The DCC Build – Lost in Translation

Besides being the first weekend in spring (finally!), I actually got to enjoy the house by myself. BK is currently on work travel until next Friday, so till then…I have full reign of the house. Granted, I still have to work, look after the pet rats, and (finally!) clean the house…but it’s definitely nice to have fewer distractions. And enjoy eating all sorts of food BK was never a fan of. Like kimchi. Or certain Filipino dishes. Most of which I can’t cook properly, so this means take out! 😀

Anyways…while my dear husband is away, I can actually enjoy the luxury of working on my mini projects almost nonstop. In the case of the DCC, I (think) I have my gameplan set. It’s definitely going to be a kitbash, and while I do have an idea of what to do….I probably should be prepared to accept and make last minute changes as the build progresses. Not gonna lie folks – I’m pretty &%^@#$ nervous in that there’s a really high percentage of royally screwing this up. And that…that will not be a good sign.

At least though, there was a silver lining of sorts. My local USPS dude came by with the Saturday mail….and a package. My Daft Punk figures arrived!

What I found in the shipping box....

What I found in the shipping box….

Talk about excellent timing — just when I’m about to start working on the DCC, its muses arrived in their full glory. These guys are set to 1:12 scale, so they’re a perfect size for the build once it’s done.

Yay! They're here!

Yay! They’re here!

Alongside their scale, they’re not only ridiculously poseable….but apparently each figure comes with 7 pairs of hands you can swap. For Monsieur Homen-Christo (the dude with the black-gold helmet), I put his peace sign hands to go for the whole “risen” effect.

Freedom from my clear plastic prison!

Freedom from my clear plastic prison!

Sorry…was having way too much fun with these guys. I really should go back to the DCC! And for some weird reason, given the Daft Punk duo are French, I keep imagining they’re talking in French. (The following is the product of my rusty French. So if I wrote something wrong…don’t hurt me too badly ok?)

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Thomas, est ce que tu m’entends?
(Thomas can you hear me?)

Thomas: Où sommes-nous?  (Where are we?) Guy-Manuel: Je n'ai aucune idée!  (I have no idea)

M. Bangalter: Où sommes-nous? (Where are we?)
M. Homem-Christo: Je n’ai aucune idée! (I have no idea!)

Meanwhile, I’m just sitting by watching them….until they managed to turn around and see me. Uh..hey guys…

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M. Bangalter: Vérifiez-le! Une grande fille effrayant!
(Check it out! A big scary girl!)

Okay, my French must be really rusty….looking up that phrase on my app….”A big scary girl”…..HEY! Okay, maybe I’m big because I like my food a bit much….but still!

Without thinking, I reached out to pick up Monsieur Thomas Bangalter….and that was probably not a good idea, given the reaction both gave. Their shrieks and thinly veiled references to King Kong were not helping matters. Nor was my (rapidly deteriorating) grasp in French as I tried to assure them that I meant no harm. Good lord…my professors would probaby kill me at how much I’ve forgotten since college!

This was probably not a good idea.

This was probably not a good idea.

After hearing their screams for several minutes – and seeing certain hand gestures from Monsieur Homen-Christo that belong more in a road-rage induced situation –  I decided to leave them alone for a bit to calm themselves. Plus, I needed to get back to what I was working on before their arrival.

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Prepping the side walls.

For the DCC, I thought to cutting out portions of the sidewalls to create openings for either large windows, or openings for the wooden slats shown in my inspiration below. As you can see in foreground, there are horizontal wooden slats. It’s a nice comparison to the gray steel vertical beams (and the curved supports that hold the roof). I wanted to create the illusion of large and airy spaces if possible.

Beukenburg House by Sluijmer & Van Leeuwen Architects
From Contemporist.com

I knew for the sidewalls, I’ll need to keep as much of the original shape intact to help maintain the curved roof (plus provide structural stability – I look at it as helping me distribute the weight of the roof amongst the numerous vertical and horizontal beams/slats I’ll have to create). So the first kicker question I need to answer is — what parts of the sidewall should I cut out?

