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CheckMouse

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Blog Entries posted by CheckMouse

  1. CheckMouse
    Sunday, June 23, 2013
    I do wish RL would stay out of my way! I had a little time yesterday to work on minis, but spent much of it packing up the little room box I had made for my sister. I've learned a few things from the big companies that mail miniatures to me - pack them with LOTS of padding! I now have a cigar box cushioned in the center of a 17" square box. And my own copy of the same room box isn't quite finished, so I worked on that for awhile, too. Then, when that was clamped and the glue was drying, I got out my micro house. The paint was all dry, of course, so I did another dry-fit, putting more of it together this time. Sorry I forgot to put a penny or a Hershey's kiss in the picture, but it's setting on a cutting mat with one-inch grids.



    I think this will work just fine to take out the one wall so I can have a larger Parlor, or Entertainment Room, as they were called.
    Then I took the micro LED lights out of their packages, dismantled the house again, and did some experimenting with light placement. I think maybe the hallways will be left without lights - the maid forgot to turn them on! That will reduce the lights from nine to only six. So if I can fasten the lights to the ceilings first, then cover the ceiling with paper, then try to hide the wires down the sides of the chimneys …
    I worked for hours on Sunday afternoon and evening, but don't feel like I made much progress! The wires are on two of the floor/ceilings, but not on the top floor yet.



    I think I should paint the top side of it first but not sure if it will be seen or not. I made a paper pattern of the second floor, which is the first-level ceiling, carefully tracing around the stairwell and the slots for the lower walls to fit into. Since I am leaving out a wall on the second floor, I didn't cut slots for it, just covered them over. Not needed, right? WRONG! Half of each slot is for the notches on top of the lower wall. Two walls fit into one notch. I used a pale yellow scrapbooking paper for the ceiling, which I cut out using my scratch-paper pattern. Carefully measured and cut holes for the light bulbs to poke through, and glued it all down. Then I did another dry-fit, placing the first-level walls and the second flooring together. That's when I realized my mistake in covering the slots!
    Why does glue grab quickly when you don't want it to??? I was barely able to get the paper off again! I fleetingly considered trying to cut the paper through the slots, since it was already glued, but the slots are so tiny I wasn't sure I could do it without cutting the wood also. So now I'm back to Square One with the ceiling papers. Well, maybe Square Two, since I still have the pattern.
    I also painted the red "carpet" on the stairways, and painted the banisters and top landing in gold.


  2. CheckMouse
    Wednesday, June 19, 2013
    Didn't have much time to mini the last two days, but I did do some research, and starting planning the wallpaper. And, much to my surprise, this little house has a mind of its own! I know the bigger builds sort of take over and "speak" what they want to be, but until now the micros I've built have just been a build - follow the directions and hope it turns out okay. This one is different. I started browsing through the micro websites and found these people -



    If I take out the one wall, I can make a larger Parlor, and these people can be arriving for a party! It will make a more spacious room for more people.



    Oh, boy! I'm in trouble! I found a website called Jane Austin's World, telling all the details of life when these Georgian Townhouses were popular. I guess I won't be worrying about a stove and a kitchen - that was all in the basement! Typically this was the layout for these dwellings ...
    1 - Basement: this was for the kitchen, servant offices, and cook's quarters. Other maids slept in the attic. (which I don't have).
    2 - Ground floor: The drawing room was placed near the front door so that it was easily accessible. Drawing rooms were a place to greet visitors and where the women of the house could retreat. Furnishings in the drawing room were generally more feminine than those in the adjacent dining room. Double doors would lead to the dining room, which was more austere and masculine in nature. After dinner the men would remain there to enjoy conversation over port and cigars, while the women retreated to the drawing room. The closer the dining room was located to the kitchens, the warmer the food remained when it arrived at the table.
    3 - The first floor: Featured a large room for entertaining on a grand scale, such as dancing, card playing, or other fashionable pastimes. This floor might also hold the principal bedrooms, which were generally placed in front of the house. The bedrooms would be decorated lavishly and in the latest style.
    4 - The second floor: Featured bedrooms for children, or perhaps a lodger or guests.

