Preparing for the overhaul...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dollhouse Miniature Stucco: Tudor Edition

So I'm stuccoing the upstairs.  It's incredibly painstaking and time consuming work, because, well, staying in the lines is harder than it looks.  Gloppy stucco is ugly stucco.  Here, I'm using a variety of angled brushes to fill in the "daub" in my wattle and daub.  For stucco, I'm using a combination of Greenleaf's stucco powder, and DecoArt's "antique white" craft paint.  

You can get different effects, depending on your ratio of paint to powder.  Here, I've created a stucco that sets in stiff peaks.  A thicker stucco is better for tiny crevasses, as it generally sticks where you put it.

The so-called "bargain" craft brushes are often as nice or nicer as the really expensive ones.  Of course, it depends on the brush, but don't immediately discount those little packages.  I've gotten some good deals that way.

I started cladding the ground floor with brick, while I waited for the stucco to set up.  Greenleaf recommends waiting ten minutes after mixing the powder, and this is excellent advice.  If you start using it before it's set up, you may not be happy with the results--and, at the very least, they'll be inconsistent.

Working around this window took the better part of an hour.

More bricks...

I was extremely pleased with how everything was coming out.  One secret to success is staying away from strict black and white color schemes.  Bright white is a product of the modern age; for most of history, "white" was really off white.  Also, too, keep in mind that our notion of half timbering isn't entirely historically accurate.  The dark timbers we tend to think of as "tudor" originated in Germany.  German, Polish, and Czech builders rubbed their beams with creosote to preserve (and darken) them.  In England, however, builders tended to use whatever wood was on hand and let it darken naturally over time.  Many period examples are anything but black and white: silvery ash beams and colored stucco (even pink!) weren't uncommon.  Hm, maybe I should build another tudor-style house...

Almost at the halfway point...on one side.

Almost there!

These were a real pain in the butt to fill in.

And here's the finished product...on one side, anyway.  For right now, you'll have to imagine the windows.  They're coming, though--as is the brick!

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