Search results for: brick.

1/144th Bricks: Have you considered wood bricks? Use the narrowest "scribed" siding that you can find (I use 1/32 or 3/64"). Sharpen an old jewelers' screw driver into an appropriately wide ",chisel to poke in the staggered vertical grout lines. If you paint your micro-scales, spray overall with a light gray for grout then dry daub brick color onto surfaces. Easy and quick (for 1/144) and very convincing.

Mel K


Simulated brick: I had purchased a sheet of Rossco brick for my wine cellar in a deep red color. Then I bought more for the kitchen. I wanted to match (more or less) the terra cotta color of the tile floor to a brick wall. This brick product was just great for painting. I used the tip of a small brush to change the grout color and the flat or side of the brush to apply several shades of terra cotta, just grazing the top surface and allowing some of the base color to show through. The resulting texture and variation of color is just perfect! I think this product would be especially nice for used brick. Many dealers sell this, but if you want to see a picture, go to http://store6.yimg.com/I/suzisdollhouses_1643_20413388 It is flexible and has a vinyl like texture, but accepts both stains and paint

Kathy from Tustin


Workshop tools: No, the scroll saw is not a Dremel attachment, it is another machine that has a small vertical saw blade. I use it to cut miniature lumber for furniture, window openings in dollhouse plywood, plastic for windows and fixtures, etc, etc. It has a relatively docile cutting action that works at a speed that you can easily cut nice corners and even reasonable straight lines in small pieces of basswood and thin plywood. Dremel does make one under its brand name, but it is not an attachment for the small Dremel tool.

The sander is a small Delta machine that costs under a hundred bucks from any large home improvement center. It has a small one inch belt sander and a second four inch disc sander. This two-in-one electric sander will sand many of the small surfaces on doll house trim and furniture. I use the 'disc' sander part of this machine to create angle cuts for small mouldings. I just set the fence (or guide) at the angle I need, and sand to that point. I use the small 'belt' sander portion to sand edges of everything: newly cut Plexiglas shelves (china shop fixture), wood mouldings, bricks for dollhouse exteriors, etc etc. It even hooks up to a shop vacuum so the dust is minimal. I use this tool all the time. The large Dremel attachments I have are a router, a shaper table, and a drill press, and then many of the smaller attachments. These tools form the basis of my workshop and I can get most things done with them. Of course I also use larger scale tools, for example, I use a table saw to cut the plywood for dollhouse shells.

Sharon Blake


Flooring:
Question: "I bought "hard wood flooring" for the attic and tile sheet (plastic) for the bathroom & brick for the kitchen floor. Do I glue it down or just lay it in there? "
Answer: My opinion is that they should be glued down, but you may prefer to cut a pattern out of poster board and mount them on that before gluing in place. When I do a hardwood floor I glue to poster board pattern if I can't get into the area. Give it a good finish with a palm sander. Mount to the poster board and when dry (I use quick Grab) sand with a palm sander. They are inexpensive but you can get a beautiful smooth floor that way. Then go over it with a tack cloth to remove dust and spray with semi gloss Deft or similar product. When dry polish with fine steel wool and repeat the process, wipe spray and polish. When your floor is done and has a to-die-for finish glue the whole thing in the room (unless you want a rough cabin type floor). Enjoy!

Anita McNary, IGMA Artisan


Magic Brik: I shall never be without it when working in the dollhouse sized projects. I have never had a problem. Each time I use it, I must get over the terror of the total commitment of adding the mask, mixing and applying the "mud", and removing the mask. As you peel off the mask, you may have some rough edges arise. They are easily removed. It always works. I use it for brick foundations, slate entries to houses, rock chimneys, and, even without the masks, as textured items such as walkways and stucco. In whatever usage I apply Magic Brik, I always seal it with a good water based sealer.

Dave, Bradenton, FL


Magic Brik is neat stuff. I used it on the 2 story fire station and had a good time working with it. I painted the base coat with different shades of gray, that helped age the structure. It took a little while to get the hang of the corners but finally did get the cuts correct so the bricks were the proper length on two faces. A great touch is the cap row on the parapet. Careful not to put the mixture on too thick, but if you do, you can rub some off for a realistic look, even chip a corner.

