Opéra de Paris, palais Garnier/1:250/ L'Instant Durable [FERTIG]

  • This significant building in Paris was built between 1860 and 1875 on the plans of architect Charles Garnier. The model looks challenging. It is built to swing open to reveal inner details. I suspect that support will be required in strategic places to keep everything firmly and accurately in place.

    The model was purchased directly from L'Instant Durable in a special format. The model was packaged with a poster, a very informative book on the history of the opera house and postcard miniature. It is hoped that the book can be incorporated into the base of the display model.

    Model: Opéra de Paris
    Model Architect: Thierry Hatot
    Copyright Date: 1987
    Scale: 1:250
    Number of Parts: 388
    Number of Sheets: 30
    Size: 38 x 63 x 26 cm high
    Number in the ID collection: 14

  • Hi John,

    good choice! Wish you Good luck with this model, and I'm sure, you'll again make an excellent one!

    Hope, you don't mind, if I show some pictures of the Opéra Garnier. Photos were taken in May 2008.

  • Great choice, John =). I' m sure that support will be required in strategic places to keep everything firmly and accurately in place ;)
    As you say, it looks challenging...

  • Thanks Ricardo,

    Good morning Torben,

    Thank you for posting these wonderful pictures taken in 2008. You have really helped set up the build and given everyone an appreciative look at this monumental piece of beautiful, classic architecture.


  • Hello John,

    i locks alltimes in your Report of the Opera-House.

    You wenn finisth this Building, singing after PAUL POTTS very beautyfull Opera-aries in your House. I like Paul Potts is a very goot Singer of Opera.

    Kindly Regards from Munich

    Edited once, last by Ernst ().

  • Hello John!

    It is great to build this Model. I am very curiorus about your report.

    Many greatings vom Hagen


    "Der Mensch ist nur da in der vollen Bedeutung des Wortes Mensch wo er spielt und er spielt nur da, wo er Mensch ist."
    Friederich Schiller

  • Thanks all for good wishes as we begin this magnificant Paris landmark. I have viewed many of the photographs of the structure on the Internet. The building is a most photographic subject - in and out. Many of the photos are in high resolution. Breathtaking.

    We begin construction at two circular pavilions, one of which is the Emperor's entrance (west side) and the other is the season-ticket holders' entrance (east side). They are both topped with domes.

    The dome on each interests me. Its sixteen segments are individual. They are also numbered. You will see in the photo on the right, that it takes two segments joined together to achieve the roof pattern - there is a left and a right segment.

  • You will note that the tabs of the segments have been cut off. I will attempt to achieve butt joints with the segments, not overlap joints. I like a smooth, flush joint in the curve of the dome. Perhaps it is also a little more accurate.

    To test the fit of the segments, a black and white copy of them was made.

    The tabs were cut off (photo 1). Then new, light paper tabs were created to fit under the segments. These tabs copied the original tabs exactly with the addition of material to glue under the segments. (photo 2) They were designed so that a segment was glued on top of the tab from lower left corner to top right corner. (photo 3) This ensured consistency with all the segments.

  • So the result is a tab that is set in place under the segment. (photo 1) This creates a shelf to help register the next segment properly in place. Little slits in the tab will ease its curving action of the segment.(photo 2) The photo of the test mock-up on the right shows the resulting joints.

    Now on to the real segments...

  • I rermember visiting the Opera house in 1999. Some of the statue groups are quite risque, if you see them up close! It will be a pleasure following your build.

    best regards
    mit herzlichen grussen


    In Build:
    Panzerkreuzer Infanta Maria Teresa

  • Hello Fred,

    You must have been up close!

    I am showing two pictures here that illustrate the use of clear tape. A little rectangle of it is used in conjunction with glue to fasten the bottom edges of segments. The tape holds them together while you turn the segments over and burnish them flat down on the desk. A glue brush works for well for me as glue is applied further up the joint on the inside of the dome. A little blob of glue is dobbed on near the joint and brushed under the tabs to the edge of the segments being fastened.

