Monday, April 23, 2018

Occurrence at West 71st Street: Unit 41A

This apartment is on the third floor. The stairs leading up to this room from the 2nd floor have police tape and the door to the apartment is locked.


This apartment is also an active homicide investigation.

Wider shots will be coming soon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Occurrence at West 71st Street: Unit 31B

This unit portrays the aftermath of an event. Like all the visible rooms in this project, evidence leads in a direction....

Monday, April 16, 2018

Occurrence at West 71st Street: Unit 41C

This room is the vacant apartment upstairs that no one seems to know much about. It appears to have gotten its own use however...

You may notice a very important detail or two in this room. Taken in context with all the others, it is an important room in the series.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Occurrence at West 71st Street: Unit 31C

There are several apartments in the building with interior views. This occupant features into the back story in an abstract way. There was the usual dealing with walls and floors and lighting. Nothing really special here except I did want to make this occupant's interior a little less dinghy than the first apartment. The lady who lives here gets some nicer overhead lighting. I'm guess she can afford better than what we now know is a painter who lives in 21B.

This scene required the use of a figure, preferably in "stared at" mode and indeed with the right angle, she fit the bill perfectly. Lucky for me, I didn't have to paint her full face or front since she'll only be visible from the backside. I have painted 1/35 figures and the hardest part by far is the eyes and eye details. I was able to evade that this time.

Here  you can see the view through the opening and the stairs leading to the next level.

Wonder who did these art pieces? Hm...

For these lights, I retro-fitted them with a tiny nano LED light so it'll last forever. You can't see that tiny wire from the front (the only viewpoint when the project is completed.)

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Occurrence at West 71st Street: Unit 21B

With the main building frame in place, then it is time to build out the dimension of each apartment. In this diorama, five (for now) apartments will be available for view; the rest will either be "curtains closed" or otherwise out of sight.

I framed the interior apartment spaces by spanning horizontals across the ceiling dimensions, then dropping vertical beams where the walls/corners/edges of visible space meet. When those structures were in place I used thin micro plywood/aircraft plywood, or 1/16 basswood for walls. In some case (rear walls) I used foam board.

The wiring for lighting either had to go in through the ceiling, or the floor.

Here the overhead lighting is going into place. The TV is a piece of flat wood with black paint and Mod Podge.

I usually make books in this scale out of wood strips, and paint accordingly:

The bookshelf is wood strips with some old laser cut parts meant for some lanters I designed at one point:

Since a painter lives in this apartment, it's only fitting that he has his own works here and there.

A thrift store lamp is all he can afford, so he gets a beat up lamp shade to go with it:

Rice paper glued around a cap:

For the ceiling, I used the back of an old notepad (perfect cardboard thickness), and bending a bit here and there produced nice cracks like you'd expect to see in a plaster ceiling:

Unit 21B still needs more art and will be upgraded as the days go by.......

Occurrence at West 71st Street: The Structure

An intricate diorama featuring a murder, at the very least. A complex backstory is revealed through glimpses through the open windows of a New York brownstone, each view offering further potential information to the viewer. From the outside, it looks like any similar brownstone. Except for that police chalk line on the sidewalk, directly below the open window on the third floor........

You can keep up with progress here, on my website, on Facebook or Instagram.

The main building is a set of three side-by-side brownstone apartments. Like many of the old brownstones found in New York, the structures were typically private multi-level homes that have decades later been converted into apartments. In this prototype, the three side-by-sides, with their four levels, make for a combination of twelve possible units, and it is safe to assume that at least a couple of the basement apartments are reserved for storage, laundry, boilers, etc.

The first thing to do is build a the structural outline. Since this is a 1/24 scale project, I used wood to construct the various apartment shapes with mostly "living room" quarters shown from the front windows (overlooking the street), with shapes or views of spaces beyond towards the back alley depending on the units, and all with about 9-foot equivalent ceilings.

You can see the first apartment details going in in the lower center. That will be Apt. 21B. Like all the open apartments, it will play a crucial role in the story.

Kings Head

A diorama in 1/12 scale, portraying a beat up and grungy pub in a rough part of town: