Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day Three (3): 1:12 scale globe refinished

One of the things I make is 1:12 scale miniatures, which is currently the most popular scale for dolls' houses (although 1:24 is rapidly gaining in popularity :)  I'm working on a William and Mary era dolls' house which I'm scratch building, and one of the rooms will be a study / library / workspace for a scientific gentleman circa 1695.  I really wanted him to have a nice terrestrial globe (among his other instruments) and decided to refinish a store-bought one to look more 17th century. 

Here's the 3 inch high globe and stand I bought -- it's by Euro Minis and it's dirt cheap :)  Typical faux-mahogany stand, and a pretty garish globe.
Here's my inspiration -- two 17th century globes and a Mercator projection circa 1665. 

(One thing I love about miniatures (particularly working with a specific historical period) is how much I learn as I go along.  At the time of this Mercator map they knew where western Australia was, which is something I didn't know.) 

So recreating the inspirational globes led me to this process:

1.  Take the globe apart (this was surprisingly easy and besides it's fun to deconstruct stuff :)

2.  Paint the wood of the base a combination of burnt and raw umber to mimic walnut.  Paint the legs black to mimic ebony.  Give it two coats of satin varnish.

3.  Paint the globe's support brass/bronze.

4.  Repaint the globe itself, which took a while :)  I painted the whole globe a dirty parchment colour, then roughed in the continents using the Mercator projection as a guide with a darker colour.  Then I did a more detailed outline of the continents with a black pen, and finally cleaned up the sea/land meeting points and sketched in some "lettering".

5.  Reassemble the globe, with axis straight up and down (as in reference images of globes).  Since I had to break the original wooden stick that held the globe in place in its support, I used a brass head pin as a replacement and I added a little brass bead just for detail.

And the final photos are of the finished piece!

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