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So I’ve built a bunch of buildings for the layout, but this will be the first one suspended in mid air.    My plan is to build a scale representation of the house from the movie Up, along with the requisite balloons and some clouds for good measure.

I’ll be starting with a wooden house kit procured via Etsy, and will be modifying it as needed to look good from the bottom and include interior lighting.

I’ll pick up this build log with the house mostly assembled.   This kit has a LOT of tiny wooden parts.   Here I have it mostly built with the walls painted and windows/window dressings in place:


Here you can see I have a couple LEDs installed in the first floor “ceiling”,  as well as a zip tie loop to support the wire it will hang from:



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Last edited by frizzinbee
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A little more progress on Carl’s house...

The house itself is mostly done, with just some touch-up and light weathering work needed on the “above ground” portion.   Underside detailing still needs to be done.   The white wire coming out of the top is the hanging wire, while the red/black one is for power.


I also needed to start building out the balloons.   I bought 25 plastic mini balloon bundles (with 8 balloons each) from China (via eBay) a while ago.   The plan is to bunch these together like a bouquet to create a somewhat convincing set of balloons to lift the house.   They are a bit out of scale (probably more like G-scale+), but this was the smallest I could find.


..of course, these balloons are somewhat lacking in variety as there is no blue.  I am repainting 20% of them blue so as to create a more pleasing, balanced, and screen-representative set of colors:



...more to come!


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A little more progress on the Up house...

First, I added some floor “joists” and pipes using scrap wood pieces, plastic sprues, and pieces of metal coat hanger.

Here the pipes are lightly weathered:


I also added some electrical/water meter boxes to the side of the house, as per prototype (or close enough, anyway):


Finally, I reinstalled the now blue balloons and formed the balloon bunches into a single bouquet of 200 mini balloons:


200 balloons is far short of the thousands required, but at least gives the impression of the bottom portion of the balloon bunch:


More to come!


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The Up house is now hanging, with the first cloud installed...

On the workbench connecting the balloons to the house.   The hanging wire and the power wire have been run through the middle of the balloon bouquet:



Suspended from the ceiling over the layout.   The white area between the chimney and balloons will dry clear in a few days...  the caulk I used to fill in that area and secure the wires goes on white:



Here is my “test cloud”.   These imitation cotton clouds are intended for classrooms, party, and photo backdrop decor....  but I think they’ll look great over the layout and around the floating house.   I bought one to give it a shot:


cloud #1 in place:



Honestly... I’m pleasantly surprised just how good the cloud looks, and how easy it was to install.   I’ll be adding at least a few more...


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@McShab posted:


Where did you get the cloud material?

Thanks, guys, for all the compliments and kind words!   This is one of my favorite additions to the layout.   I'll post more pics when I get the flying house's wires connected to accessory power and/or more clouds in place.

@McShab: The cloud came from Amazon (it amuses me that it's literally an Amazon Cloud).   There are multiple brands and sizes, but the particular one shown is one of the largest and can be found here.  It comes with the fishing line pre-attached, ready to hang and fluff.

@mike g. posted:

Dustin, WOW that looks just like in the movie! My grandkids are going to go crazy over your photos! Thanks for sharing!

P.S. I got the package and am really excited to work on it. Just one question, how were you going to clean the glue up? I am thinking I am also going to paint it.

Thanks, Mike!

In answer to your question, I hadn't gotten super far into my plan...  but my general approach was going to to try and remove all the windows and window frames, mask major sections and spray paint them their final color, go back and paint the details (wall brackets, interior floor, signs, brick mortar, windows that won't come out, etc.), then paint and reinstall the window frames/windows.  If you are going to add lights, I would also recommend spray painting the inside (and the inside of the roof!) black or silver early in the process so your building doesn't glow.

As far as the excess glue, I would probably try to sand down any big globs before painting.   Depending on the type of glue used, a glue removing solvent of some kind might soften it up a bit... but probably worth testing to make sure it doesn't also melt the plastic.

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