Room boxes and mini scenes

by brae  

Just a recap post to make it easier to find my mini room box scenes.  These are typically for holidays or humor and are not permanent structures.  You can click the title links for additional details and photos.

No-no! - 2014

Double Trouble - 2014


What in the... - 2014

Sewing Room - 2014

Merry Christmas!  - 2013


Happy Halloween! - 2013


Happy Holidays - 2012


Baking in miniature - 2012


Mackintosh Dining Room - 2012

A little Halloween humor - 2011


Christmas at The Newport - 2009

Milo Valley Farm - siding, part 1

by brae  

With the window openings cut on side walls, I made wall templates from black construction paper.  I will apply Greenleaf Dollhouses 3/4" birch siding strips to these templates and then glue the templates to the building walls.  I did this for the siding on The Artist's Studio, and it was a much easier approach than applying directly to the wall boards.

There are templates for inside and out to give the illusion of a plank-built barn.   The interior will have strip wood beams to mimic the skeletal structure of the barn.

I primed the walls and floor with black craft paint.  I used painter's pyramids so I could do both sides at the same time.  You paint one side of your board, wait until it's relatively dry and then flip it over onto the tips of the pyramids.  This means your painted surface won't stick to the work surface.  You can work much more quickly than you would be able to without them.  And, painting both sides of the boards at the same time keeps warping to a minimum.  The pyramids allow both sides to dry evenly.

Since I didn't prime the underside of the floor board, I ran a damp brush over the surface to counteract the moisture of the primed side.  This was the only piece I pressed under magazines after the paint was dry since it needs to be perfectly flat on the raised foundation.

I'm now cutting the 3/4" siding strips in half lengthwise to make narrower boards.  While I like the look of the wide boards on Baslow Ranch and The Artist's Studio, I wanted to have a different look this time around.

In cutting the strips lengthwise, I was left with boards that had one clean edge and one rough edge.  I sanded the rough edge just enough to make it less noticeable but not to the point of making it a super clean, new plank.

I drew a few vertical guidelines with a carpenter's square and then began applying the siding strips back to front allowing the ends to go past the top and bottom edges of the template.  I used Aleene's Quick Dry applied with a toothpick.  I was careful to keep glue off the front of each board, but it won't matter if there are errant marks in the end.  The guidelines helped me keep the boards relatively aligned, but the variation in the width (a natural occurrence with strips like these) left some gaps perfect for an old building.  :]

For the front piece, I used a whole 3/4" wide plank cut to size.  I then cut around the outline of the template.

It looks good for scale.  :D

As you may notice, I've painted the edge of the base board black-brown and glued the foundation in place.  I drilled a hole for the wiring to exit the foundation below the stone line.

I also started a small photo box of miniatures for this build.  While I keep my main collection of supplies in photo boxes separated by category (kitchen, electrical, clay, etc.), I make individual boxes for builds in progress so I don't have to hunt things later.  This one reminds me of those plaid shirts my grandpa used to wear.  :]

Milo Valley Farm - baseboard prep, modifications and lighting plan

by brae  

Before I start gluing pieces to the baseboard, I wanted to prep the edges.  For a few builds, I've left the baseboard unfinished but painted on the edges.  For others, I've added strip wood.  This time around, I'm trying something new...iron-on veneer edging.  I needed the iron tonight anyway, so why not?  :D  I also watched this video first.

It turned out so well I wish I had thought to do this for my previous builds.  Ah, well.  Now I know.

I like to cut the basic wiring channels before assembly, because it's easier to do it that way.  Sometimes a lot of thought has to go into the lighting, but in this case, it's a one-room building with only basic lighting required.  I bought some new old stock E-Z-Lectric light fixtures from Itsy Bitsy Old Stuff.  They had four packages of two lights and one package of two spare bulbs.  They all worked.  :D

These are great since they already look a bit aged; a few of the bulbs show crackling in the frosted glass finish.  I figured 4 to 6 inside the building, then save the extras for replacement bulbs.

There are similar fixtures on the market today, but they have black backings.  I liked the older look of these brown backings.  You could paint the more modern ones as well.

Exposed conduit would be nice, but I'm thinking channel molding would be the easiest way to go here.  I can always add fake conduit.  At first I thought about putting them on the wall, but with the offset window it might be an odd layout.

Then I thought about putting straight cross beams overhead and using 4 lights.  I think this will work much better, but I'll tape them in place during the next dry fit to see how the lighting looks inside.

I will have a front outside light, too.  Not sure of the exact style yet.  The best place will be above the door, so I cut an mdf insert to close up the area where the window would have been.  I cut down the door frame to fit below the main front cross beam.  I also cut the window openings.  I centered them from side to side based on adding the side walls (not shown in place here).

I made the front windows the same height as the side windows.

I cut the openings from the side and left some wiggle room for adjustments.  I will add shims once they are installed.

Datsun 240ZG - part 2

by brae  

Just a quick update on the 1:12 scale Datsun 240ZG by Tamiya.

Once the front brakes are assembled, the parts are supposed to spin.  Success so far!  :D  I'm mixing the different colors of metallic silver on the fly to achieve various types of metal.  I think this adds realism even if these aren't the truest colors for the parts.  Obviously, these have not been dirtied up yet.

Another liberty I'm taking with the kit is making it a left hand driver.  Sometimes car model kits come with both dashboards so you can choose, but this one does not.  I spent just about as much as the kit to get the replacement parts, but I think it's worth it.  The conversion kit comes with three pieces.  Based on the previous model I built and the 1:18 scale diecast, which are both left hand drivers, other parts would switch places in a true conversion.  Again, I'm going for aesthetics here, not complete accuracy.  This kit gives you the aesthetic, and I suppose a more ardent modeler could fashion the rest.

I'm a fan of 3D printing to begin with, and this conversion would not be possible if not for 3D printing.  I don't know if I would have chosen this model if the left hand driver weren't an option.

Milo Valley Farm - base and foundation, part 3

by brae  

Continuing work on the base and foundation.  It was suggested by a Greenleaf member that I prime the foundation wood, so I did that.  I then applied a slightly thinner coating of stucco patch and pressed in the aquarium gravel.  I set the foundation upside down to make sure the upper edge was flat and uniform.

The sample I had made turned very yellow and I wasn't sure how well the material would stain once dry, so I added a black brown paint wash while the stucco was still wet.

This darkened the grout just enough to start.  A few of the stones didn't want to stay.  Might have been a combo of the thinner application and the added water from the paint wash.  No worries.  :]  I glued the wayward stones back in place and they held.

Once dry, I applied some more stucco material in areas where it seemed too thin.  Looks like the walls have been repaired over the years.  :D

To the new grout, I added a brown paint wash to remove the brightness.  I can dirty this up more later, as needed.

Looks good for scale.  :]

Any gaps or exposed areas of the wood foundation will be addressed in later landscaping.

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