Russian Model Maker Creates Scale Model of Downtown Shreveport
June 19, 2012 – Russian model maker Ilia Shvetsov has never been to downtown Shreveport but he can give directions better than any Shreveport native. The 27-year-old, who lives in a small town outside St. Petersburg, Russia, has just completed a 1-2,000 scale model of Shreveport’s downtown, right down to the spires of Holy Trinity and the SporTran bus terminal tenting. For roughly eight hours a day for 44 days, Shvetsov cut and pasted thick paper and cardboard, recreating Shreveport’s historic downtown. Shvetsov is a scale model maker by trade who works in a design studio, but his true passion shines during his free time. For 20 years he has made paper models of cars, ships, airplanes, buildings and downtowns.
Shvetsov chose Shreveport for a project because the compactness of downtown and the variety of architecture and building heights. He especially likes the Louisiana Tower building at 401 Edwards and the Regions Bank building at 333 Texas. The Regions and Chase Tower at 400 Texas Street were the most difficult to construct.
He got involved in modeling downtowns in 1998 when he purchased a magazine with a short article and photographs of Chicago. In 2009, he launched into his Chicago project but soon realized the downtown was simply too big and complex. He had better luck with downtown Oklahoma City, where he was invited to visit in 2010.
Shvetsov has tremendous talent but uses only common items in his creations: paper, cardboard, office glue, scissors, tweezers, a sharp knife and a blade. Though 1-2,000 scale would have many squinting, he works without a magnifying glass. His images come from the Internet in the form of Google Maps and Streetview, Bing Maps and from Flickr, Panoramio and several others for photographs.
This model of downtown Shreveport is not for sale, but Shvetsov says he would make another for only materials and $4 an hour labor (his salary in Russia), which would total about $1,000. The purchaser would also have to pay shipping the piece from Russia.
Shvetsov is currently working on a scale model of Dallas, which will be his biggest undertaking so far; however, Chicago is still in his mind, waiting for a second attempt.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT
DDA Executive Director
401 Edwards Street, Suite 205
Shreveport, LA 71101