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Italian Truck Fan Builds Awesome Remote-Controlled Big Rig

Luca Bordin is a big fan of American trucks, and since he couldn’t get his hands on a real rig, the Italian handyman decided to build his own Peterbilt 359.

Luca, who lives in Venice, Italy, told Wired Magazine he finds European truck small and dull compared to the American behemoths, but even if he could afford to buy a real big rig, it would never fit through the narrow streets of his home city in Northern Italy. So after seeing a YouTube video of a Dutchman driving around in a 1/4 scale replica truck, he decided to build his own Peterbilt 359, just to see if he could do a better job. Making model trucks was never really a big passion of his, but after seeing that video, the challenge was just too hard to resist.

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Retired Dentist Creates Functional Miniature Airplane Models

Young C Park, a retired dentist from Honolulu, Hawaii, spends thousands of hours painstakingly working on fully functional models of famous fighter planes.

Every little part of Mr. Park’s planes is a miniature replica of the original. He spends hours on end manipulating aluminum into chains, cable and hinges for his creations and doesn’t leave his workstation until every part is up to his high standards. It might seem a little extreme considering we’re talking about models, but the 77-year-old retired dentist is very passionate about his planes and always aims to execute perfect replicas of the machines that have fascinated him throughout his life. His 1/16 scale models have retracting landing gear and working controls, but the levers are so tiny you need fine tweezers to operate them.

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Indian Artist Makes Detailed Model of the Taj Mahal from Matchsticks

It takes a great deal of skill and patience to create even the simplest matchstick model, but a detailed structure like the famous Taj Mahal seems almost impossible to recreate using the tiny sticks of wood. But Indian artist Shaikh Salimbhai challenged himself to create an almost identical model of the iconic structure using only wooden matchsticks, and although it took him a year and 19 days to finish it, he accomplished his goal. The wooden model was made from 75,000 matchsticks and will certainly become an inspiration for matchstick artists around the world.  The awe-inspiring matchstick Taj Mahal was unveiled on October 9, in the Indian city of Ahmedabad.

If you happen to be a fan of matchstick models, you might want to check out the awesome works of artists we featured on Oddity Central in the past, like Patrick Anton, Phillip Warren or Tofic Daher.

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Man Turns Junk into Life-Size Models of Old Fighter Planes

Ian Baron, a nuclear plant mechanic from Bowmanville, Canada, has spent the last five years building life-size replicas of old fighter planes from various kinds of junk.

Ian started making his planes five years ago, after visiting the Ford Automotive Museum in Michigan where he saw what can be accomplished by bending metal. He had experience building dune buggies and restoring Model A Fords, and he truly believed he could create a fighter replica with stuff he already had around the house. The few things he didn’t have, like sheet metal from above-ground pools he scavenged from scrapyards and neighbors. He also became a regular at stores like Princess Auto and Home Depot, but all his hard work and expenditures paid off nine months after starting the project, when he finally completed his  1916 Sopwith Carnel, a replica of Snoopy’s plane, the one that shot down the infamous Red Baron. It had bar stools as bulkheads, farm gates as wings and metal pool walls as the skin.

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Artist Makes Detailed Architectural Models from Paper

US-based artist Christina Lihan uses her experience as an architect to create detailed models of famous buildings and urban spaces, from paper.

Ms. Lihan received a Bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Virginia and went on to get her Master’s in architecture, from Columbia University, in New York. She done internships in England, France and Italy, but it was the repetitive, monotonous rhythm of hundreds of soviet-built housing cities she saw in Czechoslovakia that most influenced the way she looked at building facades. After completing her studies, she decided to use all of the acquired knowledge in the name of art, by creating impressive architectural models from paper.

Christina Lihan first decided to dedicate her life to art during the time she spent living in Florida, designing hospitals for another architect. She was really bored, and realized she needed a creative outlet so she just started cutting paper, playing with it and trying to turn it into building models. It sort of grew from there and ultimately became her passion. Her impressive creations are made from unpainted, 300lb, watercolor paper. She carves, cuts and folds every little piece by hand until she assembles them into a completed composition. Ms. Lihan starts by photographing the site she wants to replicate, then moves on to sketching with charcoal, and finally enlarges the drawing to the desired size of the finished piece. She generally places the detailed pieces of paper directly over the drawing.

