Sunday, April 3, 2016

Bricks & Siding

Well, sorry for the delay in posting.  But I did make some progress in the NOLA House exterior.  As you may have guessed from the post's title.

I started out with the foundation.  I'd decided rather than use embossed paper that I'd go with the egg carton brick method used to such stunning effect on Brae's houses.  So the time I would normally spend goofing off in front of the TV I used to cut bricks (in front of the TV).  At least I'd already saved up quite a few egg cartons.

Gluing them took a while.  But here we have the unpainted foundation.

Not too terrible for a first effort.  I'm fairly pleased with the results.

Then I started to paint.  I decided to layer the different colors of paint.  I tried a sponge first, but got more paint on it and my fingers than the bricks, though it did avoid the brush strokes Brae warns will take away from the brick effect.

Then I just stippled paint on with a brush.  It seemed to work pretty well.

So first layer is Folk Art 'Cardinal Red' which pretty much matches the color as advertised.  Very very red.  Pretty but nowhere near natural looking.

The next layer was Americana's 'Napa Red'.  The two combined looked a bit more natural.

After that I did Americana's 'Heritage Brick'.  Closer to what I was looking for.

After that dried I mixed Anita's Acrylic 'Earth Brown' and 'Burgundy' with black and a little more of the Heritage Brick to age it slightly.

I know it seems like a lot of pointless layering but I like the effect and once I add the pale grey grout I think it'll really look authentic.

The siding was interesting... I didn't want to use the same siding I had last year since I had such a problem with it curling up and exposing the board underneath.  So I got some of the 1/2 inch lap siding panels from HBS Miniatures.

So far so good.  I've got three of the walls cut and temporarily taped into place. 

I don't want to glue them down until I've got the way to open the dollhouse figured out.  I can't stress enough how much I need this to be fully enclosed.  The Building Inspector and her Apprentice are already showing a suspicious amount of interest. 

You guys remember the Building Inspector right?

Her Apprentice is younger, but already much larger.  He's obviously the muscle of the two.

So I need to figure out a way to make the house open up, remain structurally sound, and look good in pictures.  I thought hinges on two of the walls at first.  The front and the side.  To be honest that wouldn't be bad.  Structurally... I'm not quite sure.  And for pictures?

I also hate how hinges look.  But I wondered if I could use some fabric, painted to match the outside of the house, to disguise the hinges.  To keep the house structurally sound I'd need a frame, or beams to which I could attach the walls.

The other option would be to hinge a large wall along the bottom and then hinge the roof down the center as well, kind of like Pepper did for her build.  I might be able to make that work if I got small enough hinges.  I've cut my walls to mimic the original kit walls, fitting against the sides of the foundation and over the top, making the floor space slightly smaller on the sides.  So the piano hinge has to be narrow enough not show at the bottom of the wall. 

Using this for a side wall means that the corner trim would have to fit over the front and back walls, attached to the moving wall.  And a hinged roof would be needed to keep everything from getting scraped up when it was moved.  But the weight of the roof would keep the wall in place.

A hinged roof and walls that slide up and down is another possibility.  Whatever I do I have to figure it out before I get the trim on the house because that's what will hide any hinges.

So...I've got my work cut out for me. 


  1. Just a thought on the hinges; instead of hinging the dollhouse proper, why not hinge a piece of plexiglass to the foundation on the side of the house that is open. That way you can still see inside, protect from 'inspection', and quickly drop it down out of the way when you want to continue working.
    Love your work!
    John and Kelly

    1. Well part of the reason to not use the plexiglass is my apparent inability to cut a straight line. At least with the glass. And I really like the idea of it looking like a 'real' house, with four walls and a roof.

      Thank you so much.