Sunday, September 23, 2018

A White Orchid

 I have wanted to do an all white Greenleaf Orchid for a long time. I think the style of the house and the architectural details will look lovely all white. But sadly the fancy trim pieces in my kit have been cut from the absolutely worst pieces of timber of any of the Greenleaf kits I have done so far. It is like Weetbix, on a very bad day. Most just fell apart when I so carefully removed them from the sheet. Others just fell apart in my hands. The few left couldn't even be sanded. Of course the floors and walls were cut out of the strongest pieces of timber!! Of course!! So the outside is still a work in progress while I figure out what to do. But it has been so long since I made a post I thought I would show what I have done so far.

You would think just painting everything white would be easy. A big HA!! Well it was, once I let go of wanting to add colour. It was so much harder than I thought it would be!!! I put my paints and wallpapers away to reduce temptation. I love colour so much it was really hard for a long time to 'let it go' (everyone in my house will break out into song at the mention of those three words). I used spak first and then gesso in places that needed a bit more coverage. I then finished the whole house with white paint. I use RL house paint where I can. It covers so well and a little goes such a long way. Wont chip off. Any spill from my artist acrylics will just easily wipe off. I use British Paint white sample pot and it was about $9AU.

I added architectural features and detail to add some interest. With the floors I toyed with the idea of white but went with a wash of the lightest grey which I sanded back once it was dry to let the wood colour through.

I used LED lighting for this house. I have used them in the past for smaller 1/144 projects but never on this scale. I always have a stash of electric lights to use and usually go that route. I am so used to using electric lights and installing those that it also took a while to get my head around using LED. They are very easy to use and you get to be creative with making your own light fixtures. I had to lengthen all the wires for starters as I get them in shorter lengths. A lot of twisting wires together and heat shrink tubing was used. If your exposed wires touch each other then they wont work. I like to play it safe. I also need to get myself a better wire stripper. I've always just used my finger nails in the past but it got a bit painful after a while. I use Nano lights. They are teeny and so much easier to wire into jewelry findings etc that I use for light fixtures. They still give enough light I think. I dont like my lights to be too strong. I get the cool white and purchase the orange and red for the fireplace. The warm white can be a bit yellowing sometimes. The light fixture in the kitchen is a pendant. I threaded the Nano inside then used a spacer and the white plastic tubing from a cotton bud and then another spacer. Drilling a hole in the timber for the wire made some of it split and come away so I hid that using white paper circle punched out with a 9mm punch to act like a ceiling rose. Then painted it all white.

For the fire place I used flicker Nano in orange and red. I lightly twisted them together rather than gluing them. I arranged some sticks from my garden and glue them over the Nano lights. I pushed some red glass beads into the glue while it is setting. For the fire grate I bent the ends of a long brass finding at right angles and glued it onto a piece of black card. The pile of sticks fits tightly inside it. Then I just slid it all into the fire place with the wires disappearing down the hole I had made at the back. The light fixture I made using a large light pink pandora bead and a cone brass finding. Some fabric roses, more plastic tubing and a large bead cap for the ceiling rose.

 Here I used some pieces from a sandalwood fan for the dormer trim. Laser cut trim I used for the shelf over the bed and RL picture frame molding at each and of the bed space. It helps to hold the mattress in place but allows space for me to add bedding. The little wardrobe needs hardware still. To make it I used scraps of large balsa to make a box. Cut strips of 1mm balsa and glued them to the outside. For the front a strip on each side and narrower ones along the top and bottom. Strips for the door but there would be some space around. Before I glued them down I went around with a black Sharpie so that when the strips are down it would look as though there is space inside the wardrobe. Some cornice trim along the top. For the light I used flower style bead cap, pink pandora bead and a 1/12 scale juice glass. I left the twisted wires to show but painted them white.

Another cone finding and an old bead all painted white for this light fitting. I left the twisted wires exposed and they got a white paint treatment as well.

I love the way the light fitting in the bathroom came out. A bent brass stamping, blue glass bead and a large bead cap. I ran the wires up the wall and painted over them white. I was working on a way to hide the wire till I looked up in my own work room. My house was built before power and made from timber so no wall cavities to hide wiring. So when lights etc were finally added during the 50's all the wiring was run along skirting boards, cornice and up the walls etc and just painted over. I did the same here. One of those 'oh why didn't I think of that before and save myself so much headache' moments. 

I am currently working on the outside. Wrestling and trying to find ways to salvage any of the fancy trim. Lots of carefully gluing and clamping pieces together so far and have gotten the three gable trim pieces together. Thinking the exterior will have a very worn and slightly derelict look to it!! 

Thanking you stopping by and take care!!