Jon


Paperclay Brick/stones: I took close up digital pictures of the class I took with Rik Pierce this past summer and put them on my website. There are pictures of my bricks, fireplace stones, and stratified rock.
http://www.sylvan.com/mini

My experience with paperclay has been that you can play with it and play with it and play with it and play with it some more! If it gets too dried out, I just dip my fingers or a brush in some water and dab it on the paperclay to add moisture. A few times I even added a ton of water to a semi-dried paperclay section and kneaded the paperclay completely back to life.

The secret to my fireplace rocks was that I used a stiff stippling brush and I "attacked" the paperclay over and over until as much depth and interest that I wanted appeared. Sometimes I'd add blobs of extra clay to random sections so there would be more paperclay to mold. My rate of speed in class was one of the slowest - simply because to create that much diversity in each fireplace rock required that much more poking!

The stratified rock was created by experimentation. Slashing horizontally over a lump of paperclay with a clay tool - and then pouring a small glass of water over it and seeing how it smoothed and mooshed together all the lines - letting it air dry a bit - slash some more - pour more water - repeat.

Laura Isabella


Paperclay Brick/stones: I took close up digital pictures of the class I took with Rik Pierce this past summer and put them on my website. There are pictures of my bricks, fireplace stones, and stratified rock.
http://www.sylvan.com/mini

My experience with paperclay has been that you can play with it and play with it and play with it and play with it some more! If it gets too dried out, I just dip my fingers or a brush in some water and dab it on the paperclay to add moisture. A few times I even added a ton of water to a semi-dried paperclay section and kneaded the paperclay completely back to life.

The secret to my fireplace rocks was that I used a stiff stippling brush and I "attacked" the paperclay over and over until as much depth and interest that I wanted appeared. Sometimes I'd add blobs of extra clay to random sections so there would be more paperclay to mold. My rate of speed in class was one of the slowest - simply because to create that much diversity in each fireplace rock required that much more poking!

The stratified rock was created by experimentation. Slashing horizontally over a lump of paperclay with a clay tool - and then pouring a small glass of water over it and seeing how it smoothed and mooshed together all the lines - letting it air dry a bit - slash some more - pour more water - repeat.

Laura Isabella


Cloth Covered Wire: I've had a small business making wedding cakes and I make the hand molded gumpaste (sugarpaste) flowers for my cakes. I use the wire that you are talking about. I order it from a wonderful place in Virginia called:

Beryl's Cake Decorating & Pastry Supplies
Tel: 703-256-6951 Fax: 703-750-3779
email: Beryls@beryls.com

Web page: http://www.beryls.com

They carry the wire in the smaller gauges 28, 30, 32. Also they carry petal powder colors we use on the sugar flowers-not sure if they will last, but I have some flowers on display that have been colored for 8 years and they still are bright and fresh. Also, in their catalog they have all kinds of texture makers, such as cobblestone, brick, basket weave, to name a few. She specializes in European roll fondant supplies for making really unique cakes a lot of which are decorated with scenes of mini items. A wealth of possibilities!

Ginny


1940's school: I started school in a poor mixed race neighborhood in Canada in the 40s, so it may not have been very different from your model. There were blackboards along the front of the classrooms, and they were black slate, each about 4' high and 8' wide. I don't remember coloured chalks being used; only white. The blackboard erasers were flat brushes of 1/4" felt strips - red, white and blue strips about 3"x6" with a wooden back. They were cleaned by "good" students who were allowed to take them outside and thwack them against other brushes or on the brick walls. We kids sat at individual desks -the old fashioned all-in-ones with metal frames, wooden seats and a "box" desk with a lift up lid. There was a groove about 1/2" deep all along the width of the desk, just above the hinged lid. This was for pens and pencils. There was a circular hole about 2 1/2" in the top right corner for your inkwell. The desk lids were deeply carved with assorted initials and mottoes. We sat in straight rows facing the teacher - none of these democratic circles! We used straight pens or fountain pens with the little levers and rubber bladders; very messy! And blotters - envelope sized pieces of thick white felted paper. We had math sets in metal boxes -with protractors and set squares, very like those still used today, and pencil crayons in packets of 8 colours or crayons for colouring.