After mulling it over several cups of tea (I can’t figure out how to operate the new coffee maker BK bought — ironic coming from someone who works in IT for a living), flipping a coin, sacrificing a lamb to the gods, and further thinking, this is my (hesitant) gameplan. Hopefully the following pics will make sense.

Since I need to keep the top part of the sidewalls intact (in order to install the curved roof supports in the kit), I decided to create the opening by cutting out the area marked in red. To make sure the upper curved part of the wall can indeed handle the weight of the roof, I made sure it had a 1.5 inch height. Just so I have enough room to install additional support beams if the situation calls for it. This is kinda one of the downsides with kit-bashing — if you plan to deviate from the original construction, you really need to make sure you have contingencies in case something goes awry. And knowing my darn luck…well, let’s just say I don’t want my public build to include my cursing profusely and building a trebuchet in a caffeine/cake-induced rage. Just so I can chuck the pieces over the horizon or something.

At the same time, it actually solved my issue about the already existing window opening. I didn’t want one to begin with, and I really wasn’t in the mood of patching it up with cellfoam and spackling. Laziness prevails in my world apparently.

The area in blue….I ended up waffling back and forth about it. Technically, the area I need to cut out in red will fit my design plans. But if I wanted the opening to be bigger….the area in blue can be removed and not impact the design as much.  Guess I’ll be able to make a final decision once I actually can get to the cutting part.

Right side wall - areas to cut out.

Right side wall – areas to cut out.

For the left wall….I could have just done the same cutting layout as its counterpart. But I had been distracted by my muses. Maybe it’s good they’re robots, because it looks like they figured out how to turn on their English language module. That’s good news for me — my feeble attempts in French landed me in enough trouble already.

I have no idea how they managed to get upstairs, but they found this in my three containers that weren’t moved into storage. If I hadn’t heard them huffing and puffing down the stairs – I’d hate to think if they got hurt should they tumble or something.

Look at wthat they pulled up!

Look at what they pulled up!

I purchased this a year ago (maybe more – can’t remember) from Monsieur Renfroe at PRD Miniatures. I signed up for his e-newsletter, and he sent out a mailing about a sale on his stuff. It must have been after I had gotten my tax refund, because I bought a couple of the efficiency kitchen sets from the site. I loved the brushed stainless steel against the white countertop. It’s very slick and minimalistic. Yes, these guys can be pricey — but I seriously couldn’t pass up having something from Monsieur Renfroe’s shop.

I was watching with amusement at the duo admiring the kitchen. It seems like Monsieur Bangalter (the figure on the right with the silver helmet) really loves the white counter.

The duo marvelling the kitchen.

The duo marvelling the kitchen.

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Feeling bad that I had to interrupt them, I cleared my throat to catch their attention.

M. Bangalter: Oui, Madame? I mean…yes, Madame?

DK: Um…sorry to bother you two, but why’d you bring this kitchen set down?

M. Bangalter: Guy and I saw this and liked it very much. And because you’re building us our home…we’d like to have this.

DK: Um…well, sure if you guys want. Seems like a strange request though.

M. Homem-Christo: Vraiment? Pourquoi pensez-vous que cette demande est … est … (Really? Why do you think this request is….is….)

DK: Bizarre ?

M. Homem-Christo: Oui, bizarre! C’est bien, vous utilisez le même mot (This is great, you use the same word)!

M. Bangalter: Guy, parler en anglais, veuillez. Notre gardien…français est un peu difficile pour elle (Guy, speak in English please. Our guardian…has a bit of difficulty speaking in French).

M. Homem-Christo: (after hearing some crackling and buzzing from his helmet). Ah, got it. Sorry about that. Well, why do you think our request is so strange, Madame?

DK: Well….you guys are robots right?

