Meet Shudu, the world's first digital supermodel

Shudu is a harbinger of the future of modeling, a digitally created and enhanced supermodel created by Cameron-James Wilson. "Digital influencers" like Shudu are already clogging up Instagram and Snapchat, where kids these days can't get enough of the more-human-than-human beauties. Read the rest

World's largest train set

Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg is, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the world's largest model train set. It's so large—including airports, cityscapes and even seas—that to even call it a train set seems a good example of the German sense of humor. It covers 1,500 square meters, has 260,000 figurines in it , 9,250 cars, 1,040 trains, 42 planes, 385,000 LEDs, and cost 21 million Euros to construct. Read the rest

Nazi UFO toy model pulled from shelves

Toy model manufacturer Revell agreed to discontinue its model of the Haunebu II Flying Saucer, described as "the first object in the world capable of flying in space." According to the product description, the Nazi aircraft never made it past its 1943 test stage due to World War II. Thing is, none of that is true. From The Local:

The fact that Revell's product’s description fails to mention the aircraft never existed is risky in that people who buy it might actually believe the Nazis possessed superior technologies, (said historian Jens Whener of the Military History Museum in Dresden, Germany).

"Enthusiasts can use this as a strategy to cast doubt on what we know today about National Socialism," the historian said.

The company said it agrees with the MHM, adding that “it is in fact a legendary, extraordinary aircraft which cannot be proven in terms of its existence.”

"Unfortunately, our product description does not adequately express this and we apologize for it," Revell said in a statement.

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An analogy is a raft you use to cross a river

In this Better Explained video, how the right analogies can make math joyful. "Numbers are like rocks." But what happens when the number is 0 or -1? The analogy breaks down. "OK, numbers are like points on a line," with zero at the center. But where on the line does the square root of -1 go? "OK, let's add another line at 90 degrees to the other number line, where imaginary numbers go." Read the rest

Watch this speed build of a LEGO ship in a bottle

One of the great things about YouTube is the vicarious pleasure of watching someone do something satisfying that you may not have time or inclination to do yourself. Case in point: this cool speed build of a LEGO ship in a bottle. Read the rest

Action cam on a model train

I'm not sure of the technical specifications going on here, but this calmed me down after seeing the latest from the Malabar Front this morning.

Here it is YouTube-doubled with "Biggie Smalls the Tank Engine". You're welcome. Read the rest

Model of Ancient Rome fills room

Mussolini commissioned this enormous scale model of Ancient Rome and it took 4 years to build. Surely, much of this is guesswork? [via]

At the Museum of Roman Culture resides a 1:250 recreation of imperial Rome, known as the Plastico di Roma Imperiale, which transports viewers not just through space but time as well. "To commemorate the birth of Augustus (63 BC) two thousand years earlier, Mussolini commissioned a model of Rome as it appeared at the time of Constantine (AD 306-337), when the city had reached its greatest size," says Encyclopedia Romana. Constructed by Italo Gismondi between 1933 and 1937, then extended and restored in the 1990s, it takes as its basis Rodolfo Lanciani's 1901 atlas the Forma Urbis Romae.

There are more scale models of cities at io9. Someone should make three-dee scans of all these, to the finest grain! Read the rest

Intricate handmade model of a skate park

French designer FA makes models from scratch, like this cool imaginary skate park titled 1490 - sk8park #01. Read the rest

Model of Manhattan made from recycled electronics

Zayd Manck constructed this incredible model of midtown Manhattan entirely from recycled electronic components. The astounding diorama is 165 x 80cm (5'5" x 32"). (via Neatorama)

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Media logos were originally physical sculptures

This behind-the-scenes look at the giant practical set built for HBO's 1983 station identification sequence is impressive. It inspired Christopher Johnson at Colossal to dig into the archives for more great examples, including a vintage logo created 63 years ago for Eurovision: Read the rest

RC fighter planes land on an RC aircraft carrier

The guys at RapidNadion must be proud of this bonkers expression of hobby craft awesomeness!

Marvel as they land a model T-28 trainer and model F-22s on their model of the USS Kitty Hawk. Read the rest

Amazing lifelike miniature dumpsters

Australian artist Joshua Smith makes models of run-down everyday things like dumpsters, but they have such detail and craftsmanship that they are truly remarkable. Read the rest

A master of miniature model-making shares his hard-earned secrets

I first discovered David Neat’s work via his website where he delves deeply into all sorts of fascinating interests, from furniture design to natural history to art. Mainly what drew me there was his extensive tutorials on all aspects of miniature model-making. The amount of content he’s posted is staggering, as is the quality of everything. Read comments about David’s site (or this book) and you will hear from seasoned pros, surprised by how much they’ve learned from David’s work.

Model-Making: Materials and Methods collects some of David’s best content from the site. While only 176 pages, this book manages to cram in a lot of eye-opening tips and techniques for building miniatures. David comes from the theater set-building world and teaches design and model-making, mainly with theater, TV, and movie models in mind, but the techniques in this book can be applied to all forms of model-making, from dioramas and dollhouses to tabletop miniature games and train layouts. Chapters cover model construction, molding and casting, working with metals, creating surfaces and textures (one of David’s strong suits), and finishing techniques.

I love a book that has so much to offer, you can simply poke your head into it for a few minutes and you’ve added a few more wrinkles to your brain by the time you put it down. Model-Making: Materials and Methods is such a book.

Model-Making: Materials and Methods by David Neat Crowood Press 2008, 176 pages, 8.5 x 0.5 x 11.0 inches, Hardcover $33 Buy on Amazon

See sample pages from this book at Wink. Read the rest

Diorama so detailed it includes tiny raindrops

Facebook page Modelismo BCN posted this remarkable example of a French diorama that is so lifelike it even has raindrops suspended midair. See the close-up below: Read the rest

Amazing Black Knight hand-painted miniature from 'Kingdom Death' weird horror game

Check out this astonishing workmanship by mulletsaurus, who hand-painted The Black Knight from Kingdom Death. Here's the blank for comparison: Read the rest

Messy: When automated anti-disaster systems make things worse, and what to do about it

"Undercover Economist" Tim Harford (previously) has a new book out, Messy, which makes a fascinating and compelling case that we are in real danger from the seductive neatness of computers, which put our messes out of sight, where they grow into great catastrophes. Read the rest

A little film about the world's largest model train installation

Some Kind of Quest is an 11-minute documentary short about Bruce Zaccagnino, whose model train installation near NYC is one of the world's largest. Read the rest

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