Bring out that drawing board


Following a chain of thought

Yes, I know, I’m working around the left side doing chimneys and balustrade but I can’t stop the little hamsters in the treadmills of my mind working can I?

A sudden light bulb

The original design ‘plan’ for the frontage roof slope(s) had more variety than the three in a row gable ends I’ve been sort of working on.  I say ‘sort of’ because I keep turning away and doing something different because of discomfort with the whole idea of the three gables.  There are many buildings of around this period and after with three gables or more but the frontage as built so far is busy in its ornamentation and detailing and I wanted to give an opening out feeling to the roof-line here that didn’t seem to come with a row of gables.

I’d had this fancy that the central section of roof might be a forward traveling slope with a bit of a box-shaped dormer at the front edge.

Then the top of this flat-roofed dormer could carry a balustrade which would repeat along the sides (hence the left side balustrade at present under construction).  The shape of the central roof slope itself would be trapezoidal, wider at the top and narrower at the bottom as it travels down the valley of the left and right gable.

Having lost count of the number of times I’ve tried to get my brain to wrap around how to go about the shape I fancied and all its allied beams; how the individual room ceiling heights would work out where they each would meet their front-facing window; how the beams would work at left and right of centre etc, I was getting nowhere and I’d chickened out going for the worrying compromise.

But like all such silly ideas it haunted me a little and now I’m thinking “what the heck?” let’s have a go.

The light bulb (or do I mean duh) moment

  • Do all the structural beams really matter?
  • Is this a doll’s house 1:12 model or isn’t it?
  • Why not work at it backwards and build the thing and add what woodwork seems necessary to represent the beams that might be visible and see what happens?

Bad plan of attic frontage

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house blog - the infill dolls house blog – very rough mock-up of across attic frontage

Keeping in mind this is a very rough plan of a possible frontage for the three rooms of the attic, I think I’ll have a go.

Been doing …

At present I’ve yanked out some of the middle gable beams and added the missing side wall to that room, have prepped the height but not the width of the dormer and am half way through making a mini window for this upper section; have added some of the gable to the right side double bedroom, ready for its roof slope and am pondering whether I will, eventually, be able to make a removable frontage to the attic in a ‘oner’ or will it have to be two or three sections.

I’ll let you know if I’ve really lost the plot this time or whether there’s going to be a way through after all :/

A question of perspective


The story of a shorty

I try to take into account that the view of what I’m a-building should be a comfortable height for the average standing viewer, i.e. someone over five foot two.  But there are some days when my actual point of view (nearly six inches shorter) is the one I’m going to use to make my planning judgements.

The setting of a stage

All these photos are viewable as galleries.

(click on an image to view a gallery and see longer captions, also reach the link for larger image – below right in gallery view)

Where was I up to

What had I got to lose by ripping it all up?  Very little.  I already didn’t like it much and, if in hacking it about it becomes unusable it could at least stand in as a template for the next one.

Back to the drawing board

Possibilities (2)

Here we go again

I think I’ll probably go with this design.  Going for it is that it’s repeatable and I’ll need to make some for the right-hand side of the building too, I think.  Against is that it does have quite a number of little bits, but they seem fairly manageable and also repeatable.

It seems the next thing is a little sticking down of what needs a-sticking and a further, hopefully matching-(ish) panel for round the corner on this side of the house.  Then on with the ‘leads’ as a removable box type lid for covering the lighting controls and wire runs.  The idea is to make it fit fairly snuggly within the bounds of these new panels.

Playing with a versatile motif


Beginner’s Luck

I was very fortunate when I started out on this adventure as, by chance, I came across the work of Angela Downton. I bought quite a number of her laser cut motifs and windows and various pieces of furniture. There are two particular motifs that recur around this model house and one of them has been used very widely.  It was used for covering the ceiling of the Great Hall extension back in October 2011 along with oh so many things.

Some of the ‘many things’

(click on an image to view gallery and see longer captions, also reach the link for larger image – below right of gallery)

Present Usage

Sometimes the illogicality of the order in which I do things surprises me. I do have an overall design plan, bit flimsy in some places and positively see-through in others, but there is one.

