Category Archives: Attic

Disappeared into a world of ones own?


Imagine a line drawn cartoon style: 

line representing ditch; objects eg spade, a sock, bricks briefly appearing, airborne above the rim of the pit, only to disappear below once more.  General mumble of noises off as sound-track.

Hi there, I’m down here

Had my head down and been ploughing on – I can see the finishing line somewhere down the weeks and months ahead (but almost definitely this year) – go, go, go – getting breathlessly involved.


Frontage, façade, street face, front
More or less

Mug shots – facade

Coming up for air

Sudden burst of late afternoon sun after a day or two of variable and dreary light so went out for a walk and to bathe in the warmth.  Glorious, bluebells on the hills, birds swooping and diving all around, freedom and I start to breathe a little. The mind is set free to wander along with the feet.  But even out here I can still see the jobs to hand and begin to wonder how many pieces of wood I’d handled in the last few days doing just the two remaining fourth walls on the attic (schoolroom and red bedroom).  I reckoned up that these two have about 120 – 150 pieces give or take between them and there are a few more around the model itself, that’s for sure, so how many for the whole house inside and out over the last five years?

Don’t think I want to know that really.

In other news

When the light was better at the beginning of last week(?) I began to dress the two workers for round the back of the house (the ones I used to start the energy ball rolling on these last stretches) and will return to them, light permitting between the remaining jobs.

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – back view of house where men are working

A back view of extension. These last two builders are working just the other side of that transverse ridge on the extension

Also, whilst all that wood was a-drying a bit at a time, I’ve gone all out and designed the kitchen extension block; worked out the layout and started to build it too!  More of that much later.

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – kitchen extension base position

Running straight on from the kitchen at the back is a raised base to hold six separate small cubby holes: stores and dairy etc.

What’s not done?  Er, that’ll be the chimney removable panels I’m afraid.  But I will do it – soon.

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – view down side missing chimney

Rather milky looking view of down side with missing chimney panel. The room top left in photo has caught a rather atmospheric shadow on its inner roof (why kept photo really)


I must crawl all over the whole external surface of the entire house and do all the bits I’ve missed.  There are small pieces of wood, stone and brick needed for edges of walls, camouflage missing on undersides and many touch ups of paint-work here and there.

Send out the search parties if I’ve not emerged by a week on Friday.

Joining up the bits of the saga so far


A long time ago – at Hogepotche Hall’s beginnings

Not an elegant title but the heading serves its purpose very well today as this is where a three to four and a half year-old roof finally gets its last tiles.

Why only now?

Because I can’t run away from it any longer?

Sometime between autumn 2011 and summer 2013 the great hall extension block was built and brought up to today’s appearance, more or less.  (The next question is how could I leave it that long, I know, I know.)

At that time I hadn’t got a clear picture of how it would look (and join) the main block at roof-level.  I only knew where it had to go geographically as it were.

I’d like to be able to say I’m a little wiser with the passing of time and all the intervening fiddling about but really it’s more a case of a solution had to be found – now or never and the main block had achieved its finished height at last.  So roofing and ridge tiles, and missing roof bits it is then.

What’s been left unfinished

Lots of edges, lots of horrible gaps needed sorting and working on too before the tiling could be done plus, round the other side there was a removable section of roofing not yet made to cover the separate electrics for the extension.

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – long view of back of Great Hall extension 2016

Here’s a longer view of the back roof of the great hall extension and guild meeting room now the roofing is finally on.  The ridge tiles on the removable roof on the left are bits of tiling rolled and glued so that they overhang the join to the rest of the roof slope when the section is in place.

Better check that those electrics are still operating – last checked about two months ago, I think.  Then back to the main block’s bits and pieces.

A little finger painting


with a little finger

There are always edges to things.  Everywhere: they all need treatment of some sort.  It’s a bit ‘picky-picky’ but some edges have already been dressed with removable sliders for removable walling and the naked ones stand out even more as a result. For example all the ground floor had a raw MDF edge, often as the lower part of a sandwich with tiles or wood flooring as the top layer.


This house has a number of different sandwiches that tell me they still need doing and today’s job is on the edge of the great hall and the kitchen.

On both these the edges the covering needs to be kept as thin as possible as there will be another section of removable house to be butted up to each of them – great hall + great hall extension; kitchen + allied offices such as dairy, buttery, flesh and game store etc.

