Experiments with light

Standard

The jobs that time forgot #2

Long Gallery

Spot the differences
Aha! I can see the end wall now

(The lighting strip used above appears at the very end of the piece)

I do like playing with light. It is part of the structure of the scene and its setting and therefore is as important to me as the furniture. There are two main types of lighting in the scenes I make.  One to flavour and dress the period and the 12th-scale-world use of the space, and one to add mood and illuminate said period and space.

From the beginning of learning about miniaturing, all the little lighting bulbs and associated fixtures worried me:

  • my fingers aren’t nibble enough
  • so many small bulbs, shades etc needing attention
  • very little light offered by them overall.

I wanted scene lighting to punctuate some areas with more light and contrast which is why I became attracted to the LED strips, and I’ve used LED strips from very early on in my lighting of the model, the being first in the Great Hall area. That section is so deep and shadowed under the balcony that it has at least three strips in it, angled and masked or pointing straight down.

theinfill dolls house blog - the infill - Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house - Great Hall lighting below the balcony

For example:  the young man amongst roses was in heavy shadow skulking below the balcony and the candle above him did very little, so have added a 3 cell LED strip, angled down a little, behind one of the support beams.

For a period of time I only used the ready-made strips bought from Micro Miniatures. At that time they seemed to offer the longest wiring.  They also sell rolls of LEDs that you can cut to length and solder, but my soldering is about as good as my wood cutting, and equally does not seem to get better with practice, so I’ve stuck with the ready prepped strips ever since, (and very good they are too), but also slowly added a little variety. Instead of the three cell ones used at first, I’ve also bought strips of multi heads and single LED bulbs from other suppliers. The singles I’ve used under the machinery in the Steampunk-ish, word churning machine project and the multi cell in the house model.

Light strips I have known and loved

And what I did to them

The big thing about using LEDs is that it does matter which is the live and which the return.  So all blocks/sockets/plugs etc need a bit of marker pen on them to match up your wiring.  I usually use a Sharpie pen and just put an L where I can, often on a bit of a sticky label.

(click on an image to access the gallery and read the longer captions if you scroll down a little, as well as getting to the link – just down to the right of gallery – for larger image)

The only way the observer can see the oddly placed unit in James’ office is if they were to lie down on the floor, which is what I did to get the photo.

Back to the little light experiment

(The first three photos at the top of the piece)

Today’s experiment in the Long Gallery is with a new LED light strip design, at least it’s new to me and might just save me from all the faffing around I tend to do, trying to shield and angle lighting quite as often.

 As you can see they are set in the side of the strip, giving a totally different lighting effect. These lovely novelties come from the Top LED Shop who have a wide range of different possibilities.  Like all the lighting suppliers, I’m finding it a bit like being let loose in a sweet shop and may pick a different ‘flavour’/shape next time.  I’ll let you know how I get on using these particular ones elsewhere.  I can see them being useful around doorways as well as windows and at skirting level too.

The wiring question

These new ones also have the very thick, stiff wiring that all the suppliers I’ve tried so far seem to be using now.  The wiring is not very long at all and I do find extending them a bit of a pain, probably because I can never get these wires to stay in the connection blocks any better than the thinner ones they used to have.  Also the connectors come rarely in a convenient place in the geography of the building and so, for me, limit the choice of position.

I’m extending the wiring using ordinary medium grade doll’s house wire, splitting out the two sections, and wrapping the join with sheathing on top to get around this problem.  I use red coloured sheathing on the live join and red marker pen at the other end of the same wire (or a smaller piece of coloured sheathing) so the extension cable can be easily matched up to the live and return.

It still gives a bulky join but it seems more stable and does make it easier to play around with the positioning of the lights while leaving me with a wider choice of position for the lighting.

 

The jobs that time forgot

Standard

#1 Closing off the corridor

Working backwards – unravelling the tale of the 1:12 window

Most of the items listed in the captions are from the usual mix of suppliers, but the clock moulding is from Old and New Times.

For the rest of the back story here are some links re the making and decorating of the corridor and the building up of our Polonius figure hovering therein.

Feeling virtuous, having sorted one of the undone jobs, am considering moving on to the next!  I’ll let you know how I get on – assuming I do – get on, that is.

Just a little more drying time

Standard

From here to there

I’ve tried to make as many items as possible but have bought in the greenery (4D Model Shop for the bush greenery and the grass clumps are from Tajima 1 Miniatures on Ebay), the basket for stacked washing by the drying bank (from Tiny Craft on Ebay) and the bucket balanced by the water pump (from Oak Tree Miniatures).  The magnificently detailed washtub and the two other wonderful buckets are from Ashwood DesignsAll other items, including longer grass tussocks, tiles and slabs, hillock, hurdles, sheep, dolls, linens drying on the wall and hanging in and on buckets, are homemade.  The water effects vary according to where they’ve been added – the thick triple glaze gloss for a lot of it, a gloss clear acrylic on some of the textiles and Vallejo Textured Water to add rough bits near the pump, though the Oak Tree Miniatures bucket came with ‘water’ in it.

Round and round the garden

Sploshing and Splooshing

A wash day story

So that’s it.  Mostly finished, just waiting for some of the water effects to finally dry out completely.  Perhaps another week?

Now it’s back to fixing the things I haven’t finished to-date.  Yippee!

