Friday, 19 October 2012

A question for all wood savvy miniaturists out there!

Hi everyone,
I hope you're all okay!

I've been going through my own blog today, as well as many of my favorite blogs which got me started in all of this in the first place!!

I found a couple of posts within my blog, that were basically My Future Project List.
One project that was on this list, and is still something I feel very passionately about doing, is Old Generals Farm - the house I used to live in before I flew the nest, as they say.

My parents have also moved out, and although they still own the cottage and have no intention of selling the house this side of Christmas, I still feel time is of the essence for me if I wish to do this project.

When I looked into having the cottage professionally built to scale for me, I was put off by the price tag. £5,000 to build the project for me ready to go, which in fairness is a really good price considering the hard work and efforts which must go into this, but there is no way I can afford £5,000 and I cannot warrant spending this amount of money on the shell!!

May I please ask - all wood savvy people out there, how on earth can I gain the confidence, skill and knowledge required to attempt such a project myself?

I would really like to attempt to build Old Generals Farm in 12th scale myself.

My dad has some suitable tools in his garage at home, I can buy the wood required at my local B&Q. I have a ruler, pencil, rubber (for the many mistakes) and an image in my mind of how I will like this project to look when finished. Is it bad enough that I already have the space picked out in my flat? :o

I will do whatever it takes!!

  • Where do I start?
  • How do I know how to measure the roof if I can't get up there?
  • How do I make sure all the doors fit properly?
  • How do I get all the measurements to add up right? It's okay measuring it in real life, but then converting it to 12th scale and making sure it measures up right on paper and on wood is going to be the hardest thing of all right?
  • And what about getting all the angels right? The roof and all that?!
  • Would it be better to have the squarish walls cut out for me at B&Q and then attempt to do the not to square parts myself? Since that would help in the amount of waste wood and mistakes?

I've linked to the original post so that you can see a photo of the cottage, unfortunately blogger is still not allowing me to add photos to my post! :(

Scroll down to the bottom of this post for an image of the cottage

The photo shown in the blog post above probably isn't the best for showing how complex this house could be to build, I will try to dig out some better ones. Or take some myself next week.

Thank you to any advice anyone can offer!!


  1. Shellby, I just tried to go look at the photo of the house and blogger said I don't have access...Is there a secret to getting to it?

  2. Hi Casey, I've just updated the post, I realized once I tried testing the link that I had linked you to my post-edit page in my blogger account. It should work now :)

  3. Hi funky :-D Thank you for your comments on my blog, I now see you are researching with a purpose!

    If you can draw up detailed plans with wall thicknesses included so that you are definite about measurements, I think getting the straight bits cut at the shop would be a good idea.

    Is it very important to you that the angles be identical? Your roof looks less than 45degrees but if you could compromise and do 45 anyway you could get ready made dormers which would make the project easier as well as giving more room inside.

    Think about how you are going to access the rooms as well, especially if you are going several rooms deep. I like the 'Mountfield' method of having a door on each side and it inspired the way my scullery wing opens but it is a bit of a pain in the neck for display. You could have your house opening down the middle like a suitcase which makes complicated facades easier but has the problem of movement and things falling.

    I'm sure you have already done this, but take millions of photos, especially now it is empty. If it does pass on to be someone else's family home, you will be sure to need them.

    All I can really recommend at this point is think think and think and sketch up every idea on a nice big artists pad until that you have your plan right then don't be in a hurry to get it done.


  4. Hi Christine, thank you so much for your suggestions! I've been thinking like crazy over night. I've just mentioned on the forum that I will think about layering it like a cake.

    I will take Elly's idea of drawing it onto the baseboard so that I can see how big it'll be, where all the rooms will be etc. Then I can build the rooms for it. Then on top, I will add another baseboard to fit the ground floor. Since non of the house, besides my bedroom balcony, overlaps the ground floor, I can measure out the rooms and walls on this part, which will then give me the blueprint effect again for this floor. And then again the same for the roof, I guess.

    The opening of the house is going to be a real pain. I'm considering having the house opening with magnetic partitions so that there are no hinges to spoil the look of it, because that way I can have several openings. Only thing being, we had furniture all up against the walls so I'll have to find a way of attaching these pieces onto the panel. This part is going to take a lot of thinking.

  5. If you are thinking of layering it when you do the plans, have you thought of building it the same way and lifting the layers so you can see into the rooms below? I'm sure I have seen a multi-storied house done this way somewhere. You might remember someone on the forum did a hobbit house that you look down into as well, although that was only single storey, so they only had to remove the roof.

    That would keep your facades nice and you could have furniture wherever you want. Weight could be a problem though, especially if you plaster.

  6. Hi Christine, thank you for your comment.

    I think because of the size of the building, lifting the sections will be quite tough, and will probably raise the risk of damage - through dropping it, things falling over inside etc quite dramatically. Especially with how clumsy I am let alone anyone else.

    Of course I remember Maddie's Hobbit Hole, I would be surprised to meet a miniaturist who doesn't to be fair. She's a very talented woman. I did a small post on her hobbit hole when I first started this blog. I was completely taken aback with her project - the amount of time and effort that has gone into that project is astounding. She plays a bit part in my inspiration for miniatures - particuarly for Bruion.

    However, lifting off sections could be an option for the 1st floor. Being able to look down into the bedrooms would be quite nice. Then I could have magnetic panels for the ground floor. It's another idea, and another option!

    Keep 'em coming Christine!!

    I'm going home on Wednesday I think, time and weather permitting, to take photos and measurements. I need to kick start this project of now while this major spark is still... sparking? :)