  • I am surprised at the amount of time the parts are taking to cut out and assemble. L'Instant Durable does not print on the backside of their papers. You will see in the second photo, extra copies of the facades of the dormers have been made. The top moldings of the windows were cut out and glued onto the back sides of the dormer strip. Likewise, the inside of the decorative ring that will be placed around the dome has been covered with additional printed material.

    I thought this ring was a crown. It's actually a ring of doves with extended wings. I think taking time to cut the wings will enhance the look.

    I notice that this decorative ring on the prototype model used for the cover photograph of the book, caused the modeller some problems. I had to reduce its diameter to fit the cone flashing on top of the dome.

    This model is proving a challenge already...

  • I mentioned adding a molding to the inner edges of the dormer facades surrounding the dome. Probably, they would not be just facades but real dormers with roofs that run back into the dome. But since they are modelled here as simply facades, the inner edges at the tops may as well be decorated.

    They probably won't even be noticed, but I'll know that they are there.

    The cone shaped flashing covers the segments at the top of the dome and can cover up a multitude of sins.

  • Hi Norm. Nice to have you aboard. Thanks.

    The library is flanked on each side by two long walls. The trick here is to keep them in line with each other. A 1 mm card runs right along the entire length of the building under the tabs. (photo 1)

    A filler strip is added atop the card to level the surface. (photo 2) Omitting this step could mean that the edges of the tabs could telegraph through the roof when the glue fastening the roof dries. The roof could conform to the uneven surfaces.

    In photo three, you can see the roof going into place.

    I must tell you a story about the little roof segment right next to my thumb in this third shot. This morning I could not find it! A search of the garbage pail revealed nothing. Then I remembered that the plastic bag in the garbage pail by my desk had been changed.

    Today was garbage pick up day! You guessed it. A trip to the garbage pail on the street resulted in finding the part! Lucky or what?

  • John, why did you choose to replicate the shape of the printed tabs on the dome? I'd rather make them broader at the base, in order to get a bigger gluing surface. At the top, that would not be convenient because the tabs would overlap. In theory, the tab width at any point should, at most, be a bit less than slice width at that point. Half of it would glue under the previous slice and the other half under the following slice. With this geometry, the tabs would not overlap but, near the top, the assembly gets trickier. Well, thats just theory. What really counts is the practice and you got a perfect dome :D
    The left/right print on the slices is interesting! I see that the graphic quality is well up to ID standard. Just delicious =)

  • Good Morning Ricardo.

    An interesting discussion on theory Ricardo. Without actually trying the thicker tab at the top of the segments, I would have agreed with you. But actually, I was going to write about going against the grain, or logic, and making them this way. Does Thierry know something we don't?

    I found that the wider wedge shaped tab at the top does a better job as it overlaps previous tabs. It seems so easy to slip that last little sliver of segment at the apex of the dome into place with lots of material under your finger inside.

    Ricardo, I'm sure this kind of discussion can do nothing but heighten awareness that there are many ways to accomplish a task. And constructive, "Why did you do it that way?" can be so productive.

    Great Ricardo!


  • John:

    Impressively clean work. I'm glad you've chosen to take up this subject. It's an unusual one. I look forward to watching it develop.



  • Hello John,
    I suspect that the broader tab at the top does a better job not because it overlaps the previous tab but because, being broader, gives a better gluing surface and makes assembly easier. We all know that an easy assembly has a better chance to be properly made than a difficult one. Something that the kit designers should always have in mind ;). In this case, as the dome is not pointed, the tabs near the top remain almost flat and there is no real problem in overlapping them. No doubt, you made the best choice :)

  • Hello Ricardo,

    While we are on things technical, here is something you will really appreciate. Have a look at this photograph. Do you see the sheet of arch pieces on the right? Look at the lines along the edges.

