Posts tagged “Balsa

Painting to Town… Update (28/12/17)

A quick update, alongside all the painting I made more progress the saloon front, the last of the detail to the windows and door are now in place, waiting to fix in place.

Just as I was documenting my progress I remembered that I need to add a coffin – which was place outside the saloon in Unforgiven (1992) which was used for Ned (Morgan Freeman) after he was killed during his interrogation. The addition of the coffin is optional really, but I feel it needs to be made, as grim as it maybe I need to make my first coffin – in miniature form at least. It will be a challenge in terms of making. A 5 sided (open top) coffin made entirely of balsa, a challenge to take on.


Painting the Town…Update (26/12/17)

Being Boxing Day wont stop me from pressing on with my work in the makeshift studio at home. I have applied the first full coat of paint to all the pieces that were either primed or waiting. It’s now just about building up that solid finish.

I put most of my focus into the saloon front, which today increased in height two now twice as high, giving the potential full model miniature height of the piece if completely built. I went onto start adding the detail to the front – the windows and door. They’ll be much less next time as I add the panes. I went onto begin to construct the roof that sits above the platform. I’ve decided that I wont be adding the front until I have all the detail complete. I will then be adding a support strip in between the ends of the roof, to allow for the posts to be fitted. I may come up with a different solution before the roof is finally fitted. I spent the rest of the day, I think I went at bit overboard too with adding gum-tape to all the joins and cracks, hoping to better secure the piece. I probably wont be return to my work until later on in the week. I am still grateful that I have brought these pieces back to work on. partly as I might go a little stir-crazy without something to do. And that I have some focus at home.

Painting the Town… Update (23/12/17)

First day of the holidays and I have been working on two of the model miniatures. I stopped by the studio the other night and couldn’t help but bring back the latest model miniature to work at home. I haven’t actually made a start on a front, which I hope too soon. Instead I made the final piece of the first saloon I made – a stove, this time minus the funnel, and the raised platform that I made previously. I took a different approach this time which sped up the process, also I was working from experience too, which always helps.

I also spent some time with the most recent piece, working on the balsa beams, ensuring that they were stable, I replaced a piece at the back. I found in the studio when I removed the masking tape around the posts, three of the posts had not fixed, with just a few millimeters’ between them and the saloon bar. I had to consider how I was going to resolve this. I didn’t want to take it down to shave more, which would also reduce the height and I’d need to adjust the beam that crosses over the stairs. So I decided to carefully insert pieces of very thin balsa – so fragile I rarely if at all use those piece for that reason. Once cut out to size I carefully slid them in place. I know for sure if they work when I take a look next time. If the technique is a success I’ll use it on another piece, which is a little unstable. It’s not something I would hope to return to too often, it’s great when you have those creative solutions.  Lastly I added another buttress which goes into the wall, making the look over the bar more even and finished.

Next time I’m hoping to get the paint out onto the first saloon and start work on the additions/changes. If I keep this up to an almost daily routine all of the pieces could be painted. Leaving me to focus on the front which should go up with ease.

Painting the Town… Update (17/12/17)

My final day of the year in the studio was a busy one. Beginning by carrying out more repair work to Minnie’s Haberdashery again, still having trouble with the buttress and beam. I’m hoping second time lucky. I’ll be leaving that to fix over the holiday, as much as I am tempted to drop by I know it wont really happen. I moved onto focus on the two other model miniatures that were undergoing work still.

The extended saloon is really coming together now with the addition of the blinds which went really well, cutting lengths of brown packaging paper to length and width, before fixing them in place. They are more or less at the similar heights, whilst still looking pretty natural. I also made a start on painting the new tables, which I may continue over the holiday back home.

Moving onto the newest addition it really came along today, reaching the next stage today. Adding the final coat of paint to the furniture and main body of the piece. Allowing me to add the balsa fixtures which proved to be difficult to install. I had to shave the legs of the piece over the bar to be flush, reducing the height only slightly. Whilst the false wall over the stairs was really difficult to install, having little room to actually fix it in place. Once the two pieces were in place I had to secure them at the top. The beams on both coming up a little short to meet either each other or the wall. I had a few pieces left, which I have cut to length. The shorter piece was easier to complete. It was the beam over the bar which I was wondering how to secure. With the reduced height it would run under the other piece, meaning I had to improvise, the length I went for ran under and butted into the other beam after cutting into the beam. I’m quite proud of myself, making the piece work still at the slight changes, hopefully making it look better in the process.

