In what may be the most interesting piece of cratsmanship to hit Toronto nightlife, a Windsor model-maker has created a scale version of The Guvernment. Jeffrey Scott has modeled roller coasters, resorts, thrill rides and other reactrational locations professionally for some time now. Finding fun with Lincoln Logs and Knex like the rest of us at an early age, Jeffrey continued his creative endeavor into adulthood, generating scaled environments from scratch using anything he can get his hands on.
Moving from the great white north to Los Angeles, the 30 year old has now taken on the task of generating every minute detail of nightclubs. Jeffrey has undertaken the Guvernment Nightclub, launching the completed version 6 months after the legendary venue closed it’s doors forever. “While doing the coaster thing, I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to create my favorite night club. The motivation to make this beast of a model wasn’t until I found out that INK was closing Guvernment’s doors for good,” said the craftsman, who initially set out to create the miniature as a souvenir for himself.
The project took ten months from the plan to completion, with an overall budget of $2,900 dollars. Every penny of that number shows when looking at the tiny version of Toronto’s favourite rave-centre. While also working full time, Jeff was only able to dedicate time to the model about 4 hours a night during the week, 5 hours on Saturdays and 7-10 hours on Sundays. “When I first started with the idea, I knew I was going to need to make a mock-up first. A mock-up is a rough draft that provides structure, overall dimensions as well what material will work best. The structure from start to finish was created twice.”
The time and effort that went into the recreation shows how much patrons really did care about the storied venue. From landmark performances by Carl Cox and Deep Dish, to the closing night hosted by Canada’s deadmau5, the feeling of the main room is enshrined by a hot glue gun and scissors.
Jeffrey’s struggle to get things right is most clear in his tough task of recreating the venue’s famed LED screen. “I use a special type of foam bored, 1/2″ thick. I then fused 2 of them together to give extra strength. Once the base was formed, I then started to create the LED wall. This stage was very tricky. The reason being is because I had to find material that would mimic the actual screen. If you notice the details on the LED screen, its made up of many triangular shapes. Each piece had to be cut out and puzzled together and fused by a hot glue gun. I had to create the screen 4 different times using different materials to get it right. Then a special nylon ultra thin fabric was glued on top. just like the real LED wall.”
The amount of hindsight that went into the project is impeccable. Even some precautions that one may only have thought possible in a real nightclub needed to be adhered to in the mini dance-hall. “The dance floor is a laminated checker pattern. After constructing once already, I realized that the floor had to be liquid proof. The reason being is because of the smoke jets; they leak fog juice when their turned on and it gets all over.”
Everything feels very familiar about the model. You’ll instantly notice that the lighting is completely accurate, with the red glow and slight bursts of strobes hitting the crowd in the memorable ways you’d remember. Inebriated partiers on top of speakers, the sliver bars in the south-east corner, and the intricacy of the room’s LED wall are all captured accurately. Made with heavy duty cardboard, black paint, plastic mesh material, Jeffrey says, “Each speaker was hand crafted,” and that “they’re pretty much identical to the actual Phazon Stereo system.”
There’s a certain pacing, timing and attitude of the Guvernment main room that is instantly recognizable in the videos below, much like a signature Visualbass photo. The angle of the lighting and the accompanying sound effects onstantly transport one back to January, before the hallowed halls were razed to the ground. Even the signature smoke machine goes off at the perfect time, filing the space with a foggy haze dotted by tiny static figures. Jeff nailed the lighting scheme to maintain the aforementioned accuracy. “Each light grid is complete with 12 individual mirror reflectors for light shows. I’ve installed four alternating colored lights on all four corners of each grid. Each light fixture has been hand made to give a realistic effect.”
To execute this realistic replication of the overall vibe and atmosphere of the nightclub, Jeff entlisted some additional tools beyond the regular model building repertoire:
1.) Adding 2,500 individual people, about 1 1/2 inches tall.
2.) Place the entire model in front of a tv screen so as your looking inside the model you can see the perforated material and the tv screen and gives the model a realistic LED screen feel. He used a separate screen for the DJ booth.
3.) Playing Guvernment Youtube videos as the music, giving the best sound effects, the energy from the people, and all the little bells and whistles venue had.
4.) Purchasing several different laser lights and programmed them.
5.) Purchasing two fog machines and used thin hoses to aim the into the dance floor.
The accuracy of the model is chilling. Although the crowd remains stationary, one could picture a pint-sized Armin Van Buuren headlining the space instantly. Jeffrey is hoping for all the Guv fans from Toronto and around the world to enjoy this mini super-club experience just as much as he does. Learn more about Jeffrey’s company, Extreme Coaster Models, to see some more of his incredibly detailed scale work.