Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


YESTERDAY IN PART 1, I began modeling the Moss Motors Ltd cut-out model of the Austin Mini. Today, I get downright serious with scissors and adhesive. I also recall the academic discipline of operations research and one of its success stories.

Scoring and Cutting. Bypassing the instructions, I figured it would be easier to score the major folds before cutting. I performed this embossing on the back side of the plan with a ballpoint pen.

I’ve wielded X-Acto knives on earlier projects, but figured scissors would work fine with the paper’s thickness.

The Scary Part: Assembly. I tend to be all thumbs with delicate objects. Thus, I decided with the Mini I’d do some no-fault prototyping: I cut out and assembled a cubical shape of sorts.

My prototype assembly method with 3M Scotch Photo Mount proved encouraging.

For assembly, I uncovered an ancient spray can of 3M Scotch Photo Mount. (Ancient, in that I believe the last time I used it was preparing my poster for the 2017 March for Science.)

The adhesive works just fine, thanks, though it makes sense to spray it onto a sheet of paper and use a plastic cocktail spear to dab the adhesive on the model’s assembly tabs.

The Operations Research of Mini Assembly. Do you recall the term 
“operations research”? According to Wikipedia, the modern field of operations research arose in World War II as “a scientific method of providing executive departments with quantitative basis for decisions regarding the operations under their control.”

A key point is its multidisciplinary approach to problem solving. One of my favorite OR stories concerns a team brought in to solve employee complaints of inadequate elevator service in a high-rise office building.

Various solutions were proposed, including elevator platooning, time-of-day scheduling, and other operational subtleties. A psychologist on the team came up with the optimal solution: Put full-length mirrors between banks of elevators. The complaints ceased.

Back to my Mini assembly: I’m not sure my operations research solution was optimal, so I won’t bother sharing it here. One thought, though: Don’t glue yourself into a corner. And, thankfully, 3M Scotch Photo Mount gets nicely tacky before setting irrevocably.

This in-process photo illustrates the parable of not gluing oneself into a corner. It also reminds me of rallyist Paddy Hopkirk and his Mini.

All in Good Fun. I wonder if I might try a scratch-built Moke? The most challenging portions of the Moss Motors Ltd. Mini were its compound surfaces and other nonlinearities.

And I still have the Austin-Healey Sprite and MG TC to practice on. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2020

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: