Friday, 30 August 2013

LAN room

Some weeks ago, a substantial portion of our grandchildren came visiting. I have never tried to impose my miniature passion on the kids, and while I am happy to show them the houses and room boxes, I never persist if I see that they aren't interested. This time, the nine-year-old followed his mother's prompt and asked to have a look. I know when people, children or grownups, fake an interest or are polite, and I can tell when it's genuine. During the six years of my miniature-making, there has only been a handful of visitors who were really fascinated. This young man wanted to know exactly how I made this and that, and he went on guessing what the various things were made of. I wondered whether he was a model-railway person, but he wasn't. He was a natural.

Of course I had to ask whether he wanted me to make a room box for him, in which case what kind of room. He promised to think about it and finally decided that he wanted a LAN room. I must admit my total ignorance: I had never heard about LAN-ing, so that was a challenge.

As with the yarn shop, my first reaction was: what's the fun? Just a lot of computers. Fortuntately, there are plenty of images on the net, and my savvy son-in-law explained some essentials to me, such as soft drinks and potato crisps. My minituare discussion group was also helpful. However, I did start with computers. I checked ebay, but decided that I could make my own from a printie.

There are several laptop printies available, so I made two different ones and connected them with wire. 

I also made a cord extension: a tiny wooden bit left over from press-out kit furniture. I had saved the bits because I thought they may come handy one day, and I was right. The teeny-tiny sockets are printies. I moved the coke cans from another project, and I made the McDonalds bags and a bar of iconic Swedish chocolate from printies.

The experts from the discussion group pointed out that at least one computer must be stationary, and fortunately I know how to make one because I have it in another project. The monitor is made from a little jewel-box lid, and the base is a lid from a spice container. The keyboard and mouse are cut from a catalogue. I printed out screen shots of Minecraft, which is the grandson's favourite game, and glued on the screens, covered with transparent plastic (old folder cover). I am particularly proud of the headset which is made from a bit of plastic I had saved for years without knowing what to do with. Rule number one in miniature making: never throw anything away.

Now I had to build the environment, and because the room will have to be transported to Sweden, I decided to make it in a shoe box rather than a wine box.

I put Minecraft posters on the walls - I admit it's a bit repetitive, but at least I know it's right. The two chairs come from a set of five I bought some time ago in a thrift shop and didn't know what to do with. I glued bits of leather for the seats and backs. It's hard to see the details in the picture, so I will show some close-ups.

A better view of the desktop. And some more soft-drink cans (from ebay).

The two connected laptops, more cans and a Minecraft mug that I made from fimo after a picture from the web. The discussion group, however, told me that kids don't bother with cans, they buy two-litre bottles. Now, how do you make a two-litre bottle of coke?

From soap-bottle pumps, of course!

For an iPad, I cut out a picture from a catalogue and glued on another Minecraft screen. I only took screen shots that I liked - it took some time to choose. 

Most wires are from binders, so that I could make them stick in the shapes I wanted. I think they look exactly like the wires in our 1:1 home, all tangled together. 

I punched out potato crisps from craft paper. 

And finally, I made a bean bag - or at least it is supposed to be a bean bag.

I am going to Sweden in a week, and I am going to take this box with me in a hard suitcase. Wish me luck.