Preparing for the overhaul...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Nonesuch House: A "Smaller Scale" 1:12 Scale Tudor

Nonesuch House--named for one of Henry VIII's palaces--was our first foray into the tudor world.  For you observant types, we started it at our old house, and completed it at our new house (hence the change in background).  Although the real Nonesuch House is much grander in scale, we were inspired by its woodwork for our smaller version.  Or, homage, really.  With only three rooms, Nonesuch House is quite small.

Nonesuch House is unique (for us) for another reason: it's entirely made out of recycled materials, including plastic.  Normally, our houses are made out of organic materials--wood, stone, brick, etc--but a miniaturist friend of mine convinced me to try plastic sheets.  

Nonesuch House's shell, which is available from Earth and Tree Miniatures, is MDF.  It started out life as the Keene.  The sheets I used are (so I'm told) made from recycled plastic, and available from Precision Products.

You can see a tutorial on plastic sheet "brick making" here.

Nonesuch House's front porch is based on a porch in a house in Leicester, UK.

Real tudor houses often featured either fountains, or more modest contrivances like buckets, in which visitors could wash their hands before entering.  Contrary to popular belief, our medieval and tudor ancestors were comparatively cleanly--especially for people living in a time where the concept of germs was considered heretical.  They did the best they could.

The front door uses hardware from Olde Mountain Miniatures.  I'm actually not 100% happy with the quality of the hardware--it bends and distorts very easily--but this is one area where there's not a whole lot available.  Very few companies make miniature hardware.

The fireplaces are electrified--against my better judgment, honestly.

The downstairs! 

The upstairs!

This is my attempt at an historically accurate window. 

The "cobblestones" forming the back wall of the fireplace are also made from plastic sheets.  The wood we used is 100% recycled.  In our case, it's scrap wood from other projects, as well as wood from other sources that were, for one reason or another, being cannibalized. 

 A detail of the plaster pargeting.

A detail of the fireplace, through the front window. 

The house is rather long and narrow, so it lives on top of a bookshelf.

The "slate" roof is also made from plastic sheets. 

A view of the whole dollhouse.

Nonesuch House, viewed from the side. 

Nonesuch House, viewed from the other side. 

A detail of the upstairs window.

A detail of the fountain.

A detail of the chimney. 

One view of the attic.

 Another view of the attic.

One thing I don't like about most dollhouse designs is, they leave the back of the dollhouse blank.  Here, I tried to rectify this, and make it more interesting.  Real houses aren't blank!

The real Nonesuch House features extensive pargeting and half timbering.

A close-up of the pargeting. 

 Yet another view of the back.

 Yet another view of the side.

Something else that's very difficult to find is decent dollhouse fountains. 

Nonesuch House hanging out on our dining room table. 

I haven't figured out a suitably out of the way spot for Nonesuch House to take up permanent residence. 

Perhaps we should sell it?


Jean Day said...

I love it, what a fabulous job you have done. You can't sell it... it would be so much fun to see how you finish it inside. Perhaps you could put it up on a wall in the dining room. Cheers, Jean

C.J. said...

Thank you! I'm currently on the lookout for smaller scale minis and kits for the inside...hard to find! Most medieval and tudor-themed pieces are really baronial in scale.

gayle1154 said...

CJ, What material did you use for the pargeting ? I am also curious, what size lumber you are using for the exterior half-timbering ?
I am quite new in miniature construction, and very anxious to learn ! I am absolutely thrilled with the idea of a historically accurate building(as much as feasible), rather than just another kit dollhouse.
Gayle in Maine

CJ said...

Hi Gayle, sorry it's taken me so long to respond to this comment! I'm just getting back to the blog. There's so much to respond to, here, I'm going to give you your own post...