Playing around with ideas
The plastering man and all the equipment are still drying out so it’s time to look at the thoughts that are shooting around my brain since the revitalising web crawl – (see previous entries).
One decision is to experiment with the bits and bobs that get mysteriously bought and that are now lying around with no immediate use in sight.
I’ve gone through most of them and settled on the wooden boxes, all too chunky for 1:12 rooms and I don’t, at the moment, fancy working with bigger.
Can they be made into scenes by themselves?
With this in mind I find that two of them ‘whisper’ to me their possible uses. I adapted a scrawl of an idea I had the day before to use in a deeper box. This one is shallower and a split depth at that so it’s a challenge to get it to work.
I’m using the box that needs the least hacking around but it does need everything making for it from scratch.
It’s 23/8” square and the lid and base are about the same depth as each other (¼) and the inner spaces are 1.5” square. It’s hinged and has a lovely brass decoration applied onto the surface of the lid and round the sides of the base which contrasts with the very dark wood. As with all these boxes, the wood used is incredibly thick in proportion to the capacity of the box – about 3/8” would you believe. When open and stood on its side it could be used as a chunky but small double photo frame.
Generally I’ve used bits of all the hoarded waste lying around (including the bits of cardboard off cuts and smidgens of wood) and because of this it is very reminiscent of the big model in materials and colour range – just a great deal smaller. You’ll notice than many of the skills and tricks I’ve been trying to learn over the last few years appear in a kind of shorthand.
An early decision (on original sketch) was to angle the backgrounds (whatever they would be) within the depth of the lid and base; one edge touching the back corner of the recess and one the front edge. These box halves are not very deep but do just about allow the scene to be angled and it will allow thicker things to be hidden behind at least half of the background.
On the left is a brick wall made from the usual 3 mm card scored and coloured. The little bit of pointing is a white crayon used here and there. The wall started off full size filling the whole of the space but then I chopped the first two layers of brick off, bent them over and made a wall head with them, allowing for greenery to come over the wall from behind and adding a little depth.
The twigs are rosemary bits and the greenery is mostly miniNatur items.
The bench is a sliver of obeche on wood strip scraps and the cobbles are Creative Paperclay.
At first I did hack it about a bit as I started off with the fantasy of recessing a battery in the lid but I found it was far too difficult. I’ve hastily covered it over with a lopsided false panelled wall, put on an innocent face and pretended it wasn’t me. So no lighting in this scene.
Half way through the whole construction I decided to colour the inner very wide and dark lip of the base and lid with gold felt pen it’s been finished off with a couple of coats of Triple Gloss Glaze over the gold. (You can see the panel dimly with the gold edging, but it’s now hidden behind the house facade.)
The right-hand side (the lid section) is a scrap of obeche panel wood and the thinnest bits of wood strip I have to hand are the beams. Some of the pieces are so small that just about every time one of them is dropped I can’t find it – and I continuously drop the dratted things. However it’s not a large area to work on so this juggling has at least a fixed period pass-time.
The ‘stone’ decoration over the door is the usual Creative Paperclay and the door knob is a bead spacer with florist’s wire for a handle. All of which is now more or less invisible as the figure is blocking the view. The torch is the bottom tiddly section of a much larger horn shaped jewellery finding held in place with florists wire.
Oh, yes the figure – or should I say the half figure.
I don’t really know the scale of this construction but the figure is just 0.75” tall to the very tip of her misshapen nightcap (when she gets dressed). I am assuming she isn’t representing a 6’ figure and is more likely 5’ plus a bit (so must be a very small doorway), so as 1:96 for a 6’ would be 0.75” she must be approximately 1:80 or 1:85.
- 1:12 and 5’ tall then = 5”
- 1:24 = 2.5”
- 1:48 = 1.25”
- 1:96 = 0.63”
When making it I knew it would be just a head and a hand with possibly a foot but saw it as a male figure with a lantern. Once the hair was in place it became a woman in a nightcap. So it goes.
Her head is paperclay but the hand and shoe are bits of baby wipe built up with glue rather like an all in one piece wraparound papier-mache shaped blob. The cap and nightshirt are also bits of baby wipe with a little lace on the hat and a little black edging for a shawl.
Why use baby wipe fabric?
- Well they are lying around for me to use as I’ve always got gluey fingers
- They take glues and some colours quite well
- They stiffen up well if the need arises
- They can be teased into various soft folds and shapes
- Above all, although it looks tatty at the edges it doesn’t fray
The candle in her hand is one strand of parcel string, straightened out and covered in glue with colouring and shaping at the wick end.
Attaching the figure
As you can see from the armature photo there’s a long piece of wire left on the ‘blank’ side of the body for handling the figure whilst working on it. When she was complete the wire stem was cut leaving enough to fit lying flat behind the walling, bent at a better angle so that she could get through the door and then, with her in place the wire was affixed with glued paper to the back of the wall so that she is held fairly firmly.
The cobbles are finished off with matte varnish as are both walls and the Triple Gloss has been used to create a little puddle area here and there.
Inner left and right
All together now
Definitely a very enjoyable outing: mentally engaging and very refreshing to be doing something a little different and with the possibility in view of a more or less immediate result.
What don’t I like?
The slab over the doorway is neither one thing nor the other – would at least have been better if it were not so thick, perhaps – and the angle of the tree on the left could have done with being more ‘relaxed’. The rest I can live with 😉