Friday, February 6, 2015

Extreme Kitbash: Day 1- The walls

I have been fiddling with the design, going back and forth, back and forth. Sometimes when I have an idea for a diorama, it starts out as one thing, and then turns into a completely something else. This has been the way my building dollhouse hobby has been since I started in 2003-2004, when I started out as an enthusiastic dewey faced newbie, buying kits and working in the world of 1:12 scale dollhouse miniatures. I would painstakingly plan, each room and then, find one or two over the top pieces and the kit would change in its decor and landscaping in a red hot new york minute! LOL! It was fun and some of my best ideas and inspiration and creativity grew from those Eureka! moments.  Such is the case with this kit.

I originally thought this would make a wonderful cozy ski chalet or mountain cabin for Cruz. I thought of him as a secluded frustrated mountain guy who loved to live off the grid, on the range type of guy and needed a mountain getaway. I was wrong. Since ordering Lady of the White Woods From Barbie Collector (and having to WAIT for her on backorder!) I have in idle moments been amusing myself by trying to get a few closeup pics of her gown and reading the back story. The storyline made me even more enthralled and took me back when I used to create small wizard cottages and witchy cottages which are all the rage in the miniature dollhouse world.  My inspirations were 
Frogmorton Studios by Rik Pierce, who does the most fabulous workshops around at Chicago and Philadelphia Miniaturia shows each year,  as well as the wonderful collection of Sally Wallace at and  which has photos of Rik's Hogwart's castle!  These are some of the amazing miniatures that have inspired me over the years that I used to drool over. So I thought, why not turn this into a cottage that would look believeable in a fairy forest, with a Tudor picturesque Hobbit-Harry Potter- Merlin -Elf theme genre about it? And so I was onto something...

Ok, over with the rambling! I decided to just get on with it and cut the pieces with my measurements and see if it would work. I am using foam insulation and pieces of the kit in ways they aren't intended. Here is what it looks like pinned together. (it will be glued when I'm ready, lol) A whole lot of priming, dremeling, sculpting cutting and more than likely, cursing needs to happen before that takes place! My 1/6 articulated assistant, Kat is here to help.

Here we are with the unevenly cut front and the door and what is the 1:12 scale sliding doors that have become windows on either side of the 1/6 door. Pinned together at the bottom foam insulation sides with the mdf walls on top

The original sliding door of this kit makes great windows for the front of this cottage. Here I am attempting to show their placement in conjuction to the door and Kat. The windows do not look very Tudor or cottage looking- I will be altering them as well. I am thinking frosted glass and either black tape and /or liquid lead for stained glass might work. For this to be a magical fairy cottage in the white woods, it should be old beyond time, with a Tudor or olde ye Elizabethan dwelling look about it. 

Here is Kat inside on one of the tiles holding the window. The Tiles are regular tiles that look like slate with a sticky back. I like them because they will mesh with both Lady of the White woods' dress and the Faraway forest elf' costume. I will be cutting them up in 2 inch squares and putting them down to resemble a slate stone floor, then mortaring them. That will come later in a seperate tutoral after some work on the walls comes. 

To the left you can see the MDF wall piece on top. It slopes down in the back and has a window opening. It is originally made to accomadate the beams which are made of MDF wood too. I have to do some alterations on the front wall piece for these but I think I can make it work as I want to use the original piece of grooved wood that came with the kit for the roof. 

So far, that is what I have today. Not much but my problem has been time. Right now this haphazaard project is on my dining room table. I had hoped to be working outside but the severe weather has returned- today it has been 17 degrees! Brrr....
Another thing I am glad of....I am enjoying,, really enjoying, working on this project. I will probably also be working on another diorama project for my Barbie club meeting in March! The Theme is Mystical Ireland. Though it would be nice for this, I have a totally different idea in mind for that and thought maybe a small Irish croft cottage would be it, since I have more of this foam insulation and it would be easy to cut and glue and prime together. I have a few weeks so I may be able to get it done and take my time on this. Plus I can donate it as a prize for the ladies at the club meeting too. 
All for now!~Lisa


D7ana said...

Thanks for sharing your work-in-progress. I have always wanted a 1:6 scale dollhouse, but I never saw one I liked. Seeing you create one from scratch, that's inspiring.

Best wishes for your March diorama for your doll club ;-)

Muff said...

So fascinating! I'm going to enjoy watching you progress.