The details make a difference
By Dan Sawatzky
Posted on Monday, June 19th, 2017
The 2017 Sign Invitational is now history. The event was a little smaller this year with a ﬂurry of last minute cancellations. I fully understood, for as the deadline to ship quickly approached (and my entry was not yet ﬁnished) I was reminded how important it was to get an early start on my piece and to keep at it while there was still plenty of time.
I wrote about this project in the May/June issue of SignCraft. At that point there was still some sculpting to do along with all of the painting. I wanted to add some special effects as well, including a train light and smoke. The headlamp proved easy, thanks to a tiny LED ﬂashlight that I found at our local auto parts store.
I ordered a small smoke machine online and waited anxiously for it to arrive. When it did I plumbed it up to the train engine and gave it a short burst. It worked incredibly well! So well in fact that a few brief seconds of smoke ﬁlled the entire shop and obscured everything— including the train. After a few hours of ﬁddling and trying to control the output I abandoned the idea (for this year) and decided the piece would have to stand on the merits of its design alone.