Saturday, January 14, 2017

Lumière: a 1:12 scale modern house Part 7

The next three phases involved installing all the windows, putting on the ceiling/roof, and starting the exterior.

The windows installation is time-consuming because it means gluing back pieces to support one side of the plexi, installing the plexi, and gluing front pieces to hold it in place like a sandwich. There are I think 25 separte windows on this structure, and some of the trapezoid pieces had to be cut multiple times to get them right. Tolerance was limited to about 2mm.

Even though my reason for using Plexi in this case was because of fragility during shipping, it has its pros and cons. I had Kreative Acrylics cut the pieces to my measurements. It looks gleaming and gorgeous when you first peel the paper off, but it scratches if you look at it the wrong way. It attracts dust easily. You have to peel the paper backing off, which can be hard to do without scratching the piece as you hold it.

The ceiling and roof are a layer of mahagony strips. While out of scale at 3 inch wide strips, it is a sleight of hand because the eye hardly ever looks at a ceiling, real life or scale. On the bottom side of the strips went the LED strip for ambient lighting. On top of them went strips of dark card stock for a strip roof look.

In the above, you can see the roof, and also the painted strips on the exterior. That is to cover the gaps between the rusty panels:

These are intended to simulate rusted steel for part of the exterior. I cut about 30 pieces of basswood wide strips, then sprayed the in multiple layers:

  • black primer/solid
  • suede textured (or granite on some, in random layers)
  • gray/random
  • terra cotta/dark brown/random
  • highlights of all colors here and there
When dry and applied, they form the exterior on the back and left side of the structure:

The right side and lower front exterior is made of wood strips. The way I ensure a clean line between the end of each strip and the buttressing strip they meet, is to cut them all at once, instead of individually.

Next up: working on the narrow Japanese garden in front of the lower floor (left side):

For now, though, a couple of staging shots since the structure is largely intact:

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Lumière: a 1:12 scale modern house Part 6

I mostly forgot to take progress shots of the floor-laying, which is a cumbersome job. The strips are just basswood, stained with a light finish (I think I used the special walnut by Minwax), and dried for a couple days. Then it's just a matter of laying them in one by one, staggering the lengths so you have a random overlap.

Here are the first of the horizontal crosspieces going in to support the vertical beams and provide dimensions for the windows and doorways.

The "catwalk" you can see forms a sort of 3rd level, an attic/storage space that the client requested. I put some LEDs in the bottom plane of that to minimize the shadows beneath that.

Seemed to work for some mammals. And here you can see how the floor strips came out. That variated pattern is just a result of the stain hitting each strip a little differnetly. I like it.

Testing the look and feel of the wide mahagony strips that will from the ceiling:

A view from the top looking down into the main area of the 2nd floor:

The beams are just resting in placed for now, not attached, but things are starting to look the part.