Historic impulse buy

I’ve gone with Hornby Skale Scenics for model railways.  The edges are vertical and not even half an inch high, hence the little finger painting to daub both the glue and the powder mix.

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – example of Hornby Skale Scenics a mix makes a thin coating on an edge

Shot from above you can see how thin the coating can be and should allow the extension to still meet up closely

Still more sweeping up of excess to do but will leave till tomorrow when the glue should be good and dry.

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – example of Hornby Skale Scenics a mix and a mole

Close up to the edge of the great hall and being given to a little whimsy in my old age, I have placed a mole so that she can live under the great hall extension, down among the bitty grass

Where next?

Now back to the attic where there is less of the whimsy and also a largish number of bare edges to be hidden around the second flat roof area.  All needs doing before the balustrade can be added here, somewhere even further down the line – perhaps next weekend?

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – bare edges in the attic level

These edges are a little more labour intensive. Going to need wood on the wall corners, bricks below the building on the right and the balustrades need creating. Like mole, it’s all “up we go” onwards and upwards etc

Too much umming and ahhing


(umming and ahhing” meaning)

Compromise, compromise,
it’s always compromise

It takes thinking time to match the realities to the imagination.  Sometimes, as things stand, there is no workable fix.  Alterations have to be made to the one side (shallow skill pool plus existing reality of the structure) or the other (the big dream) so that a little give might be achieved.  Sometimes a lot of give:  but eventually a match is fought for and won.

The learning process in action?

It happened with the large card lead roof and now it’s the turn of the smaller area on the other side.

The resistance here is half in the mind.  There are known jobs to be done and some decisions to be made.  The mind of the worker has disappeared whimpering and needs teasing out of its hidey hole with little titbits of fun stuff that might just be related to the jobs at hand.

Tempting treats or a swift kick-start

So instead of really working out how to complete a good match between the main building block and the great hall addition, I’ve taken a side step and turned to yet more figures.   It’s the problem I’ve had since I started Hogepotche Hall – what does a space look like with its inhabitants.  Well, totally different from without them.

I do like to clarify the end of the story, at least in my head and at this point my mind is full of what ifs regarding physical space solutions and I can’t see the ending clearly enough.  Hence the grumping around.

Using the Heidi Ott older gents

Anyone who has handled these dolls will have found that they are bendy and firm.  I bought five very cheaply a number of years ago to use around the building and because they have older faces, hands and feet. It seemed highly likely that they could be placed in various bendy positions.  The downside is that they are peas in a pod, looking like a family song and dance troupe.

As a regular visitor may have noticed I’ve become less comfy with them, finding them a little resistant to my bullying fingers.  I’ve used two before, one man and one woman, in the Clock-Book and enjoyed doing it, getting (to my mind) the best compromise I could out of their bendiness with extreme postures, particularly for the woman.

Steampunk Grandma

 Overall it’s the length of their bodies and legs that I’m having difficulty with because of the limitations of my skills and the way I work.  The body is quite long and the legs relatively short so that their bottoms seem a little low hung when dressing them.  Not that some of us aren’t like that (including me) but I find it a difficulty when adding leg laggings to miniatures.  Skirts are fine (see above) because you can choose where the waist could be and make the legs seem longer in relation to the body.  The fellows are another matter (unless they’re wearing a kilt, I suppose).

Today’s task is to shorten the torso in order to add a little variety to the topsy-twins.  One I shall give my usual hacking about and the other shall keep its existing shape and I’ll use his bendiness as is.

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – Heidi Ott grandpa figure - Flannigan and Allen Strollin

Strolling just strolling – for those who remember Flanagan and Allen.
Sorry, couldn’t find a YouTube of it at all

 The plumper gent is to stand on the roof slope of the great hall bit and assist with the tarpaulin that’s being hoisted above his head, whilst the other is probably kneeling or bending over the balustrade on the small lead roofed area that I should be working on.  The idea is that their activity will help balance off and assist the first group of workers on the other side of the back attic (see previous posting).

The thought is that if I know what these guys are doing and where, then I know what the set dressing needs to be to go with them and thus I might just get round to finishing the set of the small flat roof.  As I said – sweeties to entice the mind.

Empty headed

I know why the mind has gone AWOL.  I’ve let it split between the plans and design of the kitchen premises needed to finish Hogepotche Hall and future ideas that are floating around for a project further down the line and which has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with 1616 and the Hall at all.  Back to the subject at hand you lazy bones and stop researching the twentieth century – this minute.