Model Halloween Village Displays
Displaying and Making
If you enjoy creating model villages at Christmas time, then there is one problem, you have to take your village down when the New Year arrives. Whilst the seasonality of these miniatures allows you to plan from January to November, and also creates excitement at the month of December approaches, it does seem a shame to only display your model village once a year - unless you consider creating a model Halloween village in the month of October!
Many of the Christmas buildings, people and accessories can be adapted to look more spooky, especially when they are displayed alongside skulls, vampires, gravestones, skeletons, witches, ghosts and ghouls, and tiny Jack o' Lantern pumpkins. Both Lemax and Department 56 make some excellent Halloween models, and a number of these buildings and miniatures are animated, with 'scary' moaning noises and flashing lightning. However, to keep costs down, it is sensible to use at least some of your Christmas collection, wherever possible.
Adapting Existing Models
It is worth thinking about how to disguise any snowmen, fairy lights, Christmas trees, wreaths and other festive decorations that are fixed to the china buildings. This may be possible by temporarily sticking some reindeer moss onto the buildings to cover over these elements, with moss dyed red, yellow and orange being especially suitable for an autumn Halloween scene.
Cobwebs can also be used to hide Christmas elements, as well as pumpkins, skulls, figurines, trees and bushes.
Mountains and Skulls
Plastic winter mountains will be transformed when the snow is changed to green grass, becoming hills with platforms, where you can place your main buildings. This can be done by making a removable cover for the snowy parts, with mod-roc plaster or aluminium kitchen foil. The covers can then be painted with PVA glue and sprinkled with green grass scatter powder.
Pet shops can often be a good source of spooky village miniatures, as they usually sell resin models of skulls and Frankenstein heads that are made for use within fish tanks and reptile vivariums. These can look especially effective when placed at the bottom of the mountain or alongside a building, especially when they can hide a patch of white snow.
Pumpkin Making with Polymer Clay
Fimo polymer clay is a useful modelling tool for those with a creative flair, being a good way to get children involved in your Halloween fun. Making a miniature pumpkin with a scary face is as easy as rolling a ball of bright orange clay and running a small wooden toothpick along the sides, to make some indentations.
A black permanent felt-tip pen can then be used to draw on the face. Skulls are also easy to make from white polymer clay by first creating a pear shape, and then drawing on some black eyes, a nose and a straight mouth with lines for the teeth.
Autumn Trees and Leaves
Deciduous Christmas trees can be converted to look more suitable for a model Halloween village by covering them with autumnal shades of mossy foliage. If you have a leaf cutter for card-making, then you can cut out some scaled-down leaves in suitable fall colours, before scattering these leaves around the base of the trunk, rather like autumn confetti.
Spooky Lighting and Backdrops
When planning and laying out your lighting, think about using bright colours to spotlight the buildings in shades of red, blue and purple, as well as yellow and white. The right kind of lighting can have a dramatic effect on your arrangement and if you only have white battery-powered spotlights, then it is possible to colour the bulbs with felt-tip pens to create different shades.
A dark and moody backdrop will add drama, and if you already have a Christmas night-time background, this will soon appear more suitable for a Halloween village if you simply replace the silhouette of Santa flying across the moon with a wicked witch on her broomstick.
Whatever you decide to use or purchase, by creating a spooky Halloween diorama, it will allow you to lengthen your enjoyment of the miniature village hobby, adding another month to the year, and leading up to December.