Some of us carried satchels to put our books in; most of us carried them loose. Girls always wore skirts and blouses or pinafores, NEVER trousers, even in the dead of winter. There were cloakrooms near the entrance for coats and galoshes. We carried lunches in brown paper bags, or went home for lunch. (12 - 1:30)

The teacher had a large oak desk at the front of the classroom, and a matching oak chair. No cushions! There were pull down maps like window blinds - with extensive red areas representing "the empire", and a twirling metal world globe on a stand. We all had our own exercise books, small "readers" and "Think and Do" books featuring Spot and Puff and Dick and Jane. Although the classes were mixed sex and one grade to each room, sexual segregation was the rule. Girls and boys had separate entrances to the school. We had to line up in front of our specific door before school began, and spelling "bees" and math quizzes were always divided boy vs. girl.

I don't think fluorescent lights were available back then. I seem to recall long flexes with bare bulbs, some with the upside- down cone shades that were green on the outside and white on the inside.

Donna from Devon


The Dutch house: My initial feeling on the Dutch house was that with the interior bulging with wonderful things, the outside didn't matter, but I realised that was wrong, and the front had to be as good as the inside. Groan.   The work could be divided into 3 parts.   I had removed the American Colonial style door and windows that it had been fitted with, and I had decorated the top with with two big fish with a window between them, papered with very realistic (and amazingly expensive) Dutch brick paper the rest, and the lower part was rendered (filler and glued on tissues) and painted cream.  It then sat around for months while I did everything but..  coward me.

I had really wanted to put in a stable door (I believe you call them Dutch doors in the States) but chickened out, so that left me with only two things to do. :O)

First I made the glazing for the windows - only the upper half of the windows were glazed, with leaded glass. I've seen this is many Dutch paintings - the lower half is glassless but with shutters.   I cut the acetate, wrongly, so had to do it again.  I tried using lead paint, lines went wobbly, blobby, too thick or all 3 at once. Quivering slightly, I changed over to using mega fine strips of golf lead, cutting so SO carefully so I didn't hurt myself with my safety razor.  Finished applying the lead - it was out of scale.  I clenched my hand in my frustration, forgetting I was holding the razor, so cut across my palm and some fingers. Ouch.  Cleared everything away.  Now leaded glass looks so lively because, being small separate pieces of glass, they all catch the light differently, so I bought acetate with a printed lead design on it, and painted each diamond in a different direction with clear gallery glass paint, which made the windows look gorgeous - the glass blurry and soft yet very lively.  Hurrah!  There, that was worth all that blood and stuff - wasn't it?

Next I made the shutters from Starbucks stirrers - I scrounged a whole box of these from our local Starbucks and they are so useful. These are half shutters to go across the parts of the windows with no glass in them.   I cut to size then butt glued the stirrers, painted, aged with weathering powders used by railway modellers, then glued the shutters either open or shut so they made a dynamic pattern of open/close across the front of the house.  The closed ones have twiddly black hinges from Phoenix miniatures on them.

The next day the doors were made of wood, and I veneered them with oak veneer to look like planks, gave them a wash with acrylic, and fitted them, having made small metal door handles from twisted wire. I glued them so they are partially open, as the house which sells drinks downstairs, is full of people, and trade is brisk.

Helen from York, England


I found an easier way than I planned on for the arch top windows: Instead of cutting and laboriously shaping a piece of wood 5 mm thick   (the thickness of the window's grooved   side strips)   to fit, I'll just cut the arch top hole in the plywood 10 mm less in diameter and run the vertical window strips from the window sills to the edge of the drilled hole, so that when the strips and sill are in place, the visual line of the window strips will continue smoothly straight up into the arch top. That should work fine since the outside of the wood windows are 3 to 4" inset into the brick walls in real life, and that would make them flush with the face surface of the plywood backboard on my model.

The arch top will need to be grooved with one groove for the upper window   to fit in properly, but since I can't use the table saw for that as I did the side strips, I suppose a mini router bit with bottom bearing will do if I can find one.

The fun part comes later for windows, the 4 grooved strips holding the "glass" on those Houseworks windows are an amazingly minute 5/32" thick by 3/16" wide with a 1/16" groove for the "glass" to fit into.

