13 December 2018

Bata Headquarters (1/144 scale), Part 2

Pretty close!

Back in Part 1, I recounted a bit of the history of this lovely mid-century modern building, my relationship to it, my reasons for building this model, a link to my initial study model, and the first part of the build. This part continues the building process and has some beauty shots taken outdoors.

Floating forest of blocks.

I am extremely happy with how square and uniform all six of these tower blocks came out. Part of the beauty of this building was the various repeated shapes: the 38 oddly-shaped windows, the 13 posts with their complex tops, and these six tower blocks I never knew existed until I did research for this project.

Rear (front) view.

This shot is in full colour, but it looks like I've isolated the tower blocks and desaturated everything else. I still think of this as the "back," even though the rectangle cut out of the fourth tower is the main entrance.


I love how the grey primer on the laser cut wood makes it look like the structure's made out of formed concrete.

Aerial view.

Masked for painting.

Underneath all that newspaper is the underside of the floating top floors and the pillars which I painted a light buff colour with an airbrush. The top floors got several gloss white coats with a rattle can.


I'd originally planned to install clear windows and give them a smoky tint so you could see through the top floors in the daytime and still see the lights at night. I decided not to install any lights because the space was way too tight. If it was 1/72 scale, that would have been easier (but the model would have been twice the size!).

Instead, I cut some thin styrene rectangles, painted them black, then gave them several coats of gloss clear coat to give them a glassy quality (not seen here; this is an earlier picture).

Base test-fit.

Once the ground floor got painted (blue (to simulate the sky reflecting in glass) with silver stripes (to simulate the aluminum mullions) and heavily gloss coated, it was attached with Weldbond (because the main floor is styrene and the underside is wood).

Mock-up on base.

At this stage I was still planning to add some landscaping present at the original Bata site, but only as much as could be added on the area of that wooden base. After looking at the model in this state for a while I decided to leave it looking like an architectural model rather than a realistic miniature; so no landscaping (save for some fakey trees), no concrete colonnade with planters, no HVAC gear on the roof, the figures will remain white plastic, and the stained wooden base will be visible.

That seam on the roof by the towers needs to be dealt with;some more wood filler, sanding, and primer should take care of it.

Close enough.

The trees aren't 100% accurate to the ones on the real site, but, being an architectural model now, the whole project is in a sort of "proposal" state, indicating what could be once the building is constructed, and not a representation of what was while the building was in existence.

Like a building, like a model.

Somewhere in the world (probably at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto...I should really look into that...) there is an architectural model of this building. I'd love to see it and compare it with mine, especially since I was only going by online-sourced photos and guesswork.

Some outdoor shots of the completed model:


All the figures I've used to indicate human scale here are from my 1/144 scale model of the Millennium Falcon...so that's why one of those folks looks too big: it's a Wookiee!

I had a lot of fun building this model (and some frustrations, too, which taught me a lot), but I'm really pleased with how it turned out, all things considered. Also, aside from the trees and figures, this is my first completely scratch-built model (my other architectural projects are technically study models and the Armistice Day Cake is in model/art piece grey area).