Category: Beyond Thunder Mesa

Making a One-Off Sci-Fi Rocket Kit


Taking a short break from working on the railroad to make a one-off rocket model kit as a Christmas gift for my son. From initial design, to a prototype build, to boxing it all up as a finished product, follow along as a I put it all together – including mistakes made and lessons learned along the way.

Thanks for watching, amigos!

Building a Southwestern Trading Post in O Scale


Yá’át’ééh! That’s a traditional Navajo greeting, and appropriate since today’s video is all about building an O scale roadside trading post like those found along old Route 66 on the Navajo Nation. In this stand-alone project, I wanted to try something from a different era than my usual modeling on the Thunder Mesa layout. Some of the modeling techniques covered in this build include:
• Creating realistic aged adobe and stucco finishes
• Old weathered paint on doors and windows
• Watercolor weathering on Illustration board walls
• LED interior lighting • Do-it-yourself corrugated metal roofing
• Realistic tarpaper roofing
• Modeling flagstone surfaces
• Signs, paper posters and more

Thanks for watching, amigos!


Dave Builds the Last Chance Gas kit in HO Scale

Join me for a step-by-step build of Crescent Creek Models HO scale Last Chance Gas kit! I helped to develop this kit with my business partner Jake Johnson, and we’re both really proud of how it came out. The kit is based on a 1930s era Conoco station from Peñasco, New Mexico, but could easily represent a rural gas station anywhere along the highways and backroads America.

Last Chance Gas in HO scale:
Last Chance Gas in S scale:

Thanks for tuning in, amigos!

Building a Miniature Trebuchet

And now for something completely different! Join me as I venture beyond the world of Thunder Mesa in this first of a series of new maker videos that exploring other genres and creative pursuits that catch my fancy. For this first project, I'm building a Medieval trebuchet! These massive 12th century siege engines were the super weapons of their day, and I had a complete blast building this one in 1/4" scale. Watch over my shoulder as I hit the workbench and describe the build step-by-step from start to finish.

Thanks for tuning in, amigos!

Anatomy of a Trebuchet