Looking forward I will be making some time at home over the holiday today make a front, if complete I will be painting also. Taking home the saloon which has undergone the extension, this way I can bring them both up to the same point by the time I return to the studio.

Painting the Town… Update (16/12/17)

It’s my last weekend in the studio of 2017, as always I want to make the best of my time. Again working on three pieces again today. I began by doing the important job of making Minnie’s Haberdashery by adding gum-tape to the exterior sides. I then went onto add the remaining pieces to complete buttress’s to the posts, which wasn’t trouble free. I had to re-point and fix a beam that allowed a buttress to meet smoothly from post to beam. I’m hoping that my work today will be a successful when I return.

I moved onto add another coat of paint newest piece, I can confidently say that I will be adding the final coat to the main pieces before I turn to the balsa elements I’ll be adding them and extending them so they both meet each other in the back right hand corner.

Lastly I focused on the extended the saloon which is almost ready to paint again. Adding detail to the windows and doors. I’ll be next adding the blinds, which I’ll have to understand as they affect how much of the windows are shown. Being blinds they are all at different heights, I may make them uniform, otherwise it would be too much detail, paying far too much attention to the screenshots. I’ve also reduced the height of the saloon bar which now sits much better in the space. I have to keep imagining people in the space, how they would work and interact with the space.

I’m hoping over my time away from the studio over the holiday to still make at home, taking at least one of the pieces home to look at the possibility of the loose front, which would sit around one side, being a similarly detailed front. I wont paint it white until I know it’s working.

Can’t find earlier posts? – they can be found in diary form here

Painting the Town… Update (3/12/17)

As we enter the festive month I know my output will be slowing down, so I find myself spending longer in the studio during the days I’m in. I made a start on my Christmas shopping yesterday I made sure I made some good progress in the studio today. Having added another coat of paint to the newest model miniature I turned my attention to the first one, which was going to be gutting one two sides. Leaving the floor and the stairway and balcony in tact. I extended out, having a hard time working out to secure the floor on a slightly raised floor. I remembered that the piece started life as a box that I cut into and making it secure, it still has the original tape that sealed the box for its original purpose. I then worked around, added the patchwork of cardboard strips as the walls went in place. I decided that I will no longer need to make a bay window, after looking again at the stills they weren’t there in the first place. What I found instead were blinds which I could possibly add as a detail. I finished work on the model by sealing up a few areas up with gum tape.

Moving on I made up the 3 taller tables which I made last time, which have now replaced the round ones in the Minnie’s Haberdashery model miniature. Looking at them in the set, they look far more appropriate, carrying on the language of furniture with legs without being definitive design, they are simple yet work together. I’ll be adding buttresses next time, this will be after I know the beams are secure, having carried out a little maintenance today.

I think the way I’m working allows me to make the best of my time in the studio painting the one model whilst making modifications to others. Adding coats of paint only takes so much time, and as I reach a more solid colour things will speed up. I think currently I should have all the models complete by the end of January, then I can look at group presentation then, already looking at making specific tables which fit the models, rather than finding an appropriate piece.


New Mills Arts Festival (2015) Arts Trail

New Mills Festival (2015)

Gather at the River (2014) Part 2

A continuation of my Frontier Town work that explores the Western genre, focusing on the river-road.

Part 1

rEvive (2014)

Gather at the River (2014) Part 1

A continuation of my Frontier Town work that explores the Western genre, focusing on the river-road.

Part 2

rEvive (2014) 


rEvive (2014)

A joint show with artist Neil Dixon, exhibited in the Cafe revive shop, in the Albion Centre, Ilkeston, Derbyshire (24/7-23/8/2014).

Gather at the River Part 1

Gather at the River Part 2

Cafe - rErive