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Monday, November 8, 2010

Dancing Dragon Inn - Week Nine

For some reason, Blogger isn't letting me add photos this week, so until I get this sorted out, please take a look the the photos on my Flickr account here: Dancing Dragon Inn

The final floor of the Inn was added this week and topped off with a roof.  As with all the other levels, this one started with a piece of foamboard cut to size and a hole cut in to allow the stairs to pass through.  The under side was given a skim coat of pollyfilla and painted off white to create the ceiling of the bedrooms below while the top side was covered in more popsicle stick "floorboards".  Once I has a floor, I added the walls to the sides and back of the floor.  These walls were only 3" high as most of the height of this level is under the sloping roof ontop of the walls. 

The exact shape and design of the roof is something that had been under debate in my head for weeks.  There were all sorts of ways I could have made it, but many of them left me undable to access the rooms within, made the roof too high or created low points where the mini residents would have to duck to walk underneath.  Finally I settled on a compromise mix of a few different ideas.  The result is a roof with three peaks, their ridges running back to front with the central ridge slightly lower that the two either side.  Like the walls, the roof was made by making a frame out of balsa wood and filling the sections created with foamboard.  At this point I made a discovery.  Peel the plastic-paper outer layer off the foamboard and you are left with a rough, off white surface that imitates a rough plaster finish reasonably well.  As this floor is where the cheapest rooms of the Inn are located, a cheap coat of "plaster" seemed like a good finish for the walls and peeling off the layer of foamboard was much easier than going over it with pollyfilla and painting it.  Strips of balsa wood were then added to the walls for some extra decoration.

The exterior of the roof still needs to be covered in tiles.  A quick measure of the roof I'd created gave me an area of 480 square inches that need to be covered, requiring approximately 2000 standard twelth scale roof tiles.  Having seen the prices of roof tiles (and adding on the fact that I'd have to get them shipped from the UK or US) there was just no way I was going to finish the roof with pre-bought tiles.  Now I have two choices; use a sheet of preformed tile effect cladding or make my own tiles.  The preformed cladding sheets do look quite economical (even though I still can't find any in Oz), but every tile it perfect and identical and having seen other miniature tiled roofs (rooves?) around the internet, the roofs with cracked and slipping tiles absolutely look better than those with neat, orderly rows of tiles.  Acheiving this means using individual tiles, so I'm going to have a go at making my own.  The plan is to use terracotta air dry clay, roll it flat and cut it into tile sized rectangles.  I have a feeling the plan may be a simple one, but that it may take weeks to produce enough tiles to cover the roof.  The thought of what is sure to be time consuming and tedious work making tiles is why I'm thinking I'll work on making the removable front walls next and finish the roof off later.


  1. I just looked at your pictures! Twice! I am in awe! Did you start with some kind of plans or was this your own design? I can't believe this is sticks (boards) and foam core! Outstanding!
    Real life has kept me out of the mini loop for a while! Oh what I have missed! LOL!

  2. Hi Heather,

    Thank you Heather, that's pretty much how I felt when I saw your Wizard's Lair!

    The Inn is all my own design. I started with an idea in mind of what I wanted and modified it as I went along when I realised something wouldn't work/fit as I had envisioned. In short, I made it up as I went along!