Monday, June 9, 2014

More bricks, lead roofing, the street, and the garden

Max posing since he is a cat and that is what he does best. 

A cat being useful
Genevieve admiring the cat weather vein.

Cat Weather Vein in memory of Bean

"Lead" Roofing
Corrugated tin sheet bent to create seams

"Lead" flashing

"Cast Iron" Gutters
Finally, the front is all bricked up

The street in place
End closure of the basement section

Genevieve rolling film to bake beads
Me making film beads for the wrought iron fence
Arch to the walled garden

The steps to the front door

Bases for the wrought iron stair railing
Steps down to the basement with partial railing

Custom made drainage scuppers

The walled garden


Cap on garden wall

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

More and more and more and ..,. bricks

Left side of the house
The whole focus for the last few weeks (and many more to come) has been the application of the bricks. Given the size of the house and the scale of the bricks, I will have to apply approximately 12,000 bricks to complete the main house.

I realized as I applied the bricks to the side gable that the top quoins should have been larger so I left a gap in the brickwork so I can go back and add them in.

End Gable

Ground floor partially complete

With the polychromatic brickwork on the gable, leaving the other levels all one color seemed rather plain so I decided to add black diamonds inline with the quoins on the left and right. As the quoins are not exactly three bricks high, I made maker lines across the sides so each three course of bricks where held to the quoin spacing. At least these slightly larger spacing lets the gray paint underneath show through as mortar.   

Chimney with clay pots

I put the chimneys in place to support the front half of the roof when open, but I can see it is going to be rather fun trying to glue the bricks around the base of the chimney, and then I will have to add the flashing. The chimney pots themselves need some coloring to weather them before they are glued in place.

Front gable
 As the front gable was smaller, I only added the diamond at the apex without the zed pattern on each side. Once the gutter is in place much of the front exe pattern will be obscured but at least there won't be any bare gray patches.
Side gable with roof trim

Once all the brinks were applied, I could install the roof trim. I glued blocks to the back of the trim so I could glue it flush to the face of the roof edge. I will most likely add a coat of paint to help fill the gap.
Front gable with roof trim

A rare view of the right side of the house
Diamond pattern below front windows

Max waiting to move in

The post at the roof apex is for a weather vane.

I always seem to start on the left, but here is a view of the right side of the house. Of course I have to keep looking back at the left side to make sure they match.

I decided on a more open diamond pattern below the windows on the front of the house.

Genevieve wait patiently as always. She has been collecting many items for the inside of the house and the future garden so soon it will be time to post some pictures of the inside.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Doors, Rooms and Bricks

Inside of front panel with bathroom, library, living room, ...

... kitchen, and staircase
I decorated the inside of the front panel to match the rooms so the rooms would still look complete with the doors open and so the curtains will match the door finishes. The base board is just a pice of veneer that is used for the floors. The thinness of the veneer will allow the doors to close while still matching the trim in the rooms. 

I had to cut the chair rails on the front short so they would not interfere with the rails in the main portion of the room that I wanted flush with the the wall faces.

Genevieve has been reading lots of books to earn furniture pieces and so with her in charge of the interior decorating it is finally time to move on to completing the exterior of the house.

Top of the stairs and teddy relaxing on the bed

A view of the right side of the house

With Genevieve now responsible for the interior decorating, my attention is finally turning to the outside of the house and the brickwork.

The bricks...I estimate that I will need to apply about 10,000 bricks to complete the exterior.

A victorian house would have been built in bricks using a flemish bond pattern. Unfortunately, I could not find any pre-made paper or product that used flemish bond, so I decided to make my own bricks. Also, I wanted to add some polychromatic brickwork inspired by various english buildings. 

To make the red bricks, I first painted fine sandpaper (220 grit) with slightly different shades of terracotta paint and then speckled some sheets with black and white highlights to create some variation typical of older bricks. For the cobalt bricks, I used a blue-black paint and then added slight highlights of black and purple. Once I had the sheets of sand paper, I then had to cut them in to bricks. 

Strips of sandpaper noodles waiting
to be cut up in to bricks

Standard english bricks were 9" x 4 1/2" x 3" which at 1:12 scale is 3/4" x 3/8" x 1/4". Luckily I had a shredder that cut 1/4" strips, so I ran the sheets through the shredder and ended up with a pile of noodles. These then had to be cut in to 3/4" and 3/8" lengths as the stretchers and headers. For this I placed blue masking tape on my cutting board so I could cut 12 strips at a time. 

Tubs with both full and half bricks
in both terracotta and cobalt (blue/black)

Genevieve did an excellent job of sorting the stretchers and headers in to tubs for ease of application.

The wax modeling tool is great for pushing the bricks in to place and the corks are used to press the bricks firmly against the wall as the glue dries. Unfortunately, the cats love to play with the corks so unless I pack them away in one of the tubs, I have to open another bottle of wine to continue.

Brick pattern for gable end and guide

I laid out the brickwork pattern using brick pattern template created using a spread sheet. This allowed me to check that the pattern would be reasonably symmetrical within the limits of the brick size and building dimensions.

I was actually surprised that the applied bricks matched the pattern to the brick. I was expecting slight variations in the hand cut bricks to throw me off.

The first of many bricks
Here is the first section of the bricks applied to the gable end. I expect that some slight brick adjustments will be needed to match the pattern as the two sides join over the window but so far it is working out. Where the gray walls show through, the gaps are the mortar joints.

Having started the brickwork I now see that I will need to fill in the quoins under the eaves, oops!

Seamus (ginger),
and Max (tabby)

Genevieve waiting patiently for the dollhouse with some of her best friends.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Rooms with the back wall completed

Lower hallway

Utility room
 Pictures of the rooms with the back panel installed. I managed to match up most of the patterns on the wall papers.

I had to miter the chair rail so the back panel would fit. Once I added the front doors I realized I needed to miter the chair rail at the front as well

 Here you can see the front door hinges
Living room


I blacked out the back of the fire places with pastels to give the fireplaces the look of having been used. I need to add a video so you can see the flickering embers.


Children's bedroom

Top of stairs


The conservatory
A picture of the conservatory. I had to cut the exterior molding so that the conservatory will fit flush to the exterior wall.

Rooms before back panel installed

The dining room
Pictures of the rooms before the back goes on. I papered the side walls first so that i could match the pattern on the back wall. The back wall is not glued on, only screwed so if I ever need to remove the back of the house, I can. Well, that is the idea. 
The library


Living room

Top of the staircase

A princess and her castle

Beam ceiling in library

Kitchen with wainscot partially installed

Utility room.French doors exit to future conservatory

Children's bedroom

Upper portion of stairwell

Stair landing looking down to front door

The little blue squares are the working wall sockets for the table lamps 

A view from the back of the kitchen looking at the bay window that forms the front of the house.

The utility room with the wainscot panels waiting patiently to be installed.

The tape on the floor of the children's bedroom is holding the wires for the ceiling lights for the rooms below out of the way.