In 2004 Stefano Bergonzoni (one of my colleagues at the Antoniano Studios) and I were called to build a Holy Crib in Parma, which was the starting experience with scaled models. It was planned by father Giangabriele Chierici, one of the friars at the Antoniano Monastery who niw lives in Parma, to the Ss.ma Annunziata Monastery. Father Lino was a very famous friar who helped poor people in the city, especially in the neighbourhood around the Monastery. To remember the centenary of Father Lino's death, Father Giangabriele wanted a special background for the Holy Crib, building a scaled model of the neighbourhood view from the monastery. He asked to a locally famous sculptor to create carachters which were portraits of the most famous personalites in the city dealing with Father Lino. 
cortile   model   model with me
The picture on the right gives you the idea of the model size: the tallest buiding, the church, was 3 meters high and all the rest was calculated in comparison with it. The Holy Crib is still in a Church chapel, because Father Berardo Rossi, sponsor of this project as well, didn't want to dismiss it.

real housemodelreal housemodel
Here you can see some moments of our job, and also the comparison of the models with the real buildigs. Everything was made on a wooden structure, on which we placed all the details made by very thick polystirene, and spreading on it a layer of glue and other resins to strenghten it. Every building was done as singular pieces, put together at the end inside the chapel. In this kind of job the detail is very important because it gives the athmosphere: the eye looks always for details, creating a balanced view. The buildings in the neighbourhood are made at the "Emilia Style", and are rich of windows, balconies, decoration that we had to age to bring back the time at  the Father Lino's century. 
church  model     model

The Church surface was made more interesting with a painting style which reproduced bricks. It was a long job to do, the whole work lasted one month in which we lived in the Monastery with the friars...one of the best experience of my life.

  chapelchapel modelelena working at the chapel

We had a very nice effect with the roof cover, done with 6000 pieces of a small tube cut by Carlo, the wood-worker. Lightening some windows with small bulbs and put the laundry out of some balconies gave life to the architectures, creating a magical effect. 



In September 2005 the San Giovanni in Persiceto's Town Hall asked me and Stefano to realize a scaled model of the main town's square. It was the scenery for the annual Holy Crib at the beginning, but after the Christmas period the model was moved inside the Town Hall, so the visitors could see it. The Town Hall's Building Office gave us the project of every construction on the square, so it was less difficult for me to calculate a 1:20 scale on the reality. The model was entirely realized with wood and polystyrene, a lot of glue and... a lot of patience!!!

This is the view of the holy Crib finished.

town halltown hall model town hall porchestown hall front
The Town Hall's building was the most difficult to reproduce. It has 22 windows, framed by several architectural elements, on the first floor surface there are a lot of lines that create a geometric decoration, under the porches there are a lot of doors and windows, all framed by sculpted elements...so it took 20 days to be finished...

churchchurch modelchurch tower modelelena working at the tower
The Collegiata's Church has a simple surface, decorated with some columns and sculptures. Those ones were realized from Marcello Magoni, a young local sculptor still resident in the small town, who sculpted also all the people in the Square, and the Holy Crib's Family members.

houseshouses model
It's amazing how many things we can learn about the buldings  around us every day ! Usually we don't pay so much attention to their details. This job gave us the opportunity to understand how many differences there are between buildings that at a first sight seem all the same style, and measuring them, we understood also all the cheats that the old architects used to join them in one elegant style without compromising the structure.


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