Beacon Hill: Trimming the Interior

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I thought I needed to take a break from the Beacon Hill–I was going to do another project–but then I turned the house around and looked inside. No, I want to finish! I was inspired to keep going with moldings and trim, plus finishing the lamp for the kitchen.

The kitchen needs a lot of trimming from the bay window trim in the kit to baseboards, cornices, an L-molding to cover the gap in the corner (from warping). The inside of the door needs to be trimmed out, and a doorframe put in.

Painting. The piece with the curlicue ends is the bay window molding. It took me a while to figure out how it fit!

Everything glued in place (below). The bay window molding fits onto the edges of the bay window opening walls. (It makes sense when you stick it in there and see that it fits exactly in the opening.) The kitchen shelf (from the kit), fits over notches that stick out from the windows into the kitchen.

Next I trimmed out the main hall. Needed to cover raw edges and make everything look neater. I covered the ends of the staircase posts as well with stained boards.

The molding painted, varnished, and in place (below).

The second floor hall trim cut and waiting for painting and installation.

Back to the kitchen–needed to finish the light before I put in flooring and trim in room above it. It works!!

So this is what I’ve been doing behind the scenes. More trimming in the upstairs rooms to come.Almost done!

Then it will be back to the outside to build a wall and do the final work.

 

Beacon Hill–Progress

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I took some time away from building the exterior of the Beacon Hill to install more lights. Here’s one I made from jewelry findings from JAF / JAR plus the remnants of a Victorian chandelier I had hanging in The Big House.

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This was my first attempt to do a light without following instructions–I based it on ones I’d already done but adapted the findings for what I needed. The glass globes came off the old chandelier.

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I like how it turned out!

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Next, I finished the first-floor staircase by building a false door which looks like it leads either down to a basement or to a closet.

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Since I finished and wired the chandelier in the second-floor hallway, I was able to install flooring and the third floor landing railing.

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Another look at the second floor staircase and new chandelier.

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When I was in my yard, I noticed this perspective of the house through the window. I like how it looks, so now I’m contemplating leaving this side open. Of course, I’d loose wall space for furniture, but I’ll think about it.

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I wanted to put a lamp in the third floor room that will be a bedroom. I’d made this lamp some time ago just to see if I could, but had nowhere to put it. I had to find the window sill for the dormer window in the kit and finish it so I could wire the lamp through the sill and wire it in before I put on the roof.

I still have two more lights to do (kitchen and third floor hall), but I can put those in later.

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And of course, my assistants help with everything.

Beacon Hill: More Light Fixtures and Top

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Gradually moving on with the Beacon Hill.

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The beginning of a new chandelier. I need to make 24 of the little dangly things, eight on each candle holder.

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The most invaluable tools when making light fixtures: Needlepoint tweeters, round-nosed pliers, and forceps. The iced tea is essential as well.

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While glue dries on the fixture, I put the roof onto the house to see where I’ll need to cut it for my adventure in dividing the house in two. I didn’t want to take off too much.

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Looks like I’ll cut it right there. Time to bring out my trusty table saw.

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Next stage of the chandelier.

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Adding the candle sockets and bulbs (Cir-Kit sells the candle sockets; HBS sells the bi-pin bulbs).

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Chandelier done with the bottom parts glued in place.

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Wiring the chandelier through the ceiling.

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I had originally intended for this chandelier to go in the second floor stairwell, but it looks better in the bathroom–goes with the wallpaper. I’ll make something a little more rustic for the hall. This is going to be one wild bathroom.

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The test–it lights! Yay! I never thought I’d be able to make my own lights, and they’d turn out so pretty. Who knew?

I have more beads and also some old, broken lights from when I gutted The Big House. I’m looking at those old lights and thinking “spare parts.” I’m going to take those spare parts, play with new jewelry findings, and see what I can come up with. Maybe a mess! But it’s fun to play.

While I’m making light fixtures, I’m going to start painting the outside of the house. In the instructions for the Beacon Hill, the porch is next on the agenda. I need the base of the house painted before I glue on porch railings.

I’ll keep working!

 

Beacon Hill: Electricity and Making my Own Lighting Fixtures

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I realized I needed to stop and plan the electricity before I finished the staircases (with railings and posts), because:

I want to do chandeliers

Chandelier wires will run up to the floor above

I need to have the wiring in place before I can put the flooring in

I need to put the flooring in before I can finish the staircases.

I had the mad idea to make my own lighting fixtures for this house, which turned out much better than I expected! (photos below)

So, here we go. I decided to do tape wiring–I will do mostly ceiling lights, so tape will go on the floors, where it will be hidden by flooring (which I won’t glue all the way down so it can be removed for repairs)

I pondered a long time how to run the tape, considering I had already finished some of the walls.

I hit on building a small wall in the back and running the tape up the inside of that, hidden from all eyes.

