Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 25 - Interior Detail

Since we are able to peek in the front door through the screen and into some of the windows through the curtains it's necessary to do some interior detail.  This isn't a store front with big picture windows, so we don't have to do amazing detail.  I just need to add some stuff so we're not looking into an empty house.  We'll use my handy-dandy graphics program to get the job done.

Here are some of the goodies we'll use to populate the interior.  From left to right:  a Grandfather clock (it is Grandpa Sam's place!), a door, and some different wall paper patterns.  I got all of these off of the web.

Here I've sized the clock and added it to the wallpaper pattern along with a hat stand.  Yes, I know that the lines don't match up - but trust me we won't see that.  I've sized the paper to allow for folding to add it to the hallway by the front door.

This sheet is for the front bay window wall and covers two floors.  The ground floor has a fireplace, mirror, and door.  The upstairs bedroom has a dresser, mirror, table, and wardrobe.

Here is what the view through the front screen door looks like with the printed piece and a printed wood floor added.  I printed the graphics on heavy card stock and glued it in place with white glue.  You can't see the wavy lines in the wallpaper pattern. 

I've got much more in the interior detailing for the rest of the structure.  It's too bad Scott Perry isn't here to help me with the interior decorating since he really knows how to get in touch with his feminine side! - just kidding, Scott!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 24 - Curtains Finished

I completed the curtains this Saturday morning and thought that I'd try something different.  Instead of posting a number of pictures from different angles I created a little video showing the house from all angles.  Note the high tech turntable - a plastic drinking cup and me turning it by hand!  Anyway, you get the idea.

Next I'll put some view blocks and "stuff" inside so that with the interior illuminated we won't be staring at blank walls and in one window and out another.

Day 24 - Viewing Problem

I've just discovered a problem with my Day 24 posting (thanks Scott Perry for alerting me) in that the post appears blank when viewed from some devices.  I can see it when looking at the posting from a PC; however, when I look at the post on my iPad 2 it is blank.  This probably has something to do with the included video in MOV format.  Sorry for the problem!  I don't know how to fix it!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 23 - Back Porch & Window Curtains

I didn't do a step-by-step photo documentation of the rear porch as it's pretty much the same as the front porch I documented in my last post.  In any event, here's a picture of the back porch.

The instructions with the kit state to put the roof on before doing the porches; however, I want to save the roof for last as I've got work to do on the interior of the house.  I decided to put curtains in the windows and I found a wonderful source for the material.  You will note in the picture that is has ribs and texture that looks darn close to real window curtains.  What is this mystery material?  Well, I'll give you a hint:  You find it in your bathroom and it comes on a roll!  I used a single edge razor blade to cut the slit in the center.

I used white glue to attach the curtains to the inside of the building.  Here's a shot from the inside showing the first and second floor curtains installed..

And here's a shot showing the curtains from the outside.  I'm going to leave the curtains in a mostly closed position so I don't have to do intense detailing of the interior.

Here's a view of a different angle of the house showing the curtains.  Even with the curtains in place I'll have to add some view blocks / interior detail for where viewers can "peak" in through the curtains.  If I light the structure I'll also have to seal up light leaks.

And here is a picture of the curtains with the interior lighted by a LED flashlight held from above.  Notice the light leaks!

  That's it for today!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 22 - Front Porch Lattice

I didn't have much time today to work on the project - maybe my good friend and fellow model railroader Scott Perry is right.  He said something about the Second Coming happening before I finish this kit!  Anyway, today I did make some progress!

Here are the parts for the lattice.  I had to use my hobby knife blade to paint in between all of the "rails" and this time I didn't even stick myself and draw blood!  That's amazing because I did the painting last night while watching TV.  Who says that I can't multi-task?

They are assembled in a stack to make the completed unit.  Here I've just stacked them temporarily so you can see what the end result will look like.

The instructions show installing the piece with the verticals first.  What the instructions don't tell you is that it's a good idea to paint the under porch pieces black so that you will see the black when viewing through the installed lattice.

So of course I didn't figure the black thing out until after I had affixed all three verticals to the structure.  It's a good thing that I never press down on the self adhesive pieces until I'm sure that everything is correct.  I used my hobby knife to carefully pry the pieces off and then paint the support pieces flat black.

Here's the same vertical in place with the black behind it.  Much better!  I had to be careful to align the holes for the steps.

Next I add all of the horizontal pieces and align the edges with the corners.  It's really starting to look like something!

Finally I add the third and final trim layer and that completes the lattice work.  I do have a gap on the left corner (out of the picture) that I'll fill with a piece of scrap lumber.

That's it for today, kids!  Next up I'll be working on the back porch.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 21 - Front Porch Railings & Roof

What you DO see here is the front porch railing installed and being clamped with handy-dandy clothes pins.  What you DON'T see if the hour I spend using the blade of my hobby knife to paint the area in between each vertical piece that didn't get painted when I painted the railings while they were still in the sheet.  And did I say that I managed somehow to stab myself in the finger with that very same #11 blade?  If was fun trying to keep the blood off of the white paint!  Oh, Kevin - the sacrifices that I make for you! :-)

Now that the glue is dry off come the clamps.

Next it's time for the porch ceiling.  I had to do some trimming and  sanding to make it fit snugly to the house.  Here I'm adding a support rib that will hold up the roof.

The roof section for the front porch is supplied flat with score lines.  The instructions say to bend the roof at the score lines to get the proper profile.  Here's a picture of the panel after the bending.  How much to bend? - enough, but not too much!

