Life & Style

Miniature Crafters create vehicles, buildings and more

A kid having a look at the models of KSRTC buses exhibited at ‘Aanavandi Expo’ in Thiruvananthapuram

A kid having a look at the models of KSRTC buses exhibited at ‘Aanavandi Expo’ in Thiruvananthapuram   | Photo Credit: S Gopakumar

The group recently held an exhibition of mini versions of various models of the KSRTC buses

Christy Mathew owns more than 15 vehicles, all built by himself, while Mathews Naruvenchiyil has his own Jatayuppara rock sculpture and Eiffel Tower. Bibin Mohan takes pride in his collection of off-roading vehicles. However, all of them are miniature models.

Christy, Mathews and Bibin are members of Miniature Crafters, a WhatsApp/Facebook group for people who make miniatures. MetroPlus caught up with some of the members of the group when they were in the city in connection with ‘Aanavandi Expo’, an exhibition of mini versions of various models of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses. Among the 40-odd exhibits were models of vintage buses, such as the first ever bus launched by the Travancore State Transport Department on February 20, 1938 and the tractor-trailer, models of buses not in production and those that are currently plying the streets.

Models of buses at ‘Aanavandi Expo’ in Thiruvananthapuram

Models of buses at ‘Aanavandi Expo’ in Thiruvananthapuram   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

“There are 122 members in our WhatsApp group and our Facebook page has over 7,800 followers. We have members from various walks of life. All of us are crazy about automobiles. Although we have held exhibitions before, last year we thought about doing something for the KSRTC because it has been a part and parcel of Kerala for several decades now. There are people who share an emotional bond with the public transport system and we have members who are like ‘walking encyclopaedia’ on the KSRTC. We decided to tell the history of the KSRTC through our exhibits,” says Renjith Thomas, a Kochi-based software engineer who spearheads the group.

Some members of Miniature Crafters

Some members of Miniature Crafters   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Miniature Crafters was “officially launched” on October 2014 after a few like-minded individuals met on Facebook. “When the film Ordinary was released, someone had posted a model of the KSRTC bus that plays an important role in the movie on Facebook. A search for the artiste eventually connected me with more such talents. Soon we decided to form a group,” Renjith says. To become a member of the forum, one has to regularly post “good models”. “We don’t entertain members who make models once in a while,” he adds.

Creative process

Usually, forex foam sheet that come in different thickness are used to make the body. Some miniatures need pieces of wood, cardboard, paper plate, chart paper, poly-carbon sheets, sponge, thermocol and the like. Spray paint, emulsion, enamel or water colour are used to paint the works.

“The design of the KSRTC buses vary depending on the route, frequency of service and branding of the buses. For instance buses that only ply in the city might have a different look from one that is used for long distance. Also, since they are manufactured at five depots in Kerala, there might be differences on account of that as well. We fixed the breadth at 16 cm for all models; length and height could vary according to the design,” explains Christy, a medical representative from Kottayam.

Models of buses at ‘Aanavandi Expo’ in Thiruvananthapuram

Models of buses at ‘Aanavandi Expo’ in Thiruvananthapuram   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

While some members specialise in luxury tourist buses, others are into making models of buildings, famous structures, monuments, and instruments. The members point out that it takes months to create certain designs because they have to take time out of their jobs to work on the models. “I devote at least three hours a day on one model. Sometimes it takes two to three months to finish one piece,” says Pathanamthitta-based Mathews, an operator of heavy vehicles used for construction.

The youngest in the group is Aaron Eapen, a class nine student from Kottayam. “I have enjoyed making miniature models from childhood. When I learnt about the group I immediately contacted them on Facebook. At the ‘Aanavandi Expo’ I exhibited the first KSRTC bus I made — ‘Ordinary service’. Being part of the group is a learning experience,” says Aaron.

Check the page Miniature Crafters on Facebook for details.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 3:58:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/miniature-crafters-is-a-whatsapp-group-comprising-artistes-who-make-miniature-models/article30930061.ece

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