I made this diorama as a bit of fan art from TheMisterT’s first novel, Dr Potter’s Medicine Show, back in 2017. Having just finished a fan art diorama for his second novel and having shared it here, I decided to share this one, too!
Here we see a cutaway of the Hedwith household with the laboratory in the the basement directly below Dr Morrison Hedwith’s study. The wooded sidewalks are visible at street level on the exterior of the building along with the sidewalk-level window. To the endless detail shots!
Shelves loaded with mysterious alchemical ingredients and reference books. The owl bookend is made with a vintage charm painted brass and mounted to a small piece of the same balsa the crude shelves are made from. While there is no owl in the book, TheMisterT assured me that Morrison would have loved it, because owls represent wisdom and he considered himself to bear that trait.
Dr Hedwith’s work table. The surface is stained and burned, then covered with the tools of his dark secret trade. The mortar and pestle is made with polymer clay, painted to stain. The candle is from various beads and findings stacked up and topped with a painted tissue flame. The lab equipment consists of various miniature vessels, plastic tubing, and metal bits I’ve scavenged over the years. You can see that the equipment vents to the exterior: safety first!
Oh, the the blood that has spilled for Doctor’s mad science!
And the madness that grips him, caused him to throw a bottle of failed elixir against the wall, breaking the bottle and staining the floor.
Finally, the carpeted floor of Morrison’s study above the lab where he enjoys a nightly brandy. This references a scene where he loses control of his rapidly failing body, dripping his glass. His servant cleans it up after helping him to bed. I included a dimple in the carpet where the Doctor’s chair has been moved!
Of course, I had to carry my details to the exterior/back. We have a shelf of TheMisterT’s book “accouterments” where this sits and I turn it around every now and then to show the back.
This part of Dr Potter’s Medicine Show takes place in Portland, Oregon in the late 1800s which had raised wooden sidewalks. I grew up near Portland and was always fascinated with the brass things attached to and coming out of the old buildings, so I added the vent (above) and left the nail heads that support the bookshelves exposed. The sidewalk-level window is filthy and obscures the evil that goes on within. Of course, there is a sign offering for sale the miracle tonic to keep up appearances.
Below the sidewalk is some accumulated trash including a couple of local newspapers. When looking for such, I found one from my hometown which is less than 20 miles west of Portland, so I included it, too. There’s also a crushed tin can and a bottle of “Potter’s Canadian Whiskey” which I could not resist buying when I found it. Dr. Potter definitely has a drinking problem, but who can blame him all things considered?
A few more details:
Underneath the sidewalk are the project and maker info.
And a little bit, I couldn’t help myself with on the inside is the smoke stains on the ceiling over Dr. Hedwith’s work table and in the corners from the long hours of burning the candle.