Saturday, 18 January 2020

The Green Dining Room

Happy New Year followers!

Work has now started on the Green Dining Room and I'm slowly collecting all the necessary pieces required.  The photo below shows what I'm aiming for.     (With thanks to the Dennis Sever House)

*Copyright Ben Rea

I started with the fireplace, building it up slowly with mountboard.

The best way to deal with the walls was to create them individually using mountboard and adding the panelling.   

The windows to the right will be fake as it's tricky trying to recreate a building that has staircases, corridors and rooms off other rooms and getting it all to fit and appear believable in a front opening house.    That is why I'm working very closely with the drawing shown above.   The artist has dealt with the building as a cross-section whereas I am showing it as "face on".

The history of the imaginary family living in this building covers the years 1724 to 1914 and show their rise and decline in the silk industry.    The green Dining Room shows them very much on the up.

 Tile printies were used inside the fireplace along with bricks using a stencil and compound.

Meet Isaac Jervais* and his wife, Elizabeth*.   The decorative bow on Elizabeth's dress in the painting is displayed on the frame.    Above the fireplace is King George III.   

*Copyright Roelof Bakker

To get the same lighting effect on each of the paintings, 1/24th scale lights were used with shell findings attached.

To achieve the external atmosphere as seen through the windows, I googled "18th century London fog" and this is what I got...…..


Hopefully my next post wont be as long in coming.   Still lots to do and lots to add.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

More work on the Working Kitchen

I can't believe it's been five months since I last posted about this property.   I feel I've been working on it for ages - to the detriment of my other projects but I'm back again with an update for you.

Firstly, to answer a couple of questions asked regarding the last post - 

Daydreamer - there's nothing said about the central part of the kitchen floor.   I just have to assume that perhaps when the present day owners were making it all safe that maybe work was carried out and rather than replace it with slabs, they put in wood to keep an overall feel for the period (and to make it easier to get back in if needs be).

Sheila - The bread oven.   After much searching the RL house I came across the lid of an aerosol (spot carpet cleaner to be exact!)

I already had the door so firstly, I added a base, primed it and painted it black, bent the door to fit the curve and then cut a small space at the bottom which I filled with some stones I already had.

It now looks like this.  I was really pleased as I'm not usually that lucky in finding "the right thing to do the job"!   It saved me a lot of bother.

So, on to progress.

I have scoured hundreds of pictures to get the detail of these rooms correct as there is so much stuff in the room and I am continually finding other items I hadn't seen before so of course, that's another mini order.   Blue and white china is at the top of my list as an awful lot of it appears in every room of this property.

In a lot of photos of the RL property, the spaces are dark and it's sometimes difficult to see what's going on in the corners - the wall cupboard to the left is one of those tricky spaces.   I initially thought I could see a cupboard there but after searching further pictures I don't think it is a cupboard but hey ho, it's a cupboard in my space!

Since I took the decision to remove the staircase from the property (with the exception of the stairs to the attic space) I couldn't really see the house as a normal house would be seen, ie. rooms leading to rooms in a logical manner so I took the decision to have it viewed "front on" as shown in Ben Rea's* painting.   Each room being viewed on its own and that is why there are windows on the right with an outside view.    It wouldn't work if I showed it alongside the picture of the crumbly kitchen next door.  As said previously, I've swapped the kitchens around as you wouldn't enter a Courtyard from a crumbly kitchen!

*With thanks to Ben Rea for permission to use his work

The little string of figures above the range are gingerbread men.   Created by painting and linking together sections of paper cutout figures purchased from MiniMcGregor

The Delft tiling surrounding the sink area is a tile printie and the plumbing was created using a piece of solder and forming it into the shape required, adding a tap and attaching it all to a correctly sized piece of "glazing".    The whole panel was then stuck in place.

This is the Working Kitchen* I am replicating and there are still a few bits to be included but it's almost there.   There are variations in the pictures I am using for reference and if I can, I'll show some in another post.

*With thanks to the Dennis Sever House for their permission to use the above photo.

*Photograph taken by professional London Photographer Susannah Fields **

** Susannah Fields very kindly gave me permission to use that particular photograph which is one of a collection taken at the Dennis Sever house.   You can see more of her DS work here and here    They may give you a better idea of what I'm trying to achieve with my own mini version.

Friday, 15 February 2019

The Working Kitchen

Firstly, thank you to all that posted for your encouraging comments regarding the next stage of this project.   They really help keep the momentum going.

As this house isn't in any way straight forward I had to decide how the overall layout would be when looking at the whole property face on.    It got too complicated trying to work out how to link the rooms as they would flow in an ordinary space so I decided to go with that shown in the cross-section drawing by Ben Rea*    Each room is shown as a separate space.

