Beacon Hill: Add-ons


Because I cut my Beacon Hill in half, I need to fill in what I took away. In the left portion, I’m leaving the side open for easier viewing, but because I put it on top of a garage, I need a new front door, and a staircase to reach it.

I’m turning the side bay window into the front door. I’ll build up the opening and then put a door in it, possibly with sidelights–I’ll think about it.  A staircase runs up from the ground to reach it.

The opening below will be an archway through which our imaginary people can walk to get to a door into the garage. More realistic if they can park and walk out to the stairs without having to use the rolling garage door.

This is a rough-in of the outside stairs that will run up to the front door. You can sort of see what will become the porch roof as well.

Another view relative to the garage.

I will build the walls, put in the stairs, and then trim it with plenty of moldings, spindles, posts, and lots of Victorian gingerbread.

On the right portion of the house …

I’ve added the outside wall with bays on ground and second floors. The bays give me more room on each of the floors to add furniture–it’s a small space without it. I painted to match the rest of the house.

When I get it all trimmed up with moldings and roof brackets I’ll post more pictures.

The inside of the second floor bay window. I need to wipe the dust off the floor, but this bay extension will let me put in a desk or sofa or something as I decorate. Again, more pics when I get it all trimmed and cleaned up!

Using the large windows lets me have a different perspective of the inside, one I wouldn’t see well if I’d built the house as one unit. This is looking into the upstairs and the French door to the balcony.

Ground floor with front door and staircase. The staircase is intricate and hard to build, so it’s nice to see it!

I have more trimming and painting to do, not to mention the outside staircase on the left house, but I’m getting there!


Beacon Hill: Cellar Window


I wanted to make sure I used the cellar window. It is supposed to go at the bottom of the the left side of the house. But because I’m putting the left side on top of a garage, and so eliminating the window opening, I decided to relocate the window to the right side of the house, under the kitchen bay.

This meant, of course, that I had to cut an opening for the window. It was fairly easy to cut through the thin foundation piece.

In fact, the foundation piece fell off as I cut it, which turned out make the window easier to put in. So maybe the cellar window should be inserted before the foundation is glued on?

The four cellar window pieces (from top to bottom): Back, sill, window trim, and window frame.

The sill slides under the foundation, the notches fitting around the foundation piece (very much like the window sills in all the other windows in the house).

The back of the window is glued to the sill–the back’s edge is flush with the bottom of the sill. (If you glue the back on top of the sill, it will be too tall.)

The plastic window glued to the back of the frame.

The window frame set in place, resting on the sill.

The window trim over the frame, ends resting on the sill.

Foundation glued back on house with window in place. I added the bricks to the foundation to finish it.

The cellar window done and in place.

As you can see, I’m also in the process of bricking the foundation (textured brick paper).

I plan to finish trimming this side of the house before returning to the left side.

Interlude: Finishing smaller projects


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 Left Side: Windows! and Shingles


I found some time to complete the windows and shingle the roof.

Single window pieces painted and ready to be assembled in the window. See my post on the windows for the first half for more details on how to build them: Beacon Hill: Single Windows

The double window is put together very much like the single window. I like the hole in the trim that will show the window sash beneath it.

Window sill is put in first, smallest sill, then medium sill, then large sill. Top trim is large then medium then small.

I’m painting the window sashes a darker shade of green than the trim but lighter than the house. I came up with this shade by mixing the dark and very light greens (simple).

I decided to go ahead and do the dormer windows as well. (See my post on the first side of the house for more details: Beacon Hill: Dormer Windows

This is what the sill looks like, wrong side up. The wider part of the sill goes inside the house.

The painted sill fitted into the window opening.

Sill from the inside.

Sides and front slid through the opening and glued. It is much easier to fit the windows before shingling, but still it’s tight and not quite accurate. You have to get the roof pieces curved and glued down exactly, or the window pieces don’t fit together. Mine were close, but I still had to trim and wiggle and clamp before they were stable.

“Ls” in place with dormer slats glued in.

Completed dormer window with the arrow trim painted and attached to the front. I went with the same dark green as the house for the trim.

Front of the house with all windows done. I won’t put the window pane in the dormers until I’m finished decorating the inside. Learned that on the first half!

For this part of the roof, I added a matte board to the bottom edge (it was cut away to accommodate the tower), and shingled over it. I’ll have to add a wall or something interesting under it to finish off that side.

This half of the house is pretty much done, except for the final trims (the gazillion brackets).

