Thursday, 4 June 2020

'Man Cave' Update, June 2020

After nearly three years of neglect I have actually started making a little progress in removing the accumulated junk and household detritus from my attic 'man cave'!

Broken electrical appliances, Christmas decorations, the wife's spare shoe collection and her archived school work, old clothes and general crap had slowly piled up to the point where I could not get to my computer desk easily and my crafting desk not at all!

Anyways, this morning I finally made some real progress and managed to clear a path all the way to the back of the attic and to my modelling desk! (This hasn't seen the light of day for three years!)

I tunnelled through the crap in my attic... It went further than I thought!
Obviously, the desk is completely covered in crap! (That goes without saying. LOL.) But, the fact I can now actually get to the desk mean I could clear this and get down to some real modelling AND carry out a plan I had to set up a top-down video rig!

Now, I had already done some video tests in order to help me plan how I might Vlog my model builds...

Now, although the above contraption worked as a proof of concept there is no way I could set up something similar above my hobby desk because that is up against the back wall of my man-cave. So, I spent some time looking for alternative ways to rig a frame of sort over my desk and eventually I managed to find a custom solution for over-head videoing...

Unfortunately, and predictably, the specialist overhead video platform system is rather expensive and would have to be shipped from the USA (estimated total cost £230). All in all this was way out of my budget so that's where I had to leave things three years ago as priorities suddenly changed.

>>FF>> to 2020... Re-discovering my hobby desk reminded me of my fancy plans and I wondered if I could find a cheaper alternative that might have come along during the intervening years. Ten minutes of Googling proved very productive and I found a bit of kit that would do the job at a fraction of the cost...

Duronic DM453 80cm Monitor Desk Mount Pole
What I found was a monitor desk mount pole (£23) which can clamp firmly to my desktop. Additionally I found a studio double 'C' clamp for joining two intersecting poles...

With these two pieced of equipment, plus an additional pole, I can put together an inverted 'L' frame off which I can attach my camera and lighting. This clamp was £8 and I bought a short (solid) pole for another £10, so far then this setup has cost £41. A bit better than £230!

All the parts are extremely well built and very strong and so, despite not being a full two legged frame like the overhead platform, they will easily support the weight of my Fuji XT-2 (1 pound 3 ounces) camera and also some LED lighting or a microphone or both!

Now the good thing about this setup - aside from the price - is that it can be added to to make a full overhead frame simply by adding a second monitor mounting pole and another double 'C' clamp. This would turn my £41 'L' frame into a £72 'H' frame like the overhead platform...

So, this setup is quite modular and I can add bits as I can afford them. But, in the meantime, the 'L' frame will suffice me to begin with and will allow me to do some video tests to see how best to setup my camera and my lighting.

Hopefully I can get some short video clips out soon of my doing some model making.

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