With Dragonsdell Castle finished, I've spent some time considering what I want to do next.
It could be the Elizabethan manor house. If you've seen the "Barnsdale Manor" by Barbara's Mouldings then this is the sort of house I have in mind except mine would be in 48th scale due to space/size restrictions. Mine would be finished in red brick with (of course) lavish interiors much like the one you can see if you click this link.
Or I could make a start on the row of Victorian Terrace Houses. These would be a series of separate houses each one room (and a staircase) wide and four or five floors high. In appearance they would be much like these old kits from DHE: Baker Street or Eaton Square. Again due to size I would have to do these in either 24th or 48th scale and although similar on the outside I'd tailor the interiors to the needs of the residents. For example one could be the home of a doctor with his consulting room on the ground floor, the residents of another house could be preparing for a wedding while a third could be the secret headquarters for a gang of spies. The possibilities are endless . . . and once I get started the number of houses I do will probably be too.
But . . . having been working in smaller scales of 24th and 48th for six months it really seems like time to do something in 12th scale for a change.
A couple of months ago I discovered that fishpond (kind of an Australasian version of Amazon) sell dollshouses. Among the items listed was the "Orchid" kit by Corona Concepts (Greenleaf). It's listed price was $125 and that is the minimum I would expect to pay for a kit like that, but it was reduced to just $65. When you add in free postage . . . well, there was no way I could resist that deal.
So now I have this cute little cottage kit but no real idea what to do with it. I hunted the internet for pictures of what other people had done with the kit and saved them to a board on Pinterest here. What I learned from this research was that if you don't use the internal wall downstairs the top floor will sag (badly) unless you add a supporting post or ceiling beams, that it rather surprisingly looks great if adapted to have a Tudor look or given a stone finish, but I like it in weatherboard the best and that most people leave out the internal stairs.
To get a good grasp on what will and won't fit into a space, I really need to see that space, so I clamped the base and side walls together and started playing with furniture layouts. Almost immediately I decided I would have to adapt the kit which was left open at the back to instead be front opening - there is simply no other way to go if you want to build in features like a fireplace and an old fashioned range oven.
Next up I learned why so many people don't include the stairs in the house - they leave no space to fit in and nicely arrange furniture in the rooms. I hate houses without logical access to the rooms; stairs are ideal but failing that fake doors to give the illusion of the possibility of stairs is essential. Fake doors won't really work in this kit, but every possible positioning and layout of stairs (at the side, the back, straight, L shape, etc) will not work. Finally, I had the brainwave to include the stairs, but not inside the house.
Remember Pumpkin Cottage? The stairs in that kit were in the little annex outside the main structure. All I need to do is cut doorways in the side wall of the kit and I can add the stairs on the outside of the house and enclose them in a lean-to type structure. Now there will be the space to have well laid out rooms in the house.
Of course, planning isn't all I've done this week. This is the start of the next (ninth?) room for the Tower of Magic. I'll leave you to guess at the purpose of this room until next week . . . .
A Randomly Selected Newspaper Headline:
The following is a randomly selected newspaper headline from many years ago:
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I have also added a separate page to the blog for the Tower of Magic with a brief summary of all the rooms of the ToM in the one spot. The link is just below this and above the main body of the blog, or you can just click here.