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A 1-inch by 1/8-inch wood strip. The strip not only hides the tape but the raw edges of the interior walls.

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Tape runs up the inside of the board, which will later be painted.

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Comes out on the floors.

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This is as far as I’ve gone–floor of the third story. When I get more walls and the roof on, I’ll continue. You’ll notice my messy folds. I prefer to fold rather than splice, because splices can come undone. I learned to do this from the book: Dollhouse Lighting: Electrification in Miniature (http://www.miniatures.com/Dollhouse-Lighting-Electrification-In-Miniature-P17973.aspx)

Now: The lighting fixtures.

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Here are some of my supplies. I had to go buy a storage box at a craft store for these along with what I already have.

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I had in mind to make a “porcelain” chandelier using instructions found in the book “Bangles, Baubles, and Beads,” sold by JAR / JAF Miniatures http://jar-jaf.com/ (click on “Books” ; they also have the electrification book)

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Findings being glued on the main chandelier wheel. This will be electrified, but by a single bulb while the candles are faked.

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The basic chandelier put together.

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A glossy white coat transforms it.

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Next, I painted the leaves with Kelly green tube acrylic paint (Liquitex).

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I wasn’t certain of the color for the roses until I put it on, but I like it! The pink is also Liquitex tube acrylic paint (found in the artists section of craft stores or art supply stores). The color for roses and leaves is dry-brushed on very carefully. No globs!

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The finished chandelier (except for the candles)

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It lights! (Getting the wires through the medallion and the upper floor involved a bit of colorful language. Even the cats ran.)

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I’ve added the candles.

Now–this chandelier doesn’t give out much light, because the bulb glows through the bottom finding. Looks pretty, but not much illumination.

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So I said, What the heck? Let’s add a sconce. I have the findings on hand.

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This is a modification of a sconce in JAR / JAF’s book–I didn’t have the exact findings, but these were very close. The candle light socket and flame bulb can be purchased inexpensively from CirKit Concepts (http://cir-kitconcepts.com/shop/  Click “Light bulbs”)

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I stuck it here on the wall by the turn of the stairs. It will be hard to see once all the walls are on, but it will light up the corner.

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Both lamps in place.

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Another shot of the lights.

Yay! Now that those problems are solved (and I’ve stopped cursing), I will now put in the flooring! So I can finish the stairs and stop obsessing about them.

 

More projects in finishing stages

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Another half-inch scale house I’ve been playing with is this one. I won it, unfinished, in a raffle at a miniature show a couple years ago. It was originally a rustic shack with a pot-bellied stove and a built-in bed–I believe the house was called “Possum Hut.”

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I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue with the rustic look. The gallery had been on the right wall–I moved it to the back so the ladder to it didn’t take up the entire middle of the room.

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I also decided to put in a few electric lights–you can see the tape wire I started here.

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The outside I left alone. It’s cute and weathered, apple green and burnt orange.IMG_6595

Inside, I decided to wallpaper. I like the spattered-look floor, so I’m leaving it alone. I couldn’t find any wallpaper I liked in my stash, so I chose some scrapbooking papers, three different ones, to wallpaper the interior. I cut each to fit between the beams, which took some doing.

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The gallery in its new place with new railings. I might redo the bedding, which is original to the house. I purchased the weathered sink on Etsy.

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The distressed half-inch scale table/chairs and hutch I bought at a NAME show–it was made by Ron and April Gill’s daughter, Michelle (I think I’m remembering all this correctly).

I will add one or two more pieces of furniture and accessories, a rag rug or two, but this tiny house is done enough to put up on my shelf on display. I like how it’s turning out!

Halloween Room

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This kit inspired me to build a whole room around it, continuing the dark and creepy theme.

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I had a roombox kit I’d found on sale a long time ago (I think from Hobby Builder Supply). It’s very simple–three walls, top, bottom, and glass front. Decided to use brick paper for floor and back wall, which will be a hallway or staircase, seen through an arch.

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The false walls roughed in. I had the fireplace in my stash from an old project that never got going, and the Bespaq unfinished table looked right.

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I painted the table in Folk Art’s vintage white and then antiqued it with burnt umber and antiquing medium.

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The inner walls are foamcore (which I don’t really like, but it’s what I had on hand). I made the walls “stone” by first painting with a coat of slate gray, followed by a coat of warm white mixed with terrarium sand. Once that was dry, did washes of vintage white and several grays. Stones are marked with a very thin lead pencil.

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The “hallway” will be lit with spooky orange light, courtesy of this string of battery operated lights I bought at Hobby Builders Supply.

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Grunging up the fireplace with washes and dabs of watered down dark forest green, burnt umber, and vintage white. I dabbed or brushed on the runny paint (mixing up the colors as I went), then wiping with a paper towel.