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Star Wars Fan Builds Giant R2D2 Model

From the man who brought you the awesome duct tape AT-AT comes one of the coolest R2D2 models ever made.

Len Komanac, better known as DarthLen, onFlickr, loves to build detailed models of Star Wars icons, using cardboard, duct tape and glue. His detailed AT-AT model became an online when photos of it hit the interwebs, last year, and now he’s ready to wow you once more with a giant replica of everyone’s favorite droid, R2D2. Towering at 96 inches/240 cm, this free-standing sculpture is made from cardboard, silver HVAC tape and blue duct tape.

Len was kind enough to send us a list of the materials he used to complete his masterpiece: 4 fridge boxes, 5 AC boxes, 3 dryer boxes, 3 rolls of blue duct tape, 1 roll of aluminum tape, 52 glue sticks, 1 can of white paint and 2 sharpie pens. He worked on it for 50 hours.  This supersized version of R2D2 will be showcased at the “Dr. StrangeLen or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Make the Art” exhibit, in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, so if you’re in the area between July 16 and September 2nd, don’t miss the chance to check it out.

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A Giant iPhone 5 Made from Various Fruits and Vegetables

Tired of waiting for the official release of Apple’s iPhone 5, the guys at TopFruit.com decided to create their own version, from fruits and vegetables.

It’s rumored Apple will release its next generation iPhone this September, but that was just too long a wait for the guys at TopFruit, who decided to create their own smartphone out of what they know best – fresh fruits and vegetables. If this organic version of the iPhone 5 is anything to go by, the real phone will be one sweet piece of hardware, literally.

And in case you were wondering, apples were used in the making of this delicious model.

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The Realistic Wire Sculptures of Shi Jindian

They might look like computer-generated images, but Shi Jindian’s works are so real you can touch them. Using simple steel wire, the Chinese artist is able to create almost perfect replicas of anything from musical instruments to motorcycles.

For years, Shi Jindian looked for a material “that was brand new, completely untraditional” and when he worked with steel wire for the first time he knew he had found what he had been looking for. He created his own set of instruments, and by trial and error, he learned how to crochet the two-dimensional strands into three-dimensional models. His incredible-looking masterpieces start out as steel wrappings around the common objects he’s trying to replicate, and when the work is done, Jindian destroys or somehow extracts the object, leaving only the wire frame.

Looking at Shi Jindian’s wire sculptures it’s hard to understand how he gets every little detail just right, but I guess that’s what makes his art so unique and impressive.

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Sandy Sanderson’s Beer Can Automobiles

Sandy Sanderson is a resourceful New Zealand artist who uses empty soda and beer cans to create detailed models of famous automobiles.

England-born Sandy was trained as a draughtsman, but later became a Technology teacher and emigrated to far away New Zealand. Here he pursued his interest in building airplane, car and bike models, until the age of 40, when he joined a local band and started playing bass guitar. This made him change from building models to making electric string instruments.

Unfortunately, a bike accident shattered one of his wrists and his dream of retiring as a luthier. After surgery, he was still able to use his hand, ride a bike, but the sensitivity and fine control needed to play bass and follow his dream were gone. But it was during his recovery period that he discovered a new hobby – looking at some Coruba and Coke cans he remembered seeing some beautiful aircraft models made from aluminum cans, only they had the plain silvery side on the outside. This didn’t make any sense to him, as the whole point of using such a resource would be to show it to the world and celebrate it instead of hiding it.

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Students Recreate Van Gogh’s Starry Night with 8,000 Bottle Caps

Two students from the University of Virginia have created a pixelated replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” using around 8,000 colorful bottle caps.

I don’t know how they got their hands on so many bottle caps, but I’m sure Ross Thomas and Elizabeth Farrell made quite an impression on their teachers and colleagues when they unveiled this recycled version of Starry Night. Around 8,000 bottle caps were used to complete the 7′ by 9′ masterpiece, but although the number itself is pretty impressive, what I find most amazing is how they used the colors and logos of the caps in just the right places to create a beautiful artwork.

I don’t know what it is about Van Gogh’s masterpiece that bottle cap artists love so much, but I think it just might be the most bottle cap reproduced artwork in history. Take a look at some other versions of Starry Night, at the bottom.

