52 Create – Helicopters

Toys toys and more toys…. This week, a fleet of helicopters.  Is it a fleet or a flock? Perhaps a squadron, who knows….  52 Create is my year long project of creating something myself each week for the entire year.  The majority of the items are out of wood, however last week we branched out into film.  Check out the projects so far.

As I said above, this week I made 3 toy helicopters.  Once you make one, you might as well make a few, and I’m hoping this one will be a big seller on my Etsy shop.  The helicopter is made of Douglas Fir (dark wood) and the rest is maple dowels except for the baltic birch plywood rotor.  They haven’t been finished yet as the weather is too cold but they will be getting a coat of polyurethane to help keep them in pristine shape.


I’ve also at long last put the two toy rangefinder cameras up for sale on my Etsy Shop.  I finished them in shellac which is a food safe finish that is even used on some candies (sweets), so it’s a very safe finish for kids who may be keen to take a bite out of them…


52 Create – Toy Camera

Week two of 52 Create and I decided on a couple of toy cameras.  My daughter loves playing with our real camera, so why not make her a little wooden version?  I went for a rangefinder style (whom am I kidding, it’s supposed to be a Leica)  They are scaled down from a full sized camera as they’re meant for a 16 month old.

Both cameras are made from maple (and in Canada, making them an M 4-2 I guess…) and the lenses are from a dowel I had lying around the garage (not sure what type of wood).  The lines are done with a wood burning pen, the lens and dark part of the one camera are done using a propane torch.  There are no moving parts and I plan to finish them with shellac to make them kid safe (it’s -15 here right now so no finishing in the unheated garage for a while).

I’ll be putting the dark one up on Etsy, the lighter one would likely get me sued and my daughter seems to like it…

Agfa Optima Sensor Flash

What’s the best kind of camera? FREE! And you thought I’d say Leica…  It’s always fun getting a new camera, but nothing beats it being a free one.  I was visiting my Uncle over the weekend. He’s a photographer and camera collector (they often go hand in hand…), and I mentioned that I had often thought the Agfa Optima line were cool and that I’d almost bought one once.  My Uncle then mentioned something about being able to help me out and came back with three Optima’s.  Shortly after I was the proud owner of an Agfa Optima Sensor Flash.

So what’s so great about the camera? Well honestly I was first drawn to it for it’s design aesthetics.  Frankly it looks “cool”.  Apparently it was designed by the same person who designed the Plaubel Makina (and they do bear a striking resemblance).  On the camera side of things, this model has scale focus, auto exposure, and a built in flash.  The lens is 40mm f/2.8 which is nice in a point and shoot type camera, although I’m not clear on whether the camera adjusts the aperture and the shutter or just the shutter.  An interesting design item on this camera is the film wind crank is also the rewind crank. It’s not overly fast but it does free up the camera from excess clutter.  And finally, it’s the camera with the big red/orange shutter button (I believe this how it is mostly known.

They made many different models of this camera (335, 535, 1035, 1535, Sensor, Sensor Flash) with slight variations in lens aperture, the inclusion of flash, and the 1535 model had a rangefinder.  I haven’t taken any pictures with mine yet as I’ve already got film loaded in three other cameras that I need to finish off.

More info on the Agfa Sensor Series