Imagine a garden in England sometime in the 17 or 1800s. It's owned by a wealthy man who has travelled extensively all around the world, but particularly in the orient, and has brought back many rare and unusual treasures. To display his collection and impress his guests, he had a folly built in his garden. It was designed by mashing together different oriental influences; Chinese, Japanese, Indian and perhaps even a touch of Egyptian for good measure. Although the structure was inspired by his time in the East, the local English builders who actually had the job of constructing it had never seen it's like, nor had any idea how to build it, thus in places they used English techniques they were more familiar with. Around the building, the wealthy traveller had a small oriental style garden built / planted to enhance the look of the folly. Within the structure are housed the man's collected treasures such as furniture, teapots, screens and wallhangings all in oriental style, all displayed to impress.
Having looked at various pictures of oriental style buildings on the internet I noticed that the ridge of the roof almost always runs paralell to the front of the building. The ridge of the Retreat kit runs perpendicular to it. Could I rotate the direction of the roof? Well, the basic kit looks like this:
If I turn the roof around without cutting into the original structure at all, it looks like this:
It looks bigger this way doesn't it? The question is does it now look too big to be a garden folly and more like a proper building?
I can't decide whether I like it or not. As you can see, I had to raise the walls at the sides of the building which has the strong advantage of making the upper floor far more useable. The slope on the original roofline meant that only the middle few inches of floor were really practical for positioning furniture and still having room for the mini people to mave around it. Now I can use the entire top floor, essentially doubling the space of the top floor. That is if it stays this way. At the moment, the entire structure is held together with masking tape so can easily be taken apart and put back the way it started out. I'd love to hear any opinions you have about whether you like it better with the basic original roof or with my alterations.
You'll notice in the photos that Dapper Dan has been pressed back into service as my test model dummy. With Artie finding a permanent home in Castle Starcaster there was little choice but to get Dan back. Unfortunately, I haven't broken the news to him that the Retreat is not going to be the Edwardian era building that it was once intended for and thus Dan's permanent home. Well, maybe he won't notice, his brains are made of plastic after all.