Monday, July 6, 2015

Winding up the Windmills

One of my projects for this weekend was to complete the two Windmills that I scratch built. I covered the basic design and construction previously.. Picking up from there, I added details to the doors (using small balsa wood strips), a rickety porch and ladder for access (again using balsa wood, glue, and pins to hold it all together), and painted the new additions.

I deliberately made the "porch" lighter wood, suggesting recent construction (replacement of an earlier one, more likely). 

This is the smaller of the two "Post Mills", so I used the smaller barrels on the base.

I also added some "grass" clumps, flowers, and... 

- a dog to the base (from the former Mega Miniatures Dogs line).. 

This is the second, taller Windmill. Same mix of items on the base, but all slightly different.

I left the vanes of the mill unglued to the windshaft for easier transport and storage. The vanes will  most definitely turn!

The (Renedra) large barrels were used here. I used thinned white glue to add light brown flocking under the mill, where there would be a lot of shade. That was applied prior to adding the scenic items to the base. 

"Geo Hex Green" flock was then added to the rest of the base (this contains a fair amount of yellow). again using thinned white glue. 

Finally, I painted the edges of the base a light, grass green color (Delta CC Seminole Green).

Now for ma little natural terrain! As previously noted, we spent the preceding weekend in Vermont, friends of ours who own a house in Woodstock kindly having us up as their guests. We left home about 4 PM on Friday, and arrived at their house around 8 PM. We enjoyed some snacks and  superb Margaritas on their porch, which overlooks the historic town and the Rockefeller-Billings National Park.

The next day we set out on our bikes; our friends are avid cyclists, but in deference to us they chose a fairly flat ride, most or which was on this unpaved road along the Ottaquechee River (usually just referred to as the Quechee River). The Empress poses for a shot while our friends were helping another, hitherto unknown rider, change a bicycle tire.  

We rode about 10 miles to our destination - The Simon Pearce Mill and Glassworks. the white structure jutting out from the Mill is a porch which has a restaurant overlooking the River. The glassblowing in progress in the basement was fascinating to watch. They make gorgeous (but very pricey) hand blown glassware of all kinds, on sale in the shop on the main level. The entire affair is powered by their own hydroelectric generator, built in 1942, and later moved from Nova Scotia to Quechee, Vermont. It too was fascinating to watch in operation.  

The Quechee river just below the Mill. 

The covered bridge just below the Mill, as seen from the balcony at the Glassworks. The bridge looks new, because the old one was swept away by the incredible flooding of the Quechee river that followed Hurricane Irene in August, 2011. Imagine how much water was flowing through here to do that!

The dam at the Mill; water from here flows into the sub basement to power the generator. 

We rode back, slightly uphill, 10 miles to Woodstock, and had lunch at the Farmer's Market, and then drove top Silver Lake in Barnard, Vermont. W put in here opposite the country store. The gals swam the length of the (very clean) lake and back, while we two guys kayaked all the way around the lake (around the point off to the left is a lot more lake, and a state Park), and then swam. My wife swam competitively through college, and is an amazing swimmer! I'm not bad myself, but I've never been able to keep up with her for more than 20 yards!

After we got back to Woodstock, we relaxed a bit, had dinner at an out of the way quirky school bus restaurant (great food, and very reasonably priced), and had ice cream in town. Just as we walked back from town, the rain that had been threatening all day finally began - good timing!

It rained very heavily overnight and the following morning, but slacked off notably after about 10 AM. Thereupon we drove to the Sugarbush Farm outside of Woodstock, and sampled (and bought to take home with us) some of the excellent cheese and maple syrup made on premises there. 

We then drove to the Quechee Gorge, seen above. As it was raining lightly, we decided not to hike down the trail to the floor of the gorge. We did stop of at the nearby Cabot Cheese outlet (a Vermont co-operative) and sampled their whole range of products as well. Yum! After that we headed back to our friends house, packed , and drove back home, having spent a very fun, full weekend!


  1. Windmills look terrific and what an enjoyable weekend you spent!
    Always appreciate your photologues.

    1. Thanks, I'm very pleased with how they came out!
      We had a wonderful weekend indeed, and I certainly appreciate your photologues as well!

  2. The windmills came up really well, and the barrels add a nice finishing touch.

    That cheese outlet in Vermont sounds like it would have been good, and I am starting to become hungry just thinking about it.

    1. Thanks, Lawrence. I'm very [pleased with the end results.

      The cheese was very good - the best was the extra sharp, 8 year aged cheddar - too pricey to buy much of, but we got 1/2 pound. Very sharp/aged cheddar often has a grittiness from crystals that form in the aging process. I'd always assumed that was salt, like most people, but it's actually Tyrosine, an aminp acid. Interesting!

    2. Sounds like my sort of thing, and I had always assumed it was a salt as well (and have never even heard of Tyrosine).

    3. I have little doubt you'd have enjoyed a visit!
      Tyrosine is one of the 22 amino acids used to make up proteins, and it is well known in Medicine as the precursors to many biologically active natural substances, including Dopamine, Epinephrine, and Norepinephrine, which function as neurotransmitters

  3. I feel like I just went to Belgium.

    1. That's Belgian ale in the barrels, my freind! :-)

  4. Wonderful work, and looks like a very nice trip too!

    1. Thanks, Mark. The trip was great, and the cost minimal to make it even better!