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Man Builds 100-Foot Replica of the Titanic in His Backyard

Scotish ship enthusiast Stan Fraser has spent eleven years of his life building a 100-foot model of the Titanic, in his own backyard.

The 46-year-old former lighting engineer has always had a thing for the Titanic as well as maritime items in general, and his house in Inverness is filled with life jackets, models of other ships and copies of old newspaper articles reporting the Titanic’s tragic accident. His mother used to tell him lots of seafaring stories when he was a child, and he developed a strong passion for the sea that stuck with him throughout his life. He chose a nautical theme for his house and turned his cousin’s old rowing boat into a pirate ship for his kids.

But it was the famous Titanic that fascinated Fraser the most, as he says it was the most beautiful ship ever made, even compared to modern sea liners. He started working on a small replica of the Titanic for fun, but he kept making it bigger until he decided on a 1:100 scale model of the ship. Stan used two caravans he had in the garden as the base of his masterpiece, then someone gave him an old shed to use as material, and another friend who was building a house, helped him out with wood and nails. This got him started, but he spent the next eleven years working on his incredibly detailed model.

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Retired Farmer Spends 30 Years Building Scale Model of Herod’s Temple

Alec Garrard, an 80-year-old retired farmer from Norfolk, England, has spent the last thirty years working on a 1:100 scale model of Herod’s Biblical Temple.

Mr. Garrard has liked creating models all his life, but as he was getting older, he began thinking about a single big project that would see him through to the end of his life. Having always been interested in architecture and religion, the retired farmer thought to combine his two passions and create a unique scale model of Herod’s Temple. He had seen one or two other models of the structure during Biblical exhibitions, but he didn’t find them accurate enough, and he knew he could do better.

The expert model-maker started working on the project when he was in his 40’s. He first spent more than three years just researching the Biblical temple and then began constructing the model, exclusively by hand. The retired farmer cut the plywood frames of the temple walls, baked all the clay bricks in the oven and then stuck them together, and even sculpted and painted 4,000 half-an-inch figurines and dressed them in costumes. It looks absolutely amazing, but Alec Garrard says “I have been working on it for decades, but it will never be finished as I’m always finding something new to add”.

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Artist Builds One-of-a-Kind Imperfect Boats from Discarded Materials

John Taylor is a self-taught artists who uses scrap wood, computer parts, hockey sticks and various other discarded materials to create unique replicas of famous sea vessels.

John has been fascinated with ships ever since he saw a photo of his great-grandfather standing on the deck of a vessel, during the Spanish-American War. He was only a child, but the obsession stuck with him throughout the years, and, as an adult, he began creating these unique models of ships he saw in old photos. Working from his garage in San Juan Capistrano, he turns buckets of junk (computers chips, nails, copper wire, lawn chairs, drift wood, staples and more) into imperfect interpretations of old sea vessels.

A landscape architect by trade, John Taylor will use any materials he can find that will give him the old, tattered results he aims for. “If it’s an exact replica, there’s no room for you to really wonder about it,” he says, trying to explain why he creates models that look like they’ve been fished from the bottom of the ocean, instead of making perfect replicas of the ships that inspire him.

The 3 to 5 feet long models are based on real boats, from Civil War river boats to World War II battle ships, John finds in old photographs.They are an authentic rendition of memory, rather than accurate historical replicas.

 

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The Matchstick Insects of Kyle Bean

Although he only just graduated from art school in 2009, Brighton-based artist Kyle Bean already has a very impressive portfolio under his belt. Throughout his yet short but successful career, Bean has collaborated with important names like the BBC, New York Times Magazine, Selfridges or Hermes.

His latest collection, “Stick Insects”, features a series of insect models created entirely out of matchsticks.

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Chinese Artist Creates Edible Model of Shanghai

Song Dong, one of China’s leading contemporary artist has almost completed a miniature replica of Shanghai City, made out of various sweets. Song apparently has a thing for recreating major cities out of food, as this is the seventh project in his “Eating the City” series, which includes sweet replicas of Barcelona or London. Working with a team of talented food artists, he uses wafers, biscuits, cookies and candy to create edible replicas of Shanghai’s major landmarks.

On Christmas Eve, Song Dong will show his masterpiece to the world, and invite the people to take a bite out of Shanghai, literally. Take a look at the photos below to see how the project is coming along.

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