The Gravely building


After two years in the making, my interpretation of this lovely kit from Bar Mills Scale Model Works is done. In the summer of 2013, we had a wonderful visit at Bar Mills. Art showed us the whole operation, from design to manufacture to shipping. I did not leave empty handed. The O-scale (1:48) Gravely Building caught my attention. After years of enjoying ice cream at Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium in Bar Harbor, I knew that the Gravely Building would be an almost ideal setting for re-creating the sights and pleasures of Maine.

The kit was build according to the manufacturer’s instructions. However, a lot of details, both inside and outside, were designed and created by me. Other than the trashcans, the Coca-Cola vending machine and the USPS postal box (all Bar Mills accessories) the rest were designed on a computer and 3D printed in resin.

Iconic items such as the carved lobster seat, the signs, street lighting, pigeons and gulls, chimneys, power lines, but most importantly the human figures are a result of a long process. Once the general idea of my intent is clear in my often cloudy mind, computer programs such as ZBrush and Maya were used to develop the geometry of the models. People were sculpted on a computer and printed in UV curable resin. Then primed and hand painted. I was hoping to capture the roaring 1920s in Bar Harbor, or in any of the hundreds of Maine seaside vacation getaways. Other than Ben & Bill’s, the next door hat and parasol shop’s name was borrowed from the memories of a boat trip out to the Cranberry Islands.

The diorama was painted using both an airbrush and hand painting techniques, while it was weathered with pastel chalk shavings and washes from AMMO of Mig. The trees were built on sagebrush armatures, polyfiber filling and Noch leaves. A thin fascia of American Black Walnut surrounds the diorama, finished with satin varnish.

Please do click on the images, a larger one will open up for each and every.

Please enjoy the images of this magnificent building and its inhabitants. Oh, and yes, be warned, people do take a shower in nude after a day of hard work or play…


An overview of the model. Shot by our lovely lake on Nun’s Island. I literally had to wait weeks for the clear sky.



Mortimer P.J. Snodgrass himself oversees the bustling activity below.



Gulls, both ring-billed and herring, ‘decorate’ the roof. Yes, decorate, in more than one way…



The famous lobster chair in front of Ben & Bill’s.



Ladies and their parasols…



The alley beside Ben & Bill’s.



Closeup of the trashcans and their content.



After affixing the yellow sign onto the yellow wall, I discovered that the ‘small print’ on the bottle is on French. Oh well, I do live in Montreal, so I guess it is acceptable.



What are those two young ladies chuckle about…? 



Little Donald is getting his first ice cream of the day. I wonder if one of the three scoops is the (in)famous lobster ice cream?



The more residential end of the Gravely Building. One side of the building favours Pepsi, the other Coke. The universe is indeed in balance.



Mortimer, pigeons and gulls. Not necessarily in that order.



More gulls.



Evening at the Gravely Building. Mortimer is still out there on the balcony. It reminds me of munching pizza and watching the crowd go by while perched high up overlooking Commercial Street in Provincetown.



Getting ready for bed.