Sunday, 9 June 2013

Catch up! Santa's Grotto

Just before Christmas I was spending 4 weeks working with a company called Hot House in London. A model making company whose ethos is "If you want it, we'll make it".
I was helping to construct the Santa's grotto they have been putting up in East London's Westfield Shopping centre for the last few years.
I had never worked on something this scale before. I had to go and buy steel toe cap boots specially for the occassion as well as wear a high vis jacket and a hard hat whilst on site.

I had no idea what I had signed up for!

This building was like a flat pack house. The brick work was made of mod roc plaster rectangles on large sheets of MDF painted to look like bricks. Each year these sheets were screwed to the side of the building in a kind of 'Tetris' fashion. Over the years the bricks had chipped and fallen off each time they had been taken on and off. I was given the task (with many others as this was a huge undertaking) of repairing broken brick work and repainting it.
Another member of the team had already prepared a large amount of replacement mod roc bricks on other sheets of MDF, but getting them off the wood proved to be a task in itself.
After selecting a suitable not too shattered replacement brick I could stick it on and then paint it in to match its neighbours.

For some reason I dont have a pic of the fully painted articals but you get the idea.
after the outside work was done, we were put to work on the finishing touches, refreshing the paint work and placing props.
It was truely a spectacular set up!
I found these pics online as I didnt get any of the finished grotto the first might be from a different year, but it shows how well the flat pack idea works.

Sweet tunnel, everyone needs one.

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