Fruit trays, glue and a load of eye make-up

theinfill blog – scratch build of eighteenth century scenes

There are strips from an egg box or three to do the lintels and cills, and painted card for the bricks

Want small mini jobs at the moment so can bob in and out of the ‘Potting Shed’, therefore concentrated window structuring is out – at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  In fact tearing the card trays, gluing in place and then dabbing with bargain shop cheap eye make-up is a really incredibly sticky job, but, hand and brush cleaning excluded, it does allow me to stop and start the stonework as and when possible.

According to the imagined scenario for this build (my mini-ing always has to have a back-story) most of the windows were added at a later period than the original build of the worker’s basic cottage. The strange brickwork is either around the windows or in places where the structure needed some sorting out over the previous century or two.  Unfortunately the strip of bricks across the middle of the frontage proved a weak point with the weight of the old stonework causing the building to bulge outwards in various places which has taken the bricks with them, hence the odd shadows in the centre on the photo.  There’s also a downward flow as well as outward as the door lintel is cracked in two places and everything is sagging sadly under the influence of our old friend gravity.

Anyhoo, a goodly amount of this brick and stonework is going to be covered or semi-covered in render, cracking and flaking with any luck.  Not so sure that I can pull it off but I’ve always wanted to give it a try.  If nothing else all this clarting of layers onto the foam board will certainly make it pretty rigid; eventually.

and a tricorne

theinfill blog – scratch build of eighteenth century scenes

well, nearly a tricorne
Just hanging around – behind the template for the door

Have moved the hanging place from under the stairs as didn’t much care for it and am much happier with the hat and coat lurking around next to the candle in the window.  Really want the coat and hat viewed straight on rather than from the side, hence using this back wall.

Sadly they cover some of the damage to the plasterwork done by the imagined inhabitant of this small cottage.  It would seem that he’s a door slammer, either that or the wind causes problems with the door.  Whichever it is there’s cracking here and there, as well as lime plaster falling from the wall and exposing occasional stone and brickwork.  Of course I could move the clothing into the corner on the other side of the window and expose that area of damage … did I try it there?  Goodness, can’t remember …  probably did – overhung the window too much perhaps?  Hmmm

I’ve been fiddling around with dressing the room as a displacement activitiy, putting off doing the windows.  I really dislike doing windows, but needs must and now I’ve got one in place, more or less, I’d better jump in and do the other five in this build; two very small, one medium(ish) and one large, before they become even more inaccessible.

Viewing the scenes

The other side of the house (from which we’re looking) is going to remain open so that the inside of the building is always visible, with a short wall at the bottom of the opening/front of stage, allowing some small items to be spread against it in the downstairs room.  Upstairs, everything will just have to fall out.  The windows (when done!) give restricted views into the spaces, with one very big window set into the left-hand wall.

I’ve gone and half blocked access to one of the small windows as the staircase is now set in place – oh joy, it’s pay-back time for failing to follow my listed ‘order of play’ and being a know all about gluing in the stairs; sheesh, determination time and more than usually sticky fingers.


The ghost of a coat


Spent the afternoon trying to fashion a scrap of oddly shaped fabric into a suitably period-looking (C18) style of coat, preferably without cutting and/or gluing.

Settled on the use of a hot steam iron and needle and thread and poddled on until I’d achieved something that might do the job.  It isn’t as if a figure has to wear it so there’s no fitting problems there; I’d like it to hang up, possibly under the stairs or in the bedroom.

Scorched fingers and oversized pins

The scrap of fabric is part of the remains of a charity shop purchase of a pair of casual trousers.  It’s had many uses in the other minis I’ve had a go at, mostly because of its colour, which is a sort of browny plumb shade which lends itself to mini clothing projects despite its very open weave and fraying edges.

The coat

Couldn’t decide whether to make it a sleeved long waistcoat (no collar) or add a small one.  In the end have folded it so it might be a collar or it might be slovenly hanging of the coat.

theinfill blog – scratch build of eighteenth century scenes

Hangs a little better and it was at this point that I realised it didn’t have a right-hand pocket!  It does, however, unfortunately, look like someone has left a dressing gown hanging at the bottom of the stairs when they last paid a visit 🙂

General outcome

If we carefully ignore he dressing gown impersonation, the coat doesn’t look too bad when viewed from either side but is a an uninteresting sack-like shape from the back.  Need to ponder that; possibly hang somewhere else or actually do someting with the back.  Or another possibility is to distract from the sack-back (no not a Watteau gown) by hanging a long off-white neck cloth up with it. Hmmmm.  Or yet again, could just leave it standing there in the middle of the room as the ghost of a coat.

On the building front

I’ll go find a small scrap of the remains of the trou so can make that missing pocket …



Paintings of Watteau


Lighting a fire


More of less finished the struggle with the staircase, well at least made my peace with it.  Finished it off by rubbing sand into the corners after wearing down the treads a little.


I’ve been multi-tasking, or more truthfully, hopping from one job to another whilst the last one dries out, so there’s a mix of jobs in the next images.

Some of the lighting needs to go in at the same time as the wall covering.

The idea is to use the very large battery end of the fitment as an object on a shelf next to the chimney breast. – possibly as a plate or a non-working candle holder, but leaving easy access to the on/off switch for the fire.

theinfill blog – scratch build of eighteenth century scenes

One fire …
May leave this pan of potatoes on, or some other item. It needs a hanging kettle, perhaps, and I must dig out the trivet from where ever it’s hiding.

Will build the fireplace surround etc when have worked a little further across that back wall, but have, at last actually stuck down the staircase into its slot in the floor.