Monday, 7 October 2013

Update on my 1/48th scale retro caravan...

We are preparing to take down the shed in the garden in readiness for the cabin’s base to be laid at the weekend…ever hopeful for dry weather! I have bought two 25 feet x 18 feet sheets of tarpaulin. One to cover over the base just incase it rains whilst its drying (it needs a least a week to dry before the cabin can be constructed on the top of it). 

Once the cabin is up, two sides of the cabin require fire retardant…I haven’t checked how long this needs to dry. So…..if it does rain, I am hoping the tarpaulin sheets can be laid over the roof (and held down!) and hang down the cabin’s sides to protect it. Whether we will need it I don’t know….will the tarpaulin work or stay put? I don’t know! Lol  

Anyhow, I have managed to resume work on my tiny caravan. I’ve been putting it off because I knew some of the next stages were going to be tricky and I needed to be in the mood for trickiness!
After all the required pieces were sprayed and dried the base needed to be assembled. The base consists of 4 parts and they must all be glued one piece at a time being extra careful each time that they were all even and aligned on all four sides.
The third piece being glued on. I used my fingers to feel my way around the edges to makes sure they were all aligned and then I put the clamps on. Be warned, the wood is soft so don't leave them on for too long otherwise you will be left with marks on your wood. 
Check the underside to make sure your pieces are correctly glued.
 I didn't leave my clamps on for longer than 10 minutes.
I used my fingers to check alignment of the pieces all the time. This is crucial for ensuring your wall pieces fit snugly. 
The floor base. I sprayed under my base (the instructions didn't specify this), the reason being is that I didn't want bare wood showing around my wheels! The side is not glued in at this stage, it's placed in situ to ensure the flooring is glued in alignment.  
 I used clamps behind the side to make sure it pushed the flooring in the right place.
 Both pieces in place to ensure the flooring is glued down correctly!
I constantly referred to the instructions to make sure I knew what went where.
The first piece of interior decoration is cut. It looks raw at this stage. The instructions state to cut right on the line, this was tricky indeedy! However, the pieces are generous and you do have room for minor errors either before or after the line.

I did carefully sand down any uneven edges (of the card/paper) before I glued it onto the wood. I also used a curved pair of scissors to cut the curves, I found the swivel craft knife too challenging on such small pieces.   
Trying the interior decoration with the tiny step cut out! That was mighty tricky!
The outside decoration glued on next (straight away infact!). 

The large pieces (and small pieces!?) of card/paper are glued on with YES! paste. I was mighty impressed with it given it was the most expensive glue I've purchased! This was only because it isn't readily available in the UK. It doesn't damage the card at all, no stretching or water marks. It also doesn't warp the wood, this is because it has a very low water content.

For those in the UK who are unable to purchase this glue or you don't want to pay over the odds, it's very similar (although much smoother) to a Pritt-Stick. I suggest if you want to use the latter, is that you work some of the Pritt-Stick glue onto a china dish to smooth out any lumps before you apply to your card or paper. You could also use a glue suitable for decoupage.  
 Trying for size, making sure it all looks okay.
 Now the window frames! You actually start on the interior frames first and then....
You insert your tiny pieces of plexiglass or acetate depending what country you come form! lol The Plexiglass is inserted from the exterior side of the window frame and only then can you glue on your exterior window frame. The windows were hideously fiddly..not enough glue meant some had to be glued on twice, too much glue would result in a very messy look!  
All of the interior frames glued on...first!
 Two more window to complete on the side of the caravan.
Each piece of the plexiglass has to be severed from the mother-board and then sanded lightly on each side and then have each of the protective covering peeled off on two flat sides!
After the protective coatings removed.
Phew! I did not apply any glue to the cross bars of the windows, this would have made a mess of the plexiglass, so only the initial square frame is glued.
 All done.....this side....more to go yet!
The curtains or blinds are applied. I have to say they were a bit mean with the lace! I pre-measured my lace strip before I cut it and there was only enough for blinds and not curtain panels for the tiny window on the left and the other tiny window on the front opening part. However, I actually like them all the same and I think it would have almost covered the whole window if I had made curtains (the lace wasn't as dainty as in the photo's). You do have to trim the lace down otherwise it would be too wide! I didn't waste any lace at all.  

