Tuesday, 3 July 2018

The completed Cellar (almost)

Before talking about the Courtyard, I have a wee update on the magnets I mentioned previously as a way of fixing the main door of this property - it's not going to happen!   I lined them up, fixed them in place and closed the door but it just wasn't right.    Although they were smallish magnets the fact that they were visible was annoying and they cut into the placing of the cornice - right where your eye lands so out they came.   I'm going back to the original plan of using the hinges that came with the kit.  

So, onward.

Apart from some additions to the Courtyard, I think I'm pretty much done with the Cellar space.

More bits have been added to each of the three spaces and although it's still not as "crumbly" as I think it should be I'm just going to have to live with that otherwise I'd be fiddling and faffing for ever.  Time to move on.

This is how it all looks now -

The Ale/Fruit & Veg store -

Coal and Log Store -

The fabulous (non-electrified) lanterns, buckets and stool came from Ashwood Designs

and my coal heap was created using real coal smashed down to 12th scale (thank you Elizabeth), built up on a separate base and held in place with liberal amounts of glue.   I did the same with the logs in the Log Store.

The next room on my list is this very old and very crumbly kitchen -

* With many thanks to Roelof Bakker for his permission to use this photograph

Friday, 25 May 2018

A Cellar Update

As I may have mentioned before, there are no cellars to view in the RL Dennis Sever building but as the kit I'm using for this project has cellar space, I have to use it.    I found out that there is actually a cellar under the pavement of the RL building and this would have been used for storing fruit/veg etc. so for my purposes, I've put together a space that includes these items and a small Courtyard garden.   There is a little garden space at the back of the RL building but again, for my purposes, I've brought it round to the front.

This is the Cellar space I have been agonising over -

Coming out the back door (from Kitchen) I've started off with some ivy, a cobbled together bench (cardboard box, brick stencil and paving) topped off with a statue.   There is still a lot to do by way of adding bits to these spaces but I was just so pleased at having finally come to a decision on how to deal with them that I had to show you!   I must also give a wee nod of thanks to Elizabeth at Studio E for her beautiful pictures featuring the garden at Green Dolphin Street.   I went through all her garden photos for inspiration on how to kick start my greenery!

Moving through the arch to the central space, I've created an ale and vegetable store as seen through the basement window.   This too still has a long way to go and so far, to the right are the vegetables and to the left the ale and, of course, gin.    I'm just pleased something is happening at last.

Again, through the arch, leads to the coal cellar/log store.   Logs to the right, coal to the left.   Lots to add here and I also have to work out how to create my mound of coal.

On another note - there are no detailed pictures of the DS roof and the RL building doesn't have dormer windows like the property I am using so it's hard to see if there's lead up there (especially as it wasn't built to be super grand) and if there is, it would have been added to comply with our present day Building Regulations.     I went on a quest to find out if lead was actually used for flashing or on dormer windows back in the 1700s and what I was really hunting for was a sentence that would read "they started using lead for flashing in............." but there wasn't!    After quite some time spent hunting, I decided that if the Georgians were mining lead, then they would be using it.   After all, it had been around since the Romans - which leads me quite nicely into something I discovered.

The Romans referred to individuals who worked with pipes etc as "plumbums".    By Medieval times anyone working with lead was known as a "plumbarius" which, over time, eventually turned into...............plumber.   How interesting is that?     I love all these little historical nuggets. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

"At last" I hear you say!

Firstly, a very warm welcome to all of you who have chosen to follow this new project.   I'm very pleased to have you here and hope you like what you see.

Yes, I know - it took long enough!    Progress on this has been slower than I would have liked but I'll explain on the way.

The RL property I'm inspired by has two basement rooms.    It may also have a cellar but that isn't shown on any tour so, because I have cellar space to deal with in the model I have chosen to use, I'm having to invent the spaces.    This has given me untold grief and the reason why it has taken so long to put up the first progress report!    The basics are fine - bricks, crumbly bricks which in itself is ok but I'm afraid my mini style isn't "crumbly" and I struggle a bit with that.   I'm also having to put my Dennis Sever head on to adopt his style and try to imagine how he would have furnished a beer cellar, coal cellar and wood store.    The space is only seen from above, once the pavement has been lifted, so I decided not to put doors on the allotted spaces - ok, so the staff will be able to help themselves to the odd snifter but that's to just too bad.

My crumbly brickwork.

The servant's eye view.

The RL building doesn't really show much wear/smoke/distress so I've done what I can with it but I'm not 100% sure I'm completely happy with the finish.    You can see (through the windows) that I've been playing with walls.    That's not a good look and will have to be changed.   I still also have to decide whether to include the staircase or not which will make the two rooms on each floor smaller.

Since that last photo was taken I've done a bit more work on the front and cellars.    I've painted all the roughcast and added the front door.    The door was a plastic one which came with the kit but I adapted it a little to match the original.    I've also had another play with the internal walls and decided that I will be doing away with the staircases and using the space for the two rooms on each floor.    I decided that, while the RL house has really interesting staircases, for my purposes I can use the space better by doing away with them.   The visible walls on each floor will be suitably disguised and hopefully not noticed.   I will however keep the stairs in the vicinity of the attic as that space has excellent detail right at the top of the house.

The other decision I've taken is with regard to the main door.   It isn't fixed yet as it was easier to work with it on a flat surface but I intend using magnets for this one as it's not a divided door and when it's open and I'm working away, anyone coming into my hobby room would risk giving it a whack!

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

The Silk Weaver's House

A new project has landed in Irene's Hobby Room and I'm calling it The Silk Weaver's House.


In May 2017 my sister and I visited London for the Kensington Miniature Fair (and various other little excursions).    One of these was to The Dennis Sever House in Spitalfields, an area well known for all the Silk Weavers operating from there in the 1700s.

The Dennis Sever House is unique in the fact that it is purely the creation of Mr Sever (who believed he was born in the wrong century) and charts the rise and fall of an imaginary Silk Merchant in the one five storey building.  

The aim was to make it look as though the family had just left the room.   There was peeled fruit on the table, a fan on the dressing table, a wig on the chair and spilt wine.    There were sounds and smells - all very obvious as visitors are instructed not to speak during their visit.  It is more of an "experience" than a museum.   Mr Sever's mantra was "You either get it, or you don't".   (Click the link below).

The Property

We had no sooner left the building after a fascinating visit and our purchases of the DVD and book, looked at one another and said, simultaneously, "what a great mini that would make".     So, on my return home with all that in mind, I set about hunting for a property that could fit the bill.    The best one, in my eyes, was The Kensington by Barbara's Mouldings.

The Details

I mentioned in my previous post that I was awaiting permission to use a couple of images and that has now come through.    I am very grateful to Ben Rea* for allowing me to use his drawings in this blog as I think they explain the exterior/interior of my new project far better than I could by just describing it.     Thanks Ben.

* Copyright Ben Rea

Progress to date

Work has already started on the basement area and I have removed the front six inches (15.24cms) to bring it more in line with the style of the RL building.   (It also fits better on my cabinet!).   The railings, porch and balcony will also go.    So far I've paved the front area and created two cellars below.

This project will run along the lines of my take on a previous project The Tenement where I recreated an original building in 12th scale using, mainly, the Guide Book as reference and the fact that I was a Volunteer at the property and able to nip round and check details.   If you click on the image of Gladstone's Land to the right of that blog page you will see the original.

One of the best bits involved in recreating an existing building is in trying to track down an exact 12th scale piece as found in the original - I'm really looking forward to that.   So far, I've got the kitchen chair!