Restoring a toy from my childhood.

Hello everyone, today I want to tell you how to restore a toy in which the passing of time, and use have left their mark.

The other day I found a toy at home that has about 30 years and it was pretty oldie. It was a plastic model of the Space Shuttle Columbia and that I liked. In addition, the Columbia is one of the two Shuttles destroyed in the history of NASA, so I was excited to restore it.

When I saw it I knew it would not be a matter of five minutes to restore it, because in addition to natural wear, it had a termination of  “plastic toy” I wanted to avoid.

Here you have some pictures to give you an idea of ​​how the unit was.

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As you see, it was quite used as I’ve played a lot with this space shuttle. Well, was not that impossible to leave it as new or as I like it to be right now.

To start, remove all detachable. The advantage of the antique toys is that they have screws and removal was the easiest thing of the restoration.

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Once disassembled and well kept all that was susceptible to loss, I started with the removal of the stickers and sanding around the toy. It  has to be sanded and cleaned with some alcohol, because acetone and solvent melted and deformed the plastic. So patience and sandpaper in hand I set to the job. I had to caulk the deepest scratches.

Once caulked and sanded I gave a microfine sandpaper pass so that it was without any imperfections and incidentally to take away the scratches that are often left with a coarse sandpaper.


Now with everything prepared, ie, sanded and clean, we give a primer to prepare it for later painting and to show any imperfections that we have skipped the first time.


After giving primer to all parts, I returned to the microfine sanding to leave it completely smooth, without roughness andprepared to paint.

I picked car paint we bought in a retail store, it covers a lot and goes very well for the airbrush.

First the white paint as it was almost entirely white (and it is always best to start with light colors), once well covered after two hands with the airbrush (and letting the paint dry), I began masking to paint all black areas.

After confirming that the black has also been well (two hands again), and touched up a few details, and only had to put the decals instead of stickers (the toy was made with stickers). I find decals more authentic as they are thinner and more imperceptible than the stickers.

I used transparent decals of “Testors”, that I still have from when I worked with model trains. The are printed with ink-jet and cut to length, but I used the vinyl cutter and its possibilities, because it would always be better than doing it by hand.

Already printed and cut, I varnished them to settle and adhere the ink to the decal.

The paint scheme and decals, I painted as I wanted to, as there are several different schemes and also the model does not exactly match with the reality. Furthermore, as the toy is mine, what better than having it to my taste, right? And here you have the result of the operation of restoring my Shuttle Columbia nearly 30 years. I hope you liked it.







5 Simple toys with popsicle sticks

Today one of toys for children and adults. (Children with adult supervision, we do not want accidents).

It’s a funny little collection of artifacts that we have found in the net and made ​​in a moment, with popsicle sticks, or those that sell for crafts.
Many image and fewer words because they are self-explanatory.


                     1 Popsicle sticks bomb:




With 5 sticks intertwined the way you see in the picture, you can make a mini-bomb. It will jump into the air as you release one of the sticks or throw it into the ground. There are many ways to connect the sticks, even to make long chains. This is very simple and quick.

This link (a great blog) there are other types.

Of course, it is a matter of skill and patience, when jumping one, all the others go back.

                  2 Bow:




You will need a stick, a bit of dental floss, and something to use as arrow. We have chosen a swab ears with a cut point, because if it escapes, it will not hurt, if you use a toothpick as an arrow and a carton as a target, the stick will nail.

To do this you just have to leave the stick in water for a while to make the wood a little more flexible. If you do not moisten the stick will break when bent.

Once moistened, you have to make notches on both ends (to hold the thread) and tie a piece of dental floss keeping the curved arc with greatest tension as we can without breaking it. (Please note that with sufficient tension can go really fast and if the arrow is pointed us we can make damage).


             3 Crossbow:




This requires a bit more skill, but with a cap, a rubber band (top wide) and two sticks, we can make a small crossbow.

We need to make four holes to plug at 90 degrees from each other, to make them go through the two sticks. Note that two of them have to be above the other two for the sticks intersect but do not stumble. Over the holes that correspond to the upper stick, we will make two round holes where the arrow will be loaded.

Rubber band is placed as in the pictures, and we have a little crossbow.

We have made the holes with an awl and enlarged with a screwdriver. My advice is to use a shampoo cap, or some other pot than soda because the caps in bottles of regular soda are very hard.

In this case the recommendation to use blunt arrows is the same. You can also shoot very strong if we give great tension to the rubber.








Here you have a short video with the three running. (Everything is cooler in super slow motion, although these videos our camera is low resolution)



                      4 Leonardo’s bridge:

Some time ago we have told you about what it was, you can take a look at this link

As you see, you can also make a self-supporting bridge with these sticks, but it’s more an exercise of patience and pulse than strength of materials.



                     5. Harmonic:



As we were being too warlike thing ( Leonardo’s bridge was also designed for war ), the latter is a musical instrument.

In this case we used tongue depressors of doctors use , because they are bigger , but can be done with small ones ( it will sound different , of course).

We found the idea on this great blog which has many other great ideas.

We’ve changed a bit. As you can see in the photos, between the cross rubber band and the sticks we have gotten the same rubber bands that will then attach to the sides , one for each side of the rubber that is tight, so it is a bit of separation between the three layers and it’s easier to get sound. Also if we eave one end a little loose, we’ll get different notes while squeezing roughly blow out , and blowing more to the right or the left.



A blow and have fun playing with the sounds !

We hope these toys will give you a lot of fun. Enjoy it !

The origins of writing (II). Cuneiform writing.

One of the earliest types of writing known is the cuneiform. Although Sumerian pictographs come from the late fourth millennium BC these are considered protowriting, since information conveyed by symbols without a linguistic structure. Cuneiform as such is fixed around 2800 BC.

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The term cuneiform comes from the Latin “cuneus,” meaning wedge as it was written on a clay tablet with a sharpened cane wedge shaped.
The first records were purely pictographic writing. They represented the image of what they wanted to describe by graphic imitation and usually they were economic documents for counting inventory and other ordinary or administrative tasks.

esquina2 (Large)During this time, ideograms and numbers without established rules were represented.

As it was necessary the expression of ideas, signs evolved from a direct representation of objects, combinations of symbols, and later to the syllabic representation.

Other changes, such as alignment and writing from left to right were produced over time. Also the 90 ° rotation, possibly to facilitate writing. The symbols are changing from their pictographic origins to more abstract, and easily represented by indentations made ​​with the wedge.

In the next picture of the University of Cantabria you can see examples of the evolution of some words.


The tablet that we present is, again, our reproduction of one of the objects in the collection of the British Museum.

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It is an example of the early writing, one of the first records kept, in which more abstract symbols and pictograms are still mixed.

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Its origin is probably southern Iraq, dating between 3100 and 3000 BC

In this case it was left record the daily rationing of beer.

The symbol of beer, a jar upright with a pointed base, appears three times in the tablet. The beer was the most popular drink in Mesopotamia and rationed among workers.

As for the number symbols, we  see an archaic representation, and the interesting numbering system (for different types of objects, different systems) is also observed. I recommend you this article (spanish), if you are interested. This tablet has the distinction of having an oblique notch symbols dedicated to the numbering, which means that they are referring to malt grain.

Our replica is made of resin with wooden base and vertical support, to have it on display, as is engraved on both sides.

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Available in our store


We’ve modeled a new version, thicker, like the original. Sold without base.

If you are interested in the old version, or adding a base to the new one, please contact us.

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