Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Small Store

The first building in the new and improved (or at least fully intact) city board. The store is a simple, single- story, single room box with a front and back entrance. I imagined it being a small boutique or gadget shop. Click images for a larger view.

This building is made from 3/16" foamcore. It is 6" x 6" x 2.5". I built these buildings a bit taller to make sure that figures with odd poses or super- tall ones could fit inside with the roof on.

Four equal- sized walls were cut out as well as a 6" x 6" floor and ceiling. Windows and doors were measured after the walls were cut out. The doors are 1" wide by 1.5" tall. Windows were sized to whatever looked good. I can't even remember what they are. I wanted large, display windows in this building.

The doors are made by measuring out a piece of thin card (in this case an old movie box) at double the width and the correct height of the door. I cut the shape out with a razor, scored down the center of the piece and folded it in half. When folding, make sure the glossy side is on the inside if the card has it. The paper side absorbs all the super glue and it won't stick, and the glossy side is impossible to paint.

A length of floral wire was cut and glued into the crease of the card door. This acts as the hinge. The door was then glued together with superglue. A small bit of floral wire was bent into a "U" shape and glued into place to act as a door handle.

The center of one door was cut out and a piece of transparency film was glued in the center for a window.

The next step was to glue the walls in place. The walls are cut to sit on top of the floor. The walls were pinned in place by halves of toothpicks set in the edges of the floor . A hole was punched in the floor and the blunt end of the toothpick was glued in place. The bottom edge of the was was given a bead of Tacky Glue and then pressed onto the pointed ends of the toothpicks. If there was a door in that wall, a hole was punched into the floor to accomadate the hinge. The other side of the hinge was then simply pressed into the doorframe in the wall.

Once the walls were in position another toothpick was driven into the each corner to hold the wall pieces together.

Window frames and the roof and corner trim are cut from thin, cracker- box card. The original plan was to have clear plasctic in the windows, so the frames overlap the window opening to allow the plastic something to glue onto. After seeing the door completed, it seemed like it would be too difficult to see into the buildings with the plastic in place. Plus it would be a pain to keep clean.

The roof trim is there to keep the roof in place. The corner guards are to cover the ugly joins of the foamcore. These are nothing special; they are simply card glued in place. The corners were scored to make them fold more easily around the corners.

Nothing was done with the roof piece except an old radio knob was glued to it. This acts as an HVAC vent and a handle to easily remove the roof.

The exterior walls of the building were painted with my standard textured paint. The trim pieces were hand- painted black. The exterior was painted Hunter Green and drybrushed to a light green. The interior floor was also painted Hunter Green and the walls were painted Antique White. The bottom of the roof was also painted Antique White. The top and edges, as well as the inside trim and tops of the walls were painted black. The roof vent, front door and door handles were primed black and drybrushed Boltgun Metal. The back door was painted dark brown on the outside and Antique White on the inside to match the walls.

Black model railroad ballast was glued to the roof with white glue. A layer of white glue was also applied to the bottom of the roof to counteract the inevitable warping of the roof due to the thin foamcore and the drying glue on top. The roof did not warp.

It was tempting to make diplay racks and mannequins for the store, but then realized they would make moving models impossible. They would be in place when the roof was on so you couldn't see them; and then when models entered the building they would have to be removed so you could move through it. They would be near worthless.

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