Tuesday, January 10, 2012
A Hole in the Wall
I don't have a lot of pretty pictures to show you this week as most of my time has been spent scraping and sanding walls and floors (the result of which is not really worth a photo) or searching the internet for components and ideas. The one really visible change I've made so far is to put a large hole in the wall dividing the Gallery from what will be the solar.
Okay, so I cheated and didn't really cut a hole in the solid MDF wall but rather I reused the arch made of balsa wood that used to be in the kitchen downstairs. I cut down the arch so instead of reaching from the back wall right to the front of the castle there is now a doorway sized gap between the back wall and the start of the arch. This will be the new access to the Gallery, replacing the ladder that used to connect to the Gallery from the Hall below. I soaked the Tudor frieze wallpaper off the original wall, but I'm not sure whether to use it on the arch or to simply leave that wall solid burgundy. The original Gallery railing is temporarily sitting in position. Again, I've yet to decide whether to re use this as is, to re use it but paint it white to give a greater contrast between the railing and the deep coloured wall behind or to create a whole new railing.
When I first designed and built this castle, I deliberately made it with quite low ceilings so I could have an extra level without the castle becoming too huge. I then hung lights from the ceiling. The result was that it was impossible for anyone to walk accross the room without cracking a jaw on the lights. So I've pulled out all the ceiling lights and ordered a heap of wall sconces to replace them. I never liked the brass finish on the lights I had, but at the time they were all that was available in Australia. Fortunately, the range of lights I can buy locally has improved and the new lights although virtually identical are black instead of brass. I've painted the old brass lights that will be reused black to match the new additions. It was amazing how much difference something so simple can have. I think the lights look a hundred times better already.
The concept for renovating the castle is to give it the look of a Camelot style castle as people of the Victorian era would have imagined it. This means absolutely no medieval realism, but instead a highly romantisised and glamourised ideal of what a medieval castle might have been with lashings of gothic influence. With that in mind I spent time searching just about every miniature store I know of on the internet and found very little that was immediately suitable. That doesn't mean I didn't find anything at all.
At Tom Thumb's Miniatures I found these wall panels:
The only way these could be better is if there were more than two different designs in the panels. At first I saw them in the Solar, but for the moment they are destined to adorn the walls of the bedroom.
I've also bought some plaster mouldings from Sue Cook Miniatures in the UK. I've ordered a selection of items from the "Gothic" range which will be divided mostly between the solar and the bedroom.
Finally, there are these tiles for either the armoury or the wardrobe/dressing room: Tiles
Hopefully, that is all the shopping I will need to do for the castle. Of course need isn't the same as want . . . . .