Big House vid: 2nd Floor Hall

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Here’s a short look at the second-floor hall with elevator. If you wonder why I built the house in the first place with only one flight of stairs–answer: It was my first house and I had no idea what I was doing! Enjoy.

Big House: Vid of front porch and overall house

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Here is another vid, this one showing front porch and the outside. More on the other rooms individually later.

Vid: The Big House Kitchen

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A tour of the Big House kitchen, which is on the second floor of the house. I like how it turned out. (Much nicer than my full-size kitchen!) Scale is one inch to the foot.

Vid of Big House Music Room

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I ask your indulgence for this post. I’m trying to learn video making, and what better subject than dollhouses. The Big House is a good place to start.

This is best on a laptop, though you can get the gist on a smaller screen. I’ve already improved since this one, but I’m testing to see if I can post it at all. Thank you!

Westville: Staircase railings and some Window Trim

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Finally, the staircase railings and window trim.

Interior window trim (top), bay window trim (long pieces, right), staircase posts and railings (bottom).

Looking at the staircase posts and railings: There are two posts (they go vertically at the bottom of the staircase), a long rail for the long side of the staircase bannister, and a short rail for the short side of the staircase. The small square pieces are caps for the posts.

Interestingly the post at the bottom goes only on the outside of the staircase, like this. Not at the end. I guess they figure it will be too hard to see the end of the staircase through the windows. The front of the staircase is basically bare. I will probably add my own posts and trim later.

One post cap goes on the top of the post.

Long staircase railing goes on top of the long bannister, all the way up through to the second floor. The narrower part goes through the second floor opening.

The short bannister side. The post again goes on the outside only, with the post cap. Short bannister railing goes on top of the bannister.

Next: The second floor bannisters / railings.

Two bannister pieces, four posts, three post caps (only three), two railings.

On the long side: Two posts go on either end, on the outside only. They’re glued right onto the flat part of the bannister, not the ends. Horizontal railing goes on top.

On short side, two posts sandwich the banister on one end. The bare end of the short side is glued to the bare end of the long side.

The assembly upside down, keeping straight in my jig while the glue dries.

The railing will go here on the second floor. I won’t glue until I have the flooring and wallpaper in place. The end of the long banister section meets with the staircase bannister to sort of form a post. A post cap will go on top of this.

From the side. I’ve already put the post caps on the short side but will wait to install to do the long side.

Interior Window Trim

There is nothing much to the window trim. Take the rectangular pieces:

Paint and finish. The plastic window piece gets glued to the underside of the trim, and then the whole thing is glued over the window opening from the inside.

I’ll show more pics of window trim as I paper and finish the inside of the house.

And that is more or less it! The kit has been put together all the way through to the end of the instructions.

All that’s left is to decorate and move in. I’ll continue to show my finishing process, and also provide overall thoughts and tips on this house.

 

Westville: Trim

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Last post, I said I’d back off the Westville, but it called to me! I have been very busy with other life–my job, having a tooth pulled, and other fun stuff–so not as much mini activity as I’d like. However, I managed to get into my mini room and do things every once in a while.

First thing I did was realize I had to fix the ornamentation around the bay window interiors. These decorations are part of the main sheet, and when I originally punched out the wall, the small details crumbled away into dust. I tried to repair, but I decided it was no use.

The right room’s was even worse.

After much debate, I decided to simply cut them away and sand down the opening. I left a few bumps.

This was my solution. The long pieces are from the Westville kit, the bay window trim. The horizontal piece is supposed to go all the way flush against the ceiling, resting on top of the two side pieces. I cut the horizontal piece to go in between the side pieces to hide the ragged edges of the old trim. I’ll do a cornice above.

I finished the trim with brackets I’d had in my stash. Luckily, I have four, so will use the other two on the second bay window.

I had planned to wallpaper the bay window with the blue, but I did not realize I’d run out! So I went through my stash of scraps and found wallpaper that matched in color and used that for the bay window.

The flooring is the siding that comes with this kit. To cut to fit the bay window, I did a pattern with a sheet of paper, laid the boards on it, and cut before laying the boards in the house (without the paper).

I puzzled over where the “center partition trim” went, but I finally concluded it is here, separating staircase railing from the wall in the entrance room.

Here it is after I’ve put in some wallpaper and stained the trim.

Next time, I’ll show the staircase railings and the second floor staircase bannister.

Westville: Shingles

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The Westville kit comes with shingles in sheets. An advantage is adding the shingles in strips instead of individually. The disadvantage is punching out the strips. Challenging!

While the shingles are still in the sheet, I ran a piece of masking tape across the top of each row, then punched them out of the sheet (tore them out, wrestled them out, however you want to put it).

Guidelines are a good idea, and help keep the rows straight. First row is 1 3/8″ from the edge. The rest of the rows are 3/4″ a part.

Strips are hot-glued in place. Once dry, masking tape gets removed.

The next row is glued on, the shingles staggered (this means at the end of every other row, you have to do a half shingle to keep everything on track).

I used hot glue, because any water-based glue (tacky, Elmer’s, etc), will make these very thin wooden shingles curl. Another, non-water-based glue would be fine I think.

If shingles overhang the edges, that’s ok–they can be trimmed off later.

To cut the shingles to fit the angle of the gable, I made a template out of paper.

This serves as a gauge to cut the shingles to the correct angle.

Using the gauge ensures the end of the row will fit. I did a template for the front roof too.

The nice thing is, the templates I used for the front worked on the back roof angles as well.

All shingles in place, and ragged edges trimmed off. Whew!

The shingles looked a little too bright for me. I debated what to do … Stain? Paint? Dirty-water wash? I feared loosening the shingles with too much water or stain.

I dabbed on a little stain on one shingle–way too dark!

Then it hit me–instead of brushing stain on and wiping off, how about if I wipe the stain off the brush and sort of dry-brush the shingles?

Used a foam brush, stain, and lots of paper towels. Dipped foam brush lightly into stain can and then wiped of a *lot* of the stain from the foam brush.

I started with a downward stroke, then later stroked upward to make the edges of each shingle more defined.

The stain gives it a weathered look.

This is the result. I got some darker blotches I don’t like, which I will tone down with a wash or something, but I like how it turned out. In keeping with the “rustic” feel of the house.

I learned some new techniques with this roof–shingling in strips and dry brushing with stain.

I want to use trim to finish some of the roof’s raw edges, fill in the channel between the front and left roof angle, and do some kind of ridge pole, but the roof is just about done.

With that, the exterior is finished. I will next paint / paper / floor in the interior, figure out what lights I want where, and trim the interior. The kit has trim for the bay windows and the main windows, which I’ll paint and install after I’ve papered and painted.

The last project in the kit is the railing for the stairs and the second floor bannister. I’ll do those after I put in the floors.

Then I’ll start moving in all the antiques! (And at some point do the landscaping).

I might take a little break first. My goal was to get the kit mostly done–now I get to play a little!

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