Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The new appliances

They are finally ready! These are accurate renditions of vintage appliances in half scale and cast in resin. All made in the USA! These miniatures are completely finished. For now all are available in white, however, soon the range will be offered in correct colors too.

The range is a 1940's to 50's Chambers Gas Range. The refrigerator is a 1928 Frigidaire and the ringer washer is '40's to 50's. They will probably be in short supply for a time because it will take a while to cast up enough parts, assemble and paint them. The pricing is $20 for the Frigidaire and $30 each for the washer and the range. As an introductory special I will send all three in one order post paid in the US for $75.

I plan on many more miniatures, however, I must see if these are successful first. E-mail me at for order information.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Busy, busy,busy...

I have been hiding at the workbench for the past month or more. The finishing touches are going into the design of the first Storefront kit. Some changes have been made to the design and construction which I hope to be improvements.

There are also two and soon to be three early appliances coming. A Chambers Range, Frigidaire Refrigerator and soon a wringer washer. All will be available as completely finished miniatures. The ranges will be available in white, cream, red and green as per the real ones.

Back to the patterns...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Storefront #1

Here it is! The first kit to be available in this series of Heavy Metal structures. The base size is 7-1/4" wide by 12" in length with an interior space of 6" by 8". The facade is mainly resin castings and wood strips. The sidewalk is plaster only 1/16" thick. This means it is very easy to age the sidewalk if one desires by placing tiny bits of thin scrap under it before gluing it down. All one need do is press. It will chip and fracture in a natural way and then be held in place by the glue. The side walls are Balsa-Foam covered in plastic brick siding. The roof and rear wall are removable. In fact, one could use a sheet of clear plastic for the roof. All parts are included except for the interior flooring (a 1/4" plywood base is included), the interior wall covering and the ceiling material. There are quite a few different materials from which to choose and I leave that up to the builder.

 The front windows above the storefront can be treated as stained glass as I have done. There is an update kit also available that includes a large swamp cooler, a window A/C unit and an electric meter for those that want a slightly more up to date version. Build it as original turn of the century or updated. The aged sign is included.

I will announce here when they are actually in stock. My guess is by August 1st, 2012. My own version will be decked out as a Re-Sale Store, selling all kinds of used merchandise, but it can be used for almost any type of small shop.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The older part of town.

Here's a few snap shots I took this weekend somewhere on the back roads of Georgia while out on a drive. The Ford is I believe a 1937 and is somewhat worse for wear. The building is an ols cafe that is still open. Not sure if I'd want to frequent it though. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First kit available soon

I am currently working on the first kit in what I hope to be a small series of "Mesker" style storefronts. The first one, appropriately named Storefront #1 (wow! How do I come up with these catchy names?), will make its debut here very soon. It is a single story with brick sides and Meker facade. The windows are large to enable the interior to be viewed and the rear wall can be made removable. The roof can either be finished with ceiling and felt roofing, or a removable piece of clear plexi.

The kit utilizes my own cast resin details and sheets of Balsa-Foam covered in brick plastic veneer for the walls. This initial design is done to familiarize the builder in the assembly of these structures. As things such as these go, it is fairly easy to construct.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Another new storefront

Just finishing up work on the latest two story metal sided building. The panels represent Mesker-style cast iron and stamped tin decoration. The entire front on this one is a collection of special resin castings. Also shown is the onion dome for another structure. It is copper clad and only one facet is aged so far. I hope to have finished photos next week of the two story.

Monday, April 30, 2012

New Hexagonal turret!

I have just finished the patterns and molds for the 6-sided turret that will be used on the second story of some commercial buildings yet to come. The corner turret will have three 8' tall windows and be hollow of course in which to add furnishings. The next building will be a StoreBox of two stories with the corner turret. One sales room down and two offices up. Footprint will be about 12" square and the interior will have all floors, walls and ceiling coverings ready to place furnishings. Half scale naturally!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Some shots of the new building flats

Here are a few photos of the flats I've been working on. The Barber is finished, however, the Bar has a little ways to go yet. Half scale of course. Everything is done from scratch except a little brick siding on the Bar. The Barber is hand carved. In most cases it isn't worth it to carve unless you are doing some funny things with the courses. Most of the details are cast resin. The Bar is to represent Mesker Bros. stamped metal siding. The Barber is stucco covered bricks with wooden trim. This one is copied from an actual building on the Historic Buildings List.

These are the prototypes for a series of ready-built miniatures that I will be undertaking shortly. No two will be identical and they will be completely finished as shown. Most of the models available will be really room boxes with finished interiors ready to furnish by the new owners.

I am working now on a two story brick affair with a hexagonal turret. The Bar is available and the two story will be next. The Barber Shop is sold. The footprints for the new series of room boxes will be about 9" to 12" wide by 12" deep including the 4" wide sidewalk out front, yielding an interior space of about 7-1/2".

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A little background.

I have been building miniatures for about 55 years now, as I've said. Most of my building life has been with model railroads. I manufactured mostly 1/4" scale structure kits for over 30 years. I am slowly exiting that area in favor of dollhouse miniatures. Oh, I am still building my own island railway in the basement here in Atlanta, however, recently I have switched to 1/2" scale. Or rather, my eyes told me to do so! Since this is one of the popular dollhouse scales of half scale, I figured I'd combine the two.

Half scale structures fill up a model railway very quickly, so I almost always selectively compress my buildings somewhat. I will post the progress here of the town area of Caribbean-style architecture. Very colorful with a lot of stucco covered buildings along with roughly framed wooden structures and tin roofs.

I am in the process of starting a line of half scale dollhouse kits and a few parts, such as an upright piano. I am working on developing a new Queen Anne Cottage with four rooms, two up and two down with an open side for access. Most of the detail parts will be my own resin castings to better reflect the multi-level detail.

I am also working on a series of built half scale "flats", wall hangings, and small one to two room commercial structures with interiors ready to detail that are available as new or with a custom weathered finish inside and out. These will be one of a kinds with no two exactly alike. I am now collecting a vocabulary of detail castings of my own for the decorative trim. I love the cast and stamped metal trim of vintage storefronts. Photos soon.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A few of my recent miniatures

Well, it looked like the first post worked, so here I go...

I have been a model railroader all of my life. That's a long time. I like trains, however, I would have to classify myself as a miniaturist as I like all miniatures. My real love is structures. I studied architecture in school for years before graduating from the University of Florida with A degree in Advertising Design. I am newly retired from the Walt Disney Company after spending a lot of my professional career as an Imagineer. My love for structures has finally progressed to 1/2" scale dollhouses although some of my older work is in 1/4" scale. I prefer the detail possible in the larger scale.

Another specialty is aging and weathering. I like the look and implied history of structures modeled as such. I am developing a small line of half scale miniatures that will be offered soon. The first of which is the Small Town Store, shown here.

Scale detail is very important to me. I cannot see installing expensive and custom  furnishings into a simplified and poorly detailed shell. To me, the structure is just as important a component as any furnishings are.

I also like to model from real life. Here is a miniature in quarter scale of Head's Mill in Georgia. It is all built from scratch with some parts cast in resin. This is a shelf or wall miniature and is only a flat.

In future posts I will show what I am working on right now, but it will be a few days yet before I shoot new photos.
This is the first posting test for a new blog about half scale architectural miniatures of my own creation. Let's see if it works correctly. One never knows about these computer illiterate users!