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Project originally featured in Dolls House & Miniature Scene November 2008.
Here at Bromley Craft products we undertake projects from time to time using our own products and other dolls house items which we sell. This gives us the opportunity to test products and fine tune our product range to our customers needs. It also helps us to advise customers effectively when questions are asked.
In this project review we show how a 1:24 scale kit of a charming Dolls House Chapel or old fashioned School House. In this article we show you how easy it is to bring this kit to life using Realistic Brick Compound and Stencils to create a realistic stone finish and how you can add character by distressing and weathering the finish to create a more authentic effect. The kits are supplied flat packed and all parts are accurately machined making them very easy to assemble.
The following is a brief step-by-step guide showing how the chapel kit is built and the methods used to create the realistic effects.
It’s easier to do a lot of the decoration before the kit is assembled, but it’s a good idea to assemble the parts temporarily just to check that everything fits and to see what goes where. This will help you to plan the best way to complete the project and avoid any mistakes. Before proceeding it may be helpful to separate the parts into three lots – roof, walls and floor.
The first stage is to paint all of the areas where the stone effect is to be applied using a matt emulsion paint – choose a cement / mortar colour as this will show in-between the bricks. Here a light chalky colour has been used to give a limestone mortar effect. If necessary you can apply masking tape to any parts where you don’t want the stone effect to be applied.
You are now ready to apply the stone finish. Here we are using the Grey / Neutral colour Realistic Brick Compound and a 1:24 scale Stone Block stencil and quoin stone stencil. Other colours, patterns and scales are available. You should start by spraying the stencil with repositionable stencil adhesive (allow this to dry before use), and mixing some Realistic Brick Compound with water to form a smooth easily spreadable consistency. The compound is an air-drying material and allows unlimited working time (just add more water as necessary or cover to prevent drying) so there’s no need to rush and very little material is wasted. It’s also very easy to clean off and re-apply the compound if you’re not happy with it so there’s no need to worry if you make a mistake.
Position the stencil on the wall ensuring that it is correctly aligned and press down firmly ensuring that all parts are firmly in contact with the wall. The next step is to spread on the Realistic Brick Compound mixture using a pallet knife. At this stage the method differs from that used to create brick effects as the compound is applied in a thicker coating and the surface is made rough and uneven using the pallet knife – this will give the stone effect a natural looking rough uneven face. The thickness and application technique can be varied to create the particular effect you are looking for. As soon as you have finished applying the compound you can peel away the stencil to reveal the stone wall effect. Then clean the stencil in water and dry it before repeating the process. The stone pattern appears random, but there is a repeat in the pattern that allows it to be continued without any visible joins. When re-positioning the stencil you should ensure it is positioned correctly so the repeated part of the pattern overlaps the previously applied compound.
Continue the application process until the whole wall is covered, then leave to dry. When dry the compound should be lightly sanded as this will improve the appearance of the stone effect by removing any rough areas and unwanted compound.
Stone buildings often feature Quoin stones and these can be applied using a quoin stone stencil if desired - It is best to do this before applying the stone effect to the main wall area. The windows and doors of the chapel all have curved edges so the best way to finish these is to apply compound directly around the edges to create a border without a stencil and when dry it can be shaped by hand using a scraper to form the individual stone shapes. This may sound difficult, but it is actually very easy to do. All of the stone areas should be applied using the method described above and when complete the kit can finally be assembled using PVA wood glue. The finished stone can then be shaded if required using acrylic paints. Using this method it is possible to vary the colours of the individual stones and create a weathered appearance which can greatly enhance the authentic effect. Finally the stone finish should be sealed using a clear matt varnish.
Full detailed instructions are supplied with the brick compound & stencils, but there’s no substitute for hands-on experience so it’s a good idea to practice yourself so you can experiment and learn to create the particular effect you’re looking for and perfect your own technique.
The dolls house tiles on the chapel roof are simply glued into position using ‘PVA’ glue and then painted as required. Here the tiles were initially painted with matt emulsion paint to provide a base colour and then acrylic paints were used to add shading and weathering. Finally a coat of clear matt varnish was applied. As an alternative it is also possible to create a roof tile effect using appropriate brick compound and stencils. The roof timbers are made from smooth MDF. To make these look more like real wood joists they can be distressed using a mini chisel or craft knife. The surface of the MDF is scored to give the impression of wood grain and also grooves are cut at the joints to create the appearance of separate joists joined together. Finally, wood stain is applied to provide a more authentic timber colour.
The dolls house floorboards are created using iron-on hardwood veneer strips. These can easily be cut to length with scissors or a craft knife and then quickly fixed into position by applying heat from an iron. The iron-on adhesive is very strong and permanent, but they can be removed by re-heating if necessary. The floorboard strips are 11mm wide which is the width usually used for a 1:12 scale building so for 1:24 scale a groove is scored along the centre of each board using a straight edge and a sharp scribe tool. This effectively splits each 1:12 scale floorboard into two 1:24 scale ones. To finish off the floorboards are lightly sanded before applying wood stain and wax polish. Dark coloured antique wax polish is particularly recommended as the dark colour will go into all the grooves between the boards which enhances the finished effect.
Chapel Kit – 1:24 scale
Realistic Brick Compound 750g bags – Grey Neutral colour
Stencils –Stone Block, Quoin Stone Individual
Hardwood Floorboard Strip
Other materials required to complete the project: Repositionable stencil adhesive, Matt Emulsion paint – small sample pots from DIY stores are ideal Clear matt varnish, Acrylic paints Masking tape.
All products can be ordered from our website : www.craft-products.com or by telephone on 01825 732515. We also attend all main dolls house fairs where we demonstrate our products and sell at discounted prices. See website or phone for fair dates or further details.
More possibilities... This project just covers the basics of dolls house kit assembly and decorating. We offer a wide range of products including dolls house lighting and dolls house furniture to complete and enhance your dolls house project.
Our products are regularly featured in various dolls house
To see more past features click here.
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