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Saturday, 28 November 2015

Gift Series Diamond Blocks Minion - Product Review

Chinook & Hobby West just got in some really neat Lego style sets from LOZ. Called Diamond Blocks.

I have to admit that one of the best perks of working at a hobby store is that you get to 'product test' the new product!

This time it's Robby's turn.

Out of the four designs that we are experimenting with, Robby decided to put together Minion #9161.
It has 260 pieces, and the box suggests 14+.  Robby is 13 and had almost no trouble putting it together.  Although it did take some time as the pieces are small.

The rest is from Robby's point of view:

First read the instructions and make sure all your pieces are included.  There's 260 so check carefully! (however, there are one extra of every piece so if you loose one there's an extra.)

As you construct this piece, you do it in layers starting at the base and it's hollow inside.  I'm going to build it as a display so I'll probably glue it together. You can to, if you're never going to dissemble it.

Now by this stage I was two and a half hours in to building it. Although you do have to look at the instructions very closely because they're not as clear as Lego's are.

The mouth took me about two try's (depending on your skill with Lego building you may do better - lol) as it is a very weird shape.

You can place the pupils anywhere in the eye's but I chose to make him look straight.  

                           The goggles are fun because they make him look more like a minion.

          I put the finished piece in a custom made display case just for fun, and enhance the look.

You can buy these neat sets (and the proper display case) at our online store, or come down to our store location in Calgary.

 The others we currently have at Chinook & Hobby West are:

We have over 33 different designs!
Each piece is between 100 and 300 pieces and stand about 3 inches tall when completed.

Thanks for reading our blog and please leave a comment about what you thought about this entry or if you have any ideas for future posts.

& Val

Monday, 20 July 2015

A Day At the Alberta Railway Museum - Part 1

July 1st, 2015 we had a chance to visit the Alberta Railway Museum. First we went through the open air museum, then we got a special behind the scenes tour.  So on behalf of Chinook & Hobby West, the Gale family and of course, the Alberta Railway Museum - enjoy!

What's greeting you at the beginning?

CP  GP30 - 1 of only 2 that CP owned this one is just a husk and very cool to see one live and not just in photos


Once we got into the park No. 73 was waiting to greet us. It's a NAR 2-8-0 Consolidation: missing a drive gear, but impressive sitting at the front of a boom car and bay window caboose.


The next on our tour was the NAR (Northern Alberta Railway) 40' Flanger (Val's fav).  #16601 built in 1914 by National Steel Car Company in Hamilton, ON.


The NAR Cook Car #17062. Built in 1917 - this 40' wood sheathed cook car was originally built as a box car and was converted in 1944 to a kitchen car.


Then we were distracted by  CN #9000 - Canadian Nationals very first F-3 delivered in 1948. For Canada Day it sported Canadian flags. It was the first run of the season. Followed by coaches that were in service until  1975. They're light weight coaches used for daytime commuters, back East.

On this run the conductor was Hans Huzinga. It was fascinating listening to all the history of the park and the different trains that he was sharing with us all.

The engineer was Graham Wood. He worked for CN as an engineer before retiring and volunteering to help run the #9000 at the Alberta Railway Museum.

The tail end brakeman for the day was Joel Mullan. He was great with the kids, encouraging them to come and try the whistle that was at the back of the car.

The ride itself takes you back and forth along a shortline. Graham, the engineer, made sure we had a smooth ride with no jolts, hesitations or bumps. He said 'the Old Lady needs to be treated gently so everyone can have a fun ride'.

On our short trip we pass by an old set of trucks and some prime movers that were donated to the museum by Northern Alberta Railway and Western CNR.

Our conductor shared how this shortline connected to the main line that was once used for runs to Lac La Biche.

As Hans shares all his wealth of knowledge the whistle blows twice.  Then as the train comes to a stop and then smoothly shifts to traveling in reverse, the whistle then blows three times.  Hans lets us know that when the train travels forward on a main line it blasts its whistle twice.  If it travels in reverse, that's three blasts.

After the train ride ends, we pull into the St. Albert station that houses a fun gift shop and the telegraph office which leads into a mini museum of the history of the telegraph.  Both are a must see before you leave this great museum.

After a couple of hours taking our time through all the wonderful pieces - all with differing degrees of restoration; we were given a behind the scenes look in the car sheds and engine shops.

