1. Progress:

I realized as I went through my supply boxes that I had no half-scale stuff. 1/4″ and 1″ yes; 1/2″ is sparse. I used everything I had on the Cotswold Cottage, and I have nothing left (which probably is a good thing, if I think about it).

I gathered my pennies and went shopping. Houseworks staircase kit to replace the stairs that come with the house (we’ll see how that goes); lamps, a door from Majestic Mansions (which I have now decided will be the back door, not front); and parquet flooring from Brodnax I couldn’t resist.

This will be the living room ceiling. Very easy to do with 1/2″ scale moldings, Minwax stain pens, and a knife (or an EZ cutter). The chandelier will hang down, of course, and I’m still figuring out how to hide the wiring (down the fireplaces sounds good–we’ll see).

Speaking of fireplaces, here they are mostly done (they don’t go in like this; I was just seeing how they looked). Brick paper for the backing.

2: The Sanding, The Sanding

The wood in these kits is splintery and rough. They kindly enclosed a piece of sandpaper, but I’m finding that using three different grades in succession is doing a nice job: 100 (rough) followed by 150 or 200 (fine), followed by 400 grit emery paper (“wet or dry”). I wipe away (lots of) dust between sandings. The 400 at the end gives the wood a nice polish.

Minwax stain seals this wood nicely. I find the wood amazingly smooth after the stain has dried, needing minimal sanding with the 400 paper. I’m using the stain to seal even if I plan to cover the walls with something else . . . which brings me to…

3: Fairfield Rethink

This is the first house I’ve had to decorate as I go (well, I suppose I do with 1/4 scale too, but this one seems much more complicated). As a person who loves to make things up as I go along (much more fun!) this is a challenge.

I’m rethinking the entire left side of the house (left as you look at the front, right side of rear opening). I was going to make the below a dining room, but that front wall pretty much seals off the entryway in front of it, making the entrance a tiny space.

Rethink: Since I’m using the purchased stairs, which are wider than the staircase wall in the kit, I’ll eliminate the staircase wall altogether and have a flying staircase.

I will cut off the left side of the front wall shown here (the doorway side leads out to the porch), and leave it open to the foyer. Upstairs, I’m toying with cutting away the tower floor on each level, except for a gallery around the walls (with a railing). If I do this right, that will open the tower from the top floor to the bottom. This will let in more light and more airy spaces. Right? Might even dangle a big chandelier from the top.

In that case, I don’t think the bottom room will be a formal dining room. I envision a plant room / conservatory instead, with the Majestic Mansions doorway with its big window, plus the bay window letting in much light.

My mini family will have to eat in the kitchen, or maybe I’ll put a bistro table or something out here for their dining pleasure.

First I need to wallpaper some rooms, finish ceilings, and decide how to finish the outside. I’m looking at books to figure out paint colors, plus I have to make the big–side or not to side?–decision. If siding doesn’t go on right, it looks terrible, but then can I get the painted lady effect I want with stucco? (Probably, again, if I do it right).

Onward.

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