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By GEBOOM - Dec. 31, 1969The ruined monastery miniature display:
- Large Chipped Stone Floor Tile mold (100% customized)
- Small Brick mold (100% customized
- Gothic Dungeon Accessories mold (Only the slate roof pieces)
- Dental tools
- Sharp knife
- Pattex Transparent glue
- Dental Plaster
- Self hardening clay
- Foam board
- Acrylic paints
This little project is actually a test piece in order to find out how and if all the blocks work together before I start building other (bigger) projects with it.
Although it is submitted as a HADD unique entry I will not actually compete for the following reason.
This project is made for 99 percent out of customized blocks. Although the regulations state that contestants may alter blocks in order to use them as they see fit in their projects I think this is not referring to this entry since the whole building is customized. Customize blocks are allowed to fill in blanks and in order to overcome technical problems that can not be solved using the standard building blocks.
So why contribute?
I would like to show what mister Hirst has done to me by inventing his building blocks.
I also would like to show you how far and extreme you can go with altering existing building blocks.
How the idea got shape:
Last year I visited Axel Muller-Heyn in Berlin, Germany. He took me on a small city tour on which we also visited the Reichstag. I liked the stone structure on this building and somehow kept this in mind.
When I visited Origins in June this year I met Sandra Garrity, a miniature sculptress, who asked me to make her a miniature display. At this convention I bought some great miniatures that would fit perfectly in some gothic religious setting so I thought about making a piece of wall from some sort of church or monastery.
I got myself the book “Piranesi, the complete etchings” I saw this book at Scott Spiekers house and I liked it a lot since it is filled with hundreds of great scenery etchings of ancient structures.
When I was on holiday in Belgium last month I visited an nice little ancient church. I noticed the nice windows and buttress walls of his church.
So with this mix of these impressions I was able to come up with the idea for this project.
Use of molds & making of custom blocks:
While on holiday in Belgium I brought 200 grams of plaster with me and the Large chipped stone floor tile mold and the small Brick mold.
As for tools I brought with me a small fine saw a sharp hobby knife and my favourite dentist scraping tool. In Belgium I bought a sketchbook with a square line pattern in it and a ruler.
I mostly used the casts from the small brick mold to make the new stone structure. I used a fine saw to cut away the edges around each individual tile in order to get this new structure that has more depth in it and smooth edges.
Next was the making of a smooth brick version. Where I used wet plaster and a sharp knife to put excessive plaster on the stones making them smooth. After that I used a saw and dentist tool to scrape the stone pattern in to the smooth surface.
Once that was done it was logical to extend this pattern in different blocks like corner pieces, octagonal pieces and special buttress blocks.
The small roman window came next as did the arrow slit piece.
The hardest pieces to make where the gothic windows. They are quite fragile but where fun to sculpt. I worked with pieces that I kept moist by putting them in a plastic bag wrapped with some wet tissues. In this way I am able to work on the block, put it away and pick it up later to work on it some more.
A special little project was the making of the arches. I made several arches like whole ones and some that can interlock, thus forming a chain of arches. Just to give you an idea how I made a certain window I posted a picture of the design drawing of the arch with the loose blocks beside it.
Once the whole arch was assembled it was ready to be molded.
The large chipped stone floor tile mold was used mainly to cut the large tile up in to long blocks for making edged pieces and certain trim pieces.
Since I had only 7 days left before the closing date of the Design Derby I had to work fast.
I had everything molded but making the structure I had in mind I would not get it done in time so I build certain parts that I molded again so I could speed up the construction work.
Making a large window frame and a connecting buttress column sure helped a lot. I also made more octagonal corner pieces in one mold and the special buttress trim.
With these all prepared I could do this project with about 10 casts.
Making a display like this in a very short time made me do some compromising. The project has only one significant good side which is a 45 degrees angle up front. The back of the project is mainly foam board that helps me to keep the structure up and add more strength to it.
Since there is no real back on this project I planned the walls in a way that there are angles in it so this prevents you from looking at it from behind. Making a side and a rear end of an abandoned and partially demolished chapel is suited perfect for this purpose.
To give the project a bit more depth, I made some wall fragments and a kind of arched entrance to suggest that there is more to see when you walk that way. Also this shows you that there must be (or once was) some sort of building attached to this chapel. The roof on the little house comes from the Gothic Dungeon Accessories mold and these are the only original Hirst Arts blocks I used in this project.
The floor tiles is another experiment. I saw detailed etchings in the Piranesi book of this ancient roman road that looks like the tiles I did. My first attempt ever to make an interlocking floor tile. To be honest, I failed in actually doing so. The tiles do not connect properly but with some wet plaster, a brush and a knife you can never tell. (we simply cover it up)
With some self hardening clay I modelled the surface in front of the project. Making the pavement sink into the ground and making the surface more irregular.
I also modelled some clay at a few spots on the walls trying to make a kind of plant/shrub texture.
I kept the detail simple and applied it sparsely.
I used wood glue to put over modelled ground and used sand to get a tougher surface.
I spray painted the structure black as a base colour.
I wanted to use earth colours on the walls for most parts so I went for a brown/beige kind of setting. To suggest that the smooth stones and trim are made from a different type of stone I tried making them a bit brighter although being old they have to look a bit weathered as well.
The slate roof has a blue shine.
I kept the pavement also a bit earth like toned and the earth around it got a little more fresh look by adding some greens and yellows on them.
The sculpted shrubs are the parts in this project that gets the most vibrant colours. They have to stand out and are there to spice up the display.
Although it was kind of a speed project I enjoyed it a lot to make it.
It seems that when I make a display of some sort I also have the urge to paints the miniatures that go along with that project. Maybe I have to make more miniature displays on order to get more of my miniatures painted.
ps. last two pictures are large!
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