Monday, February 27, 2012

WALNUT GROVE SCHOOL HOUSE MODEL from Little House on the Prairie TV series

Walnut Grove School House Model 1/87Th Scale
Little House on the Prairie NBC

This is a of a follow-up to one of my earliest post --look back and you will see the story behind this commissioned project. A reader mentioned that I never posted any images of the final Schoolhouse model in this continuing series. One of the others is almost completed - Nellie's Restaurant. The Ingalls' Farm complex is in the starting phase. I'll post images of those as they are ready.

calling in the kids.............

The model, like the others in this series is made from styrene, foam, vinyl and brass

if you look very carefully there are two bluebirds in the oak tree just to the left of the school

The real set locations were in Simi Valley, but these models were photographed in the back country             of San Diego which has a similar look of yellow grass and oak trees.

While doing research for these models I noticed the school's outhouse over the decades changed locations
sometimes it was on the left, sometimes it was on the right-------and sometimes these is NO outhouse at all!!
the location on the right seemed to be the most common -so that it where I planted it.

The real television building sets were all destroyed on the show with the exception of the Ingles' House and the School house shown here in model form. The sets were actually destroyed on the last episodes of the series---for legal reasons ALL structures built on the movie ranch had to be completely removed and the property returned to it's natural state as it appeared prior to filming. The two set buildings that were saved , were disassembled and put into storage. Sadly they were also destroyed after a fire burned the warehouse the sets were kept.

Here is a birds-eye view showing the layout of the model
Three identical models were constructed for the client and a fourth was built for my sister --a huge Little House on the Prairie fan

Here's one of the five Oleson's Mercantile models that were built. Each is 95% the same as its "sisters" but each may have a slight variance in a detail. This one is not the same one that appeared in the earlier posts.

Those roses Mrs. Oleson planted keep growing outside the fence and NOT in her garden where she wants them

It may be hard to tell from these images, but the mercantile features lace curtains, pull shades and goods & wares inside the shop windows!!

Also in the works is Doc Baker's/Post Office, Grist Mill, and Bank/Print Office

Friday, December 23, 2011

SANTA ARRIVES AT GHOST TOWN Buena Park California!!!

 A current project becomes the theme of this years Christmas card!

Every year for my Christmas cards I try and take a project I was working on and re-dress it for use as that year's card subject. This year I was hoping to showcase more prototypes from my MID CENTURY SCALE MODELS 1960's series. The idea was to use the prototypes for Hickman's Department Store kit, the Shopping center stores unit and the Garden Center kits to create a 1961 Shopping Center Christmas! But due to other projects  I just didn't have time. Next year though!

While working on a side project I figured I could used these models of Knott's Berry Farm's GHOST TOWN structures for a quick "GHOST TOWN" Christmas theme and get the cards to the printer in time. And That I did. After the holidays I'll showcase the Knott's models......some were incomplete to use in the shots ( Gold Trails Hotel, Silver Dollar Saloon) and others were not finished at all ( Drug Store, Print Shop, Express Office, Post Office..etc) Again, I'll do a post later to show all these and explain the project.

This was a test shot for a different view.......but it reveals the fact that the DRUG STORE &  PRINT OFFICE are missing from the scene!

This view hides the missing buildings. Had I used this view I would have placed some Knott's "Eucalyptus" trees in the background and continued the snow further down the street.

                  This shot of the incomplete Silver Dollar Saloon and Ghost Town Grill look like a pretty good depiction of a REAL 19Th Century Christmas scene!      

I originally had Santa arriving in a sleigh, but in Old West Ghost Town, Santa uses a Stagecoach!!

Here's some shots of the GHOST TOWN buildings during fabrication......there's 4 of each!!!

"Goldie's Place"

Goldie's PLACES!!

These buildings have yet to be shingled.

Backside of the Silver Dollar Saloon


The Knott's GHOST TOWN structures have had many changes thru their history. From additions of porches, extra windows, boarded up windows and various colors and "weathering" appear over the decades, so I tried to replicate the most typical versions and in a later post explain the whole project.

Man, I'm getting hungry for fried chicken and Boysenberry pie!!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAVE A GREAT BIG BEAUTIFUL NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

ALOHA LANES a c. 1960 Southern California Bowling Complex in a South Seas setting

bowling complex c. 1960  model 1/8Th scale

Anyone who knows me is well aware of my love for the past. The "Mid Century" period is one of my favorites. Years ago I worked on a project called "Astro Bowl" it was a late 1950's style Bowling complex.  Aloha Lanes (originally called Tiki Bowl) is a descendant of  Astro Bowl. The model is a prototype for MORE MODELS!! You may be able to purchase a version of Aloha Lanes in a 1/8Th (HO Scale) laser craftsman kit.  You'll need to have some model building experience as the final kit will not be a "Revell snap-together" type. The kit will again be mostly laser cut styrene plastic, with some details from other materials.  This is part of a whole series of HO scale model kits aimed at the scale Model Railroader. There will be drive-thru Car Washes, theaters, banks, shopping centers, Department stores, car dealerships, mountain vacation homes, Yacht Clubs and many more. These will be sold under the CENTURY SCALE MODEL line.

Aloha Lanes was inspired by several structures in the San Diego area. Some are still standing. It is based on building I grew up seeing around my hometown. At the time they were already "out-of-style", but I developed a love for them.

The version of the final kit may not be as elaborate, and the coffee shop section may become a separate kit to keep footprint size a bit smaller.
These are some test shots. The marquees will include several laser cut letters to create different names
A family of three tikis greet guest to Aloha Lanes

This is the VERY FIRST idea concept for this model.............

getting closer to the final version............
another early study quick-sketch -one of about 70 drawings
Aloha Lanes features a coffee shop called "TIKI COVE" and a cocktail lounge called "THE PELE ROOM"
a view of "TIKI COVE"; Aloha Lanes coffee Shop
Some guests depart THE PELE ROOM after some mid-day cocktails mid-century style!!

The service backside of Aloha Lanes
early test fit construction--your kit will look similar to this!!
Lets get a cocktail before we bowl!
The PELE ROOM seen from parking lot and street marquee

That white deluxe Plymouth station wagon sure gets around!!
You can get coconut pudding at TIKI COVE coffee shop!
Aloha from Aloha Lanes!!!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010


a view from the river!

as simple as this  looks....this was the final design after many many concepts!

one of about 25 different quick renderings possible versions of this entrance



........more can't pick the best from just one!!

the marquee and other details will follow........

another quick concept rendering-but looks close to what was eventually decided upon!

the hoist house backside

another set up test---more work was done on this