the world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

Sign up now to save and organize your favorite architecture projects

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

Find the most inspiring products in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

i

All over the world, architects are finding cool ways to re-use run-down old buildings. Click here to see the best in Refurbishment Architecture.

Want to see the coolest refurbishment projects? Click here.

i

Immerse yourself in inspiring buildings with our selection of 360 videos. Click here.

See our immersive, inspiring 360 videos. Click here.

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
Navigate articles using your keyboard
  1. ArchDaily
  2. News
  3. Micro-Scale Modeling: How to Construct Tiny, Intricate Worlds From Ordinary Materials

Micro-Scale Modeling: How to Construct Tiny, Intricate Worlds From Ordinary Materials

Micro-Scale Modeling: How to Construct Tiny, Intricate Worlds From Ordinary Materials
Micro-Scale Modeling: How to Construct Tiny, Intricate Worlds From Ordinary Materials, © Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram

Joshua Smith, a miniaturist and former stencil artist based in South Australia, constructs tiny, intricate worlds for a living. His work, which exhibits astonishing observational and representational skills, focuses on the "overlooked aspects of the urban environment – such as grime, rust and decay to discarded cigarettes and graffiti," all recreated at a scale of 1:20. Smith, who has been making model kits for around a decade, only recently chose to move away from a 16-year-long career creating stencil art. With his creative talents now focused on model-making, and all those skills which accompany the craft, ArchDaily asks: how do you do it?

© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram © Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram © Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram © Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram + 19

© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram

AD: Take us through your modeling process!

JS: First of all I find the building I want to replicate, either in person or using Google Maps Street View. From there I start to reverse engineer the building and break it down into components (i.e. the doors, windows, street, electrical boxes and so on). I then start working out which materials I will be using to create each component from scratch. Corrugated card, for example, for roller doors; MDF for the base of the building. Once I have the base built I lay down a base coat of paint and start weathering it using brushes and chalk pastels. It's during this stage that the building starts to look real and from here I start adding the wiring and the electrics for interior and exterior lighting and, in some cases, sensor activated lighting.

What scale do you work in?

I almost only work in 1:20 as I find it easier to do the calculations to create the scale version of the builds. I usually go off one small aspect, such as a door or a brick, and using Adobe Photoshop I work out the scale for the rest of the building. In terms of the main materials I use: MDF for the base, 1mm-thick cardboard for window frames, black card for more detailed areas, and 0.25mm-thick plastic card for windows. I use spray paint, acrylic paint and chalk pastels for painting and weathering the building to create the realism.

How long does each artwork take to produce? How important is creating a perfect mimic of reality?

It depends on the build. The smallest and less complex ones can take from a day to a few days to complete. The longest build, which was my Kowloon Miniature, took three solid months working on average six to seven days a week and eight to sixteen hour-long days. I strive to create a reality. I take as many reference photos as possible to mimic every single streak of rust, grime and chipping of stonework. I want viewers to be fooled, if I take a photo of the completed work in sunlight, to think it is the real thing.

Have you ever considered becoming an Architect?

It was something I considered when I was thinking of going to University but, back then, I was mistakenly under the impression that as an Architect I would have to design buildings which didn't fall down (I didn't realise that was more the role of engineers!). So instead I chose to study Graphic Design. My miniatures are mainly for artworks to be exhibited but I am now looking to create architectural models for firms.

© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram

Miniature Spaces Carved From Stone

Stone Sculptures Reveal Monumental Architecture at a Micro Scale

View the complete gallery

About this author
AD Editorial Team
Author
Cite: AD Editorial Team. "Micro-Scale Modeling: How to Construct Tiny, Intricate Worlds From Ordinary Materials" 13 Mar 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/867050/micro-scale-modelling-how-to-construct-tiny-intricate-worlds-from-ordinary-materials-joshua-smith/> ISSN 0719-8884
Read comments
© Andrew Beveridge / ASB Creative Instagram

微缩模型: 如何以普通材料建筑小型而精巧的世界

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.