“We started off this project with the aim of building a model of Central London that would also show the underground. The top layer, resting on a flat wooden surface, would have models of famous landmarks like Big Ben and the London Eye made from fimo and would have a replica of the Thames running across it. At the base there’s be a clay tunnel with an electric train running through it to represent the London Underground. In between the the base and the top there’d be a large layer of papier mache to give the model height. We were all very excited to start on this challenge and hoped to improve our artistic and organisational skills.
While doing the project we encountered some problems. Most significantly, was the issue of time. We starting this project when we were in our last month of year 12 and finished it in early year 13. This was a very busy and stressful time so it was hard to arrange meet ups at dates that everyone was available. However we all tried very hard to make time and allocated jobs to do in between meet-ups, for example modelling the buildings out of fimo. Another issue we encountered was the size of the buildings as we started off making them too small, which meant that the model would be too full of generic buildings that the landmarks wouldn’t stand out, so we decided to make everything larger. We were also planning to make the clock of Big Ben electric, but we didn’t have enough time for that, so decided to paint it on instead. Another problem we had was that the poster paints we had bought was too watery and so the words on the newspapers we used for papier-mache showed through. Luckily we had some acrylic paints on hand and used those instead. We also found that we couldn’t fit the bottom board through the front door without tilting it which was a problem as the fully constructed model would be too fragile to tilt. Therefore, we moved the boards to a garage and constructed it there. Also the clay-covered dowels weren’t sufficient to hold the top board up, so to increase stability we added two boxes of papier-mache to stand between the top boards and the bottom.
We would like to donate the model to a primary school in our area, but they all have yet to get back to us. If none can take it we’ll explore other avenues such as children’s hospitals.
In hindsight we all found great benefit in doing this project. It helped us improve our time management abilities, our artistic skills, our knowledge and appreciation of the various types of architecture around London, organisational skills and teamwork.”