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Customizing: LORI Dance Studio Project Pt. 1

Another trip to Target, another project.

After being very impressed with the Stable set I picked up earlier, I decided to have another look at the other sets in the LORI line, and was considering once again the Loft playset. Luckily, they were out. But I hadn’t noticed the Dance Studio before …

At a little cheaper price point (around $30) and a little less space consuming, I figured it might make for a fun side project, to work on in between others. It also might make nice home for some set pieces I’ve been working on, should it all come together. So while I figure that all out, I wanted to give you guys a quick look at the set, see if it might spark any ideas for you, as it has for me. So, like the stable, rather than show you a completed custom, I wanted to share the bare-bones “pre-custom” base, so you can picture your own builds in there.

After getting home, I was a little dumbfounded that I hadn’t looked at this set before, and of course, a little Google showed that I wasn’t the only one looking at the potential of this set. 609 Customs posted a video overview waaay back in 2015, and there looks to be quite a few good-looking repaints that have been done since. I had no idea these had been out that long. In there, 609 does a fine job demonstrating the scale, the working lights, and the working piano.

One of the features that sold me most was the exterior. It’s pretty simple, but there is nice brickwork, doors, and windows, in a style that would be perfect for an old bank, office, or station. And it looks like, with some paintwork, it can be pretty impressive looking. The exterior’s fixtures don’t line up to the interior other than the bay windows, but that’s not a real major issue. A functioning door would have been a nice touch, though.

For the sake of this custom primer, I’ve just dusted the white surfaces with some gray, since gray helps show detail a lot better than white. The interior is pretty spacious, which has me thinking along the lines of a safehouse/garage setup. To help me figure out the layout, the stuff I’m not going to need comes out, like that very nice piano, and the mirrors and railings. The mirrors are just stickers, and they didn’t leave a lot of residue, which is nice.

For the big wall-section mirror, I wanted to add a little detail back in. I’m using a styrene brick sheet I got at Hobby Lobby (in their dollhouse section). Easy to cut, easy to paint, and it’s pretty cheap. I’ve just used them as backdrops before, but these are definitely good parts.

The lighting is set up in these overhead floods, with a full on/off button underneath the base, and a push-on button located on the window seat. These four light up the interior, and they even pipe a little light to the exterior lanterns. They provide some decent light, if a little short in duration. Of course, that could just be the “demo” mode too, I haven’t looked real closely at that yet. Edit: Yep, the switch underneath changes that mode.

The floor has a decent hardwood sculpt to it, and the other walls have some nice molding details to them, so I see no reason to replace them. The feel is very Victorian to me, so I think some smokey red-brick and dark wood will be the way to go with colors, maybe like the interior of an old foundry or train station.

The Dark Knight Contemplates.

So what do you guys think? Another worthy playset addition? Let me know your thoughts and ideas below, and I’ll get back to this in a week or two when it starts taking shape.

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