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Old 08-17-2018, 10:19 AM
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Kevin WS Kevin WS is offline
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Scops Owl - Johan Scherft

Well, I decided it was time for a another of Johan’s kits - this time one of the birds.

I have fancied the Scops Owl for some time now - it is life-size, but very small for that - just as it is in real life.

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At one stage on our bush trips, I located a couple of Scops owls in various trees, and we used to visit them for many years - they tend to choose a particular tree, and then stay there for many years being very territorial. I'll see if I can locate the photos I took.

With their natural camouflage and small size, they are very difficult to actually spot in the field - more like luck then as the result of any rational search! During the day they obviously sleep, so you are actually looking generally for a small lump about 6 inches high, with its head tucked away – through the foliage and at the top of a tree!

The Scops Owl here is the same as the model – but is known locally as the African Scops Owl. A tiny owl it weighs only around 60 grms/2 ounces, and generally eats large insects - from moths, spiders and beetles, through to woodlice and millipedes. Sometimes also small lizards and frogs. It is only active after dark.

Distribution is odd in that it is often totally absent from some suitable habitat areas - the reason for this is unknown!

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The model is available from Johan’s site as a download and costs 5 Euro’s.

There are also two forms of instructions - a nice little video on YouTube on building the model, and two printed sheets.

The first instruction sheet covers some general assembly areas.

The second instruction sheet illustrates the order in which the tabs should be glued on the more complex parts – useful as this process is key to getting the correct shape at the end of the day.

The actual model itself is made up of three sheets of paper, giving a total of 23 parts, and each sheet also has a measurement scale showing a 10 centimeter bar at the top – this is useful for printing to ensure you are printing at the right size and, more importantly, all three pages match each other in scale/size!

The paper used for printing should be 120 gram.

If you are in the USA/Canada, use 26lb bond or ledger – at the end of the day you are looking for a paper thickness .065 of an inch +/- 0.004 inch.

When building Johan’s birds it is important to use the right thickness – don’t be tempted to use a different paper size. If you do (and I learnt this the hard way) the model will be difficult or impossible to shape, or fold and if lighter paper, will also likely be too fragile.
See here for more on Paper Conversions……

US/Metric Paper Conversions

Having looked at the model, my assembly plan is the body and tail, followed by the head, base and lastly the feet.

The picture below shows the basic 3 sheets.
Attached Thumbnails
Scops Owl - Johan Scherft-scops-mod.jpg  
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:18 PM
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Are you aware Johan offers a build tutorial video for this model?

Obviously, since you mentioned it! lol sorry. Carry on.

Pt 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-60mDaQvlHg
Pt 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yD_-5U_VCg&t=15s

All his videos:
https://www.youtube.com/user/Terpentijn/videos

...
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:09 PM
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Here a couple of photos I took of the real thing. Both in different locations.

Shows the camouflage effects well - image them from a distance.

Picture 1 - Asleep.

Not the "real" colours as there is a tint to this photo due to the light angle and time of day.
Scops Owl - Johan Scherft-scop1.jpg

Picture 2 - Even faster asleep. In case you have ever wondered how owls sleep here you are - note the eyes!

This picture shows the truer colours - you can see from this that Johan's artwork is very accurate colour and texture wise.
Scops Owl - Johan Scherft-scops2.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
Scops Owl - Johan Scherft-scop1.jpg   Scops Owl - Johan Scherft-scops2.jpg  
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Old 08-19-2018, 09:45 AM
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Onto the body now.

I first cut out all the 23 parts (the whole model) and then started on the body.

Picture 1 – This shows the three parts to the body – two identical (mirrored sides) and a small tail. I have labelled the main areas to make the building process more evident.

Picture 2 - This shows part of an instruction diagram that illustrates the sequence in which to glue the tabs. Doing this ensures the body shape is correct. Note that at a certain stage there will be tabs left unattached – these will attach to the other half of the body and the neck…..

I started by making one half of the body……………
  • Dry fitting.
  • Gently bending the curves needed to get the first tab glued easily.
  • Gluing only one tab at a time and letting each tab dry.
Follow the glueing sequence for the tabs shown in the instructions.
  • Because there are two halves to the body I worked on each alternatively.
  • When glueing a tab I placed the next tab ON TOP of the part. This ensures the first tab is “seated” accurately. After the first tab has dried, the next tab is flipped back down, and the following one up etc. This helps to get the seams spot on and tight.
  • The above process is repeated.
  • All of the exposed edges were coloured in with watercolour paint or water colour pencils. See Picture 3.
The one half of the body will come into shape slowly until there is “half an egg”. Then repeat for the other half.

