Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Within A Designer's Room

I do love a good project!  I placed a Shapeways order in August with their free shipping event.  I went a little overboard. In conversation with Shapeways, I learned more about 3D printed miniatures and additive manufacturing, and how they can be used.  More excitingly, they now print not only in plastic, but coloured sandstone, frosted plastic, stainless steel, precious metal and porcelain (hello bathroom fixtures!!!).  I might one day delve into making something on Shapeways, because they make it rather easy for those of us (like me) that aren't savvy in the art of computer design.  

The pressure was on to create!  And what better way to show off the wonder of 3D printed miniatures then a mini scene!!!  I've already shot the 1:24 scale 3D printed bathroom in the half scale house, but I went ahead and made a scene for 3 mini items in 1:12 scale.
I ordered them all in plain white plastic.  They were painted in Testors model paint in gloss black and gloss gold.  The seat of the Wishbone chair was painted in Americana acrylic craft paint in "Desert Sand."

Then I decided to use my unfinished room box as the stage.  Then I decided to make (almost) everything else from scratch to fill the scene.  Then.....I thought, this is really involved.  See the bottom of the post of the low down on what I used and from where. 

All in, it was about 2 weeks of working from 8pm to midnight from starting to make everything to end of writing this blog post.

I included lots and lots of pictures.  Sorry, I'm rather happy with the scene and I just couldn't decide what to include!

The Scene
A design student, well educated with a diverse reading list.  Living sparsely, but enjoys collecting things that hold meaning

Where To Buy - Where To Find - What Was Used


I had issues making them pool nicely on the floor.  I had ironed pleats into them, then gently ironed the pleats out so they weren't stiff looking but had some pleating left.  Then I figured out the point on the drape where the "pooling" should start.  I applied hot glue to a strip of balsa then attached the drapes at the "pooling" line.  Then I used double sided tape to stick the balsa to the floor.  Voila!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Shapeways Fun!

My Shapeways order arrived!  This is my first foray into additive manufacturing and  3D printed plastic miniature items. I had lusted for some 3D printed items for a while and I caved. They had free shipping at the end of August. Technically it was 2 orders......I regretted not getting the extra faucets, so I went ahead and ordered. The real reason I ordered was to get a 1:24 scale toilet and sink for the puzzle house. You know that moment when you realize that "sure I can make that" really translates to "not a snowballs chance in hell I can make that"?  I hit that moment and ordered!

It's amazing! The toilet and sink are from DSTEIN Scale Furniture. I had issues getting a good shot of the sink, so check out the shop. My chairs came from Marion Russek.....I would buy all her chairs if I could. And I purchased her Nespresso machine, faucets and stacking box designed by Pepper. My other purchase came from Paper Doll Miniatures.  Kristine makes great faucets.

And then I browsed.....and browsed....and decided to get something not 1:12 but use it in 1:12. Jorzi's Miniatures and Stuff made a modern urban light post. It's geared for railways? Dioramas? I'm not sure what scale it is actually.  It's 4 inches high, but not that I read that when I bought it. Thankfully it was a happy mistake. I'm going to use it as a floor lamp!

My in-laws are making a trip out to visit the family of the little one the puzzle dollhouse is intended for at the end of October. This is now my finishing deadline. October 23.  It hangs over me. But! I will be making some mini scenes with my new Shapeways items soon! And I will post progress on the cottage again.  The exterior is complete along with the bathroom and kitchen!!!

Here's a little something on the creating and manufacturing process!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Half Scale Items Arrived.....And A Bit More

My large order of kits arrived from MiniEtchers!  I'm excited because I ordered a 1:24 fridge and microwave for the half scale house. But, given the cost of postage from the US, I figured I might as well make my shipping costs (which were very reasonable) worth it. Lots of mini fun to be had!

The Ebay turf arrived from China. The day after I purchased a different type of turf at a garden centre. Fortunately, the Ebay turf is good quality and very fine, perfect for half scale. The other turf is much more like real life grass, so I will use it for Miss Kitty's house. Winner, winner chicken dinner!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Halloween Is Coming!

Miss Kitty and I went to the sacred store (for her, not me), Dollarama. That child looooooves to look around the dollar store. Which is great for me!  She's in love with the idea of Halloween. This is wonderful, because I go all out at the front of my house for the scary season with a full graveyard, witches, smoke machine, electric chair, etc.  When I say she loves the idea, I mean she's into small "boos" like her little rat skeleton. But the big scary ghosts and goblins scare her. The 6 foot witch I just bought didn't go over so well. Oops. 

