Adobe Pueblo
January 8, 2006

I've been fascinated by the southwestern "style" ever since I can remember. And, of course, I've also been fascinated (some might say obsessed, actually) with the old style Fisher Price Little People. So for years when looking at the Little People Village, I thought, I have GOT to make a pueblo village out of one of those.

Like the previous post, this is a bit photo-intensive, so I'm only including one photo here on the main page ... if you're interested in seeing more photos and how I made the thing, please click the read more link.

Here's a couple of shots of what I started out with:

Building a pueblo out of that was going to take some serious remodeling. I started out with a village that had been played with pretty hard ... the firehouse and the second story roofs were cracked, doors were missing and this was generally a piece that had seen hard times. So, I got out my trusty Dremel and begin sawing/melting off the pieces that I didn't need.

This section of the village had once been the fire station. I took the garage door off, and completely took the roof off as well. Then, I used sheets of polystyrene plastic to re-create the front wall and the roof to that room. I also used Dremeled off the slanty roof on the second story and cut a notch out of one ceiling/floor to accommodate a ladder (which, of course, I couldn't find when I was snapping photos). The graphics you see on the inside of the rooms of this home were all original graphics I did in Photoshop and Fireworks. I tried to keep to the simple style used in other Fisher Price toys and was pretty pleased with the overall effect.

View from the front of this building:

Every kid I knew who had this village set absolutely adored the nifty bridge that came with it, so I was determined to fit this into the theme. Naturally, it became a rock formation that bridges the home section of the playset to the "shopping district." Here you can see a little girl crossing over to the restaurant. Through the arch you can see the jeep/truck thing I attempted to make. About the only thing that I still like on that particular part of this project is that the headlights were made out of glow-in-the-dark Sculpey.

Now, the second half of the project was particularly fun and time consuming. Here, I added the logs sticking out of the "roof" and again I had to level out the roof of the second floor. You'll also note that the stores are Leslie's Diner ... Marmon Trading Post ... Silko Filling Station. This is after one of my favourite authors, Leslie Marmon Silko.

Here's a long shot from the back side ... look in the garage ... that car was completely sculpted from scratch in Sculpey. Click the picture to get a bigger version ... I was rather proud of that car ... turned out much better than the jeep thing.

The inside of the trading post ... here you can see the backside of the little people I sculpted with a native blanket wrapped around him.

And finally, the inside of the diner:

I sculpted all of the people as well ... trying to replicate the older wooden little people that I'd had as a kid, but still using Sculpey to create them. I also wanted a slightly darker tone than the pink wash that was usually used over the light coloured wood on the little people ... mixed results there. Their tone is definitely darker, but not quite what I had hoped for. The faces are drawn on with a fine point Sharpie marker.

I used Celluclay to create the adobe effect ... it's essentially a craft papier-mache product ... with mixed results. In many places it simply pulled away from the plastic as it dried ... worse, in several places it actually cracked. I've gone back with superglue and tried to re-attach the Celluclay where I can ... but I've also found that as this project has "cured" over the last two years or so, it's cracked more and new spots have begun pulling away. I fear I'll probably need to repair it periodically.

Also, I printed the graphics on a inkjet sticker pages ... unfortunately, those stickers don't stick to textured spraypaint very well! Again, I've gone back with Superglue and tried to tack down those stickers.

I used two colours of fleck paint to create the sandstone and the red sandstone looks of the two buildings. It took an entire can of each colour to completely overrun the original yellow and red buildings!

One last shot of the project:

The little boy (over to the far right, inside the house) turned out to be one of my favourite parts of this project. He, Leslie (the woman inside the diner) and the man wearing the draped blanket all turned out pretty well.

One of these days, I'm going to sell this one off and build myself another one ... I learned so much doing this one ... I can already think of several improvements I'd like to make on it.

Thanks for sticking around for all the pictures and geeky descriptions!

Posted by Red Monkey at January 8, 2006 4:28 PM | hobbies | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


seawave said:

Okay, I am now convinced you are missing some kind of calling to be a toy creator. This is freaking awesome. Brought back so many memories of my fun with The Fisher Price Little People. What a great post.

January 8, 2006 5:34 PM


�madbull said:

OMFG... nice job... looks great !

January 8, 2006 9:05 PM


Zoe said:

oh ender thats really crafty and well done.

January 9, 2006 9:44 AM


coolbeans said:

It's De-lurking Week in the Blogosphere, but this creation of yours is inspiring and precious - I would have been compelled to comment no matter the week.

Did you sand any of the finishes before sticking the mache and stickers to them? I wonder if that would have given them something to "grab".

January 10, 2006 9:16 AM


Suzi said:

You have the niftiest hobbies! Really cool.

January 10, 2006 7:59 PM


mojotek said:

That's awesome! Very creative, and it looks great!

January 11, 2006 10:22 AM


drama mama said:

That is the coolest thing!! Awesome!

January 12, 2006 3:57 PM


FyreGoddess said:

I emailed this post to all my artist friends. They were quite appreciative. Very well done.

January 12, 2006 4:01 PM


lONNIE said:



January 13, 2006 8:07 AM


suki said:

whoa, that is awesome! :) did you ever decide what to do for your tattoo? i havent been here in awhile.

January 15, 2006 4:30 PM


presentstorm said:

Check you out ...that is very cool ..I agree...You should be making toys for retail stores ...

January 15, 2006 10:36 PM


Mik said:

That's great and I used to customize and sell 1/6th scale action figures.

Never attempted a project like that one though. Maybe I should with seven grand kids I'm sure it would be appreciated.


January 17, 2006 4:00 PM


Cassandra said:

Awesome!...Good job!...a++++

March 17, 2007 6:27 PM
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