Preparing for the overhaul...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Adventures in Aging, and the Interior

So on the minus side, I've been sick.  On the plus side, however, being sick has given me some time to hang out and make crafts!  Hooray!  Today, I started working on the exterior of the Glencroft in earnest.  It looks a little bilious in the pictures, especially under fluorescent light (it's really not that color, I promise), but bear with me!  I have high hopes.  Because of how the kit is constructed, I had to finish the inside beams for the smaller room before I could really get going.  Previously, I'd used various paints and things but this time I decided to try something different and use pastels.  I'd found a couple of wonderful aging kits online, and decided to try those.  They're a little expensive, but so far worth every penny.  I'm thrilled!  I'm not entirely sure the pictures do justice to this, either--I guess the pictures I took tonight are just all really bad!--but you can get some sense of what's going on and I'll take some in the natural light tomorrow.

Our little mini, playing in the snow with his dad.
Because the plywood in the kit is kind of crappy, I used a wood filler.  I like the putty you can mix, yourself, because you have so much more control over the consistency of the final product.  Also, this particular putty is very fine so it works well with miniatures.  I've been disappointed by the overtly sawdust-esque consistency of many putties and fillers.  I used this same stuff (one tub lasts forever) when we were rehabbing this house.

It's really not this bright in real life!

After sanding the beams, I gave them a couple of coats of burnt umber.  Then, I sanded them again and brought out the grain with a wire brush.  I figure, as far as using this plywood, it's better to go with its natural characteristics and turn them into strengths rather than fight them.  I used a couple of different colors of pastels, using spray fix between colors--first after the sort of reddish-brown color, and then after the final application of the black (and a little more reddish brown).  The look I was going for was that sort of sooty, dark patina that really old wood takes on after years of being exposed to wood smoke, etc.

With just the burnt umber.

After sanding and wire brushing.

After more sanding and wire brushing.  Better, but still pretty one-dimensional!

Before and after.
To answer the question that was asked earlier, I'm going to finish the inside pretty simply with a combination of exposed beams and aged plaster.  At the moment, I'm planning on finishing the ground floor with stone and the upper floor with random planks.  I'm not sure if the fireplace wall is going to be brick, or plaster, or what.  I figure, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it...

These are the two aging kits--one is rust and earth and one is more of an all purpose "dirt" kit.  Although I find that the "rust" looks more like dirt and the dirt looks more like weathering.  I'm excited to keep playing around with them!

You can buy special pastel sponges but high quality makeup sponges will work just as well; any latex sponge probably would.

The finished product.

My son's art (my husband helped with the one on the right).

So there you have it, folks.  Tomorrow, I'm excited to finish the beams and start on the outside.  Once I've done the weathering, I'm going to start on the brick and stone.  I have a ton of egg cartons lying in wait (hello, wholesale!) so I almost certainly have enough for either a) a bunch of practice, b) several more houses, or c) both.



Elaine Ziman said...

Oh, you're taunting me! The Glencroft was my third favorite house, and I still dream of building one. If only I could finish my current house project *attempts to muster up motivation*

And stone. Stone fireplace!

C.J. said...

Elaine, what are your first two favorite houses?

Giac said...

Hello CJ,
It took me a while to focus on the dollhouse because your son is so gorgeous ! The kit is already transformed and is looking great. I have built 2 kits from this company and I think using the wood filler is such a terrific idea and will definitely improve the look and finish of the house. I cannot wait to see more.
Big hug to you and the little guy,

Susan Korman said...

Hi CJ,

Your little boy is so cute!

I've been going back and forth in my head about whether to even put together a 1/12 scale house given our small home but seeing you do the Glencroft makes me think if I did, it would be this house. Ironically, I have three 1/12 scale houses waiting to be put together but I'm not sure where they will go in our small home even with just my husband and I :-) Thanks for sharing your construction of this kit.


Steinworks said...

I love your Mini and your house looks like its coming along fine I cant wait to see how you dirty it up :)