News / 3D models

The Imperial Hotel

Every town in Ireland has its own special atmosphere - Cork is so different to Dublin, and in turn different to Galway, Limerick, Sligo etc. The Imperial Hotel is as essential to the feel of Cork as is the Shandon Tower, UCC, The English Market, McCurtain Street....

Imperial Hotel Model Kit

Again, I tried to illustrate some of the history associated with the hotel while making the model. The front facade is very much the present day with, however, some old fashioned visitors - a hint towards its history. As you turn the model, you'll find Sir Thomas Deane (who originally designed the building in 1813) looking out of one of the top floor windows - down upon a horse-drawn coach.For the rear of the building I drew a scene of Franz Liszt giving his famous piano recital at the hotel in 1843.

liszt piano recitalrear of Imperial Hotel Model Kit

Charles Dickens, also a famous visitor, is busy writing down thoughts, while Michael Collins stands by his iconic armoured car: the "Sliabh na mBan". On the western gable I placed an old map of Cork.

Michael Collins with Sliabh na mBan

It is a relatively easy model to make: simply join the central block and attach the wings to it. The roof then fits onto it after the decorative facia is turned up to meet the facade.

The "Tiny Imperial Hotel" model kit is available at the hotel itself - so please visit soon!

Read more →

The Spike Island Challenge!

It's been such a busy few months that I have only now come around to appreciate all the projects I've done this year already... March the 10th 2018 seems like a long time ago. On that bleak Saturday afternoon, Fionn and I, took the ferry from Cobh to Spike Island. As we approached the island, the melancholy, eerie mood, which was to stay with us during the whole visit, overcame us.

Spike Island in March

How was I ever going to create a TinyIreland model of this? The star shaped fort was hardly visible from the waterside - it is set into the island surrounded by a deep trench - and yet, it is its most remarkable feature. My initial idea was to somehow project the ruins and landscape around the fort onto its walls. So, I began by making drawings...drawings of Spike Island

The views from the island of the harbour all around where breathtaking - beautiful and interesting. I fostered ideas of working this into the model as well...

It took us about 40 minutes to walk around the whole outside of the fort. We then entered through the impressive entry archway. This also needed to be featured on the model, I decided. But how could I accommodate the huge fort as well as its impressive interior buildings and architecture? If I made the whole thing to scale, the fort would be huge and the buildings absolutely tiny... and all this was to fit on an A5 card!!!!

 I love the patterns the buildings form - like playing cards folded out to line the interior shape of the fort...

After trying out various ideas, I also realized that the inward slant of the fort walls were important - they could not be vertical - it just didn't look right. This made the layout of the artwork much more complicated. It had to be arranged in a curved pattern:

This formed the exterior of the fort on the base shown. But I also needed the interior. I decided to place that on the reverse side of the card, which posed the challenge of alignment during printing.

And this is what it looks like when assembled!

Spike Island Paper Model

 

 

Read more →

More West Cork landscapes featured in Tiny Rosscarbery

My sketches of impressions gathered of Rosscarbery and its surrounding landscape make great backdrops to the beautiful facades of the town. 
Collage of the Old Barracks, Rosscarbery
After scanning in my images, I use Photoshop to merge the drawings together. I then bring them into Illustrator, where I use my technical model drawings to trim the artwork into a kit:
Now it's time to make the 3D Model: score all edges to be folded with something pointy , then cut out carefully, fold and glue! Ta Da!!!
This is just one of five beautiful models you'll find in Tiny Rosscarbery
The preliminary collage of Pilgrim's Rest: a view of the Drombeg stone circle and two deer in the foreground...
O'Callaghan Walshe's with a backdrop of Warren strand and the seals basking on the rocks.. fishermen bringing in the pots...
And here is the full pack: 5 models to make, enjoy, display - easy to fit into an A4 envelope and send all over the world. Not everyone will make it to Rosscarbery this year!
Read more →

A paper model kit of the GPO

Often, it is these huge, imposing buildings which impress us most when we view a city like Dublin. A few weeks ago, I stood in front of the GPO, wondering how I could make a model kit out of this beautiful monster! So far, I've only made an A5 kit of it - the A4 kit will be available soon!

My tiny Gpo A5 kit, takes about 10 - 15 minutes to build. The completed model is 55mm tall. The most difficult bit is to cut out the little figures on top of the facade gable. I use a craft knife for this - usually before I cut out the rest, so that I have more grip.

Read more →

The impressions and ideas which went into the designing of Tiny Glengarriff

The gables and rear walls of buildings are often not visible or even ugly - for me they form a tiny canvas to paint my impressions of the town upon them. What is it I love most about Glengarriff? Well, walking through the forest down to the Blue Pool is a must at every visit. Taking a ferry out to Garinish island is also a memorable outing. I also love the outcrops of rocks here and there - particularly at the north end of the Blue Loo - the pub seems to be built right into the rock face.

