Way Cool Miniatures

2 Comments

I want to share some of the coolest minis I’ve found. The first is a box of Lord of the Rings books and maps in Spanish. I bought this from the artisan (who is from Spain) on an online sale that was chock full of wonderful things. I had to restrain myself.

(Señor Anillos means, in literal translation, “Ring Lord”)

The side of the box with the cast of the film version.

Inside are the three main books of the series (Fellowship; Two Towers; Return of the King), plus a secret drawer!

The books are printed throughout. This one is The Fellowship of the Ring.

Inside the secret drawer all all kinds of maps! There is one from the Hobbit and also the ones that lead to Mount Doom.

The craftsmanship on this set is wonderful. I first read The Lord of the Rings when I was about twelve, and nerded out on it big time.

This set satisfies both the nerd in me as well as the miniaturist. It really is beautiful.

Next is the Metamorphic Desk by Ferd Sobol.

\

Backing up–When I went to Europe a couple years ago, one reason I booked the trip we did was because it ended in Basel, giving me a day of free time to go to the Miniature Museum there. (I know how to plan…) I’ve posted photos of what I found there elsewhere (Basel Miniature Museum (Spielzeug Welten Museum)

There they displayed a metamorphic desk:

20160609_120026

 

I loved it! When I saw that Ferd Sobol had built one, I ordered one from him when I attended the Chicago show last year. He makes limited editions and I knew that when they were gone, they’d be gone and I’d regret it forever if I didn’t grab one, so I indulged. Hey, I work hard. I should have a beautiful desk, right?

Here it is in the left half of my Beacon Hill. The chair pulls out, the two halves slide open, and a drawer compartment pops up. (The drawer contains secret letters!)

I got to choose the wood, the inlay design, and the fabric for the chair.

You can see it a little better here, and below:

It’s beautiful, and the workmanship is superb (he is brilliant). Here’s a link to a video about the desk, from Ferd Sobol’s site–you can see it better than in my photos.

These two are so far my coolest minis. Both are displayed in the left half of the Beacon Hill, which is my “show house.”

Beacon Hill: Right Side–Downstairs

4 Comments

Back to the Beacon Hill. I’ve started adding furnishings and things to the first floor of the shabby chic side.

On the entrance hall side I have some furniture and a few fun things. I’ll put this all together and add rugs, pictures, etc.

The inhabitants are getting ready to go on a picnic.

Slowly filling up this adorable cabinet I recently bought.

On to the kitchen. I am adding things as I go.

I took the baker’s rack from the front porch project (see previous post), and repurposed it as kitchen shelves.

I finally have a place to display all the food I’ve collected! I will paint the table probably dark red or dark green and antique it.

It’s a start!

Older Projects–Porch and Wicker

2 Comments

Next on my “fix-it” list was the porch I made at a NAME State Day. One-inch scale.

I changed the decor a little because I had purchased a wicker set by Uncle Ciggie, and I needed a place to display it. It’s porch furniture–ergo …

I’m picturing a warm summer evening on the front porch. I can hear the crickets.

I also came across this terrarium when I was cleaning out my closet. I’d had a scene in it that I took apart, and I thought–what the heck? This would be another great place for the pieces of the wicker set.

The lovely blue pillow on the love seat is by Wendy Smale.

I’m pleased the wicker furniture now has a home (or two).

Older Projects: Colonial Tavern

5 Comments

As with the Shoe House, I went back to the Colonial Tavern and added a few new things plus fixed the lights.

This two-room house is one-inch scale.

The device on the right is a wool winder, made by Pam Boorum of Smaller than Life.

I’m always changing up what’s on the tavern table a little. This time added the blue and white pitcher, the silver tankard and basket.

The half door, in theory, leads to a cellar.

Added the carved duck and jug to the shelf over the settle.

Upstairs, the single candle lights up the room.

Pam Boorum made this pretty box on the dresser as well as the spice box on top of the hutch in the downstairs room.

I kept the lighting system very simple: An LED indirect light on the first floor and the candlestick on the second floor. Plenty of light but it’s soft. Wires go out the back to a small strip of copper tape wire at the base, which connect to a small transformer.

This house is a great place for the Early American and Shaker odds and ends I collect. I love both.

I constructed this house eons ago from scrap wood my dad was going to throw away. I’m glad I’ve hung on to it.

 

Older Projects: Shoe House–Finishing Touches

3 Comments

Now that my obsession with the Beacon Hill has been satisfied, I’m returning to older projects and cleaning them up or adding finishing touches.

I returned to the Shoe House (Quarter-Inch Scale) to add decoration and furniture to the downstairs rooms plus overhaul the electric system. It had become disconnected and a tangled mess during my move.

I soldered! I learned this in class at the Chicago show, and now I have my own soldering iron and everything (cats beware…)

Scary stuff! But I am finding that the connections are stronger and more reliable. As in, the lights work!