If you do want to make curtains etc, I would suggest you buy some of your own lace that way you will have enough! :o)  
 One more window to do on the front and back of the caravan. 
Now for the sides! I will overstate that  you must constantly refer to the instructions and photo's whilst you make this kit, otherwise you will run into trouble! Only the interior decoration is applied at this time!
You must check that you have the correct windows for the different sides of the caravan and also make sure you have the correct pairs together (they look very similar but they are not!).
The floor glued in place!
At this stage I am ready to glue the door side on (both the ends are glued on). However, I have looked at the decoration of the interior and have noticed teeny tiny plates and pictures on that wall! It does not excite me in the least thinking I'm going to have to glue those on when the sides are all glued on, so I'm waiting.....till I have made some of the pertinent pieces of furniture up, so I know heights of items to go in there! :o))  
I have already coated some of the pieces with either the gloss or matte varnish ready for ummm cutting out! I am absolutely dreading cutting those teeny tiny plates out!
Ready for the next stage! 

The next update will either be my cabin's base down..or my caravan...or if you're really unlucky...both?!!? LOL

I hope you don’t mind my ramblings and madness! :o))

Michelle xxxx 


  1. For the round cut outs, could you use a punch? The Caravan looks lovely, x

    1. I had already thought or punches and have two, sadly they are still packed away. :o( Dontcha just hate rotten luck! :o( I'm sure I will manage it somehow! :o) Glad you like it. xx

  2. Wow. what a precision job. Your tiny caravan is looking good.

    1. I keep comparing mine to theirs and find faults with mine! lol Still I suspect they have had lots of practice with their kits! :o) I do love the kit though. :o))

  3. Hello Michelle,
    It is coming along beautifully. I am very impressed by the construction and your skill.
    Big hug,

    1. Hi Giac,

      Thank you! I'm not sure if the worst is over yet...hmmm but it's been fun so far. ;o))

      Big hugs!
      Michelle :o))

  4. Wow, what patience and good eyes you must have Michelle. This must be a real labour of love but perfectly sized while all your home and garden renovations are taking place. Lovely work as usual Michelle.

    1. Janice, it's been a calming project around the madness here! lol I really have to concentrate, but really pleased so far and it's great to work on a tray, albeit a large one! lol Glad you like it, I still have a lot to do yet. :o))

      LOL Good eyes? Well mini's is the reason I went from a non glasses wearer to a varifocals wearer!

      We are off to look for my cabin's paint tomorrow, I know what colours I want, but it's finding the perfect shade in outside paint. Farrow & Ball do a wonderful one, but it's £55 per 2.5 litre tin and I need two! So, looking at other brands as well. :o))

  5. Such a lovely little project Michelle. I honestly don't know how you manage to do it so small!!! Especially cutting out all those little pieces!
    It's going to look fantastic completed! And can't wait to see all the furnishings!
    Also looking forward to seeing your new cabin once it is up! I so wish I could have a space like that to work!
    Hope everything's going well with the hosue and garden!

    1. I really wanted the kit Michael as soon as I saw it! I'm determined to do my best! I still haven't cut out those little pieces....umm well I have been busy, but I will brace myself and be brave! lol

      Once it's completed, its having its own little fancy shelf in my cabin to show it off, I think it would get lost amongst other items on a larger wall unit! lol

      I'm so excited about the cabin too, for every reason! The builder who is laying the base at the weekend said the only thing it needs protecting from is with that we are good to go! :o))

      The house stuff is slow, but bit by bit we are getting there. :o)

  6. It is coming along wonderfully Michelle and I love how you worked around the lace shortage to make sure that your little blinds fitted perfectly. The windows look wonderful and in keeping with the prettiness of this kit. You are doing a fab job on the whole kit xxxx

    1. Aww Thank you Julia! The lace was a bit of an irk because it didn't leave one with choice of style. I'm just relieved I measured before I cut! lol

      I have started on the furniture and not too bad at all, just waiting for paint to dry that delays things. I've been too busy with real house stuff to make any progress this week, but maybe tomorrow and over the weekend I might have a chance. ;o))

      With the cabin's base now down, all eyes are on the weather for the cabin's construction next week! ;o))

      Michelle xxxx

  7. Just love your little Caravan! its so cute!

    1. It is very sweet Deni and glad you like it. Slow progress though, because I have real house stuff to do! lol :o)) xx