a development proposal for Harlequin Properties, to show a series of plots set into the mountainsides of an island in the Carribean.

The process begins with a site-survey of the area's contours, the map of which is colour-coded for ease of reference

when cutting layers of foam to represent each contour-layer:

these layers are cut by hand and arranged into the various peaks and valleys formed by the contour information;

- this process continues until the entire site-area is mapped out in stacked foam layers,

and then the layer-stacks are glued together, and finally carved back into more natural shapes:

that done, the 'mountains' are set aside in a separate space (as shown above) so that work can begin on the baseboard for the model

- this begins with the joining-together of aluminium sheet-material, cut to the size required to encompass the site:

The whole structure is then reinforced beneath - due to the sheer size of the model it needs to be sturdy enough to stand on,

as it will be otherwise physically impossible to reach across the centre of the model to actually work on it.

right way up again, the mountains are tested for fit and trimmed to the edges of the baseboard; you can see at the near edge

where blocks of wood have been glued into the foam: here and elsewhere in the body of the mountains, these will provide 'anchors'

by way of which the mountains can be screwed down to the baseboard later on.

satisfied so far, we then add the 'water' that runs through the entire site - back-sprayed perspex, shown here already masked out.

next, the foam mountains are sprayed with a hardcoat resin:

the first half of the site is then screwed to the baseboard, and work can begin - first of all cutting terraces for the individual plots...

however it was quickly realised that this process wasn't necessarily as per the client's ideas - these things happen -

...most often when a given client wants to start seeing progress on a model in spite of having provided inadequate information;

so we duly filled in the last weeks' work, and began plotting out the roads instead

...here's one with mood-lighting, la-de-da...

at this point we discovered that, now that the client had finally got around to actually designing the site, their plan didn't in fact fit into the space

encompassed by the model; we therefore had to add nearly another foot to the short side, making the overall size of the thing now 10 and a half by

nearly seven and a half feet - at the very limit of the size our shed could deal with, not to mention whatever transport we might rustle up to shift it.

- so, as far as we're concerned, it's now an official bodge-job, as if we weren't already well-aware. Anyway. With the roads in place,

about another five kilos of filler are used to cover the gaps - on top of the fifteen we used to help with the add-on to the edge...

yup, this thing's getting heavy, and there's more to come. Good thing we made the baseplate out of space-age light stuff, hohum.

with that done, the whole thing is coated in a nice earthy base-colour, and then treated to a bit of dry-brushing (above)

- and then, time to start sticking the buildings on - we're finding it looks all very wrong at the moment, and nobody's too cheerful with the long

list of cock-ups-thus-far...but we carry on doing that percy veerin' thing, since it's keeping us in work after all...

aaaanyway: once they're all on, we add to the not-quite-righty-ness of it by shovelling little mounds of milliput up against every plot

- but even that mounts up, (haharr) and there's soon another couple of kilos in weight on the damn silly thing. We paint 'em to match the main mound:

'ere you go, a couple of closer-up looks at the liddle biddlins, small and simple shapes mainly made to represent something being there rather than being particularly specific

With that bit seen to, it's time to start fitting the second side of scenery:

we litho-tape the baseboard so we can fill down to it and get a relatively neat edge along the join, since it's been decided at this point

to have the other mountain-half removable for ease of moving the model (since it's too damn big for most doorways now)

screws are glued along the edges to give the filler something to grip onto, so that the edge won't be quite so inclined to

snap every time the mountain is removed from the model...

and then of course in the meanwhile several measurements reveal that in fact it will go through the doors, so we'll be screwing the thing down anyway.

...not quite yet, though; since we've still got a lot to do to the first half of the model, we need to get at it, so off goes mountain #2 again

while we get busy with sand, gravel, and various grades of flock to try and start making things look a bit more realistic:

- another close-up, showing a somewhat more appealing appearance to it all now - still plenty more planting to go, though, and we've yet to see a single tree...

and meanwhile the other half has also been coloured and covered, so things are starting to come together. Not long to go now!

- what was that about trees? Well, there are now somewhere in the region of 10,000 of 'em on here...

this is it pretty much done, and mainly waiting for the day when we can get the thing out of our shed

- a view from the sea-cove entrance to the site; might get some better pics later, but that's about yer lot for now: