Category Archives: 1930 – 1950 design (UK)

Street-side

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A case of elephants and dunces

At the gate end of the street there is the problem of two floating pieces of wall; the left-hand end piece (which I’ve already knocked off once) and the piece the other side of the gate which abruptly stops at the cut for the slice of house.

The street and the step with the big, big drop

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Stepped pavement and one big drop for any unwary mini off the main curb out into oblivion

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The curb is made of two pieces; I’ve rolled the top of the curb pieces to overlap the vertical pieces and give a generally softer look at the edges

(Going to have to put something or someone on that red brick lump on the pavement I think)

Talking about brickwork, next door’s walling is built from mountboard faced both sides with textured paintwork.  I’ve inserted into to the top edge of the foam thickness bits of brick and tile to try to give the impression that the core is built from brick and plastered over.

Paving

using left over packet tops (1 mm card) from way-back when I used to make puppets

I’ve gone for stone slab paving in the street, though S thinks it looks more like crazy paving than anything, that is until I showed him on Google satellite view exactly what it was supposed to look like.  Sad to say that all the first sections of the pavements/sidewalks on most streets around where we lived have been tarred over, but the rest of the streets are very much the same.  I’d entirely forgotten about the odd sizes for curb stones though.

This paving that’s needed for Nostalgia Close is just one long strip that I felt needed a little ‘interest’ for the eye, hence the strange stepped up bit by the gate (health and safety not being a main concern in mini-land).  To keep me concentrated on the job in hand I needed some ‘interest’ for the mind and so I’ve scattered many an elephant and dunce along the wayWhat am I on about?  Well, I do remember as a kid we were supposed to be careful about not stepping on the cracks but more interesting was that, if a slab of paving went right across from wall to curb stone – a dunce – then you had to jump over it.  Also an elephant had to be avoided in the same way (I think).  An elephant being one large, squarish slab with two or three small ones to fill in at its side, one above another or two very small ones side by side in place of one of the smaller.

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An elephant

Which is why I was a little put out when I found, via satellite view, that the end paving of our street had been tarred, because there, just before the ankle-turning turn from one fairly steep slope onto the steep slope of the main road going down to the left, were to be found one dunce followed by at least one elephant.  Talk about one giant leap for …!  But, alas no more.

However, I’ve given the local mini kids a real problem.  Directly outside their gate is a dunce and to one side of the gate, just one step on, there are two elephants together and, of course, there are both dunces and elephants all along the line.  Have fun little ones, it beats hopscotch any day.

Up the ladder

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and down the chimney

Not an earlier than usual Christmas but I have started on the up laddering and down chimney-ing.

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Bricks falling out

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Bricks falling in and surfaces shearing away.

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Stubs of chimney pots and general bowing and cracking up at the top

Sticky fingered and having fun 🙂

Deskwork day

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Not in the Potting Shed

Tidying up my mind
(Mrs Darling in “Peter Pan”)

It’s cleaning time.

Yes, I’m still hiding out from those chimneys (the ladder thing is the problem), but am working away on this and that in the meantime.  Hoping that the whole structure will be more or less complete before Christmas.  With that in mind I thought I’d further avoid the chimney thing by reviewing how I came to build this house in the first place.

No, don’t panic, I don’t think I’m going to go on at length, but I do find it help to step back and looking again at what I’m playing at.  The ramble is going to be short on photos, although it does offer the opportunity to wander through some possibly useful links.

Beginnings

  • Lots of research amongst own deco belongings, web searching and the ever enjoyable buying in of books to help before start
  • A long search for a photo of a facade that made my fingers itch with the urge to try to build it
  • Deciding on a layout, and reshaping that a few times
  • Generally bathing in nostalgia for the 50s (well, some aspects of it)

Why build from a blank

Other than to avoid the original cost of a ready cut house kit, I still don’t know why I choose to build from scratch.  Goodness only knows I spend more than enough by the time the item is finished.

I suppose it’s mostly to do with the contrast between the personality of the structure that develops and grows as you go along rather than trying (and undoubtedly failing) to make an adequate fist at something that has a more or less pre-determined outcome.

I don’t think I could work on a kit house that’s any bigger than a room box or two without wanting to hack it about and add here and there.  Too much of a butterfly mind, too many ‘what ifs’.  Scratch build offers the huge possibility for variation or flights of fancy.

The desk work

As part of reviewing the build of Nostalgia Close, I’ve started a little cleaning up of the website.  Bit early for spring cleaning (well very early really) but, when the energy allows I much prefer a good rootle around in the autumn.  Perhaps it’s the whole hibernation thing, getting everything ready for a good rest-up.

I’m dreadful for not throwing things away, but a little rationalisation in the sub-menus wouldn’t go amiss, though adding insult to injury, I have finally started to add sub-menus for the first time to the general Art Deco Build heading (which has now been changed to 1930-50 Semi so you no longer have to search blindly for a particular room.  I’ve worked through the two-year project and I do hope it’s now easier to use.

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Scratch-build and ready cut kits

While tidying around, I came across some of the links to plans, kits and photos collected when researching the 30s – 50s, including some earlier period houses:

I do love floor plans.  These are old plans from Hobbies found on Fine Scroll Saw site plus this one too

Some current plans available from Hobbies – General page for books and designs, where you can find a 1930s styling Size 650 D x 960 W x 800mm High 15 room house and an Edwardian house, four roomed whose plans can be bought separately, wood pack available and a separate fittings pack.  Also there is an 18″ high mini greenhouse for full-sized seedlings which I must say I find appealing

I collected an American site with various house photos I rather liked

Most relevant to what I was supposed to be researching at the time is Homes through the decades (a large but extremely interesting pdf file from the National House Building Council) and a site with an article on why a 1940s house is a 1930s house – and

The Imperial War Museums 1940s house and the tours of rooms on YouTube – kitchen

Daily Mail articles; one on someone decorating his own home a la 1930s(?) and one about a house trapped in time

What was actually used

The house I used as the springboard for this build.  I thought I had first viewed it on Flickr, but I’m probably wrong.  Here it’s on a Pinterest page with lots of very interesting Deco housing.

 

 

Check-list first and then playtime

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To do list:

  • check for any damage from hammering and pins piercing through re guttering and down pipes
  • see what has fallen, rolled or generally dislodged itself ‘cos of all the moving and hammering
  • check all parts of lighting
  • clean everywhere

I can happily report that the first two items were all OK, nothing having fallen or rolled around and, above all, no pins sticking through where they shouldn’t – thank goodness for the double skin construction.

That left the lighting and, (with fingers firmly crossed as no pins might be showing but who was to say that, despite careful placement, one or more hadn’t been knocked through any wiring)
I lit up Nostalgia Close.

Am I feeling lucky

Luckily all seems to be working from front to middle.

The sitting room/lounge was the first room made and, with the exception of the standard lamp, needs mains for the wall and central lights, but the bedroom and attic above it are all battery lit.  The trailing extension and the mains connecting end are stored in the downstairs hallway when the house is fully docked so it doesn’t get in the way and isn’t trapped and damaged, while the stub end of the sitting room connection stays with that room.  Very messily done, I know and I’ve learned a lot since then, but for the moment it works for me.

Best check the back

Along the back of the property there’s a full height hinged panel giving access to …

Phew! 

That was all such a relief that I could not resist just playing around.

At least that’s my excuse for the following views 🙂

I enjoyed that and am now set-up to return to the work on the chimneys and the next door walling, then I’ll do the cleaning through out.