Saturday, 16 August 2014

The weeks fly by when making miniature houses

Another week has gone, been very busy designing and building a new room box idea for our local miniatures group. As mentioned last week I am designing a helical Art Gallery of room box's. I ended up going with a double helix to keep the height down. It now stands at a little over 1400mm high and 1350 across the base. It includes a spiral staircase and working lift in the center of the building. photos below are of the first test box.

The glass is just sitting in for the photos and only some of the structure is painted as my credit card has been illegally used in Japan and we are sorting out with the bank so haven't gone off to buy more of the framing colour to paint the bottom frame and to make up an exterior colour yet. The 2 grey walls are curved to match the arc of the interior lift well and the end flat wall is connected to the floor to slide out as a unit to set up your display. The notch in the bottom of the floor in the top photo is to allow the box to connect to the box below by overlapping 2 segments. The large glass wall to the left lines directly above the last glass frame to the right so will end up as a set of glass steps. I have also come up with the idea for a variation to become a modern house miniature of 5 rooms around a central atrium. A bit different than the Art Gallery but based from the same source.

I finally did find a little bit of time to work on the theater, have been working on the drawings and have assembled the basis for the front wall and the box's for 3 shops. Picked up some more mdf this morning and the paint since I started this posting so that now I can continue cutting and assembling the theater and some more work on painting the Gallery. The shops are approx a scale 22ft deep x 16ft wide x 12ft high. The shop box's are designed to drop down through the table to be dressed and finished. I will want to finish the entire structure before starting on all the myriad of details to start bringing it to life. I intend that this will be a fine scale miniature when completed so their will be lots of detail work to follow.

The first shop (shop 4) as you can see from the photo above has a chunk out of it because of the entrance into the foyer. As I have said earlier I am trying to find out what the original shops where, but if not I'm thinking of a  barbers in the far left (shop 1) It was one according to a 1937 photo, a flower shop (shop 3), a sweet shop in the above room (4) and a " I've forgotten for now" in shop 2.

Yours in miniatures

Thursday, 7 August 2014

I know it's about time I kept up with a posting, I've not been overly well so life has been on the back burner. All kit orders are up to date . I have had a lot of positive responses about them so far, so thank you all, I look forward to seeing peoples results with finishing them.

I joined a local dollhouse group on Friday whose work I had seen at previous Sydney shows and enjoyed. We have decided to do another joint display piece for next years show. I suggested a stepped circular building along the lines of a spiral staircase to the group and it was enthusiastically accepted. One of the other members went to her box of goodies and pulled out a book on one of the New York museums and gallery that she had been to and enjoyed, this suggestion was discussed and all agreed that this was a fabulous suggestion as each person had ideas of what display they would like to present on their floor.

I am in the process of designing the building at the moment and I feel I have the design direction right to take back to the group for agreement. Each level will be a separate room box that each person can decorate and dress, then they will all be joined together to create a larger, more spectacular display. I will be cutting the first level later today to confirm that I have the details right. For me, this is my concept model, because it allows me to fine tune the details and to make sure that my 2 dimension drawings works as a 3 dimension form. I am going with a very modern design, lots of glass, with a slide out floor and rear wall to set up your display.Their will also be a spiral staircase and working lift in the model. At the moment is is 1400mm across and 2600mm high so I may look at making it a double spiral to lower the height. More details too follow.

I havn't had time to get back on to the theater, but I will be tomorrow. I have been collecting 1/12 resin figures to use as starting points for the people who will populate the display and be used as part of my story telling.

These are some of the members of my happy family before they are cleaned up and redone to suit what I need from them. They will basically stay as who they are but accessories like the violin, flowers and vacuum will be removed and replaced with much more detailed versions as well as some modifications to the cloths to suit my period and repaints.

Have just finished cutting out a VW kombi bus kit for my wife to take to one of her groups, This is part of the collection of purchasable plans from Paul and Julie Campbell at their web store If you have access to a laser cutter or cnc router, this site is the one you want to check out. All drawings come with variations for different thickness's of material and basic assemblt instructions. My dollhouse kits so far have been based on his designs but with a full redesign to suit using them as dollhouses and to put my mark on them.

until next time, yours in miniatures