I had to repair almost every connection, and add new lead wires. I got the green connection junction and battery box from Lighting Bug. It’s an LED kit. For each fixture one wire feeds to the positive, one to the negative lead wire (red for positive, black negative), and those wires are screwed into positive and negative terminals in the junction box. That is hardwired (by the manufacturer) into the black battery / switch box. I now just flip the switch on the black box, and the lights come on!

The kitchen is in the bottom of the shoe, only visible through the door and window.

I added all kinds of decorative touches (pictures, plants, dishes, books, pillows, throws, various accessories) to the living / dining room.

I tend to save accessories that come with other kits that I didn’t use with the original kit, which help scatter finishing touches throughout the house.

Upstairs I added pictures, pillows, nightstand accessories, and a folded throw at the bottom of the bed (you can barely see it–it’s pink).

Fixing the lighting systems lets me get a better photo of the bathroom, which, like the kitchen, is only visible through door and window.

 

I’m pleased with how everything has turned out.

Interlude: Finishing smaller projects

5 Comments

I needed a break from the Beacon Hill so finished up some quarter inch and micro scale projects.

This is the cute little Sunnyside Gardens, a microscale shop in the “Watercolors” series by Robin Betterly. I had completed the shop before, and now I finished the interior and landscaping kit. (I could have decorated the interior myself, but sometimes kits are more relaxing for me).

We have pots of plants, crates of seedlings, garden soil, garden tools, all kinds of fun stuff.

The interior is a bedroom upstairs of woodland themed furniture, and the shop downstairs, which includes a seed rack and display counters for all the garden goodies.

I had to wash out the exterior to get the photo of the interior through the door. Seed counter and pots inside.

A fun little kit. It’s on display in my living room with the first kit in the series (the cafe). Gee, there’s room for another kit next to the garden shop.

Next: Finished up the landscaping and added an outdoor tub to the quarter-inch scale Creekside Studio.

Decided to put a little vegetable garden here.

This kit turned out really well. I got this from Suzanne and Andrews Minis (link in sidebar under Quarter inch Resources). They don’t have this particular one anymore, but they have a similar kit called “Seaside Cottage,” which has a complete second floor.

Obviously, this needs furniture! Which I will do one day. Right now, I’m ready to return to the Beacon Hill and finish the outside details I need to build on.

Beacon Hill: A Gazillion Brackets

6 Comments

Final step is to do the brackets around the tower and mansard roof and the decorative roof brackets.

The instructions call this “exterior trim.” I say, “a ton o’ brackets.”

First, the brackets that go around the bottom of the tower and mansard roof.

These are sandwiched, large between two small. You need four complete brackets for each side of the tower, four on the front wall right and five on the right wall. That’s 25 total, and that’s just this half of the house … (you need 12 for the other half if you’re building the whole thing like a normal person). That’s a lotta brackets.

Ready for more sanding and painting.

You end up with a bunch of these.

Glue them bird-head up around the base of the tower, all four sides.

Back of the tower.

This is the right side walls–four in front, five in back.

Note that the end brackets on each wall are right at the edge, over the vertical trim. I glued those brackets on first, then spaced the others according to those.

The tower brackets were spaced about 2.5 inches from one another, the front wall 2 inches, the side wall 2.5 inches.

Last are the pointy and curly brackets that go around the edges of the roofs. Four complete ones on the tower, three on the porch, two on the right side (and three on the left). The look  like this on the sheets.

We have standalone posts, posts with curls, and curls alone. Again, you glue these brackets together in sandwiches.

You make a sandwich of two standalone posts around one post with curly. The unattached curl gets glued to the post depending on which direction you need to go on the roof. Those are glued on as you place them on the rooftops.

When they’re glued in place, they’ll look like this.

Don’t glue the last curly part in place! I’m holding it here as a demo.

Starting with the porch: The posts are all glued with the flat side of the post facing front (*except* the one on the back of the porch which faces the side–got it?)

Here are the post sandwiches glued in place.

The lone curly is then glued to the other side. For the porch post in the back, it’s done. It doesn’t get a second curly.

The porch roof done. Note that the brackets are on the *inner* edge of the roof trim.

On the tower–the four post sandwiches in place. Again, the flat side of the picket faces front (and rear), and they’re glued on the inner edge of the trim.

The curlys all glued in place to complete the brackets.

Brackets done on the side roof.

And … that’s it!! That is the last bit of the kit for the right side of the house.

I still have to finish the wall I knocked out, do a lot of touch-up paint, and trim more raw edges. Plus I did not use the foundation trim–I will be putting stone or brick paper around the bottom.

But hey, there we have it! Almost ready to move in!

I’ll probably take another break and build a different kit or smaller project, then come back and completely finish this half of the house before I start on the other half …

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: