Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Flipping a Country Camper project....

For a long time, I have had a project in mind to flip a Barbie Country camper into a food truck. The idea came to mind a long, long time ago from a Dollhouse Miniature Magazine August 2005 from 1:12 scale Joann Swanson Joe's Burger trailer project. I have held onto the magazine ever since and always wanted to create a burger trailer or truck in 1:6 scale. 

These are some photos of the cover of the magazine and the beginning of the tutorial of the food truck/trailer. Joann, a gifted 1:12 scale miniature artisan, made hers out of matboard, foamcore and spare parts off of a toy truck and the plastic pieces off of  Chrysonbon kits as well as silver spray paint and paper and odds and ends. 

This little camper is in very rough shape. It still has its plaid tent, which is torn at the top a little bit, but I will be doing away with that section. I will also be taking the stickers off of it and spray painting the orange into silver and maybe painting the seats red. 3/16ths foamcore fits perfectly into the slots to make the walls I need to with windows for the customers. 

The idea of using a Barbie country camper instead of building a trailer like Joann's tutorial is I already tried to build the trailer out of foamcore and it just wasn't sturdy enough out of foamcore. I needed to use either a lightweight balsa wood or thicker matboard or something that could be sturdier and I did not have that. Also the trailer just wasn't feasible because it would need a 1/6 scale truck to pull it. I was browsing ebay and saw the vintage country campers and saw some of them being sold cheaply as parts and thought - I could customize one of these! I had seen these customized by the GI Joe guys into agent vehicles, and thought - why not a food truck, or an ice cream truck? I can get lights, and other spare parts from the hobby store to make it more 'real' looking. 

I plan to spray paint the vinyl wall sections , they snap right out of the plastic easily. The tent section I will sell on ebay, I already have the sleeping bag and stool up on auction, to recoup my money I have invested in it. I don't mind saying that the auction I bid on this at some elderly couple bid against me and I bid until I got it- I probably paid way too much for it but I wanted it and would have paid this much for it- with shipping- $25 - if I had purchased it on ebay. So I guess it is all in how you look at it. With selling the tent wall section, the stool and the sleeping bag I can probably make my money back on this project and not feel guilty. Plus I want to make burgers, french fries,  and hot dogs to display for this truck! I know my GI Joes will love this. 

Luckily, I already have one of these vintage campers with the vintage box, in very good condition for my collection. I had one of these as a kid and loved it. I'm currently looking for the beach buggy with all of its accessories too. 

All for now- Lisa

Monday, August 28, 2017

Tasha Tudor Day...

For many of those of you, you may not know that my profile pic of myself was taken many years ago in front of the Tasha Tudor dollhouse in Williamsburg when it was on display in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller museum. This dollhouse, sadly is no longer on display and was specially built to house Tasha's remarkable miniature collection for Thaddeus and Emma , a life size set of dolls she made herself measure 15-16 inches in height. 

Today would have been 102 birthday. As a child I enjoyed her lovely illustrations for such books by Rumor Godden, such as The Dolls House and 
A is for Annabelle which was the inspiration for my reproduction french fashion doll Annabelle. 

So here are a few photos of Annabelle preparing for tea from the archives. I would have liked to do some new photos, but my schedule didn't allow for that. 

If you would like to know more about Tasha Tudor, visit the family's 
Tasha Tudor Website

Tasha Tudor Facebook page

Tasha Tudor Instagram



Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Comic Book Store project...

This is a project that got started early last year and never got finished. I am only just now picking up where I left off and getting it in gear, and pursuing my dream- completing the diorama of Comic Book Central from THe Big Bang Theory where Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj all hang out. 

So far, I have Sheldon and Amy. Finding a suitable head sculpt for Stuart is going to be difficult. I may have to resort to Shapeways where I have found head sculpts of Raj and Howard. Sometimes you can get the artist to do a special sculpt. Leonard is harder to find. I know what dolls I would use for Penny and Bernadette, just have to acquire them. 

The store is made out of 1/2 inch foamcore and I used magic brick to do the sides, only I messed up last year on it. So I decided to make the mistake into a design decision by making the building look run down and planned to do graffitti on the building. That will come on the sides and back later. I have not yet sculpted the brick on the front with the windows. Originally this was supposed to be a Honeyduke's store for my Harry Potter and Ron Weasley figures. But then I thought how cool would it be do a comic book store. I got the idea when I saw all the collectible arcade and superhero miniatures in Target and Walmart that fit Sheldon. 

Here are some of the progress photos so far. I need to decide on what color flooring I'm going to do and how to stabilize the front. Originally I was going to hinge it. I may just have it so it is put in place when not in use. 

The figures on the shelves are made of metal and came in single boxes for .97 cents, one large box with about 10 for $9.98, and a box of 4-5 for $4.98. They are made by DC Comics and Marvel and measure about 2 inches in height. They look similar to Hot Toys and pass for the figures you see in Stuart's store.

On the sides of the building you can see the problems I had with the magic brick. This is why I was going to do advertisements and graffitti on the sides of the building, to make it look run down and like the adds on the sides of the building were peeling. The front of course, would be different. 

I am almost tempted to do a silver floor in this scene. It would really make everything pop, and I have some silver paper. Wood grained flooring looks odd with this blue. 

I want to think outside the box since comic book stores , the modern ones, usually have bright colors and alot of edgy artwork. 


Friday, August 25, 2017

Dark Hollows Poppy Parker arrives at the Gothic Mansion...

I was able to get some wonderful photos of Dark Hollows Poppy Parker at my Gothic Mansion at my studio. A little tweaking and it looks similar to a Collinwood or my version. I transferred my portrait of Barnabas (actually a real painting I copied from the internet of a young man, just looks similar) to a gold frame I had from the white one) and it looks far more gothic now. Poppy arrives at the deserted mansion...covered in creepy cobwebs...

'Hello? Anyone home? it is so quiet here..."

'Nice Kitty,'...'ooh, mummy statues and cases!eek!'

'This must be my famous ancestor Barnabas Collins! But why is everything covered in cobwebs?' 

Poppy decides to take a candle, the only known lighting available right now, and go upstairs and explore. No one has come to greet her, and it is getting late. 

Should I go upstairs? It is so dark and lonely here and they did say they were expecting me....

Hesitantly she walks through the long hall and drawing room to the long flight of stairs...........

What awaits Poppy upstairs? Will she meet Barnabas, her long lost ancestor and vampire? Will other members of the family wake up and greet her? Will someone finally clean the house or have a Halloween party? Stay tuned to find out................
            Behind the Scenes diorama photos-

Here are some behind the scenes photos of the setup of the Gothic mansion, aka Collinwood...

The entire structure is held together with pins and is about forty inches high on the main walls, which are insulation foam spray painted and covered with scrap book papers for two levels. Though it has worked for this I would like to make it over again since it is so hard to get to stand up and pin pictures into etc,  The staircase from ebay (puredreams) had to have more levels added to it to gain the height needed to reach the upper level since it wasn't tall enough and I had already built the structure according to scale. I needed alot of height for this diorama. I am already re-thinking how I can do this. 

Since this is so large and so difficult to set up, I hate taking it down and now rarely take it down. Ihave taken it down once before and it was literally and all day job putting it back up for Christmas last year. I will never do that again unless I have to , pinning it together is hard since I'm short and it's tall. It stays in my climate control storage unit on a six foot table. I decorate it according to the holidays and it has stayed up all year decorated for Christmas. The other part of the other six foot table is for where I work on other dioramas I build. 

I am currently working on the big bang theory's comic book store and made a little progress, not much. Those photos later. 
More to come, stay tuned. Lisa