Category: "Ivy Hollow, RFD Post Office - HBS Creatin' Contest 2019"

Ivy Hollow - screen door, part 3 - plus some hay

by brae  

Continuing work on the screen door. When I left the screen door last, I had tried to darken the aluminum micro mesh without success. I moved on to the wood parts.  I marked where the glue joins would be and left those unpainted as I gave the screen door boards a first coat of Woodland Green by Americana.  It's a satin paint, which means no need for a final varnish, but it goes on very thin and needs multiple coats. I painted the solid door the same color.

In the meantime, I continued my research and window shopping, happening across the best hay bales I had seen in miniature at Maple Leaf Miniatures. I wrote to the shop owner, and she got back to me with availability. Aren't they marvelous? :D

While discussing my project, she offered some black screen material. Here it is next to the micro mesh. The scale is a bit larger, but the color is great. It also doesn't get damaged just by looking at it the way the micro mesh does.

She also included some snacks for Jebediah! :D

Anyway, today I tested the two materials with the painted door.

It's a hard choice. On the one hand, the black screen will be more durable and less obvious. But, the micro mesh is better for scale, and honestly, the damaged bits here and there rather add to the realism. There will be a cross bar in the middle and likely an angled brace, too. I think I will need to see how it looks with the door in dry fit with the building to make a final decision.

Ivy Hollow - potbelly stove, part 1

by brae  

Many moons ago, I building a decrepit potbelly stove from a Chrysnbon kit for Baslow Ranch.

It's a great kit, with a skinny stove that is perfect for a small structure. Typically, these would be placed in the middle of the building, but we've already planned the layout with the stove in the corner. This will have a newer look to it than the Baslow Ranch stove, but I still sanded the pieces with a fine grit sanding paper to remove the shine from the plastic.

I spray painted the pieces flat black, including the few factory silver parts included. I sprayed the scoop with Model Masters Aluminum Plate Metalizer. More on that in a later post. I assembled the bottom and top halves of the stove, then left them separate for now. 

I want my stove to have coal light, but I have learned a lot since I made the Baslow Ranch stove. I used the red bulb included with the kit in that instance, but now I very rarely use anything with non-replaceable bulbs. LEDs and replaceable bulbs make for easier replacement if or when bulbs burn out. I wound three 1.8mm LEDs together - 3V flickering orange and yellow and a 7-19V separated steady red with a rectifier/resister.  Since these are all 3V until they are connected to the rectifier/resistor, I am testing the lights with a 3V battery switch.

I shortened the wires, combined the red and black bundles and spliced a new, single end wire to the bunch.

I wound the wires to form a base and taped it together with electrical tape.

I pulled the single end wire through the bottom of the stove and situated the lights inside. The assembly is not fixed in place just yet.

The light through the damper looks nice already, especially with the orange and yellow flickering over the steady red glow.

I will work on simulated coals next to diffuse the light a bit more, because you can see the bulbs from certain angles.

Sue Bakker - Birds on a Branch, start and restart

by brae  

I spent some time working on the rug last weekend, and I do love it...but the linen isn't going to work. While I can see the threads with no problem, I'm running into the same issue I had with the silk gauze in that my knots are covering so well, it's hard to keep track of which thread line I am on. To that point, I am already off a thread across in one area of the pattern.

But, all is not lost.  I decided to go the way of the Persian (another poor project I let lapse). I printed the color photo from the pattern onto cotton and will follow the pattern that way. I had to redo the charted pattern anyway to choose new colors and change the border, so that was not a lost effort, either. Some of the areas will likely be simplified working on the cotton, but it will be easier overall since I won't have to follow thread lines. Should go a little faster, too.  :]

Here's the print after rinsing, before ironing and setting in the hoop.

You can see the tiny squares.

This is two hours of work, and I love it already. I'm still referencing the pattern and symbol chart for the colors, but I am not counting the knots. I use the printed areas as a guide and get the general feel of the pattern using the colors I charted. Much easier this way - working on the details and filling in after.

I like seeing the whole design at once, watching the various parts come to life as I complete the knots. As you can see, it doesn't keep the boxy shape as the knots are made over the pattern.

Seeking a book - FOUND!

by brae  

As you may recall, I was seeking a copy of Making Model Horse Harness by Anne Funnell.  She used to head Lenham Pottery Models, involved with both horse models (including scale model harness kits) and dollhouse pottery.  She had retired, so it seemed there would be no way to contact her. I attempted to find a used copy, but there were none to be found. The only libraries with copies are in the UK, so that dashed hopes of an interlibrary loan. But, through communication with the library system in the UK, I was able to obtain contact info. :]

I sent my plea in a letter using snail mail! It has been a long time since I did that. I included my email address, and the author replied by email within a week of my stamped letter heading overseas. She said she was happy to help, and her husband was gracious enough to take her reference copy and have one made for me. Overseas it came...and into my hot little hands! Took only four days!

The book is a wealth of information with fantastic diagrams and explanations. While I'm not fooling myself into thinking that making the tack will be easy, this reference material will make it much more straightforward than if I tried to take real life sized tack and convert it.

I'm so excited and so pleased how miniaturists come together all over the world. A huge thank you to Anne and Barré Funnell! :D

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And, yes, I put that horrifying countdown clock on the sidebar. :O

Mail Wagon - part 6

by brae  

Continuing work on the Mail Wagon. With the front and rear axle assemblies started, it was time to work on the wheels. Most instructions tell you to read through the whole process before starting. This is to familiarize yourself with the parts and process. In this case, the instructions indicate it was noticed during the prototype stage, the manufacturer found it was easier to sand the spokes after assembly. That saves a lot of initial prep work on individual fiddly parts.

The wheels are made from laser cut wood parts, aluminum hubs and a jig.

I used MiniGraphics Wallpaper Mucilage to apply the paper patterns to the wood base. Here is the smaller wheel pattern. The larger wheel pattern is on the reverse, but in reality, you would work on one wheel at a time so it's not an issue.

Another nice thing is the intact inner circle and middle "wheel" waste pieces. I saved those in my stash. Never know when I might need pieces like these.  :]

I decided to use the recommended nails to hold the wheels in place while assembling.  The paper pattern did not match up with the wheel size, so I centered as best as I could.  Using the nails also helped keep the circular shape while working whereas clamps might not have.

Even though I will be doing the final shaping after assembly, I did clean the laser char from the edges of the spokes beforehand.

I did the same for the wheels to have a cleaner gluing surface.

That's when things went off the rails. The spokes fit well into the hub, but overall the wheels, hubs and spokes simply did not work together. (These will have a snug fit, but I was just testing parts at this point and didn't trim the spoke ends to fit all the way into the hub groove.)

The wheels are larger than the jig pattern as noted, and the spokes are too short.  I am putting the parts together as instructed and have removed the parts precisely from the laser cut sheets without removing any length from the spokes.

I could use the "scrap" wheels between the two true wheels with the longer spokes, but that would give me only two wheels instead of four.

Luckily, this kit is made by a company still in business, so I sent them these photos and told them about my issues. They checked their production, and what they have now is correct. Mine must have been an errant batch. They sent me a new wheel sheet, another spoke sheet and four hubs just to make sure it all worked well together. It's fantastic when a company will stand behind its product. :]

Now, I need to prep the new parts for assembly.  Back soon....

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