Kevin Jackson shows us how to paint the paved areas and finish the decorating in our final part of this great series. ...
The overall dimensions of the finished dolls house are approximately 110cm wide x 120cm high x 72cm deep. Please scroll to the bottom of the page for links to the previous and next parts of the project.
This project is suitable for the advanced miniaturist with good wood working and machinery skills. For the less experienced, we would recommend you work with someone who can help you with the more technical aspects.
Step 1 - Ageing effect
Before you begin to give the house the ageing effect, you need to decide how detailed you want the back of the house to be. I usually use FB407 stripwood at the top of the walls beneath each overhang, notching the back out where wires are running; dotting a few FB464 brackets evenly along the back, using them either side of wires to protect them. How much detail you want to put on the back depends on how visible it is going to be when it is in its final position.
To make the solution to be used for the ageing effect, mix the burnt umber with water until you have something that looks a bit like puddle water. Using a brush liberally paint the whole of the back of the house, you don’t need to worry about brushing it on evenly, the more uneven it is the better. Within five minutes of putting the solution on, use a damp cloth to very gently wash off using a circular motion so that you get the uneven effect you are after, especially in the corners and around the perimeter of the wooden beams that make up the panels on the outside. Make sure you regularly wash out the cloth in clean water. When you are happy with the effect, move to the side and start on the rest of the house.
You need to take great care not to rub too hard and end up exposing the natural MDF beneath the paint. I suggest you paint a few off-cuts of MDF and practice before you move on to the house. This will also help you decide on how dark to make the puddle water.
Step 3 - Balcony balustrade
To make the balustrade around the balcony, cut 60mm pieces of FB180 stripwood and glue them to the inside faces of the FB189 support posts, with FB180 stripwood across the top between the posts, followed by FB407 stripwood on top of these. Once you have removed the clamps from these, using the same equation as you did for working out the spacings for the ceiling joists, calculate what size spacers you need and cut them from CD42 twist rope moulding (or FB200). Work your way around the balcony fixing the spacers and uprights as you go. When these are finished fix FB365 brackets to the angle between the posts and the top of the handrails.
Use lengths of CD42 twist rope moulding (or FB200) and glue to the underside of the FB189 stripwood beam above the balcony, between the support brackets.
You can now liberally varnish the roof, don’t try too hard to get into every nook and crannie, or the varnish goes on too thickly. Whilst it is drying keep an eye on it and brush away drips and runs as necessary.
To fit the Sussex Crafts door ironmongery, use a bradawl to make a hole in the position for the handle, making sure that it is where the centre beam at the back of the door is, deep enough for the back of the handle to fit in, then Super Glue it in place. Super Glue the back of the dummy hinges and glue them to the surface of the door.
To trim over the exposed end of the market’s back wall I have used a small piece of CD06, which I have not listed in the materials list, as this is the only time it is used, and you can use anything you like in its place. If you would like to use CD06 you would have to buy a complete length at a cost of about £6.00. I have quite a lot in stock, so please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to send a cut down piece, at a pro-rata rate.
Step 8 - External stairs balustrade
To form the balustrade on either side of the external stairs, cut two pieces of FB366 stripwood angled at either end, then glue and clamp these to the sides of the staircase.
When you have removed the clamps, cut three newel posts using FB189 stripwood at a height of about 95mm. Glue them into place at the base of the stairs and one at the top on the left as you look at the house. Once you have done this, determine the angle of the stairs, cut four suitably angled pieces from FB180 stripwood, and glue them to the newel posts.
Make sure the height of these are shorter than the newel posts by enough to allow for a strip of FB180 stripwood and a piece of FB407 stripwood to go on top of them, and still be either flush or below the top of the newel posts. Fix an angled length of FB180 stripwood on top of the angled pieces you have fixed to the inside of the newel posts, to fit tightly between the posts. (You may have to notch the left hand one out to fit over the balcony floor so that it lines up correctly). Cut identical pieces of angled FB180 stripwood, as you did before, and fix them as intermediate spindles to both sides of the stairs.
Cut two pieces of FB407 stripwood to fit on top on both sides, to finish the handrail. As you did for the balcony balustrade, use CD42 twist rope moulding (or FB200) to fill in the spaces at the base of the spindles. You will have to angle each end of the spacers this time, to make sure you get a good fit.
Fix two pieces of FB407 stripwood to the underside edges of the stairs, angling each end so that it fits correctly at the top and bottom. Fix a piece of FB407 stripwood on both sides of the stairs to cover the exposed MDF edges, and fit pieces of FB407 stripwood between the edge timbers on the underside of the stairs to form three or four panels.
Drill and fix wooden pegs all the way around the balcony in the points where the balustrade meets a post, which is where the structural joints would be.
To install a piece of balustrade across the left hand end of the balcony, fix 60mm pieces of FB180 stripwood to the inside of the full height support post, and in line to it on the outside of the access panel, which you will need to notch out at the bottom to fit flush. Cut pieces of FB180 and FB407 stripwood, glue them together and use as a loose piece of hand rail which you lift on and off when you want to remove the access panel. Do not glue this piece.
Use FB407 stripwood to finish off the inside of the large feature window access panel, replicating the grid you formed on the outside of it. See second photo above.
Step 12 - Fires
To install the Little Homes of England fires, connect a two pin DE054 plug to each of the red bulbs, insert the bulb head into the back of each fire and put the fires into the relevant fireplaces. Connect up the electrics to test. You may as well fix your connecting strips into place now by taking the backing off the self adhesive back, and position them on the back of the house. I am leaving mine off until I know where my customer needs them to be positioned to suit her mains sockets later.
Step 13 - Hanging signs
To make the first of the two hanging signs, use whatever off-cut of timber you have that is about 8mm thick, and cut the size of sign you want, mine is about 60mm square. (You can glue pieces of Balsa wood together for this). Then use two pieces of FB180 stripwood and two pieces of FB238 coving moulding, cut to 8mm, to form a frame around the sign. Glue the frame together and when dry use small hooks and eyes to hang the sign in the frame. The long narrow sign is just a piece of timber with the same hooks and eyes to hang it.
For the sign writing, I used ‘Harrington’ font in bold capitals on the PC, printed on to manila coloured paper. I cut the printed signs roughly to size, and then used a gas fire lighting wand to burn around the edges to give them an aged effect; I then glued them onto the signs using PVA glue.
Step 15 - Hanging baskets
Decide where you want to hang your hanging baskets, and glue the brackets into place, clamping them until the glue is dry. (The D1077 bracket comes complete with a china pot, you can discard the pot, for some reason it’s a lot cheaper way of buying the brackets). Hang the baskets, which I stain to match the house. Position the Little Homes Of England water trough. Plug in all of the lights and put all of the access panels on, then stand back and admire. See second photo above.
Telephone: 01769 560962
If you have difficulty in finding any of the materials required, Kevin is happy to provide a quote for supplying everything, including MDF cut to size and Burbidge mouldings.
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This feature was originally published in Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine. If you like making miniatures, why not buy yourself a copy of the magazine. Or better still take out a subscription so you never miss an issue. For fans of Facebook and Twitter, or to email, print or comment on the feature, please use the buttons above to share with your friends.
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