A first run out


Taking the bit between the teeth

I’ve started the upper Hall’s outer walls.  It takes me a whole hobby day (4-6 hours) just to cut, rub down, stain and generally carve around the bits of wood for one small wall.  They seem to be harder to dress-make for than a bigger area where you can have fun with the odd diagonal.

After marking out the wood positions, a primer undercoat was needed on the areas to be plastered, and once this was dry I applied a first coat of plaster.  I’m using a mix of emulsion, fine sand, white glue and some wall filler powder (Polyfiller) and have coloured it with whatever came to hand.  I’ve kept some of the mix in off white for the indoors and made the outer a dull, sandy orange sort of shade.

I’m hoping that:

  • it will set – theory and test piece say ‘yes’
  • it will crack on its own – ditto
  • that it won’t all fall off –really don’t know about this

Whilst some of these layers were drying I re-stained the wood and left that to go off too.

As there is more wood than wall, the wood needed sticking in place before any further plaster could be added.  I was dreading this from the point of view of just how much plaster I’d have to clean off afterwards, but wanted to try to build the plaster up to the depth of the timbers.

The pics show all.

So much wood, hardly any wall

Great Hall upper storey walls

Great Hall upper storey walls – first try layout pre plaster

The slit on the right is a none glazed opening as am envisaging putting a bucket for the relief of the occupants of the room in that corner behind a curtain, and I reckon it will need a bit of ventilation.

The ‘glass’ is my current compromise.  I’m not fond of the thinner, printed acetate but, as I’m already as daft as a brush and have old age galloping at me, I decided not to start playing with real lead.  I’m using the rigid, grooved sheets, but, unfortunately the diamonds are just too big and annoy me.  There doesn’t appear to be a 24th scale version of this – I looked.  There’s a square version on offer but it makes me think more Charles Dickens than any century earlier.  I have painted the surface with the glue varnish which leaves a nice distortion smear across it, as a nod towards some type of reality.  The frames themselves are the standard casement items with bits ripped off and the edges ‘adzed’ over.

Second coat of plaster still wet

plaster added in infill areas of Great Hall upper walls

Wet plaster added in infill areas of Great Hall upper walls

If it looks like dead of night, it’s because it was.

Third and final coat dry-ish

Drying, cracking plaster infill on Great Hall upper storey walls

Drying, cracking plaster infill on Great Hall upper storey walls

Cracking, possibly too much.  However, I’d intended to do 1/12th scale infill on the odd bit of cracking, anyway, to give it look of a current attempt at maintenance, and now it looks like there is every reason to do so.  I’ve added various other marks in undercoat colour in the plaster when putting on the last coat.


Am now wondering if I’ve made the mix too plastic in order to avoid excessive cracking and bits falling off, and now it won’t ever set.  Mostly managed to keep the painting off the woodwork, but not off my hands and therefore had spread finger marks on areas of wood.

Always make more work for yourself, is what I say.  You never know when you might need it.


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