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You can see the difference after painting–the stone the fireplace is sitting on is untouched; the fireplace has been grunged.

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One of my ever-eager-to-help assistants.

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I wanted to do weird light effects so purchased a flickering fire unit from Cir-Kit Concepts. Bulbs go into a fake coal pile.

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This will hide the bulbs (I hope).

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Bulbs are wired into a flicker unit, which is in turn wired into the regular dollhouse wiring system. Needs a 12V AC transformer (which is a typical dollhouse transformer).

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You can see the sequence–bulbs in fireplace, through back of fireplace to false wall, to the flicker unit, and its wires (the black ones), will go through the outer wall of the roombox.

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Everything installed, and the false wall glued into place.

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Another light will be this lion head sconce …

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Now grungy with burnt sienna paint.

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The walls set in place.

Next, I will finish gluing in the false walls, trimming everything, then decorating with the fun stuff! More later!

Thoughts on the RGT Half-Inch Scale Bungalow

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Here are some thoughts I had while working on the half-scale bungalow kit, and some tips for those building it.

1. This is a good house for a beginner, in my opinion (though I don’t mean to imply more experienced builders won’t have fun with it!). The bungalow is small– fits easily on the corner of a table as you can see. It’s lightweight, easy to pick up and move, or turn over to work on.

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2. The main section of the house consists of five or six simple solid pieces: ground floor; second floor; front; sides; main roof.

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There are many fiddly little pieces, true, but most are trim, and easy to glue on once painted. My tip is to stick the the rafters and brackets on a piece of masking or painting tape, sticky side up, and paint them all at once. (Spray painting is also fast.)

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3. Tape the house together first to get an idea how everything fits.

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4. Paint exterior before starting to glue the house together.

5. The instructions, while thorough, are for finishing the exterior only, no instructions for the interior (so you can choose your own decor). I think it’s important to finish the interior as you go, especially in half-inch scale, to avoid having to put large hands into a tiny space to paper or paint walls / ceilings. (My hands are huge!)

6. I decorated from the ground up. Starting with the first floor, I laid tape wiring, then papered / paneled over it. (See my post on wiring this house.)

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6. I finished the underside of the second floor (first-floor ceilings) before I glued the second floor on. Then I brought the tape wiring up to the second floor, did the wiring, painted and wallpapered.

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7. I finished the entire interior EXCEPT trim and flooring as I went.

8. I painted / finished the interior of the roof and dormer window before I glued them on. Much easier than trying to do it after gluing.

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9. Once the exterior was finished (all outside trim attached, shingles on), I then put flooring in the interior (measured flooring, cut sheets, installed with dots of glue–I never entirely glue down a floor in case I need to take it out for wiring repairs).

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10. I then trimmed the interior (door trim first, then baseboards, then cornices. I also had to trim the ends of my living room front wall because my wallpaper was too short! (sheet came that way, and I didn’t want to piece it)

11. There are no trim pieces provided for the back exterior of the house. Those I painted and cut from 3/8 x 1/16 strip wood and 1/4 x 1/16 strip wood. I trimmed every raw edge I could find.

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12. Latex paint is best for the house’s exterior. My exterior walls were milled plywood and MDF–latex was good for the MDF as well. Several coats are necessary, with light sanding in between coats.

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13. I used craft paint (Americana and others) for the interior and back exterior trim.

14. Porch floor: I worried about laying a porch floor, because that would change the thickness of the floor, and the posts are cut to the exact height of floor to porch ceiling. I ended up painting with several coats of Folk Art Medium Gray (craft paint) to simulate a cement porch floor. I used the same color for the lower part of the posts (which I textured with terrarium sand mixed with the paint) and the steps.

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15. Foundation: I could not get paint to look good on the foundation (textured with sand or otherwise), so I covered it with textured stone paper (model railroad supply).

16. One last tip–shingling is made more bearable if you listen to an audiobook or watch a video while gluing on the shingles … one at a time …

Conclusion

This house has a good look to the exterior and is relatively easy to put together. I am glad I chose the half-inch house–it looks great but doesn’t take up much space (which is at a premium in my house!). I had originally thought to do the 1-inch scale, but I’m glad I went small.

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I wasn’t as happy with the interior (too chopped up, not realistic enough), but I managed to move things around until I liked it.

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Now to furnish!

See my other posts on finishing this house:

https://jennsminis.wordpress.com/2015/06/05/new-kit-half-scale-bungalow-by-real-good-toys/

https://jennsminis.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/half-inch-scale-bungalow-painting-and-starting-to-build/

https://jennsminis.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/half-inch-scale-bungalow-rethinking-the-interior/

https://jennsminis.wordpress.com/2015/08/10/half-scale-bungalow-lights/

https://jennsminis.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/half-scale-bungalow-outside-details/

https://jennsminis.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/half-scale-bungalow-complete/

Go forth and build!

 

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