Motorcycle Emporium

When I found wonderfully detailed 1:12 scale motorcycles, I bought several, and here is how I used them. Note: After I finished the “Emporium”, I went back and remodeled it. The first pictures are of the original, and I have noted the revised version when it appears in others.

(Click images for more details)

View As A Slideshow

Garage logo First version’s picture in sunlight Another view from the front in sunlight Coke can Old chair Inside of shop Dirty bathroom Overview of interior of the shop Overview of right side of shop Looking into the shop from the front of it Motorcycle Dirty motorcycle Motorcycle Harley Davidson parking only Vintage gas pump Front of shop Shop doors Final version of shop Final version of shop Magazine cover

The construction steps:

I designed the building for the motorcycle shop using foam core board. It is the only project I have made so far using it.

Foam core Side view of preliminary structure Siding Chopper used to cut bats for siding Lap siding installed across front Bats added to siding and trim around windows Windows trimmed over garage doors Metal roofing Roof installation Roof Walls Doors Office door Toilet Bathroom Bathroom Final version of bathroom Bathroom ashtray Toilet with ashtray Dirty sink and cracked mirror Tool backboard A customer
Garage logo

I made this sign after the name was suggested to me.

First version’s picture in sunlight.

This is the early version of the shop. I renovated it and there are pictures later showing it with the changes.

Another view from the front in sunlight

Another view of the shop front in sunlight.

Coke can

Using a Coke can to show the scale.

Old chair

A closeup of the screen door and porch with an old chair. The quarter is to show the scale. Everything I make is an inch to a foot, or 1:12.

Inside of shop

Inside of shop through the front doors.

Dirty bathroom

Dirty bathroom.

Overview of interior of the shop

Overview of interior of the shop.

Overvierw of right side of the shop

A closer view into the nearly finished shop.

Looking into the shop from the front of it

View into the finished shop from the front doors.


Side view of motorcycle being repaired, and left corner of shop.

Dirty motorcycle

Old rusty, dirty motorcycle on left side of shop that has been cannibalized for parts. Air pump on the wall.


Outside right side of shop with parked motorcycle. I added a payphone on the wall in front of the motorcycle when I updated the shop.

Harley Davidson parking only

Harley Davidson parking only.

Vintage gas pump

Vintage gas pump.

Front of shop

Revised version of front of shop.

Shop doors

Revised doors on shop, opened. The old doors were fixed in place. The new doors are hinged. I also added the shop sign. To make it, I painted a piece of mat board with yellow wood glue, and while it was still wet, I covered it with streaks of white and gray acrylic paint. As the glue dried, cracks formed and made the sign look old. I then made decals with my printer and applied them to the dry cracked paint.

Final version of shop

Final version of shop with new doors opened, and an outside light over the new sign.

Final version of shop

Final version with doors shut. You can just see a payphone with a hanging directory, below the loose crooked restroom sign.

Magazine cover

The Motorcycle Emporium was featured on the cover of the July, 2019, issue of American Miniaturist magazine, along with a cover story.

Foam core

The preliminary foam core structure with a motorcycle to gauge the room size needed. This is the first and last structure I’ve made of foam core. It has a tendency to warp when a wet glue is applied to it, so I had to reinforce it with mat board and wood siding.

Side view of preliminary structure

Side view of preliminary structure.


Basswood siding being glued to building walls over the foam core.

Chopper used to cut bats for siding

Chopper used to cut battens for siding.

Lap siding installed across front

Lap siding installed across front of shop, and interior lined with mat board.

Bats added to siding and trim around windows

Battens added to siding and trim around windows.

Windows trimmed over garage doors

Windows trimmed over garage doors and Plexiglas installed.

Metal roofing

Cardboard scrapbook paper painted gray to simulate corrugated metal roofing. Several colors of paint applied to give appearance of rust.

Roof installation

Roof panels installed and viewed from above. Two skylights were added to let in more light into the interior.


View of roof before trim was added to skylights.


Walls covered with mat board and painted with three different colors of acrylic paint using my fingers. Mat board cut into strips has been laid on the floor and painted with a dry brush to look like dusty old boards.


Office, bathroom, and screen doors painted and aged.

Office door

Office door and screen door installed. Screen is ripped at the lower left corner from being kicked open. There is a shade on the door and a sign in the window. The porch in front of the door has broken boards. Its roof is covered with rusty tin.


Grungy toilet filled with stained resin to simulate dirty water.


Top view of bathroom with nasty toilet and sink, and dirty door and walls.


Overhead view of bathroom through window in roof. Cigarette butts are floating in the running soon to be clogged toilet..

Final version of bathroom

Final version of the bathroom. A shelf has been added over the toilet with cleaning products and toilet paper. A bottle of vodka is behind the cleaners. Next to the toilet is a stool with motorcycle magazines for bathroom reading material. A calendar with Marilyn Monroe is on the wall. There is a cracked mirror over the slow draining sink, filled with yucky water. A dirty rag is on the edge of the sink to dry hands. This picture was taken through the side window, which has a blackened neglected plant in a pot on the windowsill.

Bathroom ashtray

The ashtray on the back of the bathroom toilet. The cigarettes were made from pieces of dollhouse wiring. The tips have been dipped in tan and black paint. The ashes are from burned paper.

Toilet with ashtray

View of the back of the toilet with the ashtray.

Dirty sink and cracked mirror

Dirty sink and cracked mirror.

Tool backboard

Tools on backboard and motorcycle engine on workbench. A can of grease is on the right, and spilled oil on the workbench and floor was added later. A filled trash barrel replaced the one in this picture.

A customer

A guy, probably the owner of the red motorcycle, is chatting up the mechanic.