Wednesday, 1 February 2012

New Year......New Project......The Magical Menagerie

The Magical Menagerie is my new project for 2012 and will be the fourth shop for my Diagon Alley.
I am going to build this corner shop from Sid Cooke to compliment The Leaky Cauldron corner kit. 
Eventually they will sit at either end of the alley.
 I am a very impatient builder usually and then I end up with all sorts of problems when I decorate. My New Year's Resolution was to read the plans and follow instructions!!
 This time I read through all the instructions and matched up all the pieces to work out what bits I would be painting before sticking on to the kit.
I also spent much more time than usual sanding down rough edges especially around the windows.
These kits are very tight fitting and they become even more tight once decorated...... I even sanded down the door, the sliding panel and the bottom edge of the front panel.
I am learning at last!
I also prime the whole kit. I will be using quite a lot of Art Mache on the exterior and I have found that using a good primer prevents warping and also gives a good base for adding acrylic paints.
It's amazing how time consuming this part of the process is but it does give you time to get used to all the pieces and plan what and where.
I also put shops 1,2 and 3 together just to get and idea of the final look.
 The Leaky Cauldron, The Cauldron Shop and Mr Mulpepper's Apothecary. Of course none of them are finished but the main work has been completed.
 The Leaky Cauldron represents 'ye olde' diagon Alley with all its weathered beams but the main street will all have a Georgian look with bay windows. The Art Mache rendering is much more weathered than it looks in the photographs but the brickwork still needs more dirtying.
I haven't done any more work on my paperclay roof this will be a continuing job as I work on the Menagerie. 
I still need to work out how I am going to separate the shops to allow the doors to open. I will definitely have a dark alley but I am also thinking of narrow brick walls for posters or a resting pedlar.
Oh and a new house with a 15 foot workshop!!


  1. lol We learn the hard way huh! I only prime once all the main bits of the kit are glued together (I learnt that from YOU!). Sid Cooke kits can't hack being primed before that's done (I learnt the hard way on that one), the kits are that tight as you are aware. :o((

    I think your layout is really good, it's hard to know where to put what, even harder when you have a number of kits to make and then incorporate them. Love the ageing too, it looks good in the photo's so I trust it must look even better in real life. ;o)

    Arh, alleyways, yes....I'm making false brick walls to cover up any wiring and this also serves as an area that I can set a scene up against too.

    I got your email! :o))

    Busy year for both of us methinks!

    Michelle xxx

  2. I am so glad that I was of help to you for once Michelle!

  3. I love your shops all lined up :) I can't wait to see your build, i always learn so much when you are building LOL.
    The alley way sounds promising, I can just see the adds posted and the peddler.


  4. Hurray for new projects! :D I'll be eagerly following your progress.

  5. La nueva construcción me gusta mucho!! el callejón Diagon va a quedar espectacular,seguiré de cerca todos tus avances!!!

  6. Wow ive only just started to follow your blog, ilove your scene those houses are supberb together, i have got any Sid Cooke properites yet but they are on my wish list, your doing your street so good, will be popping back again soon xx

  7. What a lovely addition to the collection of beautiful dollhouses. I look forward to see it being completed.

  8. Wow,the streets looks great,I love it really very much. Looking forward to see the shop in this scene ! Hugs,Jeannette

  9. I just loved seeing your last pic - I had no idea you were actually creating a street or perhaps I didn't read the posts properly! It looks amazing all set up.

    I'm looking forward to more progress with your new property - you're off to a good start.

  10. Hahaha I too have always a problem with following instructions!:D
    The shops put together are awesome!! Great great work Janice!

  11. This is going to be great. I hear what you say about taking your time and reading all of the directions and sanding and what not. Doing things right takes longer, but experience has shown you it might prove easier in the long run when it comes to decorating. :)

  12. Que maravilla todas juntas, son fantasticas.
    Estoy deseando ver en marcha tu nuevo proyecto, te va a quedar genial.
    besitos ascension

  13. Many thanks for popping by and leaving such lovely comments ladies. I am getting better with each kit in remembering all the different pitfalls and tasks that need to be done before decorating.
    These kits do need a lot of preparation but I think they are the best for my project.

  14. So wonderful Janice.. All of it!
    The new shop will work great as the magical menagerie and can't wait to see the progress on it :)
    As for diagon alley, it looks so brilliant all together like that, it just looks as though it has been taken straight from the film. I particularly love the witches stood in the doorways!
    The roof on Potage's looks great now, really ties with the leaky cauldron! 
    One suggestion I have for a separation between the leaky cauldron and Potage's would be to have a wall that was partly open and have Hagrid coming through it as though he was bringing Harry in for the first time maybe? Or could you have it as one of the dark cobbled passages leading towards knockturn alley? or could you have a little stall selling the daily prophet with a sign on the front with Sirius black saying 'wanted'...anyway, I'm sure you have much more wonderful ideas haha!

    Can't wait to see the progress :)
    All the best, Michael :)))

  15. Love your shops,two is a pare and tree is a street. I love your ideas of an alley and brick wall for posters.

  16. Janice, what a dream setting!! Don't we all wish we have the space to display a string of shops! They are such a pleasure to make ..all the wares, the architectures, the characters. Endless possibilities. Though the houses are not 100% completed, the brilliance is already evident.

    Your project is definitely going to be such a pleasure to everyone, even those people who are not into dolls' houses.

  17. The street is looking great already!!


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