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Our Home and Miniature Land

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1 working on

Website:www.miniatureland.ca

Instagram:miniature_land

Skills:Carpentry, painting, scratch-building, video production and editing, electrical and lighting, sculpting, drawing

A vast and animated attraction showcasing Canada’s captivating vistas, landmarks and cityscapes in miniature scale, Our Home & Miniature Land aims to entertain and educate guests every tiny step of the way. From The Rockies to the Maritimes and up to the Arctic North, a new landscape to explore is around the corner – it’s an experience for all ages.

Today, with a team of talented individuals, experts in their respective field, and thousands of working hours, the dream is coming to life.

Recent blog entries

Assembly of the Space Homes Project
Posted about Space Homes by William

Hi, Spencer Barclay here. This week is an exciting one, as the Space Home project is really coming together, literally. 

Once I had one fully detailed and painted Space Home that I was happy with, I duplicated all of my designs in Adobe Illustrator and sent them to the laser cutter. I organized all of the pieces on my workbench, I had made my own giant model kit! I assembled and detailed all of the other 4 Space Homes, carefully securing the copper fittings to the inside of the boxes, so the structure would be as strong as possible. 

When I was finished the assembly, the copper fittings were kind of heavy altogether, so I turned to my colleagues at Our Home and Miniature Land to help me create a structure to support the finished miniature. To create the appearance of a floating space installation, the Space Homes miniature needed to be supported from the back, so a bendable plywood was used to give enough structure with the least amount of material. I spray-painted a space background, complete with stars and pink nebulas. Now I had a display base that added structure, and a wow factor. 

A quick detail that appears in the video with no explanation is the 'Canadarm' grabber claw. I needed to find a toy or something that had ball joints or articulation, so I could create something similar. I went to the dollar store and there was a wooden artist's sketching figure that had all of the joints articulated and it was only $4! I pulled off one of the legs, lengthened it with some plastic tubing, and with some various details and paint, we have our very own miniature Canadarm. 

William's original Space Homes drawing includes the Earth, so I wanted to make sure it was in the final model. I turned to my colleagues again to help me create a curved platform at the bottom of the display structure. I printed a real photo of the Earth from space and glued it to the surface of the curved platform. It looks awesome and gives the Space Home miniature some context while it is displayed.

Spencer the Maker Develops the Space Home Prototype
Posted about Space Homes by William

Hi, Spencer Barclay here, it's been a busy week taking the Space Homes project from a detailed drawing and making it into a 3D structure.  

I prepped a lot of materials to share with William during our Skype chat, he was able to see a 2D mockup, a detailed drawing, and a 3D mockup of a single Space Home. William seemed really happy, so I knew that I could move forward. 

I started adding to the 3D mockup, I had a lot of fun designing 'Sci-Fi' panels that create the surface texture of the Space Homes project, the laser cutter was incredibly helpful in bringing those details to life. I worked to finish one Space Home, fully assembled, with all of the details included, and a coat of white primer.  Then I would know exactly how it was going to look before I built 4 more!

I also went to the hardware store to find materials that would make up the tubes running between the Space Homes. Something that was structural and had some interesting surface texture, and I found it. Copper couplings and electrical tubing fit together perfectly, they were well priced and looked great without much additional work.

First Skype Meeting between Spencer the Maker and William the Little Inventor and His Teacher Karine
Posted about Space Homes by William

Hi, Spencer Barclay here, I'm a freelance model builder working with Our Home Miniature Land (OHML), an entertainment destination featuring a miniature of Canada, set to open in 2020. 

I looked at William's Space Homes illustration carefully, noting all of the details, and started to think about what size of miniature seemed most appropriate. I chose the scale we use at OHML, 1:87 scale, also known at HO Scale. This meant there'd be lots of readymade options for me to modify to include in my miniature, especially the interior, where there'd be things like figures, couches, steps, windows and doors. 

To prepare for our Skype conversation, I created a 2D mockup that was very close to William's drawing, so I'd be able to fully understand how large the overall miniature would be. After that I created a 3D cube of one of the space homes. Then I created my own drawing showing some of the additional details I'd be adding, like surface textures and solar panels. 

I had lots to show during our chat, which made it easy for William to provide feedback and help me decide on my next steps.