Paul Haug’s Invisible Man

I got “The Invisible Man” by Moebius and I was very impressed with the figure. I thought it was very well sculpted and molded. I like the Moebius kit, but I envisioned a wall behind the figure and I have wanted to try my hand at scratch building. So I decided to scratch build the scene that the Invisible Man would be standing in. This diorama is based on the book by H.G. Wells rather that the original movie. This kit shows the scene where ‘the visitor’ reveals himself: “I’ll show you. By Heaven. I’ll show you.” , to quote H.G.Wells. This is also where the title of the piece comes from.

There was a large amount of research done starting with reading the book (quite a good read). Unfortunately, I could not find the Inn the book speaks of (it may have been fictional). Careful research was done of Iping, England where the story takes place, for Inns and how they looked in the late 1800s and for period clothing styles and colors. Then note was taken of the setting as described in the book and all of that was used to create this diorama.

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The book spoke of the many bottles the visitor had and how the bottles and apparatus filled the chiffonier, tables and even the windowsill. I used the bottles that came with the kit as they were rather well done and had a lot of variety. I painted the inside of some and put various substances in others. I used a bit of a down feather from a swan inside the evaporation flask to look like steam. (Figure 1)

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The story mentioned a chiffonier and a table filled with his bottles. I researched what a chiffonier was and how they looked in Southern England in the late 1800s. I settled on a simple yet sturdy table design like what was found in Inns of the period. I drew plans, got some basswood and hand-built the furniture. (Figure 2)

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Research showed how windows were made and then using basswood and balsa the window was created with the same methods (in miniature). I cut the boards for the floor from basswood and laid them piece-by-piece onto the base. I made the wall from layers of foam core and painted it with interior house paint, which created some nice scale texture. The baseboard is balsa and the window trim is basswood.  (Figure 3)

The book also mentioned his diary (his notes of his experiments), so I made and bound a book in miniature just the way full sized books are made. (See Figure 1)

In addition, his glasses (goggles) were cut out to add the blue lenses mentioned in the book.

The miniature rug he stands on was purchased from a dollhouse supplier.

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The curtain rod is brass and the curtains were made from fabric. The window shade was made using a sheet of a textured vinyl wrapped around a brass rod. The ‘glass’ in the window is acetate. His shirt cuffs are made from paper with brass pinheads for cuff links. (Figures 4 & 5)

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The story takes place during the winter so the snow bank against the wall ‘outside’ was made of Styrofoam and Woodland Scenes brand snow.

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Finally, the case was assembled around the finished scene. (Figure 6)

There were 70 fun filled hours logged on this project and when it was done, it was entered in OmaCon 2014 contest held at the Air and Space Museum in Ashland, NE. It was awarded First Place and Best of Show in the Science Fiction Category.

Paul Haug

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