Gardening with any scale that works for me

Standard

Buying in supplies

I’ve been ‘out’ shopping and spent my pennies (and then some) on Mini Natur® supplies from 4D Model Shop.  I’ve gone for some Agricultural Strip packs in autumn colours, summer Ivy (LP00025) “suitable for models 1:45+” and garden flower strips (yellow) – “a continuous double-ended row of flowers, suitable for tall flowers at 1:87 to short flowers at 1:10″.

What do they look like and where

 

 (The photos were taken with the street section reversed.  The terracotta tiles and newly leaved bushes are normally directly in front of the family dining room and the washer woman would be facing outwards.)

 

Some of the sum that makes the whole

Standard

Edgings and finishes

Overlaps and joins

Some of the many parts that need finishing off on a piece are the edges.

(click on an image to see gallery and read the longer captions as well as getting to the link – just down to the right of gallery – for larger image)

The section I’m currently working on (the street) is next to the porch section and is a rectangle whose edges are as follows:

  • front – straight and of more or less similar depth all the way and this can be finished with a wood trim of suitable strip wood or moulding, so that’s fairly straight forward and I’ll use a piece of 1:24 skirting I think
  • back – straight but of varying depth from relatively thin to many layers thick and so cannot be finished with a wood trim, for example see photo below
04_3195 variable layers of sandwich

Variable layers – at the back the thickest is made up like this, but that edge needs covering

theinfill dolls house blog - the infill - Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house - finsihings and edges of displays

Looking rather like a badly chocolate coated mallow, strips of paper coloured with marker pen and heavily glued and moulded into place

  • side next to the porch section – very thin but not straight – has an elbow indent in it
theinfill dolls house blog - the infill - Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house - finsihings and edges of displays

Used the same paper and glue treatment with this single thickness edge down the side by the porch section. Looks painted but it’s two layers: one hardboard and one card.

  • outer – straight, the majority is constant depth but has an overhang from the hill that breaks up the straight line look but causes a gap underneath
theinfill dolls house blog - the infill - Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house - finsihings and edges of displays

Hill overhanging the edge (on purpose) but large gap below needs dressing. Step one is newspaper/glue stuffing and brown paint

theinfill dolls house blog - the infill - Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house - finsihings and edges of displays

Step two is tipping the whole thing on its side, smearing with clear and smelly glue and shaking dark rough sand all over it, giving it a bit of a rock-like finish – sort of

theinfill dolls house blog - the infill - Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house - finsihings and edges of displays

The edge needs a little dressing up with bits of found wood – here we have what’s left of ‘the blasted oak’ on the corner of the hillock

theinfill dolls house blog - the infill - Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house - finsihings and edges of displays

and I’ve added bit of log for no particular reason along the back and central section too

Now everything needs to sit and settle a little.

Further fixtures and fittings

A new tree

Whilst doing the overhang side I felt the urge for a new tree to supplement the tall, skinny one on the right.  It’s just about visible (but still bare) on the photo above.

I’ve taken a bit of herb branch but it had no stem to stick in to the hill sheer slope.

Using a bradawl to punch a whole in the hill and glue on the now set cocktail stick, the tree now grows in amongst its friends and awaits some foliage.

The sheep finally find their way home

Till now they’ve only been in place in mock-ups but at last they’re securely housed with straw and grass.

theinfill dolls house blog - the infill - Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house - sheep in their pen

Here they are, looking a little sheepish are they not?

theinfill dolls house blog - the infill - Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house - sheep in their pen

All nicely bedded down

Down to the nitty-gritty

Standard

Can’t put it off any longer

Bringing things together – at last

Most of the bits and bobs and the various elements of the outdoor layout have been prepped and I’ve mulled and stewed ideas and possibilities to a soggy mush in my head, so it’s crunch time.

(as usual if you click image to open the gallery and read the captions you can also get to the link – down to the right of gallery – for a slightly larger image)

I feel better now …

An intense and sticky work session today.  One of those jobs once started you mustn’t stop.  What do I need to tell you?

  • The tiles are Creative Paperclay (white) or the Staedtler terracotta.  The terracotta warped horribly but the paperclay stayed flat
  • I’ve used newspaper strips and glue twisted up around the bases of the hurdles and hedge etc to eventually represent earth/mud/grass areas
  • The twigs are bits of herb cuttings that were lying around and cut and trimmed to need
  • Oh, yes, the odd elastic band was used to hold the bits of hurdle in place till the glue dried and may still be visible in the photos – well spotted that man
  • The only thing still drying is the newspaper papier-mache which is awaiting the shades of brown etc and then, when that paint is dry, I’ll tackle the tile slabs I think.

Quite pleased that it all actually came together OK and more than a little surprised too.

A gardening day at theinfill residence

Standard

Full size and mini

The contents of our garden pots and planters desperately wanted renewing.  There’s not been enough rain (or enough watering on our part, perhaps) to keep them going this year, so today was the day for refurbishment.  Got it all done eventually and hopefully they’ll all ‘take’ and will no longer look like a bad case of weed poisoning.

Meanwhile back in the mini world

Of course today it actually rained, on and off, so between the showers some small scale gardening went on too.

theinfill dolls house blog - the infill - Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house - small scale gardening

The small bank of ground needed dressing up with stick on mixed colour grass itsy-bitsy dandruff and more grass clumps of various sizes adding.

theinfill dolls house blog - the infill - Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house - small scale gardening

The trees are very delicate. Next shopping expedition a can of hair spray must be added to the shopping list. (Not a phrase I’d ever imagined myself saying again.)