Three More Small Projects

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As I said in my last post, I sometimes like to make small, quickly built scenes (kits) for that sense of accomplishment. Here are three I’ve done in the past couple of weeks:

Microscale (1/144) Book “house”. There’s no inside, just a cute facade. This can stand alone or be a decoration in a 1-inch scale house. (Kit by Robin Betterley):

Pocket watch scene (kit by Ginger Landen Siegel). I picked this up at a show. It’s micro-scale, the pocket watch blank is the size of, well, a pocket watch. The scene is paper made 3D. Four pictures get stacked with various bits cut out and wood, lace, landscape material, etc added for texture. Ginger specializes in these kinds of scenes, which are a French art form from the 19th century. I did one of Ginger’s illusion kits in a larger scale here.

Yesterday, I finished this one:

This is the “Pie Pickup,” a 1/4-scale kit from True2Scale.

I picked this up at the Good Sam show I went to in October. The kit contains *everything*–pickup, the art, dishes and placemats, pies, chairs, shelves, jars, crates, fruit, and various accessories. I added the grass.

Fun little kit. Much is 3D printed, so there was a lot of painting with tiny brushes.

I like little kits like this–they’re low-stress, and don’t take up much space when I’m done.

I’m looking through my stash for my next small project, and trying to decide where I’m going to put the Westville when it’s finished.

Christmas Wagon

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Last year I put together this Christmas wagon kit (1-inch scale). This year, I got the horsie finished and fixed up. Horse is a Breyer model I bought when I was ten years old. Yes, I still have it. In good condition too! I thought he’d be happy as my Christmas horse.

Both sides of the wagon are open and full of goodies, with lights to illuminate all the stuff.

I haven’t posted in a while, because the first two weeks of December, my husband and I went to the Caribbean. Where it’s warm! It was lovely.

We stayed a couple days in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which was wonderful. I def want to go back there and explore the whole island.

I took this photo of houses in a street in old San Juan. Would love to make a mini of one of them.

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season. Happy New Year!

French Quarter: Finishing the Interior

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A while back I put together this house from Karen Cary’s miniatures. This is 1/4″ scale (1:48 scale).

I love the exterior, but I never finished furnishing it except for the kitchen. The other day I walked by it, looking all bare and neglected inside and couldn’t stand it anymore. So, I took it off display and back to the “workshop.” Went through my boxes of quarter inch kits and accessories, and here’s what I did.

Overall interior including the roof garden. I also electrified the house while I was at it!

The story for this house: It’s an old set of shops in New Orleans that were purchased and turned into a single house. Downstairs is a kitchen and living / dining room. Upstairs a sun room and bedroom. I didn’t have room for a bathroom or stairs, so we can pretend they’re on the cutaway side of the house.

For the kitchen I used the “pie kitchen” kit from Robin Betterley. I did this a while ago. I think it fills the space nicely. I didn’t use all the pieces, so I have a cabinet and a couple other things I can put in another house.

I bought the pie rack and made the tiny pies. The jars of jam I bought at the Good Sam show this October. The baking pans are a kit by Debbie Young (Young at Heart).

  

Next is the living room / dining room:

I built a lot of kits for this room, and made / found many accessories. Lots of shelves to fill!

Plates and silverware box are kits from True2Scale.

I made the books and the plant and upholstered the sofa.

This little sofa is actually a 3-D printed couch that I covered with fabric. I knew if I painted it, it would look horrible (lack of skill and good paint), and I thought, “Hmm, I wonder if I can upholster it?”

Lots of glue and determination later, and I had it! I was much easier that I feared. Tacky glue and a sturdy fabric–this is cotton. I glued it right onto the plastic sofa form. I wouldn’t recommend silk for this, unless it’s thick, like raw silk. Also helpful is a pair of small very sharp scissors.

I fitted it on a piece at a time, arms first, then one piece to wrap from bottom front all the away over the seat and around and down the back. Last I put on the fronts of the arms–thin pieces cut and stretched, stretched stretched over the front. Tiny pillows can cover up flaws in cutting.

Upstairs to the sitting room. I really like this room as it’s bright and sunny. I can imagine reading here on a nice day with the windows and patio door open to let in the breeze.

I did not make the gorgeous wicker sofa / day bed. It was another Good Sam show purchase last month. (When I remember who I purchased it from, I’ll post).

