This piece has really sped out of the starting blocks. It’s not long since I began making this piece, building up the basic frame of the model miniature saloon which soon took shape, even with all the amendments that it’s undergone it’s moved along steadily.
Today I have made even more amendments, starting with a new mirror which is also carefully angled before I fixed the mirror in place. In all honesty it sits a lot better at this size compared to the last one which was overwhelmed. I then move onto make start on the stairways, firstly on the left hand side, it went up pretty fast, once I made a decision of the measurements it went up with little hassle. By this point I was onto the balsa aspect of the work. I wanted to onto the stairway on the right-hand side. On referring to the screenshots it was looking like the false wall/blinds that I made for the previous model miniature. I had to consider how this would work, alongside the posts that go over the bar – a rarity in itself. I knew these pieces couldn’t be fixed in place yet, waiting until I had painted the cardboard elements. Also both pieces don’t meet so extra pieces are needed before I can take them further.
I am otherwise happy with how things have progressed with this piece. I will be going into paint mode next time, whilst I’ll still be working the large balsa pieces which eventually be joined up and later fitted in place.
Today I can finally say that this model miniature is complete, ready to project the test video into now. I came into the studio, checked the work I had left to fix and it went very well, allowing me to get on with two coats of primer in just over an hour. I’m pleased and relieved that it’s complete allowing me to look forward to the test phase and the final presentation too.
It’s been a frustrating day really, I wanted to paint the new additions, but found that I couldn’t. When I removed the masking tape which was mostly successful in holding the balsa in place for the last week. Having to add new pieces, even strips of cardboard under the posts to ensure they are more stable. I have sadly had to cheat, using my glue-gun to work on the false wall/blind which was not all held in place. The thin strips are just too short, which I hoped they weren’t. So the glue-gun has made a bodged job, which I am not happy with but allows the piece to move a step closer to completion. I don’t want to touch the post as it should be corrected next time I’m in, allowing me to paint the bare balsa wood.
So I have only one section left to go, after the false wall and touching up a few areas of the model miniature, before I can start to look at presentation with the projection. I have a love hate relationship with this piece, I think the design combined with the scale has complicated it’s construction and painting. Next time I would work slightly larger to prevent these problems arising again.
Picking up from my last post on this work, I have been busy adding coats of paint which didn’t warrant me posting. Now I’ve made enough progress to carry on. The painting is practically all done, leaving me to add the final pieces which were logistically going to make the process harder. Leaving them until the end.
The last pieces to be added were beams which I added once the furniture was slowly fixed in place. Starting with the extension, adding the beams which really do bring the piece together. I just hope that the posts hold, I have found from working on the last piece, the posts need a stable base that doesn’t move. I’m prepared to replace if needed next time.
I found that the wall of shelving was very problematic to fix in place, due to the location of the piece under a balcony that prevents a glue gun from getting close. Also applying enough glue (before it dries) was going to be hard to work with. So I have decided to fix what I have with the gun, before using P.V.A. and praying it holds now.
Lastly I turned to the false wall, removing the cardboard strip which was used temporarily before it was fixed, with a beam overhead. I was going to use my longest piece of balsa, which I found wasn’t long enough for me. Instead using other pieces, which I had to sandwich together to thicken it up and reach the distance between both walls. So there’s been some compromise in order to achieve what I’m hoping for. Once everything is fixed I can apply primer – two coats before I can introduce the test video and the final presentation for it.
A day after being in the studio I can happily say the brushes are out again which is always a good sign, it means I’m moving towards another test soon. I began the day by adding the last of the detail to the ceiling light, which brought together the overall look of the piece.
Moving onto the sliding doors which just weren’t sitting right for me. With the false blind/wall directly opposite and a beam running over the top ending over the sliding doors, which before the changes was running directly into the doors which doesn’t really work or look good either. I simply cut off the top pieces and added the detail further down, ending by fixing the door in place.
With those pieces done I thought about what else I could do, I knew painting would be the next step, cracking open my tin of primer I made a start to the larger more open surfaces before applying a watered down coat of acrylic to the smaller pieces, whilst I also had to replace a few pieces on the rails I can safely say I am into the painting which hopefully should be complete by the end of the month.
A shorter day than usual, which hasn’t stopped me achieving all I wanted to today. Painting is getting ever closer.
With detail being the main focus I have started to add more to the ceiling light, with balsa strips going around the horizontal edges. I’ll be adding the vertical pieces later on, once the first pieces are fixed. It’s really coming together now which is making the slowing of progress all worth it.
I also wanted to add the sliding doors which are quite an iconic part of Japanese design, I’m hoping my small pieces fit that design. I wanted to add the door that has the potential to slide. It would be closed in this model miniature. So far I have done the backing of the door and the door itself which I will fix in place next time.
I am concerned about the blind and the beam that runs across it, as it will more than likely be meeting the sliding door, this is something I’ll have to work out after most of the painting has been completed. Otherwise I’m really happy with today’s progress, I can’t wait to add more.
