Monday, 10 October 2016

Building the Foundation & Painting

So today's tasks included building the foundation and painting all of the milled pieces of the dollhouse with undercoat/primer.

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First order of business is a dry fit of the foundation pieces. Everything is there!

[caption id="attachment_516" align="alignnone" width="3264"]san-franciscan-21 First glued piece. Whoohoo!... Dollhouse milestone![/caption]
Now that I'd determined I had all the pieces. I glued the front bay/veranda section to the main floor.

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Then I glued all the side sections on starting from the back and working forward towards the bay (The centre strengthening pieces is not glued at this point). I then checked everything was square and left it to dry.

I umm├ęd and ahhhed about this step because I really would like to build that basement garage and though I would be better off cutting new pieces of basement to the right height.

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I bought this plywood that is a similar thickness to the MDF in the kit & a handsaw. I have the first floor piece clamped to it in this pic because I was using it to measure the back and side walls I would need to cut.... This was a hopeless failure.. lol... I couldn't even cut into this board with the hand saw, let alone in a straight line! Back to the drawing board....

In the mean time I finished the foundation as it was kitted. Trying to figure out the basement was holding me up and I can always add smaller extensions to the basement later if I can figure out a plan. One thing I do know is that if and when I do a basement it won't have internal stairs. This is a bit of a bummer because I prefer realism in miniatures, but there is no way I could cut a stair hole in the main floor without specialised tools. I'm just telling myself that the garage would have been a later addition to the crawl spaces of these Victorian houses and not everyone would have gone to the expense of adding an internal staircase.. ;). It wouldn't be unusual, I would think, to come out of the garage and up the front steps to access the house? No? The other room in the basement will now have to be utility or laundry or workroom I suppose. Or it could be a studio apartment that the owner of the San Franciscan rents out for extra cash. :D

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Wha - La! Finished foundation!.. We are off and running. :)



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I painted all the milled MDF parts and most of the other MDF parts in primer because this is old wood and the paint is going to sink in. It took three coats to get decent coverage and even then there were a couple of dodgy spots. I have since put a fourth and fifth coat on of Dulux Antique White USA in a semi-gloss/satin finish. This was a compromise because I prefer a flat finish, but I did it with cleaning in mind. :o

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While I was building the foundation I also punched out and dry fitted the first floor windows (the second & third floor windows are a different shape so harder to punch and I ran out of steam..) and also the first & second floor doors.

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I have a clamp on one of the windows because the wood has split and warped and I'm trying to flatten it out ready for paint.

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The door instructions advise that you have to sand the pivots at the top and bottom into the semblance of a circle.

I'm not sure if I'm going to use these doors or Houseworks ones, but I'll prep them anyway just in case.

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The doors come as two pieces that you place the window pane in between. I taped them together as they would be when finished and then started sanding.

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Not too bad. The intent is that the door will swing better with the rounded pivots.

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I sanded them all and gave them a first coat of primer.

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Some of them are still pretty rough though.

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I'll sand them again before the next coat but to be honest this is supposed to be an old house so the windows having seen better days fits with the shabby chic theme I'm going for. :)

Can you see that some of the windows have wider side walls than others? That's on purpose. You put one of the skinny ones with one of the fatter ones and the overlapping fatter wall becomes the piece that slides in the channel trim to create opening windows. Ingenious method, but it means you have to be careful not to go overboard on the sanding.. lol

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