Sunday, April 17, 2011

1993 Scratch built wood Parthenon model.


Here is an abstract model I did of this ancient landmark, because I became fascinated by it's architectural beauty of the building in 1972 in my ancient history class in 7th grade with my ancient history teacher, Mrs Menges, in then Lincoln Junior High School in Lancaster, PA. The simple beauty of its fluted Doric columns, and the the friezes on the pediments on both ends of the building are a thing of beauty to behold.

The actual building was completed around 445 B.C. by the great Greek statesman, Pericles , for the worship of the Greek goddess, Athena Parthenos, who, supposedly was the goddess of prosperity. It is still on the huge fortified outcropping overlooking Athens, yet, today, known as the Athenian Acropolis. Although it is a ruin today, it is still a thing of great beauty! They are, though slowly restoring the monument, today, as of this typing.

My model took a little over a month to build in the spring of 1993. I built it mostly at my work, on my free time. I'm a woodworker, by trade. One day, when I was at a work station, there, I saw a huge box full of these wooden fluted dowel pegs, and it inspired me. I thought they would work perfect to use as the bodies of the columns in a Parthenon model. So I basically drilled and cut pieces out of solid paint grade birch wood and plywood to fit around these pegs, and turned it into a very nice model of the building, although, with what I know now, is far from being architecturally correct. It is missing the inner portico columns that are behind the end facade columns. But I did get the basic proportions close. It does have the correct number of columns on the outside of the model. Forty-six of them, total. Not counting the corners twice, it has the 17 columns on each side, and 6 on the ends, as per the original, (in between the corners on the ends, that is, as when you look at the ends of the model, there are 8 columns across, on each end). The model is still pretty neat though, to look at. That is why I call this model an abstract interpretation of the landmark, because it is not all that accurate. But, then again models of the Parthenon are few, and far in between.

The model is about 14" long, by about 7" wide by about 4-1/2" tall. April 21, 2011- I was just asked to figure out the scale of this model, so here it goes.

If I just figured it out right, it comes out to about 1/200 scale, give or take a few points on the lower number of that fraction.

I spray painted it flat white, after I got the lintel/ columnade rectangle structure built. I spray painted the inner room walls separately before I assembled it to the outer column assembly, then I spray painted the pediment/ceiling/ roof assembly separately before I assembled it into the model, completing it.

The embossed frieze details on the pediments, and "dentil" details on the lintels of the model were made by gluing cut heavy gauge pieces of cardboard to these areas as needed to provide the relief detail that these areas have or did have on the actual building. I cut out the frieze silhouettes using, again heavy gauge cardboard, drawing the shapes on the cardboard, then hand cutting them out with a #11 blade X-acto modeler's knife. Then I glued them onto the flat recesses of the pediments. The little dentil squares on the lintels were embossed with the point of a dead ball point pen, with two lines evenly dividing each square into three even rectangular sections, as per the original building. I put enough detail in this model to make it interesting looking, but again, I say, it is very far from being exact.

Here are select new images of my model that I just took, today.

Jim.










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