Friday, June 8, 2012

Egging: Scale Model Church Diorama

First Presbyterian Church inside Emu Egg.

In The Thwarting of Mr. Dingsnapple, the zookeeper takes not only Sweetie's eggs to sell, but all the goose eggs.  His reason is that a lady from the International Egg Art Guild needs 100 eggs for an egg decorating class. She plans to pay him handsomely for the eggs.

Outside of boiled Easter eggs, most people do not know about this highly advanced and challenging art form.  Real eggs are emptied of their contents, cut open, and decorated in a variety of ways. Most eggers, as people who participate in this art form are called, prefer to put jewels all over the eggs.  I did some of that, but my preference was making miniature scenes.

In order to build a scale model of our church, I started by having my husband stand in different places, holding a six-foot pole. I took photos of him all around the outside of the building.  Then I used calipers to determine the height and width of each part of the building.

This particular model is correct, down to the cracks on the sidewalk. I found it worked better if I cut a base to fit inside the egg and built my structure on it.

Specialized Tools

Before long, I amassed an assortment of tiny tools to build my models.  You can see the dime for scale on the church building.  The church is 9/32 inch to the foot. I used the railroad modeling Z gauge as a standard for my egg dioramas. That way I could add Preiser scale model finishing touches and people to my scenes.

The church took 27 pieces of very thin lumber to build.  I usually made four models. One to practice on (and make mistakes until I figured it out), one to keep, and two to sell.  Actually, I did give one as a gift to my pastor. 

Notice the tiny log cabin to the right.  I carved it from a tiny block of balsa.

In order to make your scenes more realistic, you need to "age" your models by adding "dirt", debris, and simulate faded paint. Otherwise, they tend to look like new toys.

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