International Week in the son’s school was upon us. Since I’m not as active with PA activities as I’d like to be, I decided to give this event my best. One of our ideas was to have ‘show stopper’ display for India Stall and in all my excitement, I volunteered to make a model of the Taj.
It took 12 days. It was painstaking work. It was a first. But it was so much fun. It is, this.
The model for this was taken Canon Papercraft site : http://cp.c-ij.com/en/contents/3152/03343/index.html
My inspiration for this was Dr. Sonia SV from Bangalore who did this for her daughter’s school project. She was very helpful & gave all the tips and advice I asked of her. Thank You, Dr. Sonia.
I had $50 tops for this project since there was a lot of other stuff happening as well for the event that we had to budget for. This is how I went about it.
– Paper – The thickest matte paper that Staples could print out for me within budget. I doubled the scale of Canon model, since on the original scale, the model was turning out to be very small. The prints cost $13. (I did a rough trial model, regular paper & to-scale, before the final, big one and I highly recommend doing that, especially if you’re making something like this for the first time, as I was.)
– Glue dots (lifesavers) – A critical tip by Dr. Sonia. They made life so much easier. I bought both regular size and mini dots. The regular ones I bought were removable…just in case. $10
– Glitter Glue – $ 8
– Tweezers & toothpicks for handling and gluing small parts
– A foam base – $12
– Feathers to decorate the final piece – $6
Starting out : The first thing I did post getting the 9 printed sheets was to cut out all the parts. This was not so easy, especially small parts. Those sneaky buggers were difficult to hold and handle. Best to take your time with this. I would just put on some music and get going at night when I was left to my own. (else I may have stabbed someone)
Assembly: Next, the Taj needed to be assembled. The project is fairly easily marked by Canon with regards to whats to be done and how. However again, small parts and domes are tough to execute. An important thing to bear in mind is that the domes and main body require lots of flexing and precision folding pre-gluing. Pay attention to that since it impacts the final outcome. Advice – Be Patient. Persevere. Space it out over 2/3 days.
Decoration: Once the gluing was done, we decorated the model with glitter glue. It served two purposes.. one the aesthetic, the other covering up any visible flaws 😉 Done and dried, the Taj was mounted on a foam board and my son put some colorful feathers around it – he really wanted to do that – “Add color mamma”, my excited 5-year-old kept asking of me.
And finally, we got it.
The best part was that while making it, I kept telling my son the history behind this beautiful piece of architecture, why it makes for such a wonderous sight. Also, as he helped me decorate it, he felt very grown up about his contribution to the Indian stall and his sense of ownership was terribly cute.
On the D-day, our Taj was indeed, a show stopper. We put up a simple information chart next to the model so that all students passing by got to learn that this was a building made over 350 years ago by some 22,000 men, over 22 years. Now that was some effort!
The school has kept it on permanent display now. They love it.
Well worth the effort. Totally.