    You have been saying this for a very long time. For those reading this who have not been shown this, I will explain. You only need slits when you are dealing with a convex curve. The tabs spread out from each other as the curve develops; like the opening fingers of an outstretched hand. Triangular tabs are unnecessary. Tabs only converge in a concave curve. That's where triangular tabs make sense; they do not bind or overlap.

    Picked this tip up from you quite a while ago, Ricardo. Much easier to create the slits and use the added material for holding power when the tabs are glued into place.

    Nice to see this technique being incorporated into published work.


  • You know how to interest me, John :)
    It is a 'one off' for ID, isnt it? I have already assembled quite a few models from them, I have a few more waiting (but not this one) and it is the first time that I see this printed detail! Thanks for showing :)

  • You're very welcome, Ricardo. I knew you would like those slits.

    I ran into a bit of a snag with my accuracy on the opening moves of making the Façade Principale. I thought the stairs leading up to the arched entrance terrace would pose a fit problem, but it was the walls of the arches. They were too short! And in attempting to make each one a bit longer with bits of paper, I lost the accuracy of uniformity.

    If I were doing it again, I'd make one template and use it to size all the others.

    Nevertheless, the arches into the closed terrace are in place. This entrance reminds me in some ways of Berlin Cathedral.

    You will see in the photo that the rounded edge of the grand stairs are humping up. That's to be expected. They will be glued down to the display base of the model.

  • Hello David,

    Sorry I didn't acknowledge your kind comments. I was focused on the technical discussion with Ricardo. Thank you.

    The model starts to become really interesting now. Parts are being put together back to back in some cases so that they may be seen from both sides when the model is opened up. The trick is to get them to register properly when gluing them together.

    Here we see the beginnings of a rather complex assembly. The next part will be the floor of the loggia above the terrace. Notice that four of the doors into the house are closed and three are open. More of this will be revealed when the model is turned around...

  • Did anyone notice two mistakes in the last photo? Look at the top of the four plinths. Just noticed it as I posted the picture.

  • The next adornment to the south facade will be sixteen pillars. In this photo, the printed roof of the loggia will be turned over and put into place making it possible to mount the pillars.

    I appreciate the attention given to details that will not be seen by the viewer when a model is assembled. It says something about the integrity of the model and the designer. It also gives the modeller a good feeling when the model is finished.

    Having a row of 32 pounders fully rigged with gun tackle below the decks of a 'ship of the line' come to mind.

  • It looks as though the creative hat has to go on here. I am not going to draw the wall forward. Why not build a shelf out over the edges of the capitals? It could be clad with a thin sheet of paper featuring an edge motif copied from some other area of the opera house's cornice.

  • Hi John,

    Are you sure? The roof elements sitting on top of the construction you built so far may require this part of the wall to be joined relative to the pillars. I admit this is unlikely to be, but every now and then these ID models throw you a surprise.

    I think I would first assemble the roof and then see how this part of the wall can best be fitted.



    Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations

    Edited 2 times, last by erasmus ().

  • Good morning Bruno,

    You are quite right. Every now and then, ID really can throw you a curve. But you know, working around those little glitches for me, is what really makes their constructions interesting. The overall quality of the kits warrants time and care to make things right.

    Now in this case, the wall is sitting exactly where it should be and the pillars are standing perfectly plumb. Moving the wall is out of the questiion. It has to join side walls at both sides of the facade.

    The idea of a frieze board running horizontally across the tops of the capitals appeals to me anyway. There usually is a protective moulding or ledge over the leading edge of the pillars to protect them from the elements. In our model, a ledge would also add an interesting shadow line.

    Discovering that the pillars extend beyond the wall actually solves a mystery. If you were to look at the ID model on the cover of the kit book, you would see that the wall behind the pillars is not plumb. It's been pushed in. Now I know why. The pillars were driven back to mate with the leading edge of the wall above. There is no gap between the line of pillars and the wall, so something had to give.

    A good challenge here...