I’m really happy with today’s progress in the studio I can start to look to painting this difficult model miniature, which is going to be a real mix of primer and acrylic. It’s going to be challenging to mix the two and types and creating a nice white look.
Staying with today’s progress, the main focus was the suspended ceiling light which started by constructing the main form. Stopping there I still had no idea how to suspend this object, how would this be achieved. Running a search for Japanese ceiling lights, I could find a few ideas of how to suggest the suspension before I considered adding a beam then to hold the light. I then added the string that I hope looks reflects how they are really suspended. This is after all set in the 19th century. The beam it’s fixed to wont be fitted to the model until later on allowing me to paint more effectively.
I then moved onto something that was bugging me, where the extension was added, I wanted to smooth over the rough cutting I made earlier. With the sliding doors in the main space that need to be suggested, I cut strips of balsa wood ready to be claded onto. I’ll be adding more detail once it’s fixed in place so the seams are not so obvious to the eye – or to my eye. At about the same time I made a very quickly.
Moving on I was looking over the screen-shots again, a very important thing I have learned to do when making from a set. I’ve found that details can be easily missed or overlooked, some can be ignored as it can lead to something more than a gesture. I found that the wooden blinds which I had noticed and found myself considering more and more. The screenshots told me that I had to make the decision to add the blinds which meant the stairs were drastically altered to allow the piece to be added. For now it will be added later as the blinds are directly under a beam, so a strip of cardboard has been temporarily added before it’s fixed in later like the ceiling light.
With the big changes and later additions I am very pleased with how much I have completed today. Next time I will be adding details to the sliding doors then I think I can move onto the painting.
I’ve really had a good day in the studio. Although I might not have done much it feels like I have. It’s been a day to complete all the furniture which I feel I have achieved.
I began the day by looking at the stairs which I am very happy with. I noticed that a table is at the front of the stairs. Meaning that I had to cut into the stairs which I then butted again. Before I added a table which is just a bit taller than the raised floor.
I then moved onto the furniture in the extension which I had been missing, making an end to the furniture that I needed to make. They are a complete set of raised benches and tables which are missing on the raised floor where people would be sitting on the floor to eat/drink. I also have my first ladder to complete the model miniature.
Looking to the back model miniature I was concerned about making another extension, which would put the first one at risk. Thinking more about it and looking at the screenshots again, I decided to extend the raised floor to touch the back wall instead. Taking another of the boxes and cutting to size, covering two pieces of cardboard on top to make it flush again.
Over the past month or so I have once again challenged myself, letting the boxes I have guide the work, even if its made making slightly more complicated, the tight space to work in, I have preserved with it, which I’m really proud about. I have been able to add an extension, before having a creative solution for another extension. Moving on I am looking at making a suspended light piece which maybe a little too much for the piece. Then I’ll move onto the balsa detail before I start to paint.
I’ve finally had a full and satisfying day after my return from New Mills. Again I have achieved all I set out to do today in the studio. First wanting to finally complete the extension that I needed to add to allow a few tables on the right hand side. I am already thinking that another extensions needed at the rear too, something I really don’t want to do as they are difficult to add smoothly as I have found, especially with the design of this model miniature that is so small and confined.
Moving on I have made strong start on the furniture now. The raised floor is now completely populated with quickly made simply design pieces which required a few alterations before I was satisfied. Finishing the day by making my first ladder, a balsa piece that was far easier to make that I thought. Looking back I think the rungs should be angled, but that’s a small detail when it will be projected onto.
Next time I will be adding the furniture in the extension, before I add more balsa detail. I am still considering adding another extension – not ideal but maybe necessary. They’ll be a few other pieces to make before I make the most challenging piece of all – a suspended light, which maybe a detail too far and could be lost when it comes to looking at presentation.
A day later than I expected to share my studio update, deciding to spend time with my family instead. I have however made a lot of progress though with my latest model miniature. The main element that I wanted to complete was the balustrades on the balcony and stairs. Which went better than expected. It was hard at times, working with such a confined model, which I am starting to regret that now. Still its taking shape and I let those four boxes I placed determine the scale and I have to accept that.
With the balustrades complete I turned to starting the furniture which I will again have to keep loose due to the confined space I’m working in. Due to the design of the set – being Japanese I have made the majority of one wall is fixed together on one piece of card, a doorway, a cabinet and 3 long rows of shelves.
Lastly I noticed during the days working whilst looking through my screenshots, that I had missed a dimension of the model miniature. What I thought was just a more confined area alongside the doorway. In short I need to make a minor extension to one side to allow seats to be installed. I’ve already drawn up where I want to cut into. I’m only adding another section to where it’s needed, I wont be altering the upstairs. It will however changed the exterior of the piece which will be reinforced with what it fast becoming a signature look of these models.
Can’t find earlier posts? You can find everything over here on the Work in progress page