiving drawings in the last couple days.. In those conditions I was able to complete 90% of the model.. It was a very tough position to be in, because I either refuse the job since I will not be working to my ideal conditions and could't guarantee a complete model, in which the client gets no model. Or we both compromise... I did warn the client that we may need to accept some sacrifices and made him well aware of the circumstances. I would also doubt that any other more 'orthodox' model making companies would even accept such "impossible" brief considering the time schedule. I do have to mention that the client were superb to work with and they very supportive throughout the process. Full thumbs up to everyone who helped at Mixity!

The model will now serve its propose in the short term but I also have agreed to get the model back in my shop to finish it properly as soon as possible! In the the end this will be a beautiful model by the way.. With lights, patinated brass etchings and interesting architecture to mention some features.. It's all there, I just need to "polish" some edges.. 🙂


Scales & Models Workshop set up

I am currently setting up my workshop at the Biscuit Factory.. This is the third model shop set-up that I'm creating. This time it's my own though, unlike in the past, so if all goes well.. Third time lucky! I'll post some pics soon.. I'm basically turning my art studio into a fully functional workshop. It's nearly there now.


Drink works job

I've just finished a contract this week helping "Drink Works" company. Making a few different bottle design prototypes to present to their clients for discussion. Enjoyed using their workshop and much of the work was using a lathe to "turn" the bottles and after some hand carving and add ons to create the required detail.

This was my first involvement with Drink Works and I'm happy to have been given such opportunity. It's been a pleasure to work with them and he future is bright for future work to come from them. I look forward to working with them again!

Today I have a meeting with Pierre and Rawia in regards to starting an architectural model to finish by next Friday. It's a tight schedule. Although I'm pleased to get involved with them, also for the first time. My journey to grow my client list has certainly growing and so far I have only had positive feedback, which helps to keep going with this same determined and positive attitude and hopefully evolve by nurturing this small corporate journey that I'm currently faced with.

Making a bottle design prototype