Sidewalk cafe scene

Whilst it’s too cold out to run trains (23 was this morning’s lovely number, with 18 mph winds) I’ve been working on some indoor projects.

Now that the town is mostly laid out, I want to add some interest to the main street. My idea was to add a set of tables with umbrellas in front of one of the “cafes” on the street with some figures dining there. But because of the high winds here, I didn’t want to use plastic umbrellas. So here’s what I came up with:

The umbrella is a circle of thin brass sheet with wedges cut out of it, which I formed into an umbrella-like shape and soldered at the edges. The post is a brass rod, soldered at the umbrella and onto the 20 ga brass sheet that forms the base. The table and chairs are 1:24 dollhouse furniture, with holes drilled in them. The figures also have holes in them. Two thin brass wires, also soldered to the base, run up through the chairs and into the figures to hold them in place.

The utensils are another dollhouse item and the “glasses” are jewelry findings. The plates and pastries are polystyrene. I have a water/wine bottle done up out of stretched acrylic rod, but am waiting for that last coat of paint (the label and cork) to dry.

I have another one almost made, so there will be at least two in front of the cafe. They’re weighty enough that I don’t think the wind will be able to move them. We’ll see. I’m pleased to see that the pins that hold the chairs and figures are almost invisible against the background. If you look at the full-size version of the close-up, you can sort of see them under the chairs.

The female figure needs some additional paint work. She’s a cheap Chinese figure with a Milliput dress, but I haven’t painted her skin or facial features yet. Her hair is a little monochromatic, too.