    Now the challenge will be to depict all that in this tiny scale!

  3. CheckMouse
    June 16, 2013
    Sunday is Father's Day, a national holiday, and DH is out of town, ergo no fancy dinner to prepare. No, the bills are not all paid and the laundry is not all finished, but I have declared it to be another Mini Day! Got a lot of painting done - all the outside walls, and put a second coat of paint on the stairways. When that is all settled and dried I am supposed to paint a red "carpet" on the stairways. That might be tricky!
    I also got the chimneys glued to the side walls. There will be six fireplaces! Here's a picture of the inside, with one side wall in place (before gluing). Each of those little squares is a fireplace - and the opposite wall has the same. I got those all glued into place and the two side walls are sitting under weights all night. Don't want any warping!
    I guess I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but once again the engineering of this kit continues to amaze me! There are two chimney pieces and the side wall. So first the two skinny chimneys are glued to together. There are individual slots for these to go into on the first-floor level. So first I put the chimney stack in the floor slot, dabbed some glue on the outside edge, then fit the wall into its slots on the flooring, and pressed the two together. I then carefully slid them back out of the slots, and put them under weights to dry. That way all is straight and lines up perfectly for the finished product.


  4. CheckMouse
    6/16/2013 Saturday
    Finally got some more mini-time today. I love the explicit directions on this kit and the pictures that go with it. I seem to be moving very slowly on it, but I don't want to make a mistake. I pushed RL to one side on Saturday and minied all afternoon and evening - with a "Murder She Wrote" marathon going on the TV.


    Here's the painted base and front and back steps, assembled, but not yet glued.

    I still had a little trouble understanding "chamfering the edges" on the instruction sheet. The dictionary says it means (verb) "to cut a furrow in" or "to bevel" or "to make a groove". As a noun it means "beveled edge". These all are similar, but can be widely different in a miniature, especially a micro-miniature! After much study, I realized that I was simply to round the edges of the walls that will be part of the hinge. BTW the word "chamfer" originated in 1567.


    Here are the front and back walls, partially glued. The little balcony is a dry-fit to be sure I've got the walls lined up. You'll notice a little protrusion on the outer edges of each wall. These will become the "hinges" and that's the edge I'm to chamfer on the four sides.
    The instructions suggest painting the inside walls, but I'll have to use wallpaper to hide the lighting wires. And my lights arrived already! I has about to go to my email to see if the notification was available for the shipment, but the mailman drove up so I went outside first - and picked up the package of lights! Very fast service. If anyone wants the micro or chip LED lights for minis - please go to Evans Designs at modeltrainsoftware.com. I've been dealing with them for quite awhile now and they are great! I just picked up the phone for this order, told the man what I was building and he helped me pick out just the right lights for it.


    Here is the ground floor with front and back walls - still dry fit. Do you notice the absence of masking tape? In previous builds I have had so much trouble with a dry fit in this scale because the tiny pieces won't stay put until I get the tape off my finger and onto the build! Very frustrating! But in this kit - the tab/slot is so precise that no tape is needed.
    The picture at the top shows the above assembly placed on the base with the steps - still dry-fit.


    I varnished the three floors. There is a fine grooving in the wood to resemble hardwood floors so I hope to buff them to a nice shine.

  5. CheckMouse
    June 5, 2013
    I got an email response from the makers of my little kit, and yes, the piece was supposed to be in the box! She will be mailing it to me ASAP.

    This kit is made in England and I thought I was fluent in "British" but I'm finding some words I don't know. One of them is "sticky ply" - found out that it is a sheet with an adhesive back to it. Had to look up the word "chamfer" - the instruction sheet said to "chamfer the vertical edges". Okay - I'll get right on that!

    It means to cut a groove into, or bevel an edge. Maybe all the gurus here already knew that word but I didn't.

    I didn't like their color choices for the house (in the instruction sheet), using colors I don't really like (yellow or pink), so I got back online to research some more real Georgian Townhouses. Was there something about them that required those colors? Fortunately I found many different styles and colors, so I'm going with one of my own favorites - burnt sienna.