I suppose I can mill some strips 5/32 thick by maybe 3/4" wide so I have something to hold onto.  I found a tiny 2" x 1/16" saw blade on a 1/4"  router shaft at work,  I guess I can try the table router with a new fence guide with a groove cut in it to allow the blade to stick out 1/16" and run the strips over it then rip the strips to the 3/16" width on the table saw. The REALLY fun part which I haven't figured out yet is cutting these strips for the arch top's upper "glass," now THAT should prove interesting! I might just fudge it since the tops won't be openable anyway, by just cutting some veneer out to fit the curve and gluing one on each side of the "glass."

Randall


MicroMark-Smoke Generator: I have tried several times to come up w/ a smoking chimney and just when I was about to give up, MicroMark listed one in their catalog that is wonderful. It's very small (I think 1x2x1) and fits just perfectly at the top of the chimney.

I built a wooden box to set it in that makes it easily removable, then covered it on the outside w/ clay bricks to match the chimney. It plugs into an adapter. The smoke fluid is added (up to 75 drops). I didn't use the smoke stake that came with it, but I'll keep that for another project. It's supposed to shut off auto when the fluid runs out.

Theresa Thomas


Mortar: For all of my mortar and stucco needs I use industrial drywall. It can be had at any DYI for approx. 10 dollars a 20 lb bucket (it lasts forever). It is a wise investment. It can be piped through a baggie to achieve a decorative application (my haunted mirror was indeed made of drywall and stained with mahogany finish),...and ALL of the siding on my haunted dollhouse was fashioned in drywall with a drywall comb I fashioned myself. It is an amazing compound, tough as stone within a week. And it is inexpensive. I do not care, for many people who will market "miniature" stucco for seven dollars a jar, it is of no doubt to me, that they are remarketing drywall for sale. Spend the ten dollars and see -- it is well worth your efforts. It can be stained, sanded, drilled...even carved once properly set. Many of the moldings on my haunted dollhouse are drywall piped through an icing bag (I used to be a cake decorator, as well...) It will certainly stick your gravel stones, and you can do so much more...brickwork...what have you.

Sherise


Landscaping a house too big for table:   I think I would handle it with a brick planter on each side of the house.  Make a open top box the length of the foundation and the same height.  Turn the box upside down and brick or adorn it with something that works with your house.   Put and extra row on the top to capture you planting.  Drill holes in the foundation and the boxes and screw together. Then they could be removed to transport easier later.  Fill your planter with an assortment of shrubs and flowers and there you are.  You can then make a front yard to match the new width of your house to sit on the table in the front yard. Hope I interpreted your problem and maybe solved it for you.   I have a wide selection of landscaping supplied please e-mail me for those. I also have some finished scenes on our web site.  Thing you might be able to use in your front yard.

Gail, Gailcrafts Miniatures Showcase


Florists shop: another suggestion to have in shop... Stacks of floral foam(comes in bricks, and round shapes.) Plastic forms that hold foam and wooden sticks to wire flowers to. How about the colored aluminum that one finds around pots of flowers, dish gardens on the shelves too. I didn't see a watering can and a sprayer/mister. A frig. for keeping flowers cool... usually glass fronted. Balloons are also available in florists these days too... they usually have unblown -up ones on the wall with prices on them. Helium container to blow them up with and that thin twisty paper ribbon that they come on. Flower arranging books... Container of those packets of stuff they use to keep cut flowers fresh... And, if it were my mum and my shop, a tiny doggie bed with a small lap dog in it, or if you're so inclined, a cat...{:-) Finally, I didn't see a chair of any sort for this hard-working woman at all! How's she gonna have a cuppa without a wee table and chair somewhere... and maybe a stool at the arranging table or counter?

RWitterman


Landscaping Challenge: I have built sets for museums, collectors, photographers, miniaturist and movies for many years.  I only mention that so you will know that I have a bit of experience that I use when making suggestions to you or other collectors.