After finishing each half, I then used my fingers to reshape each half, along with some burnishing tools I found in a craft shop (sold in a kit to make paper flowers). The latter are very useful for smoothing out shapes – I burnish from the inside straight onto a hard surface.

Picture 4 – This shows the burnishing tools.

The two halves were then joined together – again using the tab glueing sequence for the tabs shown in the instructions. One body!

I then folded the tail in two, glued it and then attached it to the body.

Picture 5 – This shows the completed body with the tail attached.

An easy and straightforward build, if care is taken and it is not rushed.

Next – the head and legs and claws!
Attached Thumbnails
Scops Owl - Johan Scherft-body-1.jpg   Scops Owl - Johan Scherft-body-2.jpg   Scops Owl - Johan Scherft-body-3.jpg   Scops Owl - Johan Scherft-body-4.jpg   Scops Owl - Johan Scherft-body-5.jpg  

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Old 08-19-2018, 09:55 AM
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Very cool Kevin I love it!
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Old 08-19-2018, 10:43 AM
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Very good start. The procedure you are using to glue the tabs seems to be working out quite well. The glue sequence illustration included with the model is helpful.

I bought that owl in 2014 and printed it on some 120 gsm paper. It is waiting to be started.
Now what is needed is to remember where in the manila files or piles it is hiding.
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Old 08-19-2018, 12:28 PM
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Thank you Glen!

Doug - so far a very enjoyable build. Went together great and the artwork is nice. Thank you Johan!

Doug. Am sure you will enjoy this - dig it out or reprint it (only three pages and not a lot of coloured ink).
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Old 08-19-2018, 01:40 PM
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I'm watching twoo-hoo .



It's coming along great Kevin. The talk through is excellent too.
Maybe it will encourage a few more people to try the beautiful creatures
that Johan designs. We're a bit overdue for a new one don't ya think?
Although I must admit to having a couple in the pile not started yet.
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Last edited by JohnM; 08-19-2018 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 08-19-2018, 02:02 PM
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Thanks John.

I agree - we are a bit overdue for a new one. The Robin was the last one, and that was last year. But then again he has been busy with his artwork and modelling....
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Old 08-20-2018, 07:49 AM
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So onto the next stage - head and legs.

While I was making the head and waiting for the parts to dry, I decided to, in parallel to the head, make the legs and claws – although there only a few claws, these are bit repetitive, so it was an easier task doing them in between the various head parts.

Picture 1 shows the 10 parts to the legs and toes.

It is important to note that each of the claws is actually different in shape! The reason for this is that they each sit at a different angle on the base and leg parts.

How they fit is shown in the instructions – each part has a letter to identify it.

The red arrows in Picture 1 shows the location of the letters – they run from C to J.

Starting with the legs (before folding the tab parts), roll the legs into a tube. When this is nice and tight, open the tube up and then fold the tabs on either side inwards (a “mountain” fold). The printed sides of the tabs that have been folded in are then glued to each other. Use a pair of fine long tweezers to hold the tabs together inside the tube while the glue sets.

When glueing these parts (and the claws as well), a slow setting glue with some “grab” is a good idea – I used a Pritt Glue Stick – I simple scraped some glue off the top of the stick with a knife blade and then applied it to the tabs before holding them together.

Check the legs against the holes in the body to see they fit when you are making them.

And that is the legs done!

Picture 2 shows the two legs made up and the claws being rolled up and shaped.

The claws are made in the same way as the legs to start off with. Shape, fold tabs and then glue.
The only difference is that the tips of the claws then need to be then joined.

Simply pinch the two claw tips together and run some glue down the inside, and that’s a claw done.

Picture 3 shows the finished items.

In the next post I will cover building the head - the interesting part of the bird!
Attached Thumbnails
Scops Owl - Johan Scherft-legs-1.jpg   Scops Owl - Johan Scherft-legs2.jpg   Scops Owl - Johan Scherft-claw-3.jpg  
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Last edited by Kevin WS; 08-20-2018 at 08:31 AM.
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