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Farmer Preserves Past By Building "Mini Village"
"Almost all my little buildings have a history behind them," says Cliff Sim, Edmonton, Alberta, about the stunning turn-of-the-century "mini village" he created by constructing 60 tiny log and stucco buildings modeled after Alberta landmarks.
  Sim's village measures 4 ft. wide by 6 ft. long. Most of the buildings were made to a 1:87 scale. There are versions of several local buildings, grain elevators, and even his own family homestead. Other buildings, such as a federal log building with a clock tower, are fictional pieces.
  All the streets are graveled (fine sand) and all the yards have lawns, some flowers, and many trees. Tiny flower boxes brim with colorful flowers, handmade carriages are parked on the street, and threshing machines work in fields dotted with small sheaves of wheat made from shredded string. A binder, mower, and hay rake are also at work.
  He substituted 3/16-in. dia. dowels for logs and used an exacto knife to cut them to size, notching the corners just like real log buildings. He used ordinary glue to fasten the logs together before adding windows and doors. Shingles were made from shaved cedar.
  "I built it in my spare time over a 5-year period. It's a fun hobby," says Sim. "I've always had a keen interest in log buildings and their history because I grew up in a log home on our farm in Alberta. I modeled most of the buildings after photos in magazines. When we're traveling, if I see anything a little odd, I take a photo of it.
  "I used a magnifying glass to do most of the fine work. There's a lot of detail that doesn't show well in the photos, such as objects on some teepees, the horseshoe pits beside the general store, the swinging doors on the saloon, and many others. There are a few buildings that aren't of log construction but instead are made from frame and stucco. For stucco I used polyfil and decorated it using a woman's eye shadow applicator."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Cliff Sim, 246 -10127 - 121 St., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5N 3X1 (ph 403 482-6117).

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1999 - Volume #23, Issue #4