Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Building Calamity 9 - Row House #2 - Initial Progress

I made a lot of progress on different projects in November, I'm hoping that trend continues into December. I decided to start off with the second of the two Row Houses for Calamity. Again I'm not sure if these will make the final cut on to the board. They are larger than I had anticipated. But they are useful testbeds to try different building and finishing techniques on.

I originally cut the pieces for this house at the same time as I did for the first one. Of course that meant that I repeated the same mistake I made on the first one as far as the size of the openings I cut for the doors and windows. I was also vowed to stick to the order that's really necessary to avoid doing a lot of interior painting after its assembled. To make this one different I wanted to use wallpaper rather just bare planking so I left the interior side of the pieces smooth. The first thing I discovered was the paper I intended to use was just to thick so I had to scramble for an acceptable alternative, in this case some of the pages out one of my moleskin books. Its about the right color but its probably a little to thin. I'll have to drop by Michael's or Hobby Lobby and go through the scrap book sections again to find some suitable patterns or even just blank white paper that's the right thickness. I have a file of wall paper patterns but I'll have to be sure to scale them down a bit. Most patterns that I have seen used have a pattern that printed out to big. The patterns are scaled for dollhouses and a much smaller version of the pattern is necessary for my buildings or it will really dominate the walls. 
[Dollhouses are typically scaled out to 1/12 scale (1" equals a foot) so they should be reduced to about 25% of their actual size which really only gets us down to O Scale or 1/48.]

As I figure the owners aren't into frills this building gets plain wall paper on the walls. It ended up wrinkled in a couple of places and a few bubbles. Initially I tried to smooth these out and then I decided to leave it, it adds character and shows that the roof probably leaks as well. I might go in and add some streaks from water stains. Along with the wall paper I decided to add a chair rail all the way around as Doug suggested during the work on Row House #1. I wavered on adding an interior wall to make it into a two room house but decided against it. I think I will have plenty of opportunities to work with interior walls in future buildings.

I have completed the interior with; wallpaper, chair rail, baseboard trim and painting. I'm going to add some painter's tape over the openings and along the edges so that I don't get overspray  from the airbrush on the inside. Before I move forward with the exterior painting though I'm going to add the exterior trim and paint the front and backs of the doors and windows before I add them to the walls. I may go ahead and paint the exterior flat without the doors and windows and see how that goes.

I'm dry fitting what I have at this point. You can see that I have already trimmed out the big front window in this picture. My steel blocks are probably the best tool I have purchased for these builds.

Since the blocks are square I can use them as a straight edge. Here I'm using them to help get the chair rail in position and, hopefully, straight as well.

Looks like the chair rail lines up pretty good across at least three of the walls. After the glue had set I trimmed the excess off that crosses door and window openings.

I went ahead and painted the chair rail early on, it just made it easier to see and I didn't have to be to neat with the paint.
Here I have applied the wall paper using the chair rail as a guide. I should have let the glue set longer as the edges were pretty rough from the trimming. I wasn't to concerned though as I would have to removed the wallpaper from around the edges so I could glue the trim in place.

Here I have removed the wallpaper from around all the openings. It looks quite a bit neater at this stage.

Interior trim in place

Interior trim painted. Before I start work on the exterior I will give this a shot of  matte varnish to help protect the paint work on the trim.

The other thing that I toyed with today was the concept of lighting the town. A couple of friends thought that I could probably make a could portion of each kerosene lantern or lamp from beads, along with some thoughts on how to make that characteristic bulge in the glass. If I go forward with the lighting I'm likely to need upwards of 100 lamps for the project so they need to be relatively cheap and easy to build. I delved into the beading/jewelry world a bit, its a scary place.


  1. Looking good so far. Adding lamps, non-working, would be a nice "realistic" touch. Adding 100+ working lamps would be bonkers for a table that is partly planned for gaming.

    1. If I can make a good looking lamp or lantern then I'll experiment with making them work. After that its a matter of how to make solid connections. The basic board design will support lighting if I decide to go that far with it. The cool factor would be really high.

  2. Might want to consider using fiber optics for the lights. Then you only need a single lamp for many lights. Further, if you use the typical polymer fiber as a light guide, you can usually heat it to change the shape of the end into something bulb-like. Also, for short runs you can paint the fiber itself and use it as the structural element for the light.

    This type of thing tends not to withstand a great deal of moving about, though.

    1. Fiber optics and micro LEDs are the options on my list at this point. If I can pull of making a lamp I'll get deeper into it. Ideally I would build the wiring for the lights directly into the walls, I can't really run visible wire since these are kerosene as opposed to gas.

  3. The interior looks good. I think micro LEDs will be just great. What will be the the exterior, by the way?
    Bredberry's previous page http://essay-writing-place.com/

    1. You mean what color will it be? I'm thinking a weathered green with white or yellow trim for this one. That should make the peeling technique stand out more.

    2. Yes, exactly. I think a weathered green with yellow will be awesome. Looking forward to see the finish. When are you planning to show it?

    3. I'll keep posting progress reports, ideally it would be done sometime this weekend, but there aren't any time constraints and I'm not in a hurry.

  4. Have you seen the last post by Tim? At Megablitz? Cool.

    1. I haven't seen that one yet. But I have just started to go down my list of blogs to see what's been happening and he is on the list!