Lading the sideboard – well more of a tidgy table


Aforementioned sideboard is a 3 inch table fitting in a limited space by the opening kitchen door for easy access, as it were.  (Was going to make it a board or 2 on trestles but never got around to it.)   Part of the wall face above the table is open paneled giving shelf space and there’s a shelf higher up too.  Some of the obligatory pewter plates can go up there, but first they need toning down to be a little less silvery.  A quick coat of pewter paint catches in the embossed pattern giving them a nicely darkened look.

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean Dolls house blog - hasty sideboard and pewter

Pewter look to left plate and over shiny look to right original. The paint doesn’t take too well on flat plates, unfortunately

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean Dolls house blog - hasty sideboard and pewter

Drink being a priority along with bread and some well stored fruits and flagons plus a couple of leather bottles hanging up – they need attaching a bit better to give them a look of greater weight. Oh, and the candle has now been straightened.

Straw and herbs under and around the table along with slops buckets etc and herbs above too.

As this is the public part of the Great Hall and travelers and visitors are arriving, basic sustenance is, of course, being served.  Suspect the table isn’t big enough, I mean just where are they going to bung the cheese?

As feeding and resupplying is an ongoing event, today’s figure, a young kitchen worker and general drudge, is supposed to be cleaning up spillages.  She looks as if she’s going to cause more as she peers round and up to see what’s going on above her head on the gallery.

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean Dolls house blog - hasty sideboard and kitchen girl

For some reason I prefer this image sideways

She is one of a triplet bargain purchase on eBay prepped a week or so ago when I had a mass doll kit assemblage afternoon, working on the collection of figures I’d squirreled away.

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean Dolls house blog - kit dolls

Very thin ladies approx 5 ft 2 inches high and with thin high-heeled feet

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean Dolls house blog - kit dolls

Heavily painted faces, I scraped most of it off their ‘sister’ and removed the glaze too as well as making an attempt to change her expression from one similar to the distress that appears on these two faces.

I built them to the height I fancied, bagged them up, with suitable friends where appropriate and labelled each as to position and purpose in the dolls’ house.  The ‘mostly pipe cleaner’ bodied ones will need padding when they come to be used, but I left them ‘skeletal’ until needed in case their present purpose changes or even their sex.  There’s at least one older woman kit that is going to be a short, and rounded man.

Most pre-moulded kits in my price range seem similar but they have variations in their styles, for example:

  • fixed or moveable head
  • full torso or head/bust only or full body and head together as a oner
  • full leg/arm or only below knee /elbow down
  • bare footed or shod
  • flat soled or high-heeled shaped
  • generally flexible or limited posing possibilities

and any combo of the above that doesn’t give the doll two heads or excessive limbs.

There are other variables such as size of apertures in the pieces into which you fix or thread pipe cleaners, slope on shoulder of torso/bust etc.  Any of the variations may influence the choice in length of pipe cleaner, whether it needs shaving of fluff (oh, yes I have shaved pipe cleaners) and there can be quite a difference in suggested order of build, recommended types of glue and techniques advocated in building listed in the accompanying instructions, when there are any.

Putting figures together I find enjoyable, however adding hair is a pain in any inconvenient and annoying place you care to name.  It’s not that I don’t know how, but my eyes are no longer up to it, the feel of the hair makes my toes curl and I dislike how many times the work surface has to be checked with a magnifying glass before work can continue.  (Here endeth a pointless, hairy outburst)

I only add the edge bits of hair that may show under the head-gear and use stuffing if a hat needs filling out a bit.  I know this creates more bits to flirt around the place but at least I don’t have to handle too much of the stuff.  Thankfully, in the rough historical period of the project just about everyone wore a hat outdoors and almost all females wore a hat indoors when going about their daily deeds, as did some men depending on their calling in life.  I’m saving the fully wigged dolls I acquired for situations where I can’t get away with a big, all embracing hat or cap.

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean Dolls house blog - view from gallery level

View from above figure balancing over edge of minstrel gallery – it would seem that someone’s trying to tell him that he’s forgotten something.  It’s either that or they’re waving him goodbye(?)

The Little Ice Age being another good reason to wear headgear along with religion, social convention and fashion


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