What has this thought/comment to do with the above motif and the current work on the model/house? I’m still moving forward on the chimney and the surrounding roof slopes, but it abuts onto the back left light socket area and where the twain shall meet needed so more detailed planning, rather than the previous wishy-washy ‘keep the roof covering the electric plug area as low as possible’ instruction that I had had in mind.

Looking around for possibilities and ideas

I’ve come up with one of my usual misplacements – i.e. badly placed ideas. Many medium and quite large (going as far as being humongous) houses of the later Elizabethan and into the Jacobean period seem to have had flattish roof leaded areas, from which sprouted chimneys etc. (see Charlecote ParkHardwick Hall, Tissington Hall, Shurland Hall).  Mostly these balustrades are along the grand frontages and down the sides.  All beautiful each in their own way.

Here on the model I’m having a go at one such area but at the back and side, directly over one end of the long gallery. A silly place to put it as both the long gallery (at this point) and the flat roof will be facing the kitchen quarters and not some grand approach or garden outlook.

The leaded areas are often surrounded by decorative open stonework balustrades usually low and possibly set out in a fretwork and/or coats of arms or other cut design or sometimes with crenellations or cupola roof turrets or towers added as at Swarkestone Pavilion.

What’s possible here?

I’m still not sure about fretwork/cut out stone or brickwork as a way to go for me. Low I can do and some added decorative design is a possibility. And not stonework for me I think, but more of the continuing brickwork. I had a fancy for crenellations and may still add some, but for today I’ve been doing a tryout of a closed brickwork construction.  More in the Tissington Hall fashion with a little added decorative working.

I’ll keep going with this layout whilst working forward with the surrounding chimneys, walls and roof and let you know how it goes.

Cracking on with the bricks


Today’s picture diary

(click on image to view gallery and read longer captions and can also reach the link for larger image – at below right of gallery)

Entry 1

Entry 2

Entry 3

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house blog - the infill dolls house blog – more haberdashery supplies have arrived

There are at least two, possibly three more chimney pots to do for the other side of the house and I’d run out of ladder broderie anglaise. Couldn’t find any but did find great patterns in lace which arrived today.

Entry 4

S popped into the workroom today and said how he liked the brick work etc but didn’t I think that the chimney bricks were a bit cherry compared with the rest.  Aha – not just me then!

Another day and back to the chimney stack


Dig out the egg cartons

It’s time for the making of the bricks

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house blog - the infill dolls house blog – egg carton bricks - today's workings

The swirls go into the roof-line of the house too at this point.

Aaaagh!  We’ll see what the new bricks look like when grouted.  Hopefully they will tone down more than a little.  I’ve sealed the surface of them so perhaps I can throw some grout at them later this evening.

Chimney pot postscript


From the haberdashery hoard

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house blog - the infill dolls house blog – bits of trim from my hoard

Found a couple of pieces that might do the job

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house blog - the infill dolls house blog – new trim added and undercoated on chimney pot

Put the thicker edge towards the lower join and the thinner to the top in the hope of achieving more balance

Chimney pot fantasies


Thar she blows!

(whaling reference)

There should probably be four pots to this chimney because of all the hearths attached at this point, but I’m going with the two.

However, low down where I stand and view from, the newly gussied up chimney pots are almost invisible.  I have to walk quite a long way back to see much of them.

The pots need to be taller and so I’ve spent some of the morning working on just that.

Beware wet undercoat and rough edges


The undercoat is Mod Podge spread thickly and the burnt sienna acrylic paint added whilst everything is still very wet, thereby combining the two and producing a burnt sienna glue coating.


I think the extension and general look might work (with a little stretching of disbelief thrown in for good measure) but the shape could do with a further wrapping of string or something similar just at the join between circular and poly sided sections.  (By the way, the wrapping on the bottom section is a light-weight upholstery braid with ric-rac built in.)

Then we’ll be into overcoats of paint/pastels etc to give it the usual over-handled look I do seem to favour so much ;)