The year began with the third room of the Tower of Magic, the Great Hall. My one complaint with this room is that it really needs to be bigger, it's more of a 'Quaint' Hall than a 'Great' Hall. It's certainly a crowded hall with three people, an owl, dragons, fairies, cats, mice and one flying pig crammed in. The hammer beam style rafters hold a lot of these critters including the large polymer clay dragon.
Much of the furniture in the Hall was recycled from earlier (now defunct) projects. The table for example used to be in Bellerose House before it was stripped and renovated.
At the same time I also worked on the Steampunk Wizard's Tower in 24th scale. This is built from a kit that is a cheap Chinese knock off of DHE's defunct Toll House kit. The tower represents what I might have done with the Toll House in 12th scale if DHE hadn't (as usual) discontinued the kit before I got around to buying one. The outside is covered in 'stones' made from egg cartons and painted in a sandstone tone.
On the ground floor is the study with desk and a pair of not so comfy looking armchairs. I really like the grandfather clock in here but find the octopus light fitting less successful.
Upstairs is the workroom with a table full of half made gadgets and gizmos. The stand out in here is probably the tank with the octopus or maybe the bejewelled vaulted ceiling.
But my personal favourite of the year would have to be the next project, the Lab for the Tower of Magic.
This is another very busy room bursting at the seams with pretty much every piece of magical paraphernalia a dedicated wizard could ever want. The walls are polyfiller scored and painted to resemble stone blocks. The hood over the fire was a gift from the wonderful Lorraine of Fairy Meadow Miniatures. It deeply affected the design and layout of the room. There is no way I can describe all the details in this room as it would take until the end of next year to do it.
At the same time as working on the Lab, my favourite room of the year, I was working on my decidedly least favourite room, the Master's Chamber.
It's the wallpaper, right? I need a totally, completely different paper on the wall and then this room might just work. I mean the ceiling is fabulous, the furniture is all right, the accessories are fine and the layout is not what I originally intended, but OK. It has to be the walls.
After the Master's Chamber I filled in the remaining couple of weeks before Easter renovating and restoring some older projects.
This bedroom was moved into this wider box which made the furniture layout much more pleasing. I also went with a solid wall colour in place of the original patterned paper.
My conservatory had been stripped of all it's contents as they were gradually 'borrowed' to use in other projects. It was given a coat of paint, some new curtains and then filled with new furniture. The sofa and table were another part of the gift from Lorraine of Fairy Meadow Miniatures, as was the gold planter although it was a cradle when it arrived and not a planter at all.
The final quick renovation job was this old roombox shop.
Like the conservatory, everything in it had been 'borrowed' and used elsewhere. I needed to find something for the shop to sell that I already had on hand and so it became a perfume and jewellery store using assorted beads from my stash to create the bottles and jewels.
At some point I have to come back and finish this store off by adding a sales assistant and a customer or two. The only thing I still don't like about this shop is that due to the design of the kit it is built in the inside can be viewed only from above.
Next came the steampunk airship in 24th (1/2") scale.
The ship is constructed of balsa wood and cardboard. A lot of the metallic surfaces are wood or card wrapped in kitchen foil.
I don't count it as a great success, it's one of those ideas that looked a lot better in my head than it does in reality. Partly, this is because in reality you have to be practical. I had to do away with an entire level below decks resulting in the cargo being carried on deck instead of in the hold and the engine room being reduced to a tiny niche behind the kitchen and it does not really look sufficient to power an entire ship.
I think maybe I should have made it two rooms wide instead of one, but that would have meant making opening walls for the outside so you could access all the rooms inside. Curved and slanted opening wall? I'm not brave enough to have tried that!
And from behind you can really tell how crooked the balloon is.
One side is open for viewing but the other is clad in balsa wood strips that curve around the shape of the ship.
All of this took place in the first five months of the year (or so). Part two of the year is coming soon!