Friday, October 29, 2021

Miniature Melbourne Music No2 - The Tote

 I've just completed my second miniature Melbourne music venue - The Tote hotel in Collingwood.


Miniature model of The Tote hotel in Collingwood


The Tote is an institution. It nearly closed for good, but a public outcry and lots of grassroots support revived it.


Miniature model of The Tote hotel in Collingwood


Miniature model of The Tote hotel in Collingwood


I really wanted to capture that corner door, it's the "face" of The Tote. 


Miniature model of The Tote hotel in Collingwood

Miniature model of The Tote hotel in Collingwood

Miniature model of The Tote hotel in Collingwood
Each of those cigarette butts is about 2mm long.

Miniature model of The Tote hotel in Collingwood
"Don't read the Herald Sun" - pretty solid advice, actually.

Miniature model of The Tote hotel in Collingwood



Lots of fun to make, and the miniature has already sold to a private collector who has previously purchased another of my miniatures in the past.


Now I have the lovely challenge of trying to decide which music venue to do next!


Cheers,

Dave

Friday, June 25, 2021

Miniature Music #1 - Cherry Bar

 I've decided to start a new series of miniatures, featuring iconic live music venues. The first one is (drumroll...) - Cherry Bar! Specifically, Cherry Bar from back in the day when it was in AC/DC Lane, for extra musical cred. And the coolest thing about this series, tying deeper into the music theme, is that each will be the exact same size as a vinyl LP album cover, 31cm x 31cm.


Miniature Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane


I decided to begin this series during our latest two-week COVID-19 lockdown 4.0 here in Melbourne. I was thinking about all the places I missed visiting, and in particular about live music venues. Then I thought "If I can't go in person, why not visit in miniature?"


Miniature Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane



I remember the AC/DC Lane version of Cherry Bar so well, it was a natural for my first Miniature Music. I was gutted when it had to move to a new location, but once again that's the beauty of making a miniature, I could replicate how it looked around 2014-2015.


Miniature Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane



Miniature Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane


The size is a lovely little synchronicity. The dimensions of an LP cover work beautifully with my miniatures, which are usually around 30-40cm at their largest point. Plus I made it deliberately shallow so it can be framed and hung on a wall, rather than my usual miniatures which stand on bases.


Miniature Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane
It just had to be the same size as an LP ;)



My favourite bit? In the doorframe are stuck pieces of paper with the house rules on them. 
"1. No suits.
  2. No sporting apparel.
  3. No dickheads (See Number 1).
  4. No thongs."
I just had to include these.


Miniature Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane


The hardest part was getting the sloping ground of AC/DC Lane to work!

Miniature Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane


I hope you like it. Now, here's to Miniature Music #2 - I have so many to choose from! The Tote, Festival Hall, The Espy. Decisions, decisions...



Miniature Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

New miniature - corner shop milk bar in Melbourne

Here's my latest miniature art work: a small corner shop of the type that used to be everywhere in Australia. There were tens of thousands of these small grocery / milkbar / newsagent type shops in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, in all Australian cities and towns. I would estimate that 80-90% of them are gone now, replaced by supermarkets and convenience stores.





This particular shop was in Footscray, Melbourne, near the corner of Barkly Street and Summerhill Road. I only had a single black and white photo to work from. The photo is from the mid-1960s, and the store was demolished in the 1970s. 




I set myself a challenge to see if I could make a miniature from a single photo. First I ran the photo through some online software to colorize it - here's the result. It's far from perfect, but it gave me a good solid base to work from and a way to interpret what colours I should be heading to.

Colorized.



Then I had to do some research to try and locate the old logos and brands, so that I could replicate these all accurately.

Finally I had to make a representation of the interior, full of 1960s-era groceries: Persil, Cornflakes, bags of sugar and lots of point of sale for brands like Peters icecream, Marlboro cigarettes, Nestle chocolate, Coca Cola and Vita Brits.





This one was a fun one to build.







Comparison of the original photo (left) and my miniature (right).



Cheers,

Dave



Friday, March 12, 2021

New miniature - Blunt's Boatbuilders in Williamstown, Melbourne

Goodness it's been a long time between drinks. Six months since my last Youtube video...


To be honest, I've been focussing intently on producing actual physical miniatures rather than documenting it all for video. The process of recording and editing videos is unexpectedly time-consuming, and I made a conscious decision last year to concentrate more on producing artworks rather than videos.

Which doesn't mean I don't still read all the comments you guys leave, and respond to 95% of them. I promise.

So here's my latest video, which charts the building of my latest miniature - Blunt's Boatbuilders here in Melbourne.

It was a fun build, I hope you like it.


New video: 1/35 scale miniature Blunt's Boatshed Melbourne





Cheers,


Dave






Friday, October 2, 2020

New miniature - Gould's Books in Newtown, Sydney

 Well it's been rather a long time between posts, but 2020 has been a kick in the guts for everyone. COVID-19 has meant that I have been home-schooling my daughter for the last six months, and there has been very little time to actually produce my miniatures. But the good news is that I have a new one released into the wild today - Gould's Books in Sydney!


