Arte e Artigianato, con un Po 'di Magia

(Art and Craft, with a little Magic)

Sunday, November 18, 2018

TERRANOVA - Parte Quinta

TERRANOVA - The layout is now running great... even the tight curve behind the buildings in the Left Rear Corner. Recall, this is 1" scale on 32mm gauge track, representing "Minimal" 15" Gauge track.
     I have also completed scenery on the Left Module (half) of the new layout, complete with foliage and some details. I made some vines, using real twigs, and tiny leaves punched from a real oak leaf (Quercia alba), and painted. Lots of work, but I think it looks pretty good.
     Pictures taken from my new iPhone... not bad.

Overall view of the left end.

Chain Hoist on the Piazza.

Vines made from twigs, with punched and painted leaves.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

TERRANOVA - Parte Quarta

Terranova - Slate Tile Roof: I just made a small roof for Terranova, and wanted some weathered and battered slate shingles for it. I discovered the solution on the "Minworks" Blog.…/slatelookrooftiles.html
His technique uses a cardboard base (I used egg cartons for added texture) and a skim-coat of spackle or plaster. Brilliant and convincing in 1" scale. Here is an example of the roof I built...
Slate roof at Terranova

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


                                     Porca Miseria!  (Oops!)    Who spilled the paint?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

TERRANOVA - Parte Terza

Rolling Stock;
   I took a break from track and scenery to build three flatcars to a "standard" home-shop design. I stole the basic design from Si Harris (Modelearth), made them from wood, and narrowed them for use with my 32mm gauge track. I cut the wood parts (clear pine) on my table saw, made lap-joint siding (using the techniques of Rich Chiodo), and made and cast my own journals and other hardware. Wheels are from the Train Department.
   Instead of the more traditional stake pockets, these cars use hold-down-rings to tie down loads. Also notice that most of the journals have the NNENGMRRA signature pine tree logo on the lid. These journals are mixed-n-matched with a more plain "Hudson-ish" design. Does anyone recognize the significance of the car number sequence? The red mark is a paint spill.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

TERRANOVA, Seconda Parte

   As I work to establish an Italian urban atmosphere, I used new construction mixed with recycled parts of my older dioramas to create a cluster of buildings in the Left Rear Corner. These buildings conceal the sharp curve of track, and add to the theme of the Diorama/Layout.
   I will continue to add structures and details as I go along. I am also working on the Railway-related parts.  Watch this space...

Friday, August 10, 2018

TERRANOVA, Prima Parte

   "Terranova" is a fictitious, fantasy hill town, somewhere in Southern Italy. It is the theme of my new creation, which will be a 1" scale (1/12) Diorama, but also a micro-size model train layout. This will hopefully satisfy two of my passions at the same time; building scale models, and running trains. It will be totally built "from scratch" on a shelf in my studio.
   To begin, I made a base of 1" thick Polystyrene "pink foam", and laid out the basic ground levels and  and track plan. The overall size is 19" deep and 63" long, and is made in two sections, for easy transport to shows. There are provisions for expansion at both ends.
   The trains will be 1" scale, and run on very narrow 15" (32mm) gauge track, representing a tiny urban Tramway. Below is an overhead shot, showing the entire layout, with tracks installed.  More to come...

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

"Lo Zampognaro" Part 7, the end, for now.

     I have finally gone back to complete my "Zampognaro" figure. He is now looks more like an Italian Shepard, I hope, with wrapped leggings and no hat. Also, he is now holding a new and improved Zampogna (bagpipes) with the pipes made by my friend Lello Pallumbo, in Italy. Notice that the Right Arm is articulated and moveable, the Left Foot taps to the beat, and the Head turns too. His hands are cast in silicon rubber on a wire armature, so the fingers can flex for animation.
     I also made a base for him to stand on as he plays. He is now ready for filming, and I hope to do some Stop-Motion-Animation with him some day soon.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

"Lo Zampognaro" Part 6

     I have added some color to the figure, and finished his "felt" hat. I still have to blend and work with the colors, make a few minor revisions, and add more details. I just thought I would let you see how he's coming along.

"Lo Zampognaro", Part 5

  I have just found several examples of "Lo Zampogna" being played. It is used most extensively for traditional Christmas songs, and there are plenty of examples on YouTube. Here are a few...  "Godere! "  (enjoy)

Meanwhile, We're off on a one-month "research" trip to Italy!


"Lo Zampognaro", Part 4    (from 2/17/18)

  I have almost finished the sculpting on this figure. I also fabricated his "Zampogna" (bagpipes) by turning the pipes from hardwood and forming the "goatskin" bag from clay. Some extra drone pipes hang from his belt. I am now working on a traditional Italian shepherd's hat, and will begin adding coloring, details, and hair soon.



"Lo Zampognaro", Part 3    (from 1/25/18)

  I have begun work on the head. I am trying for a caricature, with inspiration from trolls, gnomes, and Dizzy Gillespie (puffy cheeks). I covered the armature (below) with Poly Clay, and freelanced the face and details. The eyes are glass, from He's still a little "crumby", and needs a little more work, but he's coming along. Next I'll be working on the body, and "La Zampogna", the bagpipes.

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"Lo Zampognaro", Part 2    (from 1/15/18)

   Today I completed "bulking-up" the armature, using aluminum foil covered with epoxy-putty. This gives a better idea for the shape and size of the figure, and reduces the amount of polymer clay that will be required. It also helps me to posethe figure before I get too much detail on him, risking damage. The head is removable, so I can work onit separately, and I will soon make removable hand armatures too.ac1   ac3


"Lo Zampognaro", Part 1    (from 1/6/18)

     Today I have started a new, large fantasy figure sculpture. I call him "Lo Zampognaro"; a musician who plays La Zampogna,a type of bagpipe made from goatskin, and traditionally played in parts of Southern Italy.

     In this case, he will be a "sort of" Troll/Gnome caricature, and was inspired by the creations in the stop-motion movie "Boxtrolls", and the work of Montreal artist Jean-Baptiste Monge. So far, I have constructed an armature from 8-32 threaded rods, copper wire, nuts, and bits of brass sheet. It stands about 12 inches tall. The arms are copper wire, for ease of posing later, and the brass tab on his hip is to attach him to a stand while I work on him..Next, I plan to bulk-up this framework with tinfoil, 
epoxy putty, and wire. Here's what I have, so far...

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