This side view gives you an idea of the angle, which isn't very steep.  I hope the water will run off of this properly!

Just as with the ceiling panel I had to do some trimming to make the roof fit.  I can cover any gaps with the laser cut shingles that I'll add after all of the roofing substructure is in place.  The roof is held in place with the self-adhesive that comes on the back of the panel.  I apply clamps to apply pressure to insure that it stays stuck.

Here's the structure with the clamps off.  It's really starting to look like a home!    I can see that I'm going to have to paint the edge of the roof.  By the way, the Laser Art people forgot to do that on their model that is in the photo of the kit!

Next up I'll add the lattice work to the lower front of the porch.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 20 - Foundation Installation & Start on Front Porch

With the paint dry on the foundation pieces it's time to install them on the structure.  The picture supplied with the kit shows gaps where sections meet and that's not a good sign.  I peeled off the paper from the self-adhesive side and carefully applied them to the structure.  Here's a picture of a couple of the corners:

And another picture of the other side:

Yech!  This is NOT acceptable!  All the hard work that I've put in thus far to be ruined by these !@$#! corner joints?  I could spend hours filling the edges with putty, carving the stone lines, and then painting them.
I've got a better idea.........

BUSHES!!!  What you can't (or don't want to) fix you hide with bushes.  Here's what one corner would look like with bushes

And the other side....

Now for my railroad I wouldn't have a problem hiding the bad joints (what bad joints?) with bushes, but this is going on Kevin's railroad, so we'll check with the boss - my email to him:

Actually, I can fix the foundation gaps at the corner on your structure; however, this would take a great deal of time and effort.  The kit just doesn't have a well designed foundation.  What I'm suggesting is that you consider hiding the joints with bushes once the structure is on your layout - after all, what house doesn't have some bushes around it?  I've attached pictures for reference - it's your call, so let me know what you want me to do."

And his prompt email answer: 

No problem at all. I had actually planned to have bushes, plants etc., around the foundation in flower beds like Grandma had anyway. And trust me.......bushes hide a lot of small flaws on my layout! It's one of my most used techniques! ;)"

O.K. Kevin - you're secret is out:  Your railroad isn't perfect!!!   In any event, problem solved!

So on I go to working on the front porch.  See the gap?  The porch doesn't fit flush against wall of the building.

Here's another view of the gaps.

Here's the offending section.  I'll need to trim this area a bit to get rid of the gaps.

 I want to make sure that I trim of just enough and not too much so I draw a black line with my felt tip marker as a guide.

I use my hobby knife with a #11 blade to carefully carve away to the line and finish up with a nail file (emory board) to smooth the edges.  I test fit the piece and it fits great!  Next I'll work on the floor.

 Here's the floor painted standard Testors flat gray.  It's a little boring looking.

I'll do the same process as with the foundation to give it some character; that is, by painting it with multiple lighter dry brushed coats of gray paint.  Here's with the first coat only slightly lighter than the stock applied color.

It looks better, so will dry bush an even lighter coat on next.

And a final coat of even lighter gray brushed on.

Now I'll add some Testors flat tan for dirt and dry brush it on with it heaver by where the steps would be and leading up to the door.  I'm thinking Grandpa Sam doesn't always wipe off his boots real well before going up on the porch.

And here's the floor dry fitted in place on the front porch supports.

And a closer view to show the coloration of the porch deck.

That's it for today.  Up next I'll work on adding the railings, roof, etc.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 19 - Foundation Painting

Today I worked on painting the foundation.  It is a laser cut plastic sheet with self-adhesive stick-em on the back.  Here's the way it looks as supplied:

The first thing I did was clean the surface with a damp cloth.  I couldn't wash it in the sink with soap and water as I normally do because of the self-adhesive backing.  After it was dry I painted it with a dark gray and then painted it with Poly Scale "Concrete".  When painting with the concrete color I didn't try for a consistent coat as I want variation in the coloring.

 Next I applied Testors Flat tan using the dry brush technique and again trying for variation in the coverage
 At this stage it looks a little too brownish, but I'll fix that with the gray coats I'll added next.

  Here I've mixed some of my Testors "dirty white" with gray to have a medium-dark gray color.  It is applied using dry brushing


I continue to add 3 more dry brush coats of tans and grays going from darker to lighter.  You can see it's starting to get some character.

So, when to stop?  Well, I believe that this will do it.  Here's the finished product.

And here's a closeup shot of the stone foundation ready to go.

.The next step will be to apply the foundation to the structure, fill any gaps, and touch up painting of the completed foundation.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 18 - Trim Complete!

It's Sunday morning early and I wanted to get some work completed before church, so I applied the balance of the trim.  Here's the front view showing the window fan and screen door.

This is a 3/4 view of the front / right.

 This is a view of the right side of the house.

This is a view 3/4  of the right / rear.

And a view of the rear.

This is a 3/4 view of rear / left.

This is a view of the left side of the house.

An finally a 3/4 view of left / front.

I was careful as I could possibly be; however, there are still some gaps between abutting trim pieces.  I will say that the joints look as good (or in some cases better) the the joints on the vendor supplied picture.  I'm going to have to ponder this awhile to see if this is o.k. and "adds character" or if I want to try and fill the gaps with putty or something.

Well, it's almost coffee & get ready for church time.  Stay tuned for the foundation next!