Over a couple of years, I had admired this kit, and all the while wondered why it never came with any interior build up for the Salon. I suppose it was because this is a semi-commercial garage kit as opposed to one that has all the financial backing of a larger kit manufacturer and then there would be the licensing issues from Disney.
So naturally when the kit arrived I immediately made the bold decision to build a salon from scratch. Did I say bold? Perhaps I should have said inspirational insane. I knew from the onset this wasn’t going to be a case of just wacking some bits and pieces together and stick it behind the 1.5 inch wide windows in the middle of the boat.
As I said from the onset, I always planned to assemble this kit in a manner, for me at least, which suited the subject. Because of that, I purchased copies of the original studio plans which had already helped me with the Wheelhouse and Skiff.
Imbued with a sense of purpose and challenge I started on the what was and has been to date one of my best scratch built pieces I ever attempted. Again I should impress upon the reader that the entire salon, when completed, was almost four by three inches in size. Or to put it in a more visual sense it ended up being the size of an early model iPhone.
After purchasing several sheets of styrene plastic card in various thicknesses and some lengths of styrene tube for the ballast pipes. To start the process I went through several sheets of copy paper till I had reduced the plans down to a size I could use as a true scale reference. With that done I started carving out the plastic card for the floor and end walls and shaping the ballast piping.
It took two goes to get the right length and breadth of the floor, but I was pretty chuffed at how it was coming together.
To help with maintaining the scale, I decided to make Nemo’s pipe organ after which I started on the fountain.
After the organ and the fountain, I began work on the smaller sub-assemblies for the writer’s desk and bookcase at the opposite end of the salon. The writing desk and some of the other furniture including the Persian rugs, curtains picture prints and frames all came from a company in the States called small scale miniatures. I wasn’t able to get anything that resembled the couches the crew sat in when looking through the big observation windows. So I had to file and reshape two HO scale white metal lounge.
apart from the white metal books for the shelves and bookcases I also shaped and glued small strips of plastic together to make the numerous tomes in Nemo’s possession. The gold decoration on each book shelf is actually cut from craft ribbon and adhered to thin clear plastic film and glued into place. The couch opposite the writing desk is handmade from air dried modelling clay. apart from the books I also purchased in scale bottles and jars in different colours along with white metal vases and knick knacks.
The small hanging set of navigational guages was as close as I could make for those which hung in the Salon for Nemo’s reference when he wasn’t in the wheelhouse.