Once upon a time, and somewhere along the road, I became completely engrossed in making miniature buildings. This rather preoccupied my spare time for a couple of years. The buildings were initially intended to be used for miniatures gaming, but became a hobby (or obsession!) in their own right.
The building blocks are made out of plaster, formed using rubber molds I bought from Hirst Arts. It takes several castings of a mold to make enough bricks for a project, about 18 times on average. You glue the bricks together to make your building, and then paint it. I used three shades of gray in a dry-brushing technique to paint the buildings. I also started painting miniature figures.
The Hirst Arts molds, called Castlemolds, come in a variety of architectural styles. You can create any building you want, or follow design plans on the Hirst Arts Web site (as I’ve done with most of the ones below). It’s like making your own Legos, but with a realistic, textured surface. I then started making more involved landscapes for the buildings, using insulation foam to create hills and rocks, but they remain unfinished.
After buying my first digital camera about a year ago, I took a series of photos of these projects and posted them on my blog Heliopoli. I’ve taken those posts down since they don’t quite belong there and decided to post a selection of those photos below, to store them on this personal Web site instead.
I have a whole shelving unit full of paints, craft sticks, insulation foam, miniature gravel, and more, like some shrine to obsession artistic preoccupation. My enthusiasm for these things has cooled, but every once in a while I get a hankering to return to them. I have some buildings of original design that remain unpainted (like the gatehouse below) or that I haven’t photographed yet. If and when I get around to doing more, perhaps I’ll post them here.
I’d like to think they were related to writing in some way, having to do with practicing patience, laying a foundation, step-by-step construction, happy accidents, etc. The prison tower (above) remains on my desk in its own little tableau.
Photos © ACF