I've been a miniaturist from way back. As a child, milk cartons, once the side was cut out and made into a second floor, became my dollhouse canvas. Used sewing spools became furniture and scraps from my mother's sewing basket became all manner of objects in miniature. Then I discovered balsa wood. My brother used to build model airplanes from balsa wood kits. One day, I took the scraps and built a chair out of them. I had to glue two pieces side by side to make a piece big enough for the seat but I made a pretty good rendition of a chair. Sadly, I didn't think to sand before staining and gluing so the finished piece still has the writing from the kit on it. I still have it and it's amazing it survived all the moves it went through.
Fast forward to life after university and I got back into miniatures with a good heart. This time I was wiser and started using basswood--much better to work with. My biggest pleasure is taking a photograph of a piece of furniture I like and reproducing it into one inch scale as near as I can. I may make some modifications to suit what I like and what I can actually accomplish. I'd also been collecting small accessory items throughout university as my home province is somewhat short on dollhouse shops. Also after university, I took up pottery, a skill I'd always wanted to learn. After borrowing a book on miniature pottery from the library, I started making my own and haven't looked back since.
Many people have favourite materials to work with but I enjoy trying so many new things that I don't think I have a favourite. There's always wood though I can't say I'm a pro at it. I seem to excel at the pottery and I'm starting to sell it online and at local shows (though those are few and far between). Thank goodness for the internet! And the other thing I like is leather, especially pertaining to horsey items. But that's for another time.
Well, enough about me. I wanted to explain how I made the computer. I'm sure it could be done better for future ones if it comes to that but this worked for me. Most of the mini computers I found online were unlifelike or very old school. I wanted a modern desktop computer to replicate what my father has. It's for a Christmas present, but shhh... don't tell him!
I happened to have some black Fimo on hand and it seemed the perfect colour and surface for a computer. I started with the mouse, which was the easiest. I rolled up a small ball of Fimo and pressed it down until it resembled a mouse. I then pressed a tiny black seed bead for the scroll wheel. Perfect! Then I flattened out Fimo for the keyboard, leaving out the keys for now. Then I made another flattened rectangle for the keys, pressed it onto the base and used a knife to score in the alphabet keys. I did the same for the number keys. I didn't get this quite right but maybe for next time as I had no room for any more keys.
For the monitor, I made it in three pieces, front, back and the base. The back is a rectangle with a rounded pillow shaped form. That was pretty easy. The front part was harder as I rolled the Fimo quite thin but it was hard to cut it perfectly rectangular, not only on the outside but the inside too. It was like a picture frame. I baked the front and back halves separately. The stand for the monitor was also baked separately
The CPU was also challenging. It's hard to get perfectly square corners when sculpting Fimo but I didn't want to use a different material because then they wouldn't match. I scored the front to simulate the drives and used no hole beads pressed into the clay to simulate buttons.
For the webpage, I took a screenshot of the nasa.com site, brought it into Photoshop to size it down and printed it out. I sprayed the paper with clear acrylic spray to simulate a monitor screen, glued it onto the back part of the monitor and then glued the delicate front piece on. I then fitted the monitor onto its stand like a key in a lock. Glue holds it in place. Voila, I was fiinished. It may not be perfect but it's not bad and will serve my purpose.