I want to concentrate on the bottom half of the house now, which is the Houseworks garage kit. I need to build the stairs to the front porch and door (and build the porch) as well as get a garage door and do some trimming.

I am thinking I’ll start at the bottom of the house and work my way back up until it’s finished.

I will do the cellar window that comes with the kit, but I’m going to put it on the other half and cover up the opening for it (you can see it in the photo above). More on that when I return to the first half of the house.

I’m also not going to use the shutters. I thought about it for this side, but I like the way the house looks without them. I might make one and test it–I can always change my mind.

If I don’t post between now and then, have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Joyous Yule, and Happy New Year!

Beacon Hill Left Side: Bay Windows


Next in the instructions are the regular windows (narrow and double), but since I’ve talked about those on the right side of the house, I jumped to the bay windows. These use a similar method to the regular windows, but it’s trickier to put them in.

I made the front bay window only, but the method for the left bay is exactly the same.

The sill pieces: three large and three small each for outer bottom, outer top, inner bottom, and inner top of the window openings. The outer sills have the two small tabs that go inside the narrow windows; the inner sills have the long tab in the middle.


I had the extra challenge of gluing a few pieces back together. The wood on this sometimes separates.

The small, medium, and large pieces for the outside sill. They’re very close in size–the small sills in my kit have the grain running crosswise instead of lengthwise.

The interior sills painted and glued together. It’s easier to see which is small, medium, and large once they’re stacked together.

Outside sills glued in. The largest piece goes on top of both bottom and top sills.

Inner and outer sill. In theory, these two pieces should meet in the middle. In practice, the pieces didn’t fit into the windows at all, and I had to sand the openings and trim down the tabs. This was the best I could do.

Inner sill before I glued it in place. Had to sand and trim to fit.

Next, the window sash and trim pieces. The exterior trim is in two parts, which get stacked on top of each other. The interior only has one thickness. For the front bay, there are two narrow windows and one wide.

Exterior trims glued, thinner pieces over thicker.

Trim added to outside.

Window sashes painted with the plastic panes sandwiched between them.

As it turned out, my windows were too large for the openings. I had to sand the openings and the sashes quite a lot before they fit.

Also, I learned that putting the trim on first was a mistake–windows were impossible for me to get in all the way from the interior. I took off the outer trim, glued the windows into the openings and then glued the exterior trim back on.

Window sashes in place behind the exterior trim.

Also I see that my horizontal trim is off, so I’ll have to take it off and fix it.

Tip: To remove glued-on trim, paint it with rubbing alcohol, wait about a minute, then slide a knife behind it and pry it off. The alcohol is a solvent for the glue and softens it.

This kit can be a big challenge. In some cases, you almost have to tear it apart to make it go together.

When I’m frustrated, I take a look at one of my assistants and enjoy the cuteness.

Next are the rest of the windows (narrow, double, and dormer). I might have to take a short break from this project for a few days. The windows are fairly straightforward, but there are so many pieces to paint! I’m not sure I have the stamina, plus it’s time to decorate for Christmas!

I’ll post again when I have more.


Beacon Hill Left Side: Roof Trim and Chimney


Learning my lesson from the other side of the house, I’m gluing on the roof trim before I do the shingles.

Horizontal trim pieces across the top of the mansard roof pieces, plus the curved trim. I had a time finding all the pieces for this trim, as I mentioned. I lucked out finding the short roof trim piece, which I think is H-3. There is a black hole in my hobby room, I swear. I punch out a piece, put it somewhere safe … and never see it again.

I also discovered I should have put in this chimney piece before the roof goes on. The roof piece goes over it. I did not, because I wanted to put bricks on the chimney, but knew if I did that before roofing, I’d probably ruin the brick veneer. Sigh. Fortunately, I was able to slip the piece down the gap between chimney and roof, after I bricked.

The pieces for the chimney. It’s a good idea to make a small mark on which are the chimney trim pieces,which are the flue trim, and which are the “middle” pieces that make up the flue.

Constructing the flue. This piece goes good side down, and the “middle” pieces are glued to it, following the edges. Like so:

Then, spread glue on the edges of the middle pieces (as I’ve done above), and glue the second side of the flue to the top. Like so:

I discovered I should have painted the pieces first, because you’ll be able to see inside the hollow tubes once the chimney is finished. But, I wanted to make sure they fit together square without warping. It was easy enough to paint the inside.

