Beacon Hill: Third Floor and Roof Prep

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Building a dollhouse, like writing a book, involves lots of little decisions. To move forward, I need to put the roof on, but before I do that, I want to wire sconces in the third-floor room. Before I do that, I need to wallpaper that room, but I also need to figure out where the fireplace goes because I don’t want wallpaper there.

I skipped all the way to the end of the instructions (no!) to figure out the third-floor fireplace. Because it’s built in, there is only the trim and two pieces for the mantel. The piece with the long tab goes into the slot.

This helps me figure out where I want the wallpaper to stop–the fireplace will be a painted panel all the way to the ceiling, and the rest of the walls papered.

 

I’ve painted and glued the mansard roof support base to the outside of the walls and temporarily set in the roof supports. As you can see I’ve also started to paint the outside walls of the lower floors. The color might be too dark green for me, but I’ll see how it turns out.

Beginning the sconces. These will have dangles on them–it took me an entire episode of Outlander to make six of the nine dangly bits for one sconce! The pliers weren’t cooperating.

I guess it will take me another two episodes to finish both sconces. Fortunately I’m only on season one.

I’ll wallpaper and fix up the fireplace, install the sconces, and move on to the roof.

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Beacon Hill: Chimney

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I have the walls papered (will be trimmed with molding), and the ceiling started, but I decided to wait on the chandeliers until I have more of the structure built so I don’t damage anything.

Going back to the building instructions, the next step on the outside is the chimney.

Pieces from left to right: chimney sides, chimney top (small piece at top), third floor hearth (small piece at bottom), and the chimney outside trim.

The third-floor hearth gets inserted into the fireplace hole. You have to turn the piece sideways and wriggled it in there. The tab in the back goes through the outside wall.

Sides go on the sides–the side with one tab faces the house, the two tabbed side faces the outside of the house. I constantly got these turned around.

The top fits onto the sides.

The trim goes on like this.

Before gluing, I lined the hearth and chimney with brick paper so it looks more realistic.

The hearth with the chimney sides now glued in place.

Chimney sides and top in place. I left the top unglued (just pushed it into the slots) in case I need to change or fix something later.

I am not putting the chimney trim on yet until I decide what colors to paint the house and trim. Plus I might want to brick the outside of the chimney.

I have to run off to a conference, but when I return, I’m going to the hardware store to get latex paint for the outside so I can get started finishing the outside and settling it on top of the garage. I will probably also put a light on one of the third floor windowsills as I did to the other half of the house before putting on the roof.

It’s coming along!

 

Beacon Hill: Left side top floor, front bay, interior

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I’m setting the house on top of the garage kit from Hobby Builders Supply. My idea is to run stairs up the outside on the left to a porch (which I’ll build), having the front entrance where the side bay window is. I’ll build that later.

For now, I’ve added the walls to the third floor, and given them a primer coat of latex paint.

I realized I should put the bay window on the front, so if I’m wallpapering the inside, I don’t mess it up trying to decorate the interior of the bay.

Bay window parts are pretty simple–the middle and two sides (middle is bigger), plus an “extension” piece and trim for the top. The thinner part of the window wall goes on top (shown here).

The windows fit easily onto the tabs that extend out from the house.

The extension piece (the smaller of the two half octagonal pieces) goes here. It sort of rests on the edges.

The trim piece goes on the extension pieces, overlapping evenly on all sides.

For now, I’m leaving the extension and trim pieces off, because I’m still not sure what colors I’ll use for the exterior.

Back inside. I want a fireplace wall that I’ll trim off, so I painted it with three coats of antique white craft paint and two coats of clear gloss finish (Deco Art is the brand I’m using).

The opening on the right will be the front entrance / porch.

Wallpaper added. All the wallpaper I bought for this house didn’t look quite right when I put it with the flooring and the furniture that will be in here. But oh well. Stock for another house!

This is scrapbook paper. I decided to be a little eclectic. I’ll wallpaper the insides of the bay as well.

Next, finishing the ceilings! And possibly making chandeliers. Or maybe I’ll do more of the structure before installing lights.

Beacon Hill: Left side continued

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I’ve glued together the left and left front walls and put in the second floor. I went all over it with a thin coat of latex to seal the wood and then started laying in the electric tape.

As you can see, I cut a hole in the second floor for the stairs I’ll put in myself.

Added the third floor and finished putting in the tape wiring. This used a 15 ft. roll of the tape.

I decided against a staircase going to floor three so I could have more room on the floor for furniture. I’m thinking I’ll leave two sides open, so more can be seen, which means I’ll have to put in columns to brace the unsupported corners.

What I learned from building the first half: Glue together the walls before painting and decorating. Warpage is greatly reduced. You can make paper patterns of the walls for wallpaper and install after running in the tape wiring (if using tape wiring).

What I learned from other projects: Bending the tape wire in 90-degree turns is much faster and easier than splicing. I show more details on tape wiring here: https://jennsminis.wordpress.com/2015/08/10/half-scale-bungalow-lights/

Now to decorate walls and ceilings, make and put in lights. I’m going to attempt some ornate chandeliers. I’m excited to be progressing!

Back to the Beacon Hill

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I’m returning to work on the Beacon Hill, ready to tackle the second side of the house! I cut it apart, remember? So far I like what I’ve done with the first side, but let’s see what happens!

My dear husband got me a gift certificate to HBS, so I bought this lovely staircase, which I will put in the left portion of the house.

I plan to leave both the back and side open so more of the interior can be viewed. The staircase will block too much if only the back is open, and I want the pretty furniture I’ve collected for this part of the house to be seen.

I’m also going to put this half on top of a garage, and I believe I’ll replace the side bay window with a front door.

More to come.

New Project Quarter-Inch Scale PetalStone

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If you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to, I decided to turn aside from the Beacon Hill for a rest (need it!), and do a quarter inch scale house kit I recently bought. It’s called the PetalStone from Robin Betterley.

They’re currently on the 7th cutting for this kit, and you can reserve one for a deposit: https://www.robinbetterley.com/collections/petalstone/products/petalstone-house-7th-cutting

This is the main page for the kits:

Petalstone

The price is usually more than I pay for a dollhouse kit, but you get everything. First, the house is large–three floors with spacious rooms plus a “silo” for a kitchen and bathroom (or anything you want to put in there), and a conservatory. Included is: spiral staircase, all windows and doors, all wallpapers and flooring, all trims, rugs and curtains, lights, lamps, and the entire electrical system, a base, and all the landscaping materials for the outside. The only thing not included are the furnishings, and while they have kits for those too, I’m going to use mostly my own furniture or other kits to do the inside.

First floor mostly done.

First floor with spiral staircase and kitchen installed.

I did go ahead and get the kitchen kit for this, as I liked it.

Outside–the silo under construction

Second floor mostly done.

Starting to shingle the silo roof.

Wires hanging down are for the bathroom chandelier–they’d be tucked out of sight.

The lights are both lamps and overhead “canned” lights.

This is a fairly big house–I’m wondering where I’m going to display it! It’s a fun project, just what I need. I’m building it as is, not much bashing, but it will be pretty when I’m done!

Then back to the Beacon Hill. 🙂

 

 

Beacon Hill: A Gazillion Brackets

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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 …

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