But that's for next week.........

Come back and check out our next post and feel free to comment on this one.  Share thoughts, memories or what you may want to see.

Val & Rob

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Model Kit Building And Painting Tips And Tricks

Our staff here at Chinook & Hobby West have noticed many of the same questions from our beginner level model builders. We have done some research and pooled our own knowledge to share some tips and tricks to help you along your hobby adventure.

Please leave a comment below and let us know your tips, ideas or if this article helped you.
Enjoy and Happy Hobbying!

Building a Model
  1. You need a designated space such as a large table with good lighting.
  2. Read through the instructions a couple of times before you start.
  3. Cut, don't snap off, individual parts from the plastic sprues.
  4. Compare the parts included, to the list of parts in the instructions.
  5. Smooth the edges of parts using a sanding stick or file to remove nubs and excess plastic resulting from manufacturing, then wash them in a mild detergent and allow to dry. Make sure to use gentle pressure when sanding so you don't take too much off.
  6. Collect your tools.
  7. Follow the parts assembly sequence exactly. Be patient and don't jump ahead.
Extra Tips
-Use the minimum amount of glue necessary to make a solid bond. 
-Enhance your assembled model by filling in gaps with putty and carefully sanding the filled surface.

Come down and see us at Chinook & Hobby West or email us if you have any questions.

Painting Your Model
  1. Do some research if you're building a replica. Every era has incorporated its own style. A replica of a Cadillac painted pink would not be an accurate model of the original car but may be your vision of your dream car.
  2. If you can, find a modeler's club and learn hands-on tips from more experienced modelers. There are some great online forums on the internet.
  3. Plan your paint scheme if you're doing your own design. Write down the colours you're thinking about so you don't forget that vision.
  4. Work on a clean surface.
  5. Clean your model. Use rubbing alcohol or plastic prep and let the model dry thoroughly. This helps to remove all oil and any other contamination, including excess glue.
  6. Put the model or model part on a paint stand or on a drop cloth.
  7. Shake the spray can thoroughly to mix paint properly.
  8. Test the nozzle by spraying a piece of cardboard, such as the inside lid of your model box.
  9. Plan on multiple thin coats rather than one thick coat.
  10. Start spraying to one side of the model, stroke over the model, and spray past the model before you stop.  Keeping the spray about 6 to 8 inches away from the project.
Extra Tips 
-Aerosol spray paints are good, but you may want to invest in an airbrush as you grow in the hobby.  
-Bright, shiny finishes can be achieved by painting the desired color, letting the model dry, spraying with a clear coat, and then finishing with a buffing compound. 
-Complete the detail work as necessary with fine-tipped artist brushes.
-Use thinners for your type of paint (acrylic thinner for acrylic paint) when brush painting.
-Paint in a ventilated area. 
-Wear a painter's mask if you are sensitive to smells. 
-Many experienced modelers suggest using primers when painting.

We hope that these tips and tricks help you create a piece you can be proud of.  Remember to have patience, take your time and if you get frustrated, walk away (after you clean up). You can always go back to it later!
Please leave a comment and remember, these ideas are not finite; there are so many things to try and experiment with.  Have FUN!

These tips are suggestions and we are not responsible for damage or accidents that occur to your project.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Rocketry Tips- Recovery Wadding, Why Do I Need It?

Summer is a great time to take up Model Rocketry.  Who wouldn't want to see something get 'blown-up'.*

Flame resistant recovery wadding protects the recovery system and is necessary to launch model rockets.  Although it looks like toilet paper or thin paper towel, it is NOT the same!  Wadding is specially treated to protect your parachute and rocket from melting or exploding so you get the maximum enjoyment out of your model rocket.

#3556 - Pro Series II™ Recovery Wadding
Flame resistant recovery wadding is necessary for launching model rockets. It prevents melting and destruction of your rocket and parachute.

Enough wadding for 10-12 Pro Series II launches.
Can also be used with any Estes rockets!

#2274 - Recovery Wadding
The flame resistant wadding is required in most Estes rockets unless they are tumble recovery.
Contains 75 sheets, enough for about 18-25 flights and is absolutely necessary to launch model rockets.

Come on down to Chinook & Hobby West - It's Where The Fun Begins!