Bob Gould's book store in Newtown, Sydney



A Sydney institution, Bob Gould’s bookshop was part of the city’s life for decades. Gould was a famous anti-Vietnam  activist and bookseller who opened his first bookstore in 1967. The Newtown store was his largest – a labyrinth of secondhand books, videos, magazines, records and ephemera. I have fond memories of spending hours and hours there when I was at uni in the 1990s. If you were searching for a particular title you faced a Herculean task in the chaos, but if you were content to browse and discover whatever came along it was magical. Bob Gould was always behind the desk, always irascible, and always accompanied by cats (a window at the back of the store was left open for the cats to get in and out – that window ledge was the only surface in the entire building not covered with stacks of books).

Originally built in 1889 as a metalworkers, the building was abandoned in the 1980s until opened as Gould’s largest shop. The bookstore closed at this location after Bob Gould’s death in 2011. My miniature captures Gould’s as it looked in its final weeks, during its final sale. There are several retro and suitably left-wing protest posters hidden in the piece, as well as a bird nest for the truly eagle-eyed to spot.  


Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
Old book store in miniature - Gould's Books in Newtown, Sydney


Cheers,


Dave


Thursday, April 9, 2020

My miniature art exhibition - "SMALL ACTS"

Goodness it's been a long time between posts. I mostly put that down to the fact that I was preparing for an art exhibition of my miniatures, held in an art gallery here in Melbourne. The exhibition, "SMALL ACTS" was the culmination of just over a year's work, showing ten miniatures of buildings and urban scenes I love here. Attendance was phenomenal, with about 1000 people coming to view the works.

SMALL ACTS art exhibition of miniature art Melbourne 2020



In these times of Coronavirus and national lockdowns, a lot of people weren't able to make it along. Plus I know a lot of you are international followers, not in my home town. For all of you, I've put together a video walkthrough of the exhibition.

It was very gratifying to see people so enthralled with my work. It's been consuming my time for the last few months in particular, so it was wonderful to see people's reactions to it.

SMALL ACTS art exhibition of miniature art Melbourne 2020


Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
Miniature art exhibition, Melbourne 2020 - urban decay and weathered buildings

Cheers,

Dave




Monday, December 23, 2019

End of year roundup - just how many miniatures did I produce in 2019?

It's almost Christmas, which means it's time to eat and drink ourselves into a stupor and think about the new year just around the corner. Can you believe there is just over a week of the 2010s left? A new decade is nine days away. It's also a good time to go back over what I have produced this year, and I have to say, looking back it's been a bumper year.


I started making miniatures full time in late January. In eleven months this is what I produced.

David Hourigan miniature artist miniaturist

David Hourigan miniature artist miniaturist

David Hourigan miniature artist miniaturist

David Hourigan miniature artist miniaturist

David Hourigan miniature artist miniaturist

David Hourigan miniature artist miniaturist

David Hourigan miniature artist miniaturist

David Hourigan miniature artist miniaturist

David Hourigan miniature artist miniaturist

David Hourigan miniature artist miniaturist

David Hourigan miniature artist miniaturist

Jeez, that one matchbox has served me well...

I'm very proud of what I have made. Thank you to all of you for coming along for the ride.

Here's to 2020!

Cheers,

Dave


Friday, November 29, 2019

Latest miniature: the Old Butchers Shop, Kingsville

Good lord, has it really been two months since my last blog post? That's terrible! I've been so focussed on my last two miniature artworks that I really haven't spent any time recording the process or videoing the builds. But the good news is that I do have photos to share of my latest piece - the Old Butcher Shop, which is a miniature version of a real building here in Kingsville, Melbourne.

The scale is 1/35 - not for any particular reason apart from I wanted to keep the final result to a maximum dimension in any direction of about 40-45cm. For this piece, the base ended up being 43cm deep, so 1/35 worked out well.

Miniature artwork - Old Butchers Shop Kingsville

Miniature artwork - Old Butchers Shop Kingsville

Miniature artwork - Old Butchers Shop Kingsville

Miniature artwork - Old Butchers Shop Kingsville

Miniature artwork - Old Butchers Shop Kingsville

Miniature artwork - Old Butchers Shop Kingsville


In my two months silence (gosh!) I've also produced one other miniature artwork, so I will share that with you very soon. I promise I have something to show for my lack of blog posts! ;)

Cheers,

Dave


Saturday, October 5, 2019

Is this really "the most beautiful model kit ever released"?

This week I discuss the famous 1:8 scale Bugatti kit by Pocher. It's been described by many as "the most beautiful model kit ever released", but does it live up to the hype?




It's certainly awe inspiring, partly just because of the massive 1:8 scale size of it - it's about 55cm long!

The details are phenomenal. The windows wind up and down. It has a working handbrake. Apparently when put together correctly, you can even see the cams turn in the incredibly detailed engine.

Am I impressed? Yes. Is it the most beautiful model ever? Watch the video to find out ;)

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
Is this really "the most beautiful model kit ever released"?

Cheers,

Dave



Saturday, September 21, 2019

What's on the bench this week?

This week I'm working on a new scratchbuild of a large Masonic temple, as well as completing a small abandoned shopfront. I also discuss my latest kit purchases, a Wingnut Wings DH.2 in 1/32 scale and a 1/48 Revell Ju88. Plus, scratch building is just the best.





Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
What's on the bench this Week?

Cheers,

Dave