There is only one thing worse than watching your own paint dry and that is watching someone else's paint dry so I have returned to my trip down Memory Lane. This was my fifth project and remains my biggest house to date. It is the The Guildhall from Maple Street Miniatures and it is a very large house but a fabulous kit from their Tudor range.
After discovering the wonders of Blogland I was inspired by the fantasy work of many hobbyists and artisans and this house was my first witchy project. It also gave me the opportunity to try out lots of new ways of creating an exterior for a house without the bog standard paper and paint.
The kit came with wooden roof shingles and they were really easy to work with and I learnt that model railway scenic products are are great way to add texture and colour to the exteriors.
I decided that the house needed Tudor bay/box windows and somehow managed to build them with a lot of glue and numerous pieces of balsa wood. This house needed a lot of beams and it felt like I spent weeks cutting, distressing and staining. This was long before I bought my table saw, if only I had invested in this little power tool a year or so earlier!
I also covered the staircase with stained wood to give the house a completely wooden feel. The tiles are normal floor tiles from Homebase that I cut into small squares for a slate floor look. Buying very thin floor tiles is a very inexpensive and easy way to cover dolls house floors. I bought one pack and I am still using these tiles in projects today.
The 'bricks' are from Peter Clark who does a range of card exterior finishes. All the cards are measured for cutting at home and they are brilliant. They are also very light so they keep the weight of the house down which is very important with a very large house.
I painted an undercoat to mimic grouting underneath the card bricks and then just glued them on.
I'm not sure why I have never used these again, hmmmm, on the Miniatura shopping list I think.
The chimney is from Little Homes of England who do a great range in all different heights.
Still a work in progress are the climbing plants. As you can see I have not quite mastered the scale and I will take this down one day and replace it as I will most of the climbers, at the moment they are are a reminder of what not to do......
The exterior is a mix of the card bricks and plaster. I used normal DIY ready mixed poly-filla that I applied with fingers, a stencil brush and a small art trowel (used for oil paints). I have never weathered this house because I simply was terrified of making a mess of the outside after it had taken me soooooo long to finish it. Maybe one day!!
I wanted lots of plants for the outside area for my witch's to grow herbs for their potions and to sell their produce to all the local wizarding families. All these are made from Bonnie Lavish kits.
I am still building up the produce in the open area and the plants are still to be made and planted in troughs but one day this will be full and fruitful.
This area is full of items by some of my favourite artists. Dolls by Joy Cox and Silke. Mandrakes and chickens by Mags-Nificent Miniatures. All sorts of pumpkins by After Dark After All and of course Nikki Rowe's wonder gardening stand pumpkin staff and mandrakes.
I blame this project for getting me into the world of fantasy miniatures which led to my starting the huge Diagon Alley project that was to come next.
I will post pictures of the inside of the house tomorrow after what I am hoping will be a eureka day with Honeydukes' dormer windows, feeling like I have bitten off more than I can chew with the huge roof but tomorrow is another day!