M. Homem-Christo: Yes, we are.

DK: Well…maybe I’m wrong about this, but…I thought robots didn’t eat. You use the kitchen to make food and all, but if you guys don’t need to eat food…then that undermines the point of a kitchen right?

I felt terrible saying this, but I couldn’t help but laugh at the duo thinking about it at first, then giving me the following reaction.

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Huh?

After a very spirited discussion about food history (and their asserting the opinion that all living things do eat – which I can’t exactly give a counterpoint), we decided on a compromise. I will flesh out an area that can accommodate the kitchen….but if that clashes against the overall interior design of their place, I’m allowed to remove the set. But I’m required (per M. Bangalter’s insistence) to replace it with something useful for them. In exchange, they’ll try to help me improve my French.

So in light of the above deal, I took the efficency kitchen and set it against the left side wall — just so I can see how space that might take up. It seemed to make sense that it’s positioned right at the center.

Figuring out placement.

Figuring out placement.

And based on its positioning, I marked out the areas I’ll need to cut out. For this, I might just have to make do with having some tall windows to flank the efficiency kitchen….or whatever I plan to put here if that doesn’t work out. Like its counterpart, I marked the areas in red that I’ll need to cut out.

In terms of how to cut it….I had initially thought of caving in and getting a Dremel to help me cut out the parts – notably the parts that are curved. But the associate I spoke to at my local Home Depot suggested using a coping saw…or a jigsaw. Granted,  I did a get a brand new jigsaw originally to fabricate The Retreat. But I’m a little nervous if the jigsaw might be too much to cut something like this.

(If anyone has pointers, am all ears. I did pick up some scrap panels to use as practice boards so I can get used to using the new tool….)

Left side wall - areas to cut out.

Left side wall – areas to cut out.

After taking this photo, my phone flashed a display message saying that I was running low on power. My fault in that part — I completely forgot to charge it before going to bed. So from here, I made do with scribbling notes on what to report on this blog until my phone was fully charged.

Now that the sidewalls are (somewhat) planned, I looked at the kit’s original instructions to see how the front part of the kit was built. But when I compared the steps to how my inspiration looks…looks like I might not be using those parts after all. Because if you look at the photo below, the front requires installing posts – almost similar to setting up a porch. Though the challenge will be to figure out how to incorporate plexiglass panels to simulate the glass front. But I’ll figure that out once I get there.

Front of the Beukenburg House by Sluijmer & Van Leeuwen Architects
From Contemporist.com

When I looked closer at the photo – I realized that I forgot to factor supports needed for the outer wing of my design. Similar to the structure above, I wanted to create something like the left wing on the photo. Of course that means I’ll need to install a wider roof….and I’ll need to install a type of support to hold said item. Which ultimately means I need additional sidewalls to do that. Cad-nabbit!

Suffice to say, I ended up placing an order on miniatures.com for another Denise City Cottage kit. Hopefully it gets here next week – by then BK will be back from travel, and perhaps he can help with the cutting. Just in case my practice runs during the work week don’t turn up according to plan.

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5 thoughts on “The DCC Build – Lost in Translation

  1. Your kitchen looks SO unbelievably life like with the two Daft Punk figures inside!! Move over antique 1:12 dolls we have some serious contenders to model in the 1:12 modern mini world!
    This architecture design is gorgeous with all the wood on the exterior. The kitchen really fits the style too. I hope your extra kit arrives soon I’m so excited to see more! 🙂

  2. Glad you both like the figures! They’re definitely fun to play with. Think it’s the fact they have so many hands you can choose from!

    Though I think I’ll need to keep a closer eye on them. I caught both of them applying Post-It notes on the kitchen set with their names on them. It’s a sweet kitchen set (thank you Monsieur Renfroe!) and am glad the duo love it as much as I. 😀

  3. Love the French dialogue going on between them and you. The poses and their hands are so totally expressive that one hardly needs to know the language to get their meaning. 😀
    Your cottage is going to be Spectacular! What an Utterly Fab kitchen unit to build it around too! Good work fellas!

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