1989 - Volume #13, Issue #4, Page #20[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Custom-Built Mini Models of FarmsA custom-built "miniature" model of your farm, built with meticulous detail and set inside a glass-covered table, makes a great family heirloom and an unusual conversation piece for your living room, according to artist Darren Schmidt, Langenburg, Sask.
Schmidt custom-builds small-scale farms in his spare time. His models, built on a 1/ 87th scale, are set inside an oak coffee table with a glass top. Schmidt visits your farm or works from detailed photographs, and maps out all of its features, including such details as manure piles, flower beds, toys in sand-boxes, sways in roofs, trees, gardens, power poles, livestock, people, equipment, fences, junk piles, and the weathering of buildings. Then he constructs the miniature model from scratch, board by board, window by window.
Cost of the miniaturized farm scenes depends on the number of buildings, equipment, size of yard, etc., but generally it's around $2,000 to $3,000. "It's very labor intensive work because the buildings, including siding, windows and doors, are all made from scratch," explains Schmidt.
When possible, Schmidt travels right to the farm and takes 8 to 10 rolls of photos, with an assistant holding a 6-ft. measuring stick posed in front of two sides of each building. "The 6-ft. measuring stick gives us a relative indication of the actual building size. When we look at the photo of that building later, we use an ordinary ruler to calculate the actual height and width of the building."
Schmidt uses wood, plastic, cardboard and metal to construct the buildings. Once the buildings have been constructed, he glues them to a board, then adds the landscaping which he makes from colored foam. Shrub cuttings glued to twigs become coniferous trees. "We generally use commercial toy vehicles," notes Schmidt. "However, we have to specially construc t a lot of equipment because it just isn't available to buy."
The last step is building the coffee table to house the model. "It generally takes us about 6 months to complete a farm model," says Schmidt.
For more information, contact FARM SHOW Follow up, Darren Schmidt, Land of Miniatures, Box 941, Langenburg, Saskatchewan,Canada S0A 2A0 (ph 306743-2903).
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