Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Dr Potter's Medicine Show - More SheFANigans!

Dr Hedwith's laboratory work table, all told the table and contents are about 3" tall.

Until this piece, it was all about the titular Dr Alexander Potter. This is all about the diabolical and Certified POS, Dr Morrison Hedwith, the creator of the Chock-a-saw Sagwa Tonic... and the other tonic. I bring you a mini diorama of Dr Hedwith's basement laboratory circa 1878 in Portland, Oregon.

Alchemical ingredients and books on shelves, lab equipment on a sturdy and well-worn work table. Lab equipment, rats, horror - all housed underground.

There is a scene in which a frustrated and enraged Dr Hedwith throws a bottle against the wall and it breaks. The light stain and the broken "glass" represent that.

The bookend is made from a vintage celluloid charm that I painted with brass metallic paint and then mounted on a tiny bit of wood stained ebony. The books are made from leather-like papers over foam core board.

Best not to think about what or who was chained to the wall in that basement, let alone what that red stain is.
Dr and Mrs Hedwith live upstairs from the the lab in a fairly lavish home for the time. There is a scene where the doctor spills his nightly brandy after losing control of his failing body. His manservant fusses a bit over the stain in the rug. I added a dimple in the rug, left by the foot of his chair, after the servant moved it to attend to the spill.

For some reason I felt compelled to make this diorama a 360 degree affair. So the exterior is supposed to represent a view from the sidewalk.

I did a tiny bit of research and found that the sidewalks of the day in Portland were raised wooden boardwalks. This gave me a place for mud and discarded rubbish.

I found scans old Oregon newspapers online and printed up a period-ish front page of The Oregonian and of course, had to use this Potter's Whiskey bottle I picked up last autumn.

I also found a late 1870s front page of the Hillsboro Argus - a fun shout out to my hometown which is only about 20 miles west of Portland. Then I made a crushed tin can to go with.

Dr Hedwith also operates a small shop where he sells the standard Chock-a-saw Sagwa Tonic above his lab, so I added this sign which is made from a scaled-down version of the label I made for the Sagwa bottles for the photo shoot last December.

I worked on this off and on for about 2 months. Fandom doesn't really come naturally to me and I only have a tiny bit of experience with miniatures. Hence, I took quite a few photos and I am going to show them to whoever will look. You lucky so-and-sos!

This shows how light comes in through the basement window.

This shows the light from the window casting on the work table - before I made and installed the candlestick.

I made the table top scarred with burns and water damage, but most of it is covered by the lab equipment and notes.

With a ruler to help show scale.

Before adding the base, I "signed" and "titled" it under the boardwalk. I did this back when I thought I'd finish in February. What a rube!
The mortar and pestle I made with a penny for scale. After the photo, I painted in the inside of it to look well-used and stained.

The glass (yes, real glass) brandy snifter that I did not make. I did dig around for over an hour trying to find something to make one with, but ended up buying this online. My friend, Janet, helped me hunt it down!

I am not sure how many more DPMS projects I will take on, but I have started collecting images and inspirations for The Trials of Solomon Parker which is due out in October 2017!


  1. I'm a miniature lover and collector, partly because I am awed that folks can make tiny things look realistic. Not me, but other folks. So I was amazed by this diorama and pored over every detail. And then you showed the back. No one EVER finishes the back, much less continues the story back there. Your brain is fabulous! And so is your art. Well done, indeed.

    1. Thank you, Denise! You are so kind. It really never occurred to me NOT to do the back until I was struggling so much with it and realized I really needn't have started in the first place. D'oh!

  2. The attention to detail is fantastic. The dent from the chair leg, the burnt table top even though you covered it with miniature items, the Oregonian and Argus papers. Your creativity inspires me my friend.

    1. Awwww, thank you! These mini dioramas are all about those details as far as I am concerned. It's also why I take AGES do make one and hardly ever do!


It feels so good to read comments! If you're leaving one (or more!), THANK YOU! If you're not... c'mon, already!