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Buy or cast my own 1/2 scale fireplace?


Kaijuemily
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So...I am trying to decide if its possible to cast my own 1/2 scale fireplaces for my Fairfield. I cannot find anywhere to buy a mold however.

Does anyone know where I can buy one?

I am almost convinced I may have to sculpt my own fireplace hearths , but I know they will never be exactly alike. And I know that I can never be satisfied with the standard fireplaces in the kit, unless I improve them.

Im also trying to possibly track down an inexpensive source of unpainted 1/2 scale fireplaces, in case I have to buy 4 of the damn things for my Fairfield! If I can get them inexpensively enough I can do that I guess.

Im open for suggestions!

I thought you guys were the most likely to have previous experience with this exact need.

At first, 4 fireplaces sounded awesome! But Im a little overwhelmed now.

???

Emily

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I've created my own items and then created a mold using the Smooth On two part mold kit. For example, I created half scale brick for my Diana out of Sculpy or Fimo. I laid them out on paper (lightly gluing in place). I left slight spaces between the brick in my "wall". I then mixed the two part mold material and pressed it onto the brick wall, completely covering the area. Once the mold had cured I could peel it off the "wall" and I now have a perfect mold of a brick wall. I've used that mold by pressing Sculpy into it and baking to make more wall segments and by pouring plaster into it and letting it set up (See my gallery for the Diana and Swift Cottage.)

So if you want something special and unique that you create yourself, but are concerned about duplicating it, consider making your own mold. The mold mix can be used on metal, resin, wood. Just about anything and it won't sick to the original. It sets up quickly!

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I used these resin fireplaces in my Fairfield. They used to be available on Miniatures.com and other sites but right now I'm not finding them on my usual sites, and Molly's House (which I linked to) is out of the cream colored ones, although she does have some in black.

And I used these in my Queen Anne Rowhouse. There's also a larger version.

These are all pretty inexpensive, although shipping makes them pricier.

Here are how my Fairfield fireplaces turned out: http://www.emilymorganti.com/blog/?p=4297

And in the Rowhouse: http://www.emilymorganti.com/blog/?p=6029

You could also make fireplaces with pieces of trim, crown molding, etc. I haven't done this yet but have seen other people do a great job with it. Looking at pictures of fireplaces on Google or in design books might give you ideas for how you could make one without having to cast it. I checked a book out of the library that had tons of great pictures (found it in the interior design area, I think it was simply called Fireplaces but I can't find it on Amazon).

Nice thing about the Fairfield is that it has chimneys with holes for the fireplaces already, so you can basically dress up the area around the hole however you want...

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If you want to create a resin/plaster look for your fireplaces, you can use the ones that came with the kit and cover them in spackle. You can also use stencils to make raised designs and decorations with the spackle itself, giving the fireplace a carved look. In fact, I had recently been browsing miniature fireplaces and they are very expensive but every single design I saw, could be replicated using spackle using the kits fireplaces. I plan on using this technique for my next projects.

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How bad is shipping to the USA from the UK? That may be the kicker....

In either case it'll probably be around $8 (you can see for sure on the cart page, without having to place an order). But it would be about the same from a lot of online stores based in the US, too.

If you have a local mini shop you might ask if they can order the arched resin fireplaces. I bought mine at a dollhouse store, not online.

Also it would be a good excuse to order some other stuff for your Fairfield. :lol: Both of those sites have a great selection of half scale items you can't find anywhere else.

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For my Fairfields I painted two of the resin chimneybreasts, bought some HO-scale culverts for others, and made foamcore shapes that I finished with paint, but could have embellished with bits of paper or real lace, textured ribbon or wee jewelry findings glued on and painted over. Spackling compound is, I believe, the same as or similar to polyfilla, but you might also like the look you'd get painting them with gesso.

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I put simple fireplaces in all my Christmas roomboxes. I cut the basic fireplace surround shape from styrofoam, a tad bigger than I want it to end up. I refine it to it's permanent shape,whether rustic or more formal, by trimming with a craft knife,and pressing on the surface with my fingers to compress the foam into shape. I 'paint' it all over with white glue or Mod Podge and let it dry to harden.Then I add my desired 'surface' to it-usually brick veneer or 'marble' tiles,in my case. It could be 'stoned' also. I haven't used egg carton bricks or stone yet,but I'm sure they would work. This makes a firm,yet lightweight fireplace and nobody believes that it started out as cheap styrofoam!

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Do you cut your styrofoam before you paint it? I'm still trying to find a way to cut styrofoam that doesn't make white plastic tiny shreds that statically cling to the knife blade, me and everything else in the room!

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I usually use flat styrofoam disks (Google those words) I bought a long time ago at Dollar Tree...It's a tight,flat compact foam texture-I like the rectangles,too. It's craft foam,not the type that crumbles into tiny balls/pills that comes in packing-if that's the kind you mean? It is messy,but I guess I haven't had the static cling problem...

I 'paint' a coat of glue or Mod Podge on to it after I shape it and it makes a hard 'shell'-fills in all the pocks that give the foam a rough texture and strengthens it some.Then for brick I used a roll of stuff I bought on clearance in the tabletop Christmas village stuff at Walmart-used for brick walkways,I guess. Pliable like vinyl. I cut 2 sides and a front from it,so there are butted sharp corners like real brick. I'm pretty sure I used Quick Grip glue on that one. I've also used real life self stick tiles cut into mini tiles,for a marble look. Just depends on the style fireplace. I guess I could just attach the tile or brick to the raw foam,but the glue,etc. seems to strengthen it and I think it preserves the foam from deteriorating...? I don't recall where I learned to do this. I'm sure I didn't invent it! ^_^ I just used what I had the most of, and liked the way it turned out. You could probably use thin wood sheets and some trim over it to make something fancier. The opening could be curved instead of squared,as the foam is easy to cut!

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I've used the ends of skinny sticks left over from floor-making. Cut them to size and glue on your base--in my case I make the base out of bass wood. You can trim the edges with other wood--moulding or flat stock--anyway you want. Depends on which material you are comfortable with. (I like wood a lot!)

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