With my latest model, “Everything’s for Sale,” I return, once again, to the literal world of Stephen King, more precisely, to his famous novel, “Needful Things.”

This work again takes the viewer to a sleepy American small town—a well-known setting, where King loves to portray the small and larger human abysses. What always impressed and fascinated me about this particular story is its timelessness and general validity. The portrayal of the ultimate destruction of this community of citizens, who are step-by-step seduced by their greed and venality, by manipulation and suggestion, bears the characteristics of a timeless classical drama. It could be located in any conceivable era and society, as it focuses primarily on the dynamics within a community.

So while planning the city, it was most important for me to bring the viewer’s perspective in line with the novel’s narrative perspective. That is why the stories of the city and its inhabitants are foregrounded in my model—metaphorically and practically. Their houses are arranged on the outer edge of a semicircular base plate, while the dubious Needful Things store is placed much farther back in the city setting. In this way, it literally operates from the background, out of the shadows—and yet at the same time is the center of the scenery.

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Welcome to the tranquil little town of Castle Rock

Since the main street separates foreground and background, the facades of the foreground’s buildings do not face the viewer but point in the opposite direction, towards the model’s center. Consequently, the viewer also does not look at the buildings’ fronts but their gardens and backyards. Those are central locations of the story, where “the real deals are made” and where all the hidden conflicts between the citizens more and more intensify as the story unfolds.

Work in progress: the floor plan

In terms of construction and planning, this project was quite a challenge—not least because of the limited space on which an entire city had to be built. For this reason, only the houses in the foreground and the shop “Needful Things” were physically built. To still create the illusion of wide-ranging background scenery, most of the background’s buildings (and environment) were painted directly onto the rear board. They were all painted in such a perspective that they would blend in with the real buildings.

Work in progress: painting the rear board

Work in progress: building the shop

Work in progress: painting light and shadow

Work in progress: building the foreground

Modeling of the hands of The Puppeteer

Final touches

Of course, there would be much more to tell about the project, but that would lead too far at this point.

You can find the whole album with all 100 pictures on my website—as well as a complete work in progress documentation on the construction of Castle Rock (for all those who want to dive a little deeper into the technical and content details).

Views from the main street

The back alleys, where the “real deals are made”

Glimpses of the dark crimes that take place

The gritty walls that signify the decadence of the little town

The Needful Things shop, which is at the forefront of the whole drama

And the hands of The Puppeteer pulling the strings from the background

Video tour through the model