There is a feeling that Glengarriff is the gateway to a world of adventure: the mountains, the rugged Beara peninsula, the tunnels to Kenmare, the lakes of Killarney. We leave the civilised part of West Cork behind us and head out into the wild... this is why I drew that signpost on the gable of The Maple Leaf...

Each page in my "Build your own Tiny Glengarriff" kit reveals exciting details and impressions - the essence of what inspired me.

Read more →

A closer look at Bunratty Castle

When I first saw Bunratty Castle up close I was completely overwhelmed by it. How could I even begin to make a paper model out of this?

I normally don't bother with architectural drawings - I just photograph and draw whatever details strike me, and then create my model. But with an heritage icon like this, I felt intimidated and longed for something concrete to go by. I finally did get my hands on some basic technical drawings - but the rest all came out of my observations. Here are some of the detail drawings I made in preparation of the actual model in the Tiny Bunratty pack.



This is a very intuitive way of going about making a paper model. I'm reluctant to allow myself to get bogged down with the technicalities. I just want to capture the quirky beauty of some of the buildings I see...

Read more →

Magic Irish Towns

Have you read "The Magic City" by Edith Nesbith yet? It is one of my favourite childrens' books. Philip, the boy in the story, builds a city out of everything he can find in his new home - he starts off with conventional wooden building blocks, but when they run out, he uses books, ornaments, cutlery, whatever he can find. Then,at moonlight the magic happens:he becomes tiny, the city becomes huge and he walks through these amazing streets he has created.

It inspired me as a child to make miniature townscapes - sometimes with whatever was available in our house, and sometimes outdoors in the forest, on the beach, in the garden. I used to make tiny little stone houses with real cement and stones. I'd build tiny fireplaces and chimneys into them and light real fires inside them and watch the smoke rise out of them. How alive it made them look! Coming home in the evenings I'd smell like someone who'd spent the whole day by a camp fire. My parents were a bit concerned that I'd started smoking - until they found out what I was doing...

Recently, I received an unusual commission: to make models of Dingle Pubs as centre pieces for tables at a wedding! What fun, I thought... what if I could light them up and make them come alive like those little huts of my childhood?

Paper Model of Dick Mack's lit up!

 

Read more →

Some special instructions on how to build my model of Bunratty Castle

Some of my customers have asked me whether my model kit of Bunratty Castle is very difficult to make. My answer to you is: I have put a lot of thought into making this as easy to understand and assemble as possible - my focus is on fun, not tedium! So whether you're a complete newcomer to papercraft, or an experienced modeller, I think you will enjoy making this one!

I have outlined below the steps you need to take to build my great model of Bunratty Castle:

Before cutting out any of your kit, score all edges to be folded using a ruler and something pointy such as a darning needle or a very hard pencil - or, if you want to be really professional, a metal scribe.

Then start with the south facade:

Cut out and glue the turrets onto themselves and then cut out the white areas as shown. The flaps are folded inwards to receive the floors

First sheet of bunratty kit Details of model construction South facade of Bunratty Castle Model

Now move onto south facade part two:

I did try to squeeze everything into as few pages as possible to keep it nice and compact - so here is my way of building that tower wall as well as the south facade alcove all out of one piece of paper!

Alcove on south facade of Bunratty Castle Rear view of the South Facade of Bunratty Castle

I think, once you've reached this stage you're flying, but do email me if you get stuck...

How to build your own tiny Bunratty Castle

 

Read more →

Upcycling paper!

It only takes me 20 minutes of cleaning my house - and hey presto! - the recycling bin is full again.

Full of cardboard in different thicknesses, shapes, colours, qualities. If you start looking at this waste in a new way, you'll see it for the great craft material it really is!

I recently designed a powerpoint presentation for the LearnCraftDesign  website ( published by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland) on how to do a little papercraft project with primary school children - it's called "Design Your Own Room". Why not have a look and get inspired?

Upcycling paper waste for crafty projects A labyrinth made of waste paper boxws A chair made of cardboard

Read more →

On the simple pleasures of Papermodelling

I never grow tired of making paper models: sitting in my studio, listening to a good Audio Book ( at the moment it's "Murder on the Orient Express" by Agatha Christie), while it's drizzling outside... it's one of my favourite ways to spend a rainy afternoon.

Everytime I approach a paper model, I just feel amazed and excited by the ingenius simplicity of this craft. Using a few simple tools, such as a scribe or darning needle for scoring, a scissors or craft knife and some fast drying glue, one can build the most amazing 3D structures. Whatever you can think of - make it with paper!

People ask me whether the models I have designed are too difficult for six year olds? My answer to them is: six year olds and even younger children love my models, because even if they cut them out all crooked and glue things together higgledepiggledee, they still look great! And once they've done a few, they won't want to stop: they'll start building the most amazing models of their own design. Paper Models made by children at one of my modelmaking workshopsPaper models made by children at one of my workshops

Making a paper model is not really about the perfect thing at the end ( well for some perfectionists it is), but much more about the pleasure of making it - understanding it, seeing the miraculous transformation from 2D to 3D take place beneath our hands.

I hope my models make that miracle happen for you.

 

Read more →