A base for a house of 50 inch. by 28 inch. is not as great a challenge as you might anticipate. Though you are concerned about the weight, I would still recommend that it be built of 1/2 inch plywood. I only recommend 1/2" plywood as a base for a landscaped set. Other products, such as masonite or pressed wood will warp, foamboard or 1/4" plywood can break. I would not, however, attach it to the house, in fact, I never recommend attaching a structure to a landscaped environment. It is best to make a false foundation the size of the house as a permanent part of the base and set the house on or into this. By so doing, you can remove your house at any time for repairs or to move it to another location. This hollow shell makes a perfect hiding place for electrical boxes. A foundation can be of brick, stone, lattice or a myriad of other materials. I normally use 1" thick by 2" wide bass or plywood strips to build my shape.

I also like to design a landscape set that collapses for storage or moving. To do otherwise can often result in a problem like the man who built a ship in the barn and had to tear down the barn to take the ship to sea.  A 60" round card table with folding legs could convert to the perfect landscaping plot for your home. I would skirt the table to create a more finished look.

Beneath the skirt I would use plastic or wire rolling carts to store all of the items I had collected for this miniature property as well as the building and landscaping materials I had collected.  I would replace the table top with one of the 60" unfinished wood tops found in most hardware stores.

I am going to quote now, from a booklet  I wrote for miniaturists many years ago..........*So many of you have ask how I would council an individual to go about constructing a miniature environment. My advice is simple - just as you do in real life. First there is the lot (board), then there is the foundation (separate from the dollhousefor easier handling) then you frame the structure and complete the exterior. Most people plant a yard and a tree or two and THEN MOVE IN. The same applies to a miniature home. Done in this manner, with a completed exterior that has been landscaped, you do not have to hide your house in the spare room or basement and not let anyone see it

for the next five years while you furnish it.  Just place a ladder and a bucket of paint with a brush, a roll of wallpaper or two, a few packing boxes, etc. and say the house is still under construction. Finish the interior at your leisure and as your budget allows. Since the house has not been attached to the base you may wire it for electricity at a later date without damage to the set......

Tape together as many sheets of quarter inch graph paper as you need to make a 60" round.....Trace the outline of your house, mark where windows, doors, porch, gutters, drains and other exterior elements are located. Label each of these marks. .......Cut shapes from construction paper to represent the gazebo, pond, fountain, ice house or other exterior structures you wish to have in the future. Now play paperdolls and move these elements around until their placement appeals to you. It is important to select all outdoor structures before deciding on trees, shrubs, walks and patio's. These items are a constant, their size is seldom subject to alteration. Your landscaping elements can be changed to meet the space you have available for them....*

This is by no means all of the story but it should spark a few ideas. If you absolutely DO NOT want to go to the time and trouble to create this environment, I suggest you design planters that will surround your house and can be removed at will. Planters can hold trees, vines and elegant flowers. I hope I have given you a few things to think about.  If the members of SS want to know more about landscaping, I will be happy to address questions posted in SS.

Becky Holliday


Magic Brik: For those who've had the problem of trying to remove the little bits from between the grid on the Magic Brik--you really don't have to worry about it!   Just leave it there if it doesn't come off when you pull the grid off the backing sheet.   It is sticky and just provides some added adhesion when you put the mixture over it.   Do, however, seal the whole thing with a coat of fixative of some sort (polyurethane spray works well) after it dries as that increases the strength so the bricks aren't so likely to peel off when bumped in the future.   That has generally caused more problems than anything else with this material.

Dottie in Tucson


Magic Bric: I have done many complete building with it, both red brick and white brick.  One (enormous) tip;  when mixing the brick powder, include a tablespoon full of white glue with the water.   This will give you a brick that is about as strong as ceramic.  Without this glue, the brick tends to crumble when touched.  I don't know why the instructions don't include this information.   I've told the manufacturer about it enough times!

Tom Berkner


How I painted my brick.  First I decided what color I wanted the grout to be and I painted the whole sheet bricks included this color.  Since the brick stuck up a little above the grout line I was able to take a sponge and sponge on several different colors to make a realistic looking brick. The technique is you don't paint the brick but lightly put the sponge with color  on the top of the brick. You repeat this with several different brick looking colors to give you a realistic  multi-grained look. then spray on  some type of sealer.

Kathryn from Virginia


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