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An abandoned project
It is time to say farewell to this part finished
house. I began it a long time ago. Maybe 15 or 20
years. But it has been sitting untouched in a storage
unit for too long. I could put it back on the
bench but there is too much wrong with it and
too much still to do. Being realistic with myself,
which is hard, it is never going to be finished. Which is a shame because I'm quite proud of some
aspects of it.
I built it to 1/32 scale, which is one I rather
like. It seems to be a neat crossover point
between a dolls house that can be played with
and a scale model that allows for lots of detail.
Figures and vehicles are available to complement it,
though furniture may be difficult to come by.
The chimney was being made from a moulded sheet
made and sold by Model Builders Supply of Canada.
As I recall it was necessary to use a composite
glue and filler to fill all the hollows at the back
of the moulding - the sort of product you get in a
DIY store rather than a model shop.
At the outside
corners it was necessary to shape and fill quite a
lot to make the stones look properly three dimensional.
In retrospect I was wrong to make it so straight and
vertical. Ideally it shoud have been tapered and a
bit less neat.
The scale made it possible to paint
every stone and I was pleased
with the results I was getting. Though, looking back,
it looks a bit garish and could have been done more
subtely. But sometime, somewhere, some of it got broken
and I don't have any new to replace it with.
One of the big negatives is the framing on the front.
I sort of made it up as I was going along and it just
does not look right. I think it's not structually
the thin strips of board I used (balsa?) are just too
regular. More stockbroker tudor than historic. If I
ever have another go at such a building I need to base
it on an authentic prototype - or at least draw more
closely on real examples for inspiration.
I am quite proud of the windows. Nothing fancy but
neat small scale carpentry. Built up in layers. And
of the hand crafted herringbone brickwork made of
scribed card and hand painted.
The most interesting aspect is round the back. With one
eye on its possible use as a toy, or as an adult dolls
house, I wanted the walls and floors to come out to
allow for decoration. Since the walls were built as a
frame with a thin skin on either side, it was relativly
simple to leave slots in the inner wall skin into
which the middle floor and upstais ceiling could slide.
Similarly for the front and back edges of the walls.
The photo does not really
capture the system, but the floor and walls
are each mounted in channels enabling any one
of them to be pulled out for decoration.
An alernative technique, which I used on another
bigger house from a later period was to use the
ceiling cornices to let the walls slide in and out.
The base of the walls went into routed channels
in the floor with the skrting boards masking the
But, as I said, there is too much that would
still need to be done and what has been done has
too many issues. So farewell. In the bin you go.
A hard thing for a hoarder like me. All the time
and effort spent working on it has to be marked
down as learning time.
As always, write to
Miniature Buildings if you have something to add.
David, 1 March 2020