Monday, March 24, 2014

Langweil's Card Model of Prague


I just learned this week about the amazing papercraft work of 19th century artist Antoinin Langweil, who spent ten years building a cardboard model of the city of Prague. 

Detail pictures of the half-timbered garden railway shop.

 It's a sunny day, so I took the last of the photos of the half-timbered garden railway building today. I wanted to document some of the details before shipping it out to my client later this week. I quit documenting the build toward the end, because I was eager to finish.

Here's the front, with the sign and the bay window. Both of those were made of scrap sign plastic. The columns on the bay window are old ballpoint pens.

Views around the building.

Window and window box flowers. The window frames are scrap black sign plastic. The windows themselves are black Sculpey with translucent liquid Sculpey poured in and baked between them. That was fun; I'm looking forward to making more of those.

Back door with sculpey doorknob and hinges.

Underneath, there's a panel that comes off, revealing a compartment for putting a bag of gravel inside. No sense shipping all that extra weight.

Here is the bay window. I made it removable so the client could put her own items on the shelves. 

 The two spikes at the top fit into holes in the overhanging part of the building, and the whole thing attaches to the bottom with a screw that goes through a tab.

Shipping it Wednesday!

Friday, March 21, 2014

SIDE PROJECT: Unseen University

I started building the card model of Terry Pratchett's Unseen University. I decided to do it in approximately Z-scale, so I scaled it down a bit. Build the library first, and then for no good reason at all, I built a few Z-scaled English buildings from Fiddler's Green to go outside the walls.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A few outdoor photos of a completed model.

I snapped a few quick photos outside of the garden railway structure I just finished.

More detailed photos to follow.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Garden Railway Shop, Pt. 3

Working away at it. I carved the edges of the timbers with a #11 X-Acto, and gave them a wood texture by dragging a wire brush across the insulation foam. I sanded a 45-degree bevel into the edges of several parts and did a test fitting.

Figured out the base plate. It is a piece of plastic with four holes drilled into it. Screws will go up and into the corner supports. I did this because I was concerned about the piece blowing away in the wind, and this way, you can take off the base plate, add a bag of gravel or sand, then screw the base plate back on. Why don't I just include the weight in the finished piece? Because I have to ship it, and there's no point adding extra weight before it's needed. (Note to self -- I need to buy some stainless steel or brass screws for this.)

Cut out the windows with a long X-Acto knife. I lowered the side windows from the attic to the second floor because I realized the insulation would be likely to break near the roof line. With thinner material, as in the original papercraft model or my foamcore prototype, it's not going to snap, but I didn't want to risk it with the insulation. If I make this building again, I'll likely add a small window on each side for the attic.

Painted the plaster areas with latex exterior paint. After this, I painted the beams with a dark brown acrylic.

Added a transitional color between the beams and the plaster, because it just didn't look quite right otherwise. I may add a wash of that orange color to age the plaster, particularly down at the bottom edge of the building. The beams still need to be dry-brushed with a light color, but everything is coming together nicely.