If you're in Calgary, AB or area here is a great site with a calendar so you can see rockets of all sizes being launched.  They also have the info on the by-laws you need to stick with so you don't get a ticket launching those rockets  Calgary Rocketry Association

* please be careful when using any rocketry supplies or engines. You can get seriously injured if you do not follow the instructions.  Chinook & Hobby West is not responsible for loss, injury or death that may be caused by using any products we may or may not feature.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Tips for Painting and intalling a canopy on your model aircraft

Have you ever felt frustrated trying to put a conopy on your aircraft?  Did it cloud up or the paint wasn't looking great on the canopy accent?
     I know how you feel! When little mistakes happen it tends to kill any creative inkling you may have felt.
It's daunting enough creating your favourite aircraft – never mind putting together a piece you can be proud to show off.
     Here's some helpful tips to help create a model to be proud of; without fancy terms, and keeping it simple.

 When you've finished this post, you'll know exactly how to create a great canopy for your next model plane.
Please make sure to comment on this blog post with your thoughts and don't forget to sign up to our Newsletter to keep up on new product, contests, sales and more!

Let's have some fun!

-Two kinds of successful mask. Liquid and tape

     Before starting, make sure you have all your supplies together. Your mask tape, hobby knife with a sharp blade (#11 works best), proper cutting surface, good lighting, hobby paint for your project and Clear parts glue

1)  make sure that all the clear airplane model parts are clean, dry and free of any fingerprints or dust. And your hands are clean and dry.
2)  Start with the 6mm Tamiya masking tape. Tear off a 4' piece and starting at the rear flat edge, carefully run the tape along the bottom outline of the
canopy.  Gently press into place.
 a short video with more tips for Masking Your Canopy

3)  Using the 6mm tape, mask alongside any raised parts (so you don't cover the part you want to paint)
4)  Bring the tape smoothly to the end of the edge and cut off excess.
Tip:  Make sure to cut past the end of your piece of canopy or you may cut into or scratch, your conaopy

5)  Either continue to mask areas you don't wish to paint with the 6mm or fill in with the wider tape such as the 18mm.
6)  Take your time when masking - it's a learning process.

Tip: If you choose to use liquid mask, just use a fine brush to paint on the liquid mask and let it set before you paint your model (follow the directions on the
bottle).  Peel off mask after you've let the paint dry, scoring the mask along the paint line for clean edges.

TIP: It's really important to take your time, use a very sharp hobby knife and cut a clean, precise section, free of tearing. Any raised details you intend to paint,
should be the only areas visible through the mask.

     Now it's time to paint the canopy of your model aircraft.
1)  Airbrush or handpaint your first coat using the interior cockpit colour and allow some time for it to dry.
2)  paint the fuselage colour over it and allow it to dry.  Or finish the canopy of the aircraft by applying your preferred paint colours
3) finish with a final coat to seal the paint (dull, gloss, etc.) over the canopy before you remove the mask.
 4)  After all paint has dried, use your hobby knife and carefully run it along the edge of your mask and gently lift off the mask with the tip of the blade and slowly peel off the mask.

Enjoy your work!

Tip: don't use dullcote or gloss cote directly on clear areas, if you wish that part to move on your model. Spray the model and clear part separately, then attach the clear part.  Don't spray any unmasked clear parts as dullcote can cause the part to fog, so keep the mask on and spray the painted areas.

Now you're ready to glue on your canopy

USING CANOPY GLUE (clear parts glue)
- This is a glue that dries clear and doesn't cloud your clear parts

  Now your canopy is ready to install. I like to use Testors Clear Parts Glue to glue it in place. This glue goes on white but then dries clear. It's best to put a small puddle on a scrap piece of cardboard and use a tooth pick to draw a fine line of glue around the perimeter of the Canopy.

Now place it in position and use folded piece of Kleenex or paper towel to hold it in place and avoid fingerprints. Once the glue has dried, apply the rest of the glue and guide it into position if needed.

 Tip: The Testors Clear Parts glue cleans up with water before it dries so you can wipe small smudges off with a damp cloth.

```Extra Tip:  using Future floor finish. This technique will make the clear plastic appear thinner and clearer. Surprisingly, it can also hide minor scratches and blemishes that are often unavoidable when working with clear model kit parts.
      Check out how:

Now it's your turn!  Please leave a comment on what you thought of this blog post.  We would also love to see your work or works in progress!  Please email us with your photos Today!