*By kind permission of Ben Rea

Once that was sorted out I could then get started on what I will be referring to as the "Working Kitchen" (as opposed to the Crumbly one).

Work started with the main piece in the room - the fireplace and range.    I've used foamboard for the structure clad in self-adhesive flooring and a Phoenix kit range.    The brickwork was some left over piece from that used in The Courtyard.

Unfortunately, where this property is situated in my hobby room, it doesn't get very good natural daylight so on some occasions I'm afraid I will have to use the flash - as in the next photo.

My original thought regarding flooring was to use the fibreglass flagstone paper over the whole space until I looked again at the pictures I have and noticed that the central area is actually wood.   I was quite glad that I had spotted that early on before bashing on and going with my initial plan!   There will be more of the self-adhesive flooring being turned into wall panelling but first I must create two windows.      (It was the siting of these windows that gave rise to the decision to copy Ben's drawings and not exactly link the rooms although you will see that I have swapped the kitchens around).

To the left of the range there will be a bread oven and to the right, a sink and delft tile walls.

The dresser below is sadly not as impressive as the one displayed in the real building but we have to go with the space we've got!   There is still a lot of filling up to be done with this one.

The table below is a McQueenie Miniatures kit, two chairs were barewood and varnished and the other two are painted Phoenix metal kits.   My original intention was to have them positioned at the range (as in the picture I am following) but sadly they were too small but fit perfectly at the table.

What I have to do now is work out how to create a free standing bread oven.    I have the door - I just need to work out the rest especially as it has a dome shaped top!

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Season's Greetings.

No progress has been made on this property since my last post.    That's the trouble with having three properties and accompanying blogs.

I can however give you a sneak peek of the next room to be tackled, namely the Working Kitchen.*

* Courtesy of Dennis Sever House with thanks.

I already have a few of the components to hand and hope to get cracking on this sometime during the holidays.

In the meantime, I'd like to wish all my followers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.


Sunday, 19 August 2018

The Sedan Chair

While pondering the question of stairs or no stairs in The Silk Weaver's House, I decided to work on a little something that has been lurking in the stash for a number of years.

I bought this Sedan Chair at Miniatura a long time ago.   I don't know why - it didn't relate to anything I was working on at the time but I liked it and now that I have a property of the correct period, I thought I'd dress it up a bit.

*In 1634 the Sedan Chair was introduced into London as a cheaper alternative to the Hackney Cab, popular too because of its ability to pass through the narrow streets.

They were carried by individuals known as "Chairmen" and it was helpful if you weren't prone to motion sickness as they swayed and bounced when travelling at speed.

They were popular with the gentry as travelling in this fashion enabled them to keep their shoes clean.

They were also very popular in Edinburgh's Old Town again where carriages weren't able to travel due to the narrow streets ("closes").

They were legally permitted to travel on the pavement with the Chairmen shouting "Have a care" or "By your leave" although this didn't always work out well and occasionally chairs tipped over.

Chairmen were licensed and Sedan Chair stations were set up allowing travellers to hire a chair.    They were available all day but from midnight the fare was doubled.   After dark they would be accompanied by "link boys" or torch bearers.

The very wealthy would keep their own Chair, decorated to reflect the d├ęcor of their homes and kept in the hallway.

As cities grew bigger, travel by Chair became impossible and by the mid 19th century it had virtually disappeared from the streets.

*Taken from an article The Sedan Chair by Ellen Castelow, Historic UK.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

The House Exterior

As a reminder, the kit I used for this build is The Kensington from Barbara's Mouldings.   It was the closest I could find that matched the RL property.    It had to be altered a bit on the front a) to look more like the original and b) to fit on my cabinet.    The balcony, porch, steps, railings and front extension were removed and replaced with the Cellar.

Below is the watercolour drawing* shown previously of the exterior of the RL building.

* Courtesy of Ben Rea

The following are photos showing the progress and also the internal wall debate I'm still having with myself.    To give each room equal space, the internal walls cut straight down the central window.   If I put the staircase in, the halfway point is nudged over between the windows but the rooms are of course smaller.    The debate continues!

The last couple of days have been spent creating the lantern above the front door and working out the best way to support it.    The lantern was made from card with acrylic inserts, a birthday candle and a couple of findings to decorate the top.   The support was created from a cut down window frame found in my wood stash.

The main door to the property is also finally fixed.   As said previously I changed my mind about the magnets, went with the original hinges and added two little hooks to ensure it didn't swing open when I wasn't looking.

I have also included Madge.    Madge is resident in the RL property.   She is actually Madge III (Madge being short for Her Majesty) and has recently celebrated her 10th birthday.    She will pop up in various rooms as I go along, no doubt.

I managed to track down a Royalty free image of the actual building to give you all a better idea of what I'm up to*

* Image courtesy of Flickr