Interview with Miniature Stadium Creator Steve Wolf

Last week I showed you incredible pictures of the unbelievable Shibe Park miniature created by artist Steve Wolf. Today we hear from the artist himself, as he talks about what got him interested in creating miniatures, what he used to build Shibe, and why his miniature Yankee Stadium (above) was so tough to create.

JGT: When did you first become interested in creating miniature stadiums?
STEVE: I first became interested in creating miniature stadiums in the late 1980s. After witnessing the demise of some of the great ballparks, such as Connie Mack Stadium, Forbes Field, Ebbets Field and many others it sparked my interest and along the way I have become a self proclaimed historian on the subject!

JGT: How much time does it take to create one of these stadiums?
STEVE: That is a very complex question. But the basic factors are 1. The subject matter. Which ballpark? Some are more complex than others. 2nd factor is the amount of detail desired such as lighting, type of enclosure, scale size. Typically it can take up to 2000 hours depending upon these factors.

JGT: You state on your website that Connie Mack Stadium was one of your favorite to create. Why is that?
STEVE: Well, originally Connie Mack Stadium was known as Shibe Park built by Ben Shibe the great industrialist for his Philadelphia Athletics baseball team. It was the first concrete and steel ball park built in the major leagues and under went many changes over the years. It personifies the beauty of the American Ballpark that was built in the early 20th century.

JGT: To create Connie Mack Stadium, what did you rely most heavily on? Blue prints, photos, computer printouts?
STEVE: I did not have any blueprints for this project however I did have a floor plan and many photos that were supplied to me by my client and what eve I could gather on the internet, such as photos, etc. I had to do many preliminary drawings and mock ups. This was a challenging replica to produce.

JGT: Take us through the process. What do you start by creating, what’s the hardest part to get right, what do you normally finish by doing? Do you start with the field and build around that, or do you start with the exterior?
STEVE: It is much like building a real building. You do need a floor plan. Than I have to custom scale what size the model will be. I next figure the elevation along with a seating plan. I start by creating risers and placing them into their set position. Decks, seats, railings, lights, graphics, scoreboards. Then the Field surface is created. The final touch of a model is to make sure everything is structurally sound, color correct and it has to hve the right feel when you look at it. That is where the detail work comes in. Now the very last part is the exterior which can be challenging in itself ie: arches, windows pillars, entrance gates, rotunda, etc….

JGT: What do you enjoy the most about creating these stadiums?
STEVE: Finishing them…LOL!!!

JGT: Which stadium has been the most challenging to replicate?
STEVE: The one I am currently working on now, the New Yankee Stadium. It is extremely complex with 5 decks. It is truly a beautiful structure regardless if you are a Yankee fan or not.

Do yourself a favor and check out these photos of Steve’s miniature Yankee Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Fenway, Wrigley, Ebbets Field and even the Polo Grounds.

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