Creative Brand Communications


January 30, 2023

Artist creates world’s smallest sub.

A British miniatures artist has created the ‘world’s smallest Sub’ to celebrate the launch of Subway’s® latest addition to its menu – Japanese-inspired Teriyaki Steak.

The tiny Sub, measuring in at under an inch, is more than 12 times smaller than the life-size version, and a perfect clay replica of the new Footlong Teriyaki Steak Sub – even down to the miniscule philly-style steak pieces, red onions, peppers and the fan-favourite Subway bread.

Artist, Nadia Michaux, who creates miniature pieces inspired by the Japanese tradition of Kawaii (the culture of cuteness) – was challenged by Subway to create the super-tiny sandwich to celebrate the launch of its new Japanese-inspired menu addition.

The miniature Sub, which was also created with a tiny drinks cup and straw, paper bag and napkins to complete the micro-meal, took 2 days to create using a range of specialist artistic techniques to bring-to-life the textures and colours on a miniature scale.

Teriyaki Steak is new to the menu at Subway and packed with vibrant Japanese-inspired flavours – and like all of Subway’s options, is fully customisable with cheese and veggies and available as a 6-inch or Footlong Sub, wrap or salad.

Alongside new Teriyaki Steak, Subway have also just launched a delicious vegan option, the Plant-based Teriyaki Steak, created in partnership with The Vegetarian Butcher, which is also fully customisable and can be ordered with Vegan CheeZe.

The most challenging element of creating the tiny Sub was matching the natural colours of the sandwich, with Nadia painstakingly mixing the clay colours and firing them, then adjusting the mix until she achieved a perfect match.

To capture the vibrancy of the sliced peppers, Nadia used a technique called ‘Skinner Blend’, where two different shades of clay are sandwiched together to create a gradient, then shaped around wooden dowels before being sliced off with a fine razor blade.

Nadia also created her own bespoke clay mix ‘recipe’ and coated this onto the cheese slices to create the ‘oozy’ melted effect.

At the end of the process, she added touches of varnish to the final product, to make the result look fresh and true-to-life.

The lid of the drinks cup was made via 3D printing a cast for the cup lid. Once printed, the cast is placed on a vacuum-forming machine bed, and a special material is heated up until malleable then dropped directly onto the cast with vacuum suction, to shape material onto the cast. The lid was then painted using acrylics in the same shade as the iconic yellow Subway lids.

Nadia is a full-time miniature artist, with her quirky career seeing her appear on TV shows such as Channel 4’s ‘The Great Big Tiny Design Challenge’ and re-creating thousands of miniature items out of clay and other materials.

Nadia Michaux, leading UK miniatures artist, said: “I think this was my biggest challenge yet! When Subway® asked if I’d be interested in working with them to create the World’s Smallest Sub, I didn’t initially realise just how challenging that would be – but it allowed me to fuse my love of Japanese culture and my passion for Kawaii miniatures together, which was brilliant. I create miniatures every day, but I had to push my skills to the next level to bring this to life. The result is so realistic and when side by side with a real Footlong Sub, it looks identical but on a tiny scale – I’m really pleased with the result!”

Angelina Gosal, Head of Marketing UK & Ireland at Subway, said: What a way to honour our new Teriyaki Steak Sub – Nadia has expertly brought our Japanese-inspired Sub to life, but in amazing miniature form!  As well as the Teriyaki Steak, we also have a brand new vegan option, the Plant-based Teriyaki Steak – recently launched in partnership with The Vegetarian Butcher, for our guests to enjoy as well.”

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