Dolls House & Miniature Scene
Creating a miniature Hollywood story
Terri Davis and Raphael Truffi Bortholuzzi bring us a touch of Hollywood just in time to celebrate the 4th of July.
A touch of Hollywood in time to celebrate 4th July.
The sign of the times
A symbol of destiny for those seeking fame and fortune, the Hollywood Sign will celebrate its centenary in just two years’ time. That’s quite the achievement for something that was deemed would be around for just eighteen months back in the 1920s! It may surprise many to learn that, as one of the most famous landmarks anywhere in the world, the sign was actually first constructed in 1923 to promote a housing development. Its appearance was also little different to today, with four additional letters needed to advertise ‘HOLLYWOODLAND’. After dark, it also lit up the night sky and presumably an electricity bill or two along the way, with somewhere in the region of four thousand light bulbs. The sign went on to become simply ‘HOLLYWOOD’ in 1949 and the huge 45-foot-high letters we know and love today date back to the late 1970s after their predecessors lost their sparkle and succumbed to the ravages of decay. Indeed, one of those original letters, aptly a letter ‘O’ for those sitting there open mouthed at the revelation, fell to the laws of gravity when it descended down the hillside.
Even if you’ve never seen the Hollywood Sign in person, miniatures can take us anywhere and proving that we can all have our very own slice of the Hollywood dream is top miniaturist, Raphael Truffi Bortholuzzi. His stellar miniature replica of the iconic sign stemmed from a desire to create a piece which held its roots firmly in reality, rather than those borne entirely from imagination. It is also 1/150th scale, eye wateringly small when you consider that the real sign is a massive four hundred and fifty feet from end to end.
As a talented photographer with a knack for achieving great images, Raphael brings the miniature setting to life against a wonderfully atmospheric backdrop of blue skies and bright sunshine casting its light over the scene. His carefully planned and intricately crafted recreation of the sign itself along with its home on the slopes of Mount Lee, rising above the sprawl of Hollywood below, features all the intricacy he excels at. It’s also what his exquisitely crafted dioramas are widely known for. The level of detail waiting to be discovered on the reverse of each high quality 3D printed letter make this an intriguing miniature when viewed from any angle. In fact, it would be a shame to place the diorama anywhere where it couldn’t be viewed to its full advantage. Achieving that true to life appearance was something Raphael describes as his
biggest challenge when creating the letters in such a small scale. With a base built using foam and polystyrene, the
nal diorama perfectly captures the natural ow of the undulating landscape of the sloping hillside and is a testament to Raphael’s skill. His use of real soil, along with static grass and various artists favourites such as pastels and acrylic paint only serves to add to the overall sense of authenticity of what is an incredibly engaging scene. As is the case with much of Raphael’s work, his Hollywood Sign diorama is a piece which holds appeal for both the avid collector and someone with no prior connection to small scale but who is looking for that single impressive artwork to display in the home.