Now for the flue trim.

This is fairly straightforward–long sides on the long side, ends on the ends.

Once the flue was painted and drying, I did the brick chimney and glued on the trim.

The other side of the trim in place over the bricks.

The large pieces of the chimney top trim glued together. Instructions say to build this box first and then slide it over the chimney. Check it first. I had to sand down the insides to make it fit.

Fitting the trim–it rests on the lip on top of the chimney formed by the front and back trim already there (the instructions call them the left and right trims; they mean the trims that cover the sides–and my bricks).

You’ll be able to see inside this box once the chimney is done, so it should be painted as well. If you’re using a lighter color for the chimney, I suggest black for the inside.

Chimney trim around the top, plus my bricks, plus the roof trim around the chimney.

Next goes the narrow chimney trim around the wider pieces. I found it easier to glue the short ends on first, as they are flush, and then the longer pieces fit over the ends of the short pieces.

Below is what that looks like when finished.

Next, cut scrap pieces of wood that are 1/2 inch wide. These are spaces that go down inside the chimney box for the flue base to rest on. You won’t see these (they’re covered by the flue base), so you don’t need to paint.

The instructions say to set the flue base on top of the spacers and then thread the flue through the holes in the flue base. However–I found the holes weren’t quite large enough, so I had to trim them. It was such a tight fit in the end that I decided to thread the flue through the holes, measuring off 1/2 inch, and then putting it into the chimney. I knew I’d be struggling and cursing to fit the flue into the base if I didn’t do it first!

The finished flue and base set inside the chimney box.

That’s it! It’s done!

The next step in the instructions is the regular windows (plus the double window). Since I’ve already demonstrated those on the other side of the house, I moved forward to the bay windows, and their challenges.

Next post, I’ll put together the front bay window.

Beacon Hill Left Side: Roof and Trim


Sconces done and installed on the third floor!

Now for the roof.

The mansard roof base goes on first, then the roof supports fit into slots. I also have the flat roof top painted and installed. It’s best to finish the ceiling side of the roof top as well, because it will be tough to get in there to paint once the roof is done.

I couldn’t figure out what this piece was for, because it had come separated from the others months ago. I finally realized it went on the short roof side, the one that would be up against the tower if I’d kept the house together. (I also finally found it in the instructions.)

The instructions say to put this piece in first, then the roof, then the piece I have it resting against (3A) last. I found it easier to put the 3A piece on first. 3A looks like this from the other side:

I will trim that corner when I’m ready to do interior trim. You can see how I’ve finished the ceiling.

Next step is to paint and put on the roof top trim and the mansard base trim (which runs along the mansard base).

Both these photos show the mansard base trim running around the edge. It overhangs 1/4 inch.

Now for the roof panels!

First, the chimney side. I had to sand the roof piece a little to get it to fit around the chimney. These clamps are wonderful for holding the curved roof in place while the glue dries.

The instructions say to do the short (right side) roof first, and then the front roof, but I found it easier to do the front first, especially as I don’t have the rest of the house on the right side.

For those not cutting the house in half, the lower corner of this wall will fit against the tower. I’ll have to cover it or think of something fun to do with it.

While the roof was drying I went ahead and put together the front bay window roof.

When figuring out how the bay roof pieces go, it helps to note that the grain of the wood kind of flows in the same direction. Make sure the good side is down when you add the masking tape hinge.

The roof, good side up, on top of the bay window. (This is set into place to test–the pieces went together more smoothly when I glued them.)

The horizontal and some of the vertical trim being painted. I somehow lost the horizontal trim for the front side of the house and had to cut another. I am finding I’m missing small pieces of trim, which fell out of the punch-out sheets when I built the right side of the house. I swore I collected them all into boxes, but I’m still missing bits. Fortunately they’re fairly standard sized wood strips (1/2-inch; 1/4 inch).

Pictured from top to bottom are front bay bottom horizontal trim, vertical trim pieces, front bay horizontal trim (the short, wide pieces), and front and left side horizontal trim. I cut a new piece of horizontal trim for the front from scraps from the house sheets.

The trim glued in place with the corner trim pieces (at top of house) also in place. I’ll continue the same kind of trim on the garage floor later. Also I’m not putting in the left bay, because I’m going to use it as the front door.

Next I will trim the roof and chimney. I learned my lesson on the other side, and I’ll wait to shingle until everything is trimmed. I think we finish up the chimney after that.

It’s getting there!


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