Sunday, 23 March 2014

Half-scale kitchen

For the half-scale kitchen, I made a stove of the same model as in my Victorian house, just half the size.

The body of the stove is made from cardboard, simply painted black. The doors are bits of cardboard glued to the front. You cannot have as much detail in half scale because they become too conspicuous, so I just made simple handles from wire. The pipe is of course a drinking straw. The pots and the kettle came in some large lot, and strangely they fit perfectly in scale. I will make some utensils to hang on the rack.

Next I made a butler's sink with instructions in Vivienne Boulton's book, only she makes everything from clay, while I found an old butter container, the kind you get in hotels. I think I have had this container ever since I started making miniatures, just waiting for the right occasion. I wanted a butler's sink rather than a more modern sink like I have in the Victorian house simply because I wanted to make something new. Let's agree that this kitchen hasn't been modernised yet.

The room is very small so I cannot put as much in it as a typical kitchen would have. But at least a table is necessary. It is very easy to make a simple table: take a wooden strip and attach legs with blue tack...

However, this feels highly unsatisfactory for a furniture maker with self respect. Instead, I made it using my experience from making the Tudor and the Georgian tables - very difference experiences, but both proved useful. I also studied carefully the very first kitchen table I had in my very first kitchen. And this is what I did:

First, glued a smaller strip (a domino piece) on the underside. Cut four legs and the bars. Glued the legs at the corners of the smaller strip and glued on the bars - I promise, that took some time!

This feels much better. I had some half-scale dishes and food, but I will make more. And add more details. But so far, this is what the kitchen looks like. A bit crammed for a Victorian kitchen, but will have to do.

For a comparison, I took a picture of a full-scale and a half-scale table. It gives you a good sense of scale.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Further half-scale development

As I mentioned in the previous post, there are three shelves on he inside of the cabinet door, and although they are shallow, they provide some additional space. I have made an attic and a bathroom.

I only made the attic because I have these Avon miniatures, and they are sweet. I have borrowed the maps from another house, but I am not sure they fit. There must be something on the wall. I will also add more objects that belong in the attic.

The bathroom appliances, possibly Mattel, came with another lot, and I have saved them until now. I will add more things here as well: towels, toiletries, maybe a shelf.

It is beginning to look really nice. Next, I will do the dining room and the kitchen.  

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Half-scale development

I am going on with the half-scale house, and I have now put wallpaper in most of the rooms. The floors are tentative, and the bedroom floor needs to be replaced (the cardboard has bent, so the whole room is lopsided). The table in the future dining room is wrong scale, but I put it in because the room does not look natural otherwise. The same about the adjacent room which I am not sure yet what it will be.

On the inside of the cabinet door, I have made a fake entrance door, and I wll also make two fake windows. The two shelves above will be bathroom and attic.

I am excited about this project: it is becoming so much more than just displaying existing miniatures. Because I have given away the plastic house and Helen Hall, I can use some of the same wallpaper and flooring. And I know how to print them in half scale.

I will not get another half-scale furniture kit because I wasn't satisfied with it, but I will make some furniture myself now that I have better skills.

Come back soon.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Half-scale fireplace

The fireplace I had in my old half-scale study roombox, now moved into the new half-scale house, was rather primitive, but I didn't have a chance to do anything about it until now. As I was rummaging through my useful rubbish I found the last few half-scale kits that I never thought I would want to use again. But among them was a fireplace, and I thought that with my recent furniture-making skills I might be able to turn it into something nice. I had nothing to lose. So I assembled it.

 Like the other furniture from this set, it looked crude. But it was a nice shape - it just needed some trimming. I glued bits of embossed 1:1 wallpaper onto the front, to imitate marble carving. I used some marble paper on the top, painted everything white, except the back wall of course, that I painted black. I made the fire from bits of yarn. The fireguard is a clothes hook. Unlike the old one, this fireplace has depth and therefore looks more natural.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Half-scale house

For some time I have been thinking about an interesting way of displaying my Avon miniatures and other half-scale stuff. I have tried to divide a standard roombox into four compartments, and I have tried to build something with cardboard, but it didn't really work. So I have these three small rooms, one a wine box, one a cheese box and one just a cardboard box. It looks untidy and unfinished. Today, as I was rummaging in the garage, I found an old bathroom cabinet that we had intended to throw away five years ago when we renovated the bathroom. And suddenly I saw a possibility. I took it inside, cleaned it from cobwebs and tried to put in some furniture, just to see whether the scale was right.

I thought it probably was, and I experimented with some odd bits of wallpaper I had, to see whether it made a difference. It did. 

I started thinking about floors and wallpaper, but my printer had chosen this day to strike, which significantly limited my choice. Therefore I merely moved the study from the wine box into the upper floor of the new house. 

I coudn't do much more with the malfunctioning printer so I made a half-scale four-poster bed.

I used the same instructions as with my very first bed, only half the size. It was both easier and not. It was easier because I knew how to do it and knew some shortcuts. But everything in half scale is more difficult because it is snaller. I cheated a bit and used paper rather than fabric for the headboard and the canopy. I glued the lace onto the paper, but you cannot tell it, can you? Even the bedding is paper. 

So here is the beginning of the half-scale house. 

There are shallow shelves in the cabinet door, but enough to make some half-flat rooms. On the outside, there is a mirror, but I will make a proper facade, with a front door and windows. This will be an interesting and challenging project. Come back soon.