THE WORK OF PAUL WESTON AND IAN PRICE
Writes Paul Weston... Labours of love is how I would refer to mine and Ian's work! As they take such a long time to craft our existing models aren't themselves for sale but thats not to say we couldn't be commissioned to create new versions, or in the case of my Portmeirion models new buildings and can contact us via The Unmutual Website for rates.
Paul Weston –
Model of ‘No.6’s cottage / The Round House and Lady's Lodge’
Back in the early 1990’s Paul got the itch to make a model of part of Portmeirion village, in homage to his favourite TV programme. There were no plans, only his own photographs and those published in visitor pamphlets from visits. He ended up scratch building in 1:82nd scale an architectural model by first creating plan drawings then building the model to the plan using both bought materials such as plastic sheet / balsa wood and also found items such as cereal packets!
As Paul had invested probably hundreds of hours in the model he bought a display case, and, as he had a day trip planned to Portmeirion he decided to chance his luck and call the MD of Portmeirion Robin Llywelyn, who on his arrival was so impressed with it that he introduced Paul and the model to Susan Williams-Ellis (daughter of Sir Clough – this was in 1994) who commented on ‘how much better than those terrible Lilliput Lane models it was’! (Paul’s model is hand crafted with individual roof tiles, glass windows and accurate landscape detailing too).
They ended up discussing plans to create a model made up of sections of the whole village to be displayed in the then empty Green Dome. Measuring at least 2 meters square it would have been quite a sight… however the board of Directors didn’t sanction the costs that would have been involved, and since then the No.6 cottage model has been on display in the village book shop for several years in the 2000’s.
In 2021, Paul extended this set to base a diarama around the filming of the 'Prisoner' episode 'Arrival'.
Paul has developed other Portmeirion buildings, here is his Campanile / Bell Tower.
Here it is under construction.
And in 2022 announced his work on Battery!
To recap for anyone new to my ongoing project to make 'Portmeirion - condensed' in 1:82nd scale:
To say that these scratch building projects can take years to come to fruition is an understatement as I started working on the plan drawings for Battery Square in 2014, during periods when I was in the model building phase of the Campanile.
After completing work on Priors Lodging in 2019 and taking photographs of it in diorama's with the other models I felt inspired to press on with completion of the Battery Square diorama, with my initial thinking being to build a stand alone diorama containing Pilot and Toll house too.
However, my wife bought to my attention the amount of space the footprint of such a model would take up and a compromise was reached - to create a stand alone model of Priors Lodging and Battery Cottage - but without the adjoining link to pilot. In effect replicating how the building would have appeared during Portmeirion's early development.
Standing back now after completion what strikes me is how much I have relied on the support of my fellow Facebook Prisoner and Portmeirion friends for supplying me with photo reference and just plain insight into the subject, with even Meurig Jones of the Portmeirion team pitching in on site reference and knowledge.
That's not to say it's been all plain sailing. It wasn't until I started the build process of Battery Cottage in 2020 and asked fellow Facebook Portmeirion fans for help with photo reference that I realised that the proportions of my own plan drawings were not as accurate as they could have been.
Then there were the very subtle variations in measurements when constructing the basic foundations of the model which threw the accuracy out, not so much as the untrained eye would notice but enough so that I did. Even so, my mantra is 'an imperfect some-thing is better than a perfect no-thing', so I press on, with just my passion for the subject as guidance.
I hope you enjoy my Portmeirion - Condensed.
Paul has also built vehicles, including the Mini Moke.
Ian Price –
Model of Electropass scene from ‘Arrival’
Ian’s forte is taking model kits and bespoking them, because they are never to his own exacting standards of detail!. That’s why when Ian found the Allouette kit in 1:32 scale he had to turn it into a ‘Prisoner spec’ version.
Many of the existing kit parts such as the engine, cock pit canopy, the interior detailing had to be radically enhanced. Those that weren’t actually in the model had to be made from scratch, such as the pontoon floats. See the shots of various stages of the construction to get an idea of the intricate detail involved in the build.
The No. 6 figure actually started life as a pilot from a Spitfire kit, with Ian doing substantial work to the facial features and clothing, as well as making an electropass!
Rover was made by stretching a latex balloon over a clay model.
Ian wanted to devote as much attention to the background of the Hydrangeas as the model itself and as no existing model materials ‘to scale’ existed he had to make them up from materials usually associated with flower arranging!
Ian reckons that he spent all in all about a whole months worth of his time to complete the diorama.
Model of ‘Prisoner spec’ Caterham 7
Ian’s twin love of Sports cars and The Prisoner meant that he couldn’t resist building the Tamiya 1:12 scale kit Caterham 7 kit, and altered the interior - carpet, seats to mimic Prisoner ‘red leather’, added white pipe striping to the tonneau cover, the KAR number plate and ‘readable’ tax disk. The model even has an operating suspension that actually works.
This is not a plastic kit but one made from aluminum and plastic panels - as in the real thing.
Check out the photographs to see how detailed the engine bay is.
Ian had the model displayed in the No.6 shop in Portmeirion for several years, and it is due back there soon. It is based on a 1990s Caterham 7.
Ian has had many offers to purchase it over that period, but the fee wouldn’t be able to cover the amount of time and love invested in it.
Model of KAR 120C
In 2023 Ian completed his latest achievement, an exact replica of the car seen in 'Arrival' and 'Many Happy Returns', KAR 120C. Writes Ian; "I wanted to make it as accurate as possible, which is not so easy at 1:24 scale, so a few hours of blu Ray freeze framing and online research followed. I noticed that the original car had a clever ‘fix' from Colin Chapman to combat cooling issues, the from number plate was not a plate at all, the individual letters and numbers were fixed directly to the barbecue grille thus allowing air to flow through them, this involved microsurgery at 1:24 scale but I eventually succeeded. The interior trim and boot cover features white vinyl piping on the real thing, I replicated this with miniature plastic rod being carefully plastic welded onto the kit parts. The Elan wheels, hub caps and correct rear lights are aftermarket parts from SHAPEWAYS. I added detail to the engine bay, HT leads, battery leads, fuel line etc, and finally I applied a ‘raised' Lotus badge to the nose cone, this is sunken in the kit, a very small detail but my ‘OCD' kicked in. I know every nut bolt and cog, I built it with my own hands!"