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Allswell, USA. A small town from a time that seems simpler through the soft-filtered yellow lens of nostalgia. The sort of town where kids bike around after school and well-meaning but foolish teenagers get into minor but non-serious predicaments over the weekend. Neighbors greet each other if they don't have a grudge; a single income can support a family, whether it's blue-collar work down at the [regional industry] or an office job at the recently-opened Institute.

Law enforcement is competent to deal with rowdy teens, speeders, and town drunks and that's about it. Weirder problems may require some meddling kids to solve.

 

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If you've seen a Stephen Spielberg movie OR a Stephen King movie, or any of their imitators (Stranger Things, The Iron Giant, Super 8, etc.) you know the place. Maybury, Ray Bradbury country. It's a generic backdrop, a place that never was but that we wish had been. The name comes from Chris van Allsburg and Norman Rockwell, plus the nice overtones of optimism and echoes of Roswell.

 

For of course, weird stuff goes down in Roswell. Your average wage-earner or housewife won't notice it or doesn't have time to pay attention; they have their own problems and in any case they can only see changes to the norm through the lens of the Cold War.

But there's weirdness all right. 

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Weird stuff down in the mine, or out in the woods at night. Strangers visiting the Institute on strange errands, very strange strangers indeed. Children can see it. They have an unerring instinct for finding differences and exceptions to rules. 

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(Pictured: two Perfectly Normal Citizens, according to a grown-up, and one meddling kid.)

 

Teenagers too can see weirdness; their developing minds and natural antiestablishment rebelliousness are good for dealing with radical, out-there theories and their absolutely terrible judgement allows them to take ludicrous risks to investigate. 

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So can some adults--not influential or respectable ones, but ones at the margins of society. Crackpots, drunks, hoboes, busybodies, cranks and recluses. Not the sort of people authority figures listen to.

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Pictured here are a handmade quonset hut, a Christmas decoration I found at a thrift store (the ice cream scoop and planters were separate dollhouse furnishings or pewter charms found on the same trip), and two Walther's HO railroad terrain kits, one the newsstands (one converted to a noodle stand) and Vic's Barber Shop. Too small to be accurate for 28mm scale, let alone 32mm, but good for backdrops and terrain. Click for more views. 

Spoiler

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More to come, I hope!

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I like it...used to have a similar setup that was more for a X-Com type setup...though more scattered in things because it wasn't just aliens and was an entirely homebrew thing with scifi and supernatural crazies

 

You might consider looking for some of the older plasticville kits, some can be found rather cheaply if you look for some buildings since they seem to have a lot of things that would fit in rather well there.

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Thank you, everyone! I'm gratified you like it. 

7 hours ago, Iridil said:

Absolutely wonderful, from the storytelling, the buildings, the rainbow shirt, the cat lady - so many wonderful details....

12 hours ago, Chaoswolf said:

That's a really cool little layout you've got there. :winkthumbs:

On 3/24/2022 at 10:58 PM, Inarah said:

Very nicely done. 

This is what keeps me going! I hope to be adding more in the future. Rainbow sweater is loosely inspired by Mabel Pines. 

 

On 3/25/2022 at 6:09 PM, KruleBear said:

Nice work and cool setting. I really like the giant gumball machine. 

Thank you--and I agree, the gumball machine really sells the scene! It is one of my luckiest finds. 

On 3/24/2022 at 10:17 PM, SotF said:

I like it...used to have a similar setup that was more for a X-Com type setup...though more scattered in things because it wasn't just aliens and was an entirely homebrew thing with scifi and supernatural crazies

Thanks! Allswell is going to have non-alien weirdness too (you can see a forest monster in a couple of those pics). I'd love to hear more about your X-com homebrew town, especially those supernatural crazies! Always looking for inspiration, and your stuff is always good and creative. 

On 3/24/2022 at 10:17 PM, SotF said:

You might consider looking for some of the older plasticville kits, some can be found rather cheaply if you look for some buildings since they seem to have a lot of things that would fit in rather well there.

Good call! I'll check that out, because while I love applicable, cheap and applicable is even better! I appreciate the recommendation.
 

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A little more work--got a Walther's old-school Dairy Queen as a birthday present about a month ago, and a found a Merchant's Row for cheap. 

 

The DQ came with a period-appropriate sign, but also contained an extra blank sign if I need to convert it to an automat or greasy spoon diner. WHICH I WILL

 

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I'll post the Merchant's Row later--it's picture-heavy, on account of being BIG and multipurpose! But here's a teaser:

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3 hours ago, Iridil said:

Looking fantastic! I personally thank whoever gave you the DQ 🙂

That would be my parents! They could have done a lot worse IMO. 😄

Anyway, here's one side of the Row: 

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and here's the other end! I'll be honest: decals are not  always easy to deploy. Also it's a lot of bricks and weathering! But that's nothing compared to the back side of the Row.

 

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I do love the diversity of pediments and architectural flourishes! 

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Here's the back side, a great opportunity for horrible urban decay. 

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The rusting fire escape in particular is delightful!

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Shown here, as an Innsmouth fish-packing plant. Bonnie is providing much-needed leadership for the workforce.

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Or, if you'd prefer more noir for the back-alley shenanigans,

 

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Allswell is full of strange happenings no matter the time period. Some of the happenings seeem to resent time as a linear social construct in the first place...

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and to be fair, time is much more flexible than the average citizen thinks. 

 

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Will this make it into the official record?! applying  a column before the deadline has much more influence than any editorial slant. After all, if the past can change, the present and future are up for grabs!

 

Ultimately, the here and now has very strong opinions on maintaining its current and local reality.  Leroy is about to demonstrate this to some unwelcome out-of-towners.

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I'm really glad I stumbled upon this project as it's stunning. I love all the detail you've applied to everything, you've really elevated even the simpler buildings/kits that I recognize. Great job, I love what you did with your pop machine too.

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