I put plants outside the open French door.

Now for the bedroom. It took a long time for me to figure out how to arrange it and what needed to be in it. Once I put the bed on the wall facing the opening and the cabinet in the corner, it all seems to click. (I had it on the right wall before, and nothing was working.)

Filling the room with accessories makes it look lived in. Books, throws, pillows, plants, boxes, and bottles seem to bring it to life. I scour my supplies for anything tiny that’s workable.

The sweater on the hanger came from a “boudoir” kit from True2Scale. (It has hangers, boxes, clothing, tiny pictures, and a couple other cute things).

Another cozy space for reading, this time on a cool winter’s night.

A closeup of the filled cabinet in the bedroom.

Last, the roof garden. The large wall looked bare, so I took a Grandt Line window I had in my stash, painted it to look like old wrought iron, and added plants to it.

The whole thing is put together from bits and pieces I’d bought or made and stashed away.

A few more shots of the finished building. I’ve put this back on display now and am much happier when I walk by it!

PetalStone: Interior

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Before I ran off traveling all over in September, I finished the interior furnishings of the Petalstone 1/4″ scale house. I made the exterior a couple of years ago and finally got around to doing the inside. Scroll down for lots of photos, and click photos for larger versions.

The overall interior.

Bottom floor: Left to right:

Dining room and front door area.

Zoomed out for perspective.

Front door with bench.

Closeup of dining table and chairs.

Middle area with staircase and room divider.

Kitchen is tucked behind the staircase in the silo area.

It’s a little hard to photograph the kitchen but you get the idea.

Living room area.

Zooming in past living area to front door (there are two front doors in this house). Another bench with stuff in the foyer.

Looking in through the conservatory / greenhouse.

Looking from conservatory into living room.

From living room into conservatory. I think this is my favorite room.

Second floor: Left to right:

The guest room.

Simple, cute, and pink.

This shows how the bathroom and kitchen are situated in the silo. The bathroom is behind an open sliding door.

  

A full bathroom–everything you need.

 

The master bedroom in shades of cool blue-green.

Top Floor:

On the left is the attic, full of old castoffs.

On the right, the writing nook, with a computer set up on the writing table, a comfy chair, and lots and lots of books. I’d love one of these in real life!

 

This is quite a lovely house overall, and it was a fulfilling build.

The kit of the house and all the furnishings is still available from Robin Betterley: https://www.robinbetterley.com/collections/petalstone

 

Westville: Staircase railings and some Window Trim

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Finally, the staircase railings and window trim.

Interior window trim (top), bay window trim (long pieces, right), staircase posts and railings (bottom).

Looking at the staircase posts and railings: There are two posts (they go vertically at the bottom of the staircase), a long rail for the long side of the staircase bannister, and a short rail for the short side of the staircase. The small square pieces are caps for the posts.

Interestingly the post at the bottom goes only on the outside of the staircase, like this. Not at the end. I guess they figure it will be too hard to see the end of the staircase through the windows. The front of the staircase is basically bare. I will probably add my own posts and trim later.

One post cap goes on the top of the post.

Long staircase railing goes on top of the long bannister, all the way up through to the second floor. The narrower part goes through the second floor opening.

The short bannister side. The post again goes on the outside only, with the post cap. Short bannister railing goes on top of the bannister.

Next: The second floor bannisters / railings.

Two bannister pieces, four posts, three post caps (only three), two railings.

On the long side: Two posts go on either end, on the outside only. They’re glued right onto the flat part of the bannister, not the ends. Horizontal railing goes on top.

On short side, two posts sandwich the banister on one end. The bare end of the short side is glued to the bare end of the long side.

The assembly upside down, keeping straight in my jig while the glue dries.

The railing will go here on the second floor. I won’t glue until I have the flooring and wallpaper in place. The end of the long banister section meets with the staircase bannister to sort of form a post. A post cap will go on top of this.

From the side. I’ve already put the post caps on the short side but will wait to install to do the long side.

Interior Window Trim

There is nothing much to the window trim. Take the rectangular pieces:

Paint and finish. The plastic window piece gets glued to the underside of the trim, and then the whole thing is glued over the window opening from the inside.

I’ll show more pics of window trim as I paper and finish the inside of the house.

And that is more or less it! The kit has been put together all the way through to the end of the instructions.

