Saturday, April 19, 2014

Finishing the Roof

I routinely find myself puzzling over ways to have realistic room layouts in a dollhouse while still having the contents be accessible. In a real house, it's not unusual to have furniture against the outside walls, but this is a problem if you have an open back wall (as with American-style dollhouses) or a front wall that swings out (as with English-style dollhouses).

However, this re-booted bungalow solves that problem very neatly. Since it's a single-story home, I designed it so the roof could simply be lifted off for access to the interior. (It's working much, much better than the complicated, multiple-opening-panel approach I tried first.) 

So, the roof structure is complete, the shingles have been applied and aged, and it's on to the next steps.

I had some shingles in my stash, but they weren't uniform enough in size for all of them to be used. However, I did have some Greenleaf clapboarding strips as well. They didn't quite work for the siding, but their near-perfect uniform width was just right, and the grain and shading varied just enough to suggest a real, old roof with the odd replaced shingle. So, I sliced two and a half bags of clapboarding strips into shingles - it was a lot of work, but well worth it.

Following a tip on Pepper's blog, I opted to age the shingles rather than staining them, since this house is based on a real, early-20th-century house that doesn't appear to have seen much, if any, updating. Below, you can see the bare birch shingles on one side of the roof with the other side still wet from its first round of aging solution.


After two rounds of aging, the roof looked pretty similar in color to the inspiration house's actual roof. There were a few spots where the aging didn't take, so I strategically covered them with some "moss" I had. The shingles have warped up in a few places, but I have some ideas for covering them that I will address later.

The finished roof. More to come...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tiny Versailles!

And now you know why work on the bungalow has been so slow for so long...I've been hard at work on a top-secret, micro-scale project.

This is Phase 1 of a 1:144 Versailles. Except for the tiny LEDs (which were a disproportionately huge pain in the behind), this is all illustration board, Bristol board, clay, and pre-made 1:144 windows/doors.

I must have been out of my mind when I decided to do this...I am wiped out and STILL need to finish the side wings, the garden facade, the interiors, and (a small portion of) the grounds.