A Randomly Selected Newspaper Headline:

The following is a randomly selected newspaper headline from many years ago:

Welcome to my blog. Please feel free to leave a comment. I assure you I always read and appreciate everything you have to say. Unfortunately, thanks to Blogger being, well . . . Blogger, I can not respond to comments nor leave any on your blogs. They simply disappear into the ether. Occasionally I will remember to respond in the next blog post I put up, but usually these good intentions slip my mind. So if you want to ask a question or get a response to any comments you may have please leave an email address or other contact method in your comment and I will get back to you.

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.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pumpkin Cottage

My Christmas present to myself this (well, last) year was Pumpkin Cottage, a kit by Petite Properties. It's a 48th (1/4") scale cottage, the first in their Storybook Cottage range.  I fell in love with this kit the first time I saw it and my bank balance cringes at the thought of more fairy tale style cottages to be released in the future.

In larger scales I tend to build then decorate.  In 48th scale, this is generally impractical due to the tiny space left to work in after assembly, so the inside was decorated before the kit was assembled.  The walls are painted in a pretty pale lavender with plum purple used on the wooden trims and accents.

Lavender and plum may not be traditional colour choices for the rustic cottage, but then I've never really done rustic terribly well and besides, this is a fairy tale sort of cottage so story book colour schemes should apply.  What I should have done differently is paint the front door solid plum - as it is the plum bars make it look like prison cell door.

The ground floor and fireplace and chimney are faux stone made using my trusted old pollyfiller technique.  This step was done first before the rest of the kit was assembled.  I glued the various parts of the chimney and fireplace both internal and external into position first so that I could then 'stone' the chimney in one piece, avoiding the ugly join seams in the stone that would have occurred otherwise.

 The stonework was painted dark grey over which successively lighter shades were dry brushed to give a stone-y look.  The upstairs floor is made of printed floorboards from an internet printable site.

Outside, the house was painted a pale petal pink with the beams in a darker plum pink.  OK, so at the moment it looks like the sugarplum fairy should live there, but I did have a plan in choosing pink.  I want to create a garden full of greenery around the outside of the cottage and pink looks good against green.  At least that's the theory.

For the roof I wasn't sure whether to go for grey slate tile or brown thatch.  As you can see the thatch won.  I decided that a grey roof would blend too well with the grey chimney.  The thatch is some cheap fur fabric painted a teddy brown.  I know the colour isn't quite right for thatching, but this brown works better with the pink walls that anything closer to 'real' thatch colour.

 Inside, I've started working on the furniture which is a mix of Petite Properties kits and handmade balsa pieces.  I just need to figure out what to do along the downstairs left end wall . . . .

So, who do you think will be living here?

Friday, January 9, 2015

And Another One Bites the Dust . . .

The Sitting Room for the Tower of Magic has changed a lot since I last showed it to you and it is now finished.

The fireplace and stone wall are foamboard covered in pollyfilla to create the look of stone blocks and then painted in a very boring stone-y grey.  The firegrate is parts of a plastic fence railing, wire mesh and red glass and black seed beads for the embers.

I have to apologise for yet again having to use the flash to take these photos.  I do try it without, but all I get is a black hole.  On the right side wall is this wall unit filled with a few books that didn't fit on the built-in shelves and assorted magic-y bits and pieces.

The seats in this room are from kits by SDK Miniatures.  I bought them years ago because they were perfect for what I was working on at the time . . . but didn't use them as it turns out they were also totally wrong for the space.  I've tried them in various projects since, but never found the right place for them.  I'm not sure I have yet either, they don't exactly look too comfy for just sitting about and relaxing on which is supposed to be the purpose of the room.  At least now they're finally out of the cupboard.

The mirror illusion of continuing shelves in this room is perhaps not quite as effective as the mirror in the Library.   The shelf corridor needed to be a little deeper so that you wouldn't see the change in flooring and a reflection of the green lady's skirt not to mention the end of the shelves.  That or the mirror should have been more steeply angled.

This lady in green was dressed some four and a half years ago and since then had lived in the tower wing of Highcroft Castle.  That is until my cat totally destroyed said tower.  After months of looking at the ruins left behind I decided it wasn't worth trying to repair and have stripped everything salvageable from it to reuse and thrown the rest away.  Thus the green lady and her tapestry frame have found a new home in the ToM.

The other lady in the room is newly made and dressed . . . and not my greatest success.  She looks well enough, but doesn't exactly scream 'sorceress'.  The problem is that her dress is cotton, rather than something fancy like silk or velvet.  The one fabric store in my town no longer seems to be keeping things like silk and velvet, so I was trying to save the supply I have left by using cotton instead.  I have a feeling that when my supply does run out I'm going to be in Trouble.

 And finally, a sneak peek at the progress on my next project . . .