All that’s left is to decorate and move in. I’ll continue to show my finishing process, and also provide overall thoughts and tips on this house.

 

Westville: Trim

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Last post, I said I’d back off the Westville, but it called to me! I have been very busy with other life–my job, having a tooth pulled, and other fun stuff–so not as much mini activity as I’d like. However, I managed to get into my mini room and do things every once in a while.

First thing I did was realize I had to fix the ornamentation around the bay window interiors. These decorations are part of the main sheet, and when I originally punched out the wall, the small details crumbled away into dust. I tried to repair, but I decided it was no use.

The right room’s was even worse.

After much debate, I decided to simply cut them away and sand down the opening. I left a few bumps.

This was my solution. The long pieces are from the Westville kit, the bay window trim. The horizontal piece is supposed to go all the way flush against the ceiling, resting on top of the two side pieces. I cut the horizontal piece to go in between the side pieces to hide the ragged edges of the old trim. I’ll do a cornice above.

I finished the trim with brackets I’d had in my stash. Luckily, I have four, so will use the other two on the second bay window.

I had planned to wallpaper the bay window with the blue, but I did not realize I’d run out! So I went through my stash of scraps and found wallpaper that matched in color and used that for the bay window.

The flooring is the siding that comes with this kit. To cut to fit the bay window, I did a pattern with a sheet of paper, laid the boards on it, and cut before laying the boards in the house (without the paper).

I puzzled over where the “center partition trim” went, but I finally concluded it is here, separating staircase railing from the wall in the entrance room.

Here it is after I’ve put in some wallpaper and stained the trim.

Next time, I’ll show the staircase railings and the second floor staircase bannister.

Westville: Shingles

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The Westville kit comes with shingles in sheets. An advantage is adding the shingles in strips instead of individually. The disadvantage is punching out the strips. Challenging!

While the shingles are still in the sheet, I ran a piece of masking tape across the top of each row, then punched them out of the sheet (tore them out, wrestled them out, however you want to put it).

Guidelines are a good idea, and help keep the rows straight. First row is 1 3/8″ from the edge. The rest of the rows are 3/4″ a part.

Strips are hot-glued in place. Once dry, masking tape gets removed.

The next row is glued on, the shingles staggered (this means at the end of every other row, you have to do a half shingle to keep everything on track).

I used hot glue, because any water-based glue (tacky, Elmer’s, etc), will make these very thin wooden shingles curl. Another, non-water-based glue would be fine I think.

If shingles overhang the edges, that’s ok–they can be trimmed off later.

To cut the shingles to fit the angle of the gable, I made a template out of paper.

This serves as a gauge to cut the shingles to the correct angle.

Using the gauge ensures the end of the row will fit. I did a template for the front roof too.

The nice thing is, the templates I used for the front worked on the back roof angles as well.

All shingles in place, and ragged edges trimmed off. Whew!

The shingles looked a little too bright for me. I debated what to do … Stain? Paint? Dirty-water wash? I feared loosening the shingles with too much water or stain.

I dabbed on a little stain on one shingle–way too dark!

Then it hit me–instead of brushing stain on and wiping off, how about if I wipe the stain off the brush and sort of dry-brush the shingles?

Used a foam brush, stain, and lots of paper towels. Dipped foam brush lightly into stain can and then wiped of a *lot* of the stain from the foam brush.

I started with a downward stroke, then later stroked upward to make the edges of each shingle more defined.

The stain gives it a weathered look.

This is the result. I got some darker blotches I don’t like, which I will tone down with a wash or something, but I like how it turned out. In keeping with the “rustic” feel of the house.

I learned some new techniques with this roof–shingling in strips and dry brushing with stain.

I want to use trim to finish some of the roof’s raw edges, fill in the channel between the front and left roof angle, and do some kind of ridge pole, but the roof is just about done.

With that, the exterior is finished. I will next paint / paper / floor in the interior, figure out what lights I want where, and trim the interior. The kit has trim for the bay windows and the main windows, which I’ll paint and install after I’ve papered and painted.

The last project in the kit is the railing for the stairs and the second floor bannister. I’ll do those after I put in the floors.

Then I’ll start moving in all the antiques! (And at some point do the landscaping).

I might take a little break first. My goal was to get the kit mostly done–now I get to play a little!

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