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.

 

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!

What I’ve Been Working On

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Now that I’m finally settled into my new house, I’ve been able to get back to projects. I am nearly finished with the inside of the Real Good Toys Half-Inch Scale Bungalow. Scroll down for photos!

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As you can see, I moved the staircase to the middle of the house, made this one big room, and put in a fireplace.

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Needs pictures and other touches, but you get the idea.

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Upstairs, I made the left side of the house one big room instead of cutting it up. I wanted more room for furniture. The staircase comes out in the middle of it, but why not?

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I’m pleased with the way the scrapbook paper came out as a mural. Amazed too! It wasn’t easy.

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I played with the interior a little bit, removing a wall on the second floor and moving the staircase on the first floor.

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I have more finishing touches to make (pictures, rugs, towels, plants, porch furniture), but it’s come a long way from blank pieces in a box!

 

The Big House Updates

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I have updated all the photos in The Big House section of this blog (see top or right-hand menu). It’s just about done! Here is a taste of each room:

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Front porch

First Floor:

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Entrance Hall

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Music Room

Second Floor:

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Second floor hall

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Kitchen (right side)

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Kitchen: Left side

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Utilities room

Third Floor:

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Third floor hall

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Bedroom

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Bathroom

Fourth Floor (not as finished):

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Library

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Artist studio

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Game room

Almost done! Each room (esp top floor), needs a few finishing touches, and that’s it! It’s been a fun overhaul. I wonder if the next house I make will be “normal.” (Nah.)

Finished Halloween Room

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I finished the Halloween room! Before Halloween! Scroll down to see the room from all angles; click pics for closer views. Enjoy!

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An overview.

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This cool, kind of steampunk-y table is by Bobbie Johnson. She does such beautiful work. There’s a gator underneath!

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Most of the things in this room came from my stash of stuff that didn’t fit elsewhere. I bought a few things, like the potion bottles and the skull candle, but much was acquired hither and yon. The orange lights in the back hall can pulse on and off. Looks cool!

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!

 

Half-Scale Bungalow–Outside details

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Probably what takes the most time on the RGT half-scale bungalow are the little details on the outside–trim, brackets, rafters, shingles, windows.

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Painting all these fiddly bits is what I like the least. There are fourteen brackets (in pieces–you have to put them together), 20 (I think) rafters, and a bunch of horizontal and vertical trim.

Laying the pieces on the sticky side of painters tape and painting them all at once makes things faster. Spray painting also probably works, but I don’t have a good place to do it, and the fewer toxic fumes I’m around, the better.

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Constructing the brackets. Each is three pieces, half are angled to the right, half to the left. Larger ones go on the ends of the house, smaller ones under the eaves of the gable. I sanded and touched up the paint after I glued them together.

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The window frames. The instructions have you hold them together with rubber bands, which helps keep the joints square and tight.

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Wasn’t as tricky as I feared. A key is to use a rubber band that’s not too small–find one that’s just tight enough to go around the inside of the frame to hold it in place, not so tight it will snap everything apart.

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Gluing on the brackets. The half-scale house is easy to turn upside down for this step. It’s nice and light.

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The rafters. These are small pieces that go under the porch about every inch, to simulate full rafters.

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The brackets and rafters done, and the house ready for shingling.

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An inside view of the completed windows. One frame goes on the outside, the pane of “glass” goes in from the inside, and the inside frame is then put in the opening. I’ve also installed the fireplace I built, and I’m starting the flooring.

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The kitchen with window, inside door, and the “tile” floor I’m going to use. I purchased doors from Majestic Mansions (via Mountain Miniatures). The tile floor is a printie.

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Upstairs room with gable window, door to bathroom, and flooring fitted (though not finished).

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The interior so far. I will trim, put in staircase, and add lights to the bedroom after I shingle and put finishing touches on the exterior. I like how it looks so far!

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Now comes my other least favorite part of dollhouse building. Shingling! I know there are now shingles you can apply by the strip, but I couldn’t find any in half-inch scale that would go well with this house.

So, it’s one piece at a time. A tip–use shingling to catch up on TV shows or audio books.

More when I finish.

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