I'm definitely going to carve out a little time to make a mini Halloween scene(s)!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Feet Up. Coffee. Relax.

Finally! Inspired to make a mini scene.  The wall art came from Michael's.  The bookcase was a hacked up Michael's cheapo hutch.  The ever so cute owl was a gift from Keli at iseecerulean.  Thank you! I love owls.  The rest are odds and sods I had kicking around.  I used the room box sans real floor....the floor will get done eventually....I swear.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Poor Impulse Control

When I go to Michael's, sometimes minis happen. How could I resist the Christmas items and the Halloween items? Not to mention the dollar items by the cash register.......

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

I've Got A Case Of The Shingles.....But It's Not Contagious

No serious disease in this mini house.  Just a nasty cold that hit Miss Kitty and then me...the queen of cleaning snot.  It's been 2 weeks for me and its still lingering.  


This house is "technically" sized half scale (1:24) but its simple features and ornamentation, like the gables, door and window frames are more 1:12 to 1:18-ish.  But then you can use 1:12 scale shingles and it doesn't look like a freak show, so I give up trying to be true to half scale.  I'm sticking to half scale for interior decor and furniture, but the rest is a free for all of whatever looks good.  Just in case you thought something looked a little off!

The Shingles

As I mentioned in my previous post, I glued all the shingles with Le Paige No More Nails.  It has the consistency of white caulking, and the quick dry version has less moisture, so it was the best choice for the shingles.  There was a little curling when I painted, but nothing popped up despite even the most severe accidental soakings.

Make 'Em Old!

The fresh shingle look didn't gel with the weathered siding. What to do? Wellllll, I remembered the fabulous shed Pepper made and her wood weathering technique.  

I took my white vinegar and my steel wool and put them in a jar over night. By the next morning it looked like nothing had changed.  Oh, but science was happening! I'd like to say that all those science course in high school and university taught me something.  But then I'd be lying.  This chemical reaction is pretty cool!

Pepper had a nice ratio to make the wood a softer grey.  I threw caution to the wind and used it full strength (I also planned on using paint on it, so I wasn't concerned).

Full strength solution (left) - Raw cedar shingle (right)

The Process

Here are the comparison shots of just the solution on the shingles and the raw shingles.
Raw Shingles

Solution On Shingles
Each shingle takes the solution in a different way.  I painted it on with a small brush and dabbed off any big drips. Some areas had some glue on them and some just were awkward to reach.  But it looks more realistic when imperfect, right?

Then I brought out a soft grey/brown from Martha Stewart.  I diluted it and did streaky brushed-on-blot-off technique on the shingles, focusing on ugly shingles, areas that didn't grey and areas with glue.  Some areas just got a crap load of paint to hide the edges where I didn't want to get to close to my white siding.

The Fix-It Crew
Solution And Paint Applied

Solution And Paint Applied

Solution And Paint Applied

Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am

To add something more, I tucked a bit of moss in a few shingles.  I also painted the exposed edge of the roof line and under any exposed shingles a deep grey.  The entire roof was sealed with 2 coats of flat clear coat spray paint.  It didn't effect the appearance, but I wanted to ensure it was well sealed. Those pictures will come with the next post.  My camera and the USB cable were at war this evening.

I made a little door knob too!

Door Knob From A Bead And Pin

I have also added some landscaping.  I edged out some flower beds and filled them with brown sand.  I then topped the sand with satin polyurethane to seal it and prevent a sand storm every time it was touched.  

I spent a evening watching Fear The Walking Dead and making a little mail box and house number set too!

I'm now working on the interior elements.  I have a 1:25 kitchen (close enough) I bought on eBay that I've painted.  I'm waiting on a few 1:24 items from Mini Etchers and Melissa's Miniworld.  I also have my fingers and toes crossed that my green turf sheets a) arrive from China and b) don't look like crap.  Michael's is my plan B for turf.  But I'm really excited for my 1:24 bathroom set (toilet and sink) to arrive from Shapeways and also hope it fits the weird proportions of the bathroom.  

I'm in finishing limbo until all the pieces arrive and I see what works and what doesn't.  

In other news.......the room box still needs a floor.  But I've made a massive dent on another mini project.  It's not a dollhouse, but a play structure of a 1:12-ish scale that will be another Christmas gift.  That will be a post for after the gift is given, but it's taken a few evenings so far and I still have lots and lots to do!