Half-Scale Fairfield: Window and Trimming Tips

Interior window trim. The kit’s instructions say to do the interior window trim as one of the last steps. If I were to do this again, I’d definitely put in the interior trim before I glued on the outside walls, especially the bays. It was tricky to get my big hands into the small space to put on the window trim.

But all my interior window trimming is done. Yay!

While I used Houseworks windows for the lower floors, I used the kit’s windows for the three attic rooms and the tower.

The punch-out windows were a bit warped and the edges ragged (like everything else), but I figured out a way to make them look smooth and nice.

Instructions say to glue the sill to the window, then glue the exterior window frame to the outside wall, then to glue the hood on top of the exterior frame (then add the sill trim).

Better: 1. Paint the exterior windows and hoods (2 coats). Do the sills and sill trim while you’re at it.

2. Glue the hoods to the window frames first. Put a piece of waxed paper on top of this assembly and weight it. Let the assemblies dry for a couple of hours to overnight.

3. Get some lightweight spackling (I used one called Patch and Paint). Smooth the spackling around the seam between hood and window frame, both inside and out. Smooth it into any gaps or gouges in the window if you want. Using my fingers was easiest. Let dry.

4. Sand the spackled seam (the whole window actually).

5. Paint the window again, painting the spackled and sanded seam. Give the sills and sill trim another coat as well.

6. Finish with varnish or other glossy sealer. Finish the sills and sill trim at the same time.

7. When everything is dry, assemble the window: Glue the sill into the window opening (as per the kit’s instructions), glue the frame with hood to the exterior wall (ends meeting the sill), glue on the sill trim.

8. Glue the plastic window sheet to the interior trim (which you’ve stained or painted). Glue the interior window in place inside the rooms.

Obviously, the spackling method works with paint, not stain! But you could use wood filler that takes stain if you stain.

If I can get a photo of the windows up close without them being blurry, I will (haven’t succeeded yet).

If you wonder why my tower is white, I covered the wood roof panels with thin, good quality cardboard. I couldn’t get the edges to meet nicely (warpage again). I smoothed out the roof with the cardboard and got the seams pretty tight.

I know I’m avoiding the shingling (am playing with the fireplaces right now). I intensely dislike shingling, but I’ll get there.

Miniature show fun

To take a much-needed break (and to shop!) I went to the Small World Miniatures Club show and sale this morning. I took a wad of money and bought things from Autumn Leaf Studio, Wee Mini Makers, the Hairy Potter, and others.

The show encourages people both, in the club and out, to bring their completed minis for display.

I snapped some photos of ones that caught my eye. I don’t know the artists on most of these, sorry. They’re people who live in my city who like to make minis!

First, this Japanese house. It looks like the Adams kit, kit-bashed, doesn’t it? I commend the imagination of the crafter. I see so few Japanese mini houses–plus  I lived in Japan for a time–so I had to stop for a look.

Traditional Japanese interior, complete with the niche for scroll and flower, and the shamisen on the floor against the left  wall.

Front door–a sliding shoji screen–shoes (whose name I can’t remember), and a glimpse inside, including the kimono hanging on the wall. Love this!

Enjoyed this laundry room inside a Tide box.


Another one of my favorites. 1/4 scale Sleeping Beauty castle. I think I’m getting the need to do a fairy-tale castle.

Interior of the Sleeping Beauty castle. Lovely.


Possibly my favorite scene. A 1/144 mill house. (I think it’s 1/144–it fits inside a very small dome anyway)


Side of the mill house.

Back. This side was facing away from the viewing area, and there were “Do Not Touch” signs all over the place. So I set my camera down behind it (set on macro), and took the pic. I didn’t touch anything! Honest.

I thought this was the most interesting view.

My wallet is lighter, my feet hurt, but I had a good time. Back to writing.


Back to the Fairfield

Between illness and lots of work, I haven’t had time to post about 1/2″ Fairfield progress. I’m working on the exterior a little at a time, whenever I take a break from writing.

The Outside:

First problem to be solved–what color to paint this house? I wanted a painted lady, but because  this is my first attempt at doing a facade on my own (no instructions or suggestions, just my imagination), I didn’t want to pick a bright color and have it look awful.

I poured over the book The Painted Ladies Revisited until I had it almost memorized. I was inspired by the house shown on page 36, and a porch of another on page 104. Both houses (in different parts of San Francisco) used a gray on gray scheme, which I thought looked elegant.

My house is in no way as elaborate as the SF houses, but I like the colors.

The main house color is a Glidden paint called Smooth Stone. I decided against siding, because again, it can look bad if not glued on correctly.
The dark gray on the gables, bay window decor, porch, etc. is Americana brand craft paint, Natural Gray, and the white trim is Americana Warm White. The windows are Warm White highlighted with a navy blue stain pen (Prismcolor).

I fully intended to use the windows that came with the house. But the edges were so raw, I couldn’t get them to look good, no matter how I sealed, painted, sanded, repainted, etc.

I didn’t want to use the Victorian Houseworks windows, wanting a different look, but I discovered that Houseworks has new 1/2 windows in a more plain design that goes with the doors I’d already purchased. And they are half the price of the Victorian windows (bonus!).

Eleven windows and lots of paint later, they’re in. I did use the acrylic “leading” sheets from the kit, cut down to fit the upper half of the windows.

This is the left side of the house. I’ll do a panel at the bottom of the bay window to match the one in the front bay.

I’m choosing not to use the bay window roofs that come with the kit, mainly because I have wiring going through the bay windows, and the roof wasn’t big enough to cover it. I built a little Italianate looking bay roof, similar to the one on the house on page 36 of The Painted Ladies Revisited, which nicely covers the wiring.

I won’t use the porch roof either–it will be a full balcony with a railing.

Happy to see that with all the shifting of the house while painting and trimming, the lights still work.

I have a lot left to do on the outside, but it’s getting there.

For trim. btw, I’m using a  plethora of 1/4 x 1/32 strips and another plethora of 1/8 x 1/16, plus a few 1/8 double bead and 1/8 cove (bead and cove available via The Quarter Source).

I do have to figure out what to do with the lights. Am using the Houseworks system of plugs and power strip, which is easy to use, but hiding it is difficult. I first thought I’d put the strip under the house, but then I’d have to lift the house to flick on the switch each time.

As you can see, the power strip is kind of obvious and messy.

I plan to set the house on another piece of plywood–maybe I’ll mount the power strip on that and hide it with landscaping or a wall or something, which is what I did with The Blue House.

Onward. I need to

1) Finish trimming the outside and do the attic windows.

2) Finish trimming the interior, including the interior window trim

3) Build the fireplace mantels and hearths.

4) Put in the staircases and railings

5) Put in the outdoor porch and balcony railings.

6) Shingle (A tip–don’t glue on the tower top until you shingle everything. If you attach the tower, you won’t be able to get to the narrow parts of the roof behind it. I live and learn.)

7) Mount house on base, start landscaping.

Not daunting or anything. 🙂