2016 - Volume #40, Issue #3, Page #19[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
He Built A 1/64 Replica Of His Own FarmBernie and Jean Smith may have retired and moved off their farm in Golata Creek, B.C., to live in town, but they haven’t totally left it behind. They have a detailed 1/64-scale version of the farm in their basement.
“It’s a labor of love. Who said, you can’t take it with you?” laughs Bernie.
He first had the idea of building a “coffee table-sized” model while the couple was still farming. After retirement, when he had time to work on it, he realized he needed more than a coffee table to display the farm which was 3,300 acres in size.
They upsized to a 3 by 6-ft. piece of plywood mounted on folding table legs. The display is based on a 1999 aerial photo of the farm and measurements of all the buildings are scaled down to 1/64.
Bernie built most of the buildings out of 1/8-in. plywood. He recreated the farm’s log building by splitting wooden dowels, and cut the thin corral boards from 2 by 4 spruce lumber.
“I made the crude stuff, and my wife painted it up and made it look good,” he says. She also “landscaped” by gluing gravel and grass and creating trees from scratch. She spent three days “planting” the garden with tweezers.
Bernie repurposed a few items to get the look he wanted. He made a tin roof from a soup can to represent a grain bin. For the smooth-walled hopper bins, he inspected dozens of cans at a grocery store before he found the perfect style - a smooth Hershey’s chocolate can.
He twisted two black wires from an old telephone cord to make power lines, and he wired the scene with real wiring to add lights in the exact places they were on the farm.
The Smiths spent five winters in their garage workshop, building the model farm. They searched hobby shops for miniature livestock, people and greenery. Bernie has especially enjoyed buying toys that match the equipment he had on the farm.
“We’re still looking for a few pieces of machinery and a boat,” Bernie says. “We just try to match the right models for the equipment, and have spent a lot of time to make it look like the farm really was.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bernie Smith, 900-95 Ave., Dawson Creek, B.C. Canada V1G 1H7 (ph 250 782-3410: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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