1/12th Scale Minatures  

 

In February we visited a Dolls House and Miniatures fair in Letchworth. Dawn had been wanting a house for several years now, so for a belated Christmas present, and combined Birthday present I promised her I would get her one if we saw something we could afford and we both liked. I was expecting to pay between £100 and £200 for something of the traditional design, based on hours of searching the net and comparing kits on the market.

Well, there was just one guy selling houses and he had two on display... both were really nice, but well out of my budget, retailing at around £1000 ! However, after some discussion we negotiated him down to £600, which included the cabinet (normally an additional £250) and some freebies thrown in. As this was the only one he had with him I had to strike quickly, especially as another couple were interested. So out came the plastic and the deal was done !

As you can see, it's a bit of a beast ! standing some 5' high and over 4' wide. It has 9 large rooms plus three hall ways, and was bloody heavy taking three people to cary this upstairs. You can see how pleased Dawn was by the beam on her face, and she was keen to make a start on the decorating the following week.

So after a long visit to our local B&Q we came back with several pots of tester paint, glue, sandpaper, brushes and mini roller kits. Our main goal is to get each room decorated to a basic standard which includes the cornice's, skirting boards etc and then start adding all the fine details at a later stage. The first job was to paint the exterior, and for this Dawn chose a stone colour from an authentic Georgian period paint (which even the testers cost a small fortune). The windows and flower boxes were painted white, and with over 30 windows, each requiring around 3 coats of paint, took some time (and became quite tedious). The problem with MDF is that to a degree it soaks up the paint and then needs rubbing down well before applying the next coat, however the final result is well worth it.

I then painted all the window cills, and window surrounds in the same stone colour and applied them using PVA. The Roof has been left for the time being as we want to use real slate to cover it, but as yet haven't found the ideal material at the right price.

Once the final touches had been applied our thoughts went to the inside and what each room was going to be. Dawn's birthday was fast approaching so we chose to ask for items for a dining room, and promptly marked things down in a catalogue. She decided to do the dining room in a Georgian duck egg blue from the same specialist paint range as the outside of the house. Whilst we are not getting too pedantic on the period we are "modeling" in terms of details, we agreed that we needed to set some ground rules on things like lighting and floor coverings. We've decided that all rooms will be candle lit, by working lights, and so we ordered in bulk some wall lights and chandeliers from a seller on e-bay, who gave us excellent service and an excellent discount. The lighting in the house has set us back £130 so far, but I had some overtime at work which paid for this.... easy come easy go !

The dining room was finished with a plaster fire surround, mahogany flooring and a 6 candle chandelier. As mentioned, we are looking at doing lots of detailing, including plaster work, paintings, and wall panels. Dawn was so pleased with the basic room, she set out the furniture and dressed the table. I'm sure you'll agree that the images look very life-like.

Stay tuned for further updates over the coming months. We're now working on the stairways, but with two large central stairs, four secondary flights resulting in over 50 spindles and 20 newel posts to paint, it's taking some time...

Fitting one of the 23 arches over the windows

The first room we started was the dining room - still needs all the finishing touches such as curtains, pictures and plaster panels.

Set for the evening meal of roast beef washed down with a glass of fine red wine

Next area was the main reception room. The stairs have been finished with treads made from 0.6mm real mahogany veneer, stained and then waxed - again all the detailing still has to be added

To the left of the main reception room is the main lounge. This will look stunning once all the period furniture installed and more pictures around the walls. It's also a tad cold as we've yet to get a fire !

Work has just commenced work on the study. The two bookcases are built by your's truly, as yet still need detailing.

As the stairs are all linked by half landings this meant that we had to continue with the decoration through all three flights. Here it the top flight as it is in May 2010. The light is fully working with 21 candles

On Saturday 15th May 2010 I took Dawn to the International Dolls House fair in Kensington, London. With around 200 exhibitors it was a long day, and most items were well out of our price range.

June 2012 - A few additions, new dining room table layout, 90 hand made books (in the still to be detailed bookcase) and another shot of the lounge with some new furniture (click on the image for an enlargement)