    June 8, 2013 Just spent almost 3 hours this evening popping out all the pieces and putting each
    sheet, carefully labeled, into individual baggies. I can't believe how many pieces are in this tiny house! There were 22 squares/sheets of pieces, and I've separated all but the missing sheet. One of the door frames split when it came out of the sheeting, but he mentions that there are extra doors and windows in the kit. Hope this is one of them! I put all the slivers in the baggie in case I have to reconstruct it.



  6. CheckMouse
    Started the actual construction, finally. This was a very peaceful mini-day. Got the base painted, top and bottom, just to keep it from warping. Put together the front and back steps and the walls that they connect to. After the paint is completely dry I will put them together. I am very impressed with the precision of this kit - everything is lined up perfectly! As long as I don't mess it up by letting it slip while gluing it should be great!


    I used "Krylon - Make It Stone! Textured spray paint." Hope I don't regret it - I like the look of a cement or stone foundation and steps to the house. I just hope it isn't too coarse for this scale.





    I don't know why the steps are different - the squared ones go in the front of the house; the rounded, fuller steps go in the back. I would have thought it was the other way around, but I Googled images of the Georgian Townhouses and they all seem to have the simpler steps in the front.

    I tackled the stairways next -




    I started working on the back wall, but I was starting to get tired - don't want to make a mistake. So I put it away. I have decided I want to add lights to this - so must get online and order 9 teeny lights for
    it. Which means I have to put in wallpaper, to hide the wires. The kit suggests just painting the interior walls, but I want lights, so that won't work.



  7. CheckMouse
    Started the actual construction, finally. This was a very peaceful mini-day. Got the base painted, top and bottom, just to keep it from warping. Put together the front and back steps and the walls that they connect to. After the paint is completely dry I will put them together. I am very impressed with the precision of this kit - everything is lined up perfectly! As long as I don't mess it up by letting it slip while gluing it should be great!


    I used "Krylon - Make It Stone! Textured spray paint." Hope I don't regret it - I like the look of a cement or stone foundation and steps to the house. I just hope it isn't too coarse for this scale.





    I don't know why the steps are different - the squared ones go in the front of the house; the rounded, fuller steps go in the back. I would have thought it was the other way around, but I Googled images of the Georgian Townhouses and they all seem to have the simpler steps in the front.

    I tackled the stairways next -




    I started working on the back wall, but I was starting to get tired - don't want to make a mistake. So I put it away. I have decided I want to add lights to this - so must get online and order 9 teeny lights for
    it. Which means I have to put in wallpaper, to hide the wires. The kit suggests just painting the interior walls, but I want lights, so that won't work.



  8. CheckMouse
    I got all the pieces laid out on the table last night, and began checking them off the master list. I am impressed with the instructions included with the kit! I've built other micro kits that have one small page of instructions, no pictures, and - for me - not enough details. Can't say that about this one! There are FIVE page of instructions, printed in 10-pt type on 8.5" X 12" paper; and five more pages with pictures of the part-sheets, and then colored pictures and diagrams of how to build the more intricate parts, like the stairways. WOW!

    So I'm checking off the little square pieces one by one, on the first page of the instruction sheet.



    There are 22 of them, plus a small square of fine sand paper. I checked them off the diagram first, then went down the list and checked them off again - ONE IS MISSING!! I went through the whole stack again - and this one is definitely missing -



    On the checklist it is called "W - Windows - 1/64 Sticky Ply". I thought I was pretty fluent in "British" but what the John-Henry is STICKY PLY????

    Included in the pile of parts is a square of acrylic, which is not mentioned in the listing. I'm putting it all away for tonight and will email the company to ask about the missing part.



  9. CheckMouse
    My long-awaited kit from England has arrived! This will be my ninth micro build from a kit and I decided to blog this one. Interest in the micro scales seems to be increasing on this forum, so maybe I can be of help to someone else - and maybe I can get valued advice from others! I have to finish up one more project and then I will begin this awesome little house!

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