Droids, part 1

by brae  

And now for something different.... A few years back, mom bought me a BB-8 and R2-D2 kit by Bandai. I've heard great things about these kits. They don't require painting or glue and they have a precision fit with great detailing. I've been hankering to do something a little different, so I dragged this kit out and added a BB-8 and D-0 kit to the mix.

At first glance, it looks like the instructions seem easy to follow.

And, since the pieces are molded to color, that should help sort things. I do plan to paint, though, since I prefer a painted finish to the plain plastic no matter how good the quality.

The BB-8 and R2-D2 models are headed to a friend upon completion.

The BB-8 and D-0 models will stay with me. This one comes with the diorama surround, which is a great feature.

I'm planning to make these battle worn and update a few of the features. Stay tuned....

Ivy Hollow - landscaping, part 2

by brae  

Completing the landscaping. I used Woodland Scenics Fine Dark Brown Ballast to serve as dirt and Fine Ballast Buff as the gravel. I ran the wagon wheels and patted Jebediah's hooves on the loose gravel before setting it in place with Woodland Scenics Scenic Cement applied with a pipette (thank you, Debora - these pipettes are still among my favorite tools). The buff color is too red for my taste, so I applied tan paint washes over it to change the hue. (I have a post on working with these materials here, though now I usually skip the glued on layer and just use the Scenic Cement.)

I made an autumn tree this year using the same wire and putty technique I've used in the past for the trunk (parts one, two, three and four). For the foliage, I used autumn gold candytuft from Scenery Solutions - less than two bundles were used in the end (tutorial by Connie Sauve). Having a sparse tree meant it took less time to create, which helped with my tight deadline.

The grass mat is Wild Grass Forest Floor by Heki from Scenic Express (they call it Pasture TurfGrass on their website). These particular grass mats are pricey, but the high grass with variegated coloration is spot on in scale. The sheets are only 6" wide, though they are 17" long, so there are places on the landscaping board that always need to be pieced. These are my favorite to work with because of the backing, which is a clear, rubbery substance that makes it more flexible than the paper-backed grass mats. (Here is a post on working with the grass material.) Since I had leftover branches, I stripped the leaves from them and littered the ground.

I was sure to get a couple of little bits caught in the lovely rake by Sir Thomas Thumb.

The pump was an unfinished metal mini from the local shows, and I had the bucket in my stash. I built the platform to hold both pieces. When I added the resin (Acrylic Water from Walmart), it leaked through the bucket. I led a path of it over the edge and let it do what it wanted. A happy accident. :] There is also a droplet from the spout.

I borrowed the lawn mower from Ye Olde Taxidermist. It was made from a Phoenix Model kit from Jennifer's of Walsall.

I needed to be able to access the wiring, but there was no room in my tiny post office. I built a shed in the back that will allow me to hide the wiring while looking like a planned part of the build.

I used some fine brass hinges bought in miniatures lot some time ago, and one of them promptly failed after I glued the shed in place. A little epoxy and new nails, and we'll be back in business. In the meantime, I just hold the top part of the hinge down when I open it.

One of the best hay bales I have ever seen in miniature was purchased from Maple Leaf Miniatures.

The horse hitching post was an unfinished metal mini from the local shows, and I added a wood base. I swapped the silver ring for a black one to better match the painted finish.

While I was searching for a bucket to add water for Jebediah, I ran across this gem signed March 9, 1964 B.A., numbered 4.

It looked great in the photos, but no one else bid on it but me. When I received it, I loved it even more. There was no way resin water was going to be added to this.

Luckily, I had ordered window pulls from my friend Greg at All About Miniatures, and he included a gift of metal buckets. I was able to add the resin water to one of the metal buckets and set it inside the vintage wood mini. Thank you, Greg!

The concrete front steps were made from styrofoam, spackling and paint.

Chester was made by 2014erok. I had so much fun playing in the mini dirt this time around - the landscaping got to be a lot less manicured.

Ivy Hollow - screen door, part 8

by brae  

Completion of the screen door. During final assembly of the structure, I added the door hardware to the solid door.

Since the lock rail and the lock box are roughly the same height, I decided to not inset the lock box for fear of making a mess of it. This hardware is so hard to see on the interior as it is, it was hardly worth the risk, but I filed the idea away for another time and another door.

It was a lot of work, but I will definitely make another screen door in the future.

Mail Wagon - part 14

by brae  

Continuing work on the mail wagon. Once the painting and sealer were done, I could move on to the lettering. I neglected to put on the cross detailing before the last coat of sealer but plan to add it later, so I took that into consideration when I did the layout. I used frog tape to create a line to follow and used a towel to cushion the cabin as I worked.

The letters are rub-on transfers by Woodland Scenics - Roman White in six sizes from 1/16" to 5/16" on one sheet. I used 1/4" for the main letters except size 3/16" for the "o" in No.

Since these didn't come with numbers, I bought Roman Stencil/Block Letters White in three sizes from 3/32" to 1/4" on one sheet. I used the Stencil font size 1/4" for the rural route "1" designation.

Since you can transfer all or part of a letter, I cut down the long portions of the "F" and "L" for a cleaner look.

Originally, wheels would have had metal around them to protect the wood. The kit supplied laser cut rubber material for the tires, but there were two issues with this. First, if you recall, the original kit wheels and spokes were not cut correctly and needed to be replaced. Once I received the replacements, I opted to use the "waste" circles between the true wheels for sturdier construction. This meant one set of the rubber tires was too short. Besides that, it would have been very messy to glue these fiddly bands.

Instead, I turned to a material I had used before for another wagon project - Instant Lead Lines (thin version). These are a rubber like material with adhesive already applied. There is a wider version of this material, but it was too wide for my wheels.

The thin tires add just enough extra detailing to the wheels and were easy to apply and cut to size. They look close enough to metal without further fiddling.

Happy New Year 2020!

by brae  

Wishing you all a Happy New Year filled with joy and creativity!

You might have noticed the absence of the Birds on a Branch rug in the Ivy Hollow Post Office. Once I got past the halfway point with the bird rug, the more I envisioned it in a different space. But, I still plan to continue working on it. Now at 36.5 hours.


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