After having made a few sketches  (just like on a real plane, it was a struggle for space)  I could start building.  I based the design loosely on the so-called  'pijpenla' or 'pipe drawer', a long narrow galley on a Boeing 747  from which the first class used to be served.  I used the size of the catering container translated to 1:12 (one inch scale) as the basis for building the galley.  Fortunately I was able to remember what everything looked like quite well.  The material used for building the galley was mainly foam board which is easy to cut and very light.


The last few days of December 2004 I spent making the first two dolls:  a flight attendant and a catering guy.  (See also next two photo's)   I made the flight attendants outfit exactly like the real KLM-uniform.  The blouse was made from my own old uniform 
blouse.  I made little name pins and 'wings' from a piece of foil, a very fiddly job!











 I have a lot of experience making clothes and drawing and making the patterns for the uniform and the clothes of the catering guy was no problem.  Sewing these small clothes however, I found challenging.








The beginning of the galley!  Here you see many of the miniature versions of the catering container already in place. 


On the right-hand side of the galley I made a work-surface with the trolley garages beneath.  In the worktop I put a small sink with a drain made from a piece of aluminium which I salvaged from an old printer.


In the galley I wanted to put a trolley with a few meals on top.  Unfortunately working with clay is not my strong point, but after taking a class with Angie Scarr  I am a lot more confident.   The meals are covered in cling film to keep them fresh.   Delicious shrimp salad!   Add salt and pepper to taste!   I made the salt- and pepper shakers from a bit of an old ballpoint pen.  
The yellow blob at the bottom of the picture on the right will be a jar of salad dressing, made from a bit of hollow Perspex and glass paint.   The trolley is made from mount board, paper and silver paint, the wheels are made from clay. 



My next job was making the coffee machines.   Oddly enough, after having worked 13½   years with them, I could not remember what the top of the machines looked like.   A KLM pilot who lives in my village took some pictures for me, so I could continue.  If you look closely you'll see that the machine on the left has coffee in it and the one on the right is empty.  I made the taps for coffee (blue) and for hot water (red) from Fimo.   The blue trolley on the left is for waste (with plastic bin-liner of course).   The silver-couloured containers in the middle are the ovens.    Look closely at the bottom row of doors, can you spot the mistake I made?  I only spotted it just now, while writing this!!




Here you see the finished coffee machines.  On the left a panel with circuit-breakers and the lit switches for 'main power' , 'work light'  etc.  The work light underneath the coffeemakers I made from a lollipop stick. 

The red locks to keep the containers and the trolleys in place (we wouldn't like them to start flying all by themselves....not a nice thought)  were made from toothpicks and cocktail-sticks.


The cabin of the plane is represented in the back half of the container.    Of course I had to make some seats and a few passengers.  I used some pictures from the internet to make 1:12 copies of the real seats. 

A picture of the real passenger seats, a sketch, some blocks of wood with a paper seat and the beginnings of a passenger reading.  The wooden blocks form the bases for the chairs.  I almost lost two fingers while sawing these blocks.  There was a lot of blood,  fortunately it was only superficial but it was very close!  I'm always very careful when using power tools, but this showed me once again how dangerous they can be.  





I left out a few of the details of the chairs, but this chair will have a real working reading light!   I've made the reading light from a fiber-optics wire, found inside an old printer.  The wire goes through the backrest of the chair to the underside,  through a hole in the floor to the bottom of the container where it will be connected to a light bulb.  In the whole scene the light is not very obvious, but I love this detail.  

I have covered the seats with the fabric from my old uniform apron. 



I made the passengers from FIMO-clay .  This is the first doll I made, ready to go into the oven.   Even though an earlier attempt had failed miserably,  this time my attempt at doll-making went very well.  I surprised myself!  I even got the head tilted so that he is looking up and the fingers positioned for holding a bag.   I think the class I took with Angie Scarr has definitely helped me get it right!                                                                                                                     



The first few parts of the doll are in the oven, ready to be baked.   Because this was new to me, I kept a close eye on the temperature of the oven.  I first determined the best spot in the oven with an oven thermometer and then....... just hoped for the best.   It all went well fortunately,  I would have hated to see all that work go to waste.  




And here he is!  I am very pleased with him.  He's got such a beautiful head that I didn't want to put a wig on him.  So I gave him a closely shaven head by very lightly indicating a hairline with some paint.  I used acrylics to paint the face on this doll (and on all the other dolls).  If I'll ever make another doll  I will first buy the right paint and paintbrushes which I am sure will work a lot easier than the pins, cocktail sticks, Q-tips and old cut off paintbrushes I have used to paint these dolls. 


In the container this doll is the least visible.  Many details are thus lost (and even barely or not at all visible in this picture), like his cowboy boots and the large blue bag with zipper!  


All the dolls together.  All have painted faces and wigs by now, but for the two gentlemen I still have to find suitable fabrics for their clothing.  In  my search for the right fabric, not even the clothes in my wardrobe are safe!   The jeans on two of the dolls are made from a pair belonging to my son and for the jacket of the KLM guy I cut up a sports jacket.   I used the strips of reflective material that were on the jacket to cut out the KLM  letters and the crown above it and glued them on the back of the 1:12 jacket.


Finally it is starting to look like a real plane.  

In the wall on the right I have put windows made from the plastic pouring spouts on some cartons of apple juice.  They had the perfect size!   I cut  out the middle part,  put in some 'glass' and  put some lights behind them.

The luggage bins are made from cartons of mineral water, which have a nice silvery inside but are tricky to glue because of the waxy finish that is on them.

The carpet in the back was bought, but I have used several coats of watered-down acrylics on it to get the right colour.

On top of the luggage bins and in the galley I have put strip lighting, made in part from the light fixture that hangs above my workbench.  Nothing is safe in the house when I want to make something!


The chairs go in!   The fiber-optics wire which forms the reading light on the seat,  goes through the hole to a light bulb underneath the floor.   And yippee! it works too.  


It is almost finished now.  Only a few small things to make (pillows, magazines, newspapers, little cards for the containers)  and the dolls can be put in their places.                                                                                                                                                            





See the tiny reading light next to the passenger?   Underneath the floor I mounted a plastic film container with some shiny silver foil inside.   In it is a 12V lightbulb with one end of the fiber-optics wire held against it.  Now the other end the wire is a working reading light.  Fun stuff, these fiber-optics!







                                                                                                                                                        Come see a story of flight and fancy!




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