One of the biggest perks surrounding the miniature hobby (or in my case, the heart of my obsession) are the contest builds. Every year, there’s a contest calling for all miniature fans to tap on their creative juices and build something amazing. The biggest one that I know of is the annual HBS Creatin’ Contest hosted by miniatures.com. The rules are pretty simple — you purchase the kit HBS created and assigned for that year’s competition and transform it to whatever pleases you.
Of course, the challenge behind this contest is the time. Contestants need to complete their build and submit photos of their work the contest deadline of December 16, 2015. But given the kit’s are available pretty early in the year…you practically have almost an entire year to complete the build.
For the 2015 contest, the HBS is selling Denise’s City Cottage kit. At first, I got a little confused with the name (“a cottage in a city – wha?”). But once I saw it on the website – I fell in love. Think it was the curved roof and the double doors that sucked me in. And the overall dimensions of the kit (imho) are pretty generous at 20″ wide x 11 3/4″ H x 15″D. You can at least do a really tricked out great room or set up two living spaces inside.
I’ve traditionally opted out of participating with contests mostly due to two reasons. The first one was because of time. Up until recently, I had to pull longer work hours at my job. So whatever free time I had, I used to spend it with BK, my family and friends. But after the promotion last year…and my slowly settling into the new responsibilities (i.e., delegating the work and being allowed to work from home), I’m slowly finding more time to devote to the hobby. Score!
The second reason you might ask? As weird as it is…competitions actually make me nervous. Mostly because despite what I write on this blog, of all the projects I’ve worked on…I tend to look at my projects as a means to learn and improve my skills in the hobby. In a way, I still look at my work as amateurish compared to others. Trust me, I’ll list names of folks whose miniature projects still leave me bug-eyed and breathless (you know who you are, you guys – I still love you anyways).
So imagine my surprise when the ever awesome folks at miniatures.com contacted me with an interesting challenge: they’ll provide me the Denise City Cottage — in exchange for chronicling my build. I was instructed that I cannot use what I build to compete to keep it fair for the contestants who did purchase the kit to join the contest. Which I’m in full agreement.
Which brings us to the point of this post…because my provided kit arrived. Thank you folks at miniatures.com! And thank you FedEx delivery dude for dropping this off during the crappy weather we’re having. 🙂
I didn’t get a chance to open it since my nephew’s staying with BK and I this weekend. He recently joined the US Navy Sea Cadet program, so once a month, he stays with us for the weekend since the drill site is closer to us versus my parents. We actually look forward to having one of the rugrats (our nephew and niece) over. But the downside though is that I need to clear the dining room/miniature workroom just so we have a place to comfortably eat our meals together. 😛
So until I get a chance to open the kit…I’m going to share two important things. One is my gameplan for this kit. And the other…well, let’s get through part one first.
Obviously, I’m going to go for something modern. Not only because it’s along the style I enjoy, but because of my muses.
These figures are based on the French electronica duo Daft Punk. I’ve posted a video of one of their songs in an entry regarding the Neville House – especially since I’ve been a huge fan since my college days. I usually don’t buy merchandise outside the occassional CD or tracks. But when I saw these figures on bigbadtoystore.com….I had to get them.The fact these poseable figures are about 6″ tall – hell bells yeah! My doll cast are super lucky to have these two celebrities in their lineup. One thing’s for sure, parties are going to be fun with these two gentlemen handling the music. 🙂
Now that I have my residents…it was time to figure out what I wanted to do the Denise City Cottage Kit. Given that my muses are musicians by profession….should the place be a residence? A recording studio? A secret creative getaway? All the above?
(I got lazy and went for the last one. I know, that was pretty anticlimatic. Sorry guys.)
After a quick search online…my eyes landed on this particular design.
Given that the kit has a curved roof to begin with, I wanted to continue that shape using a different roofing medium. For the front and sides, I loved the play of the metal beams and wooden slats with the floor-to-ceiling glass panels.
As you can see in the above photo, the back of the house has the curved roof continuining almost all the way down to the foundation. But with the kit’s back opening….still debating whether to try to expand the floor plan by having a deck of sorts. Still hammering that detail out though.
Another thing too…the landscaping is going to be a challenge. Oi, this is going to be interesting how I’ll tackle the landscaping issue. I’ll have to build an expanded base for the Denise City Cottage kit (aka the DCC) to rest on. And if I do that…landscaping is going to be mandatory. Holy
$^#@snacks smokes, my supply list keeps growing….
In terms of the interior….I love how the wooden slats play a role in the interior design of the room. But I think that’s all I’m planning to incorporate into the (hopefully soon) final design. I don’t want to alter the DCC’s original interior layout of a single large room. I think for my figures, they’ll want to have as much space as possible. Especially when they’re taking a break from work and stuff.
That’s what I have fleshed out so far. I know for the next of couple of days, I’ll need to seriously hammer out what I need to do. There’s definitely going to be a good amount of kitbashing of the DCC to implement the components in mind. Hopefully, I’ll be able to describe the steps as I start the build.
So that’s part one of my entry that I wanted to share. The second part is something I’d like to throw to my readers.
Given that I’ve officially confessed the reason I have never competed in a contest build…I’m actually really grateful for miniatures.com to giving me this opportunity. Not because I’m excited about getting a chance to try out this intriguing kit…nor is it because I’ll be sharing my build with you all. But also in a way, this is a great opportunity for me to get over my fears. As BK pointedly remarked “You must be doing good work babe. Otherwise you wouldn’t have been asked to chronicle your build on your blog. It’s almost like getting sponsored!”
So in light of this….I actually want to share this call to arms to those reading my blog. In the spirit of taking up the challenge and facing my fears….I’d like to ask you guys to perhaps do the challenge along with me. If the HBS Creatin Contest interests you (I mean, the grand prize of a $1000 gift certificate is a pretty sweet deal if you ask me), I say go for it! Join me in the banner of all things pertaining to miniature awesomeness! Submit to your creative side! I mean, come on — I can’t be the only one on the planet with a miniature obsession right?
(Really hoping somewhere out there, there’s a roar of the crowd going “heck yeah you crazy woman!” That would be preferable versus hearing the chirping of crickets.)
Okay, I’m getting off the soapbox now…and off to Home Depot (will mention that on my next post).