Boardwalk miniature a work of heart

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Chopping up window blinds and floor tiles into thousands of tiny pieces has enabled a Port Elizabeth carpenter to create an impressive scale model of a top beachfront hotel.Louis Hasebroek, 60, of Humewood, has built a replica – with some of his own touches – of the five-star Boardwalk Hotel in Summerstrand, complete with working lights and furniture.Hasebroek, who has been a Port Elizabeth resident for 27 years, said: “I was doing other things in between but it more or less took me six months to put all of this together.”Hasebroek uses everyday supplies for his creations.He cut up old window blinds into 16,000 pieces to create the roof tiles and used actual floor tiles which he cut into 5,000 pieces for the walls.The model of the hotel also has 136 tiny windows and 89 doors, with every part being fully functional.“I made it so that all the pieces can be detached so that it can be moved around.”The model also has 100 colourful lights, battery powered for safety reasons.“There are lots of lights operating at the same time. If I use electricity, the risks of the whole thing blowing up in flames are higher.”Hasebroek also created miniature furniture pieces that he placed inside the model.Although the model is created to look like the Boardwalk Hotel, Hasebroek did add some of his own touches to make it a little different.“I made the window and door frames dark to resemble Disneyworld.”Hasebroek started his project by taking various photographs of the hotel from different angles.Then he sat down and drew the building to scale before preparing the different materials he needed.He did not use any special machinery to create his model.“I use my normal glue, hammer and other basic tools.”Hasebroek has been a carpenter for 43 years. He has worked on many building projects over the years but decided to create this scale model with the hope that a market could be created and he could continue to create similar models of other well-known buildings.“I have always wanted to find a new way of doing things, especially when it seems impossible to others.“I remember working in Louis Trichardt and surprising my co-workers with a new way of building a bridge and preventing it from being eaten by termites.”Hasebroek has also expressed the desire to teach others the skill of scale modelling, especially young children.He hasn’t started selling any of his work but has created miniature furniture pieces that he has given away as gifts.“I’m not sure how much I would sell this model for. I would be open for negotiations with the Boardwalk. Maybe they can put it up for display in the hotel,” he said.

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