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Canada Edmonton man creates stunning scenes inside garage

03:20  03 july  2020
03:20  03 july  2020 Source:   globalnews.ca

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It's a hobby that requires a sharp eye and a steady hand.

Miniaturist Bruce McDonald crafts intricate scenes inside his Edmonton garage.

Each model McDonald works on is built by hand from scratch. That includes windows, walls and detailing.

"The vast majority of people [who build miniatures] are people who are interested in doll houses. That's not what I'm interested in," MacDonald said.

"A very small minority of people are those who like to build things from scratch."

McDonald said he builds with everyday materials like paper, wood, Styrofoam and plastic. To create a large scale project can take between 100 and 120 hours.

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"I like to do miniature worlds, create them entirely myself. A lot of that is looking at medieval town spaces, old pictures of East London, and then coming up with your own cityscape," McDonald said.

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He decided to take up the craft after retiring about two years ago, promising himself he was going to flex his creative side now that he had more downtime.

"I spent 30 years of my career working in a bureaucracy. That can be a bit constraining at times," he said.

McDonald came across a magazine article about someone in Australia who built miniatures. He began to hone his craft and pick up tips and tricks.

"It's a hard thing to learn about. You have to reach out and talk to people about techniques. There's no video that says 'Here is how to do it.'"

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Though McDonald has always been in touch with the art world -- he was an art minor in university -- creating miniatures is a new level of attention to detail. For example, McDonald often imagines where a brick wall may be weathered from rainfall and transfers it to the model.

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"On one model I did of an 1860 homestead in Nova Scotia I was able to figure out the size of everything from pictures, especially because of a station wagon that was parked in front for one of the pictures.  I asked the person who grew up there what year the station wagon was, looked up the specs on a car website and then figured out everything from there," McDonald said.

When he commissioned a recreation of Edmonton's Starlite Room, McDonald hit the road to make sure he got the subject just right.

"I took close ups of the brick work, close ups of in between the buildings. I'll often drive around the back of buildings to get a better understanding of what it looks like and how it was built. Even taking pictures of the sidewalk."

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McDonald also has his scaling down process refined.

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"[The Starlite Room] is a 1:35 scale model. Simply, that means a seven-foot-tall doorway in real life, is 2.5 inches in a model. I often start with the doorway in terms of figuring out the height of the building, and sizes and placement of windows," said McDonald.

In total, Bruce has created 18 different miniatures.

"It's something you can really get lost doing, something you can be really passionate about," McDonald said.

You can find his page here.

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