Set designer McKay Coble walks us through building the set model for Nicholas Nickleby.

Bare model: first we build a model of the theatre in which the set will stand.  This is what it looks like under all of the scenery you see at PlayMakers. 
Painting the floor:  I paint/stain individual board of differing widths to lay the floor of the set- each board is fitted and glues down separately.


Model floor:  I am using the original floor of the PRC repertory deck designed by Desmond Heeley many years ago.  It is not often used but the texture and color of the rough wood are just right for NN. 

Full model:  This is a “white” model where we work in neutral materials to get a feeling for the layout of the set and discuss uses for each space and movement patterns for actors and scenery.  There is not a lot of detail at this point as we will very likely make changes.  

Model detail:  We are starting to assign textures to areas in the space as well as particular scenes.  Details are getting more specific and measurements more accurate.  This model is in half inch scale- ¼ inch is the standard.  I am working in a larger scale because there will be so many moving parts on this set. 

Spiral stairs: each element of the set design must eventually be made in detail and the correct scale.  A really good model is in exact scale measurement and detail.  I tell my students that their models should be so accurate a shop could build the set from the model alone. 

Trap detail: planning on how we will use this and other stage machines that are built into our theatre. 


Workspace:  A very kind photograph that does not begin to capture the mess!