About your camera (or your wife's - whichever one you are using, here) I can tell you found "macro" mode - which is absolutely what you want - but now the challenge is that the depth of field (focus) is a very narrow range - like, maybe half an inch or less! So, when your auto-focus picked the wooden handle of the big clamp(? looks like - otherwise I don't want to know what it is ), then your Tilly remained out of focus.
This is exactly my biggest problem, as well, and I do best against it, by doing two things: 1) I use magnifying headgear to view my camera's tiny monitor, to even see if it's focusing properly, and 2) I try to lay tiny subjects on finely-patterned backgrounds - like the tight weave on the back of emery cloth. The latter gives you additional feedback as to just where the image is focused, as the weave sets up an interference pattern - bright and dark speckles - on the camera's display, over the area in focus. The slightest motion of the camera makes the effect glitter - looking like pixie dust, or some magical shimmering (scintillation) - of the weave pattern. If this doesn't fall squarely around your intended target then, without changing focus, you carefully back up or move forward until it does - and then quickly but smoothly snap the pic. Before something else f-'s up!
Seriously, this works for me at least 2/3 of the time (and improving).
Additionally, on cheap cameras (like mine), there is the possibility that the actual depth of field is not located exactly where the display indicates, in the first place. I don't know how/why this happens, but on my (second) camera it definitely appears that the true focus is ever so slightly further away than indicated on the display - a difference of perhaps 1/8" or 1/16" - but enough to make the whole difference, in focusing on some tiny recoil springs, or gunsights.
That's the micro-fine world in which you're working, at 1/540 scale. (And doing a damn fine job of it, too!) I hope the above helps, buddy.