Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Prepping, priming and planning!

It's been a while huh, but a little update for now! Did you think I took a trip to the moon or an exotic holiday somewhere?! Hmmmm......I could have done, I've also been busy working on many projects and buying supplies etc! :o)) 

I've been stripping back all the part started kits, insides and outsides as well as all the component parts. Two I bought like it, one I wanted to completely re-do and one was brand new. Although it may not look like it, but it's taken hours of work and hard work to to get this far! Heat gun, hot soapy water to remove wallpaper, wires and lighting removed and sanding both hand and electric sanding and then lots and lots of priming! All my part started kits are on a level playing field, it means I can go from one to the other with ease. I have a total of 8 projects/shops that I can work on now. I have decided to leave the more complicated shops till last...namely Ollivanders and Weasley Wizard Wheezes (which is part started).
This is Dogweed and Deathcap shop that I've applied the stone work to. I was going to change the colour, but this is natural sandstone dust and all it needs is some more distressing and also ageing and dirtying, so I may not paint it. 
 I applied another coat to the steps...still very much work in progress!

I've prepped all the terrace shops, both inside and out....plus most of the add on pieces. I've also sorted out all the shops detailing and components to their rightful shops. I have changed a couple of the doors..so I have 3 different doors to the shops. 
The middle shop has a lovely deep bay window which I will add Georgian bars to. 
I've made some changes to Leaky Cauldron pub. in the films all  you see is a black Georgian door (set on a corner), but the inside is Tudor. So, I've changed the outside to emulate a Georgian look, but the inside is clearly Tudor. This was part of my original Hogwarts which was part of a Tudor Coach House kit, so it already has the low ceilings! lol 
This was my Victorian Shop which was my first ever project. It was mostly done by my parents, but I did do some of it. This has taken hours of prep work, I have no idea what glue was used, but suffice to say I'm pretty sure some parts doubled as giant glue sticks! If it wasn't glued within an inch of its life, then it was pinned! lol I still have to sand down the floors and completely redo the roof...suffice to say it has a long way to go....  

It is to become Mr Mulpepper's apothecary.
It was impossible to rip out the staircase without breaking it, so it's been a case of working around it! I've removed the homemade doors (the shop didn't come with any) and the doorways aren't quite today's 1/12th scale size, so I will add all false doors and thus cover up the original doorways. I've also been distressing the hall way as you see here. The staircase still needs a lot more work  yet.
 Still lots to do...the outside(s) first though!
I've changed and embellished the bay windows to the shop too, these now emulate the real shop ones. If you look at my page called Mr Mulpepper's Apothecary you will see how it once looked (before I stripped it back!).
Still very much work in progress! The Georgian bars are not glued in, the actual bays needs painting plum too! The doors need lots of work, not to mention dirtying! lol The top of the shop (lintel?) has been dirtied over the white primer...I'm hoping when it's painted the dirty white will show through when I distress it...an experiment!
This old Honeychurch shop didn't have much refinement, so I'm reapplying the inner window frames. This still needs to be worked on and painted plum, the acetate will be sandwiched in-between.  
 I hope to add a more fancy architrave around the doors too...
Most of the shops in Diagon Alley have other businesses above the downstairs shops. This shop has upper blue windows...so mine will too. I have around 5 different businesses to be added to various shops along my Alley. You will have to wait and see what they are though! ;o)
I have bought most of my paints for my shops...I still have a few more to buy. Chalk paints are so much easier to distress than acrylic paints, they also come in a wonderful range of colours that are more pertinent to the eras I am working on. I have also bought wallpapers, and interior fittings as well as carts on wheels (I had these made) for my alley.
Some hanging shops signs that I have....I have 3 of these and I hope to have other designs too. 

I have a new project (I have the kit) that I hope to have built before Christmas...if only to see what supplies I need to buy. It's a Gothic style with a very opulent interior, you'll have to wait and see what theme it will take, and no it's not witchy or wizard related! lol

Nearly 3 weeks ago I very badly injured my foot and ankle. I really have no idea how long it will take to heal and I'm not able to spend more than 3 hours being up and about, so work (when I'm not working, my job that pays the bills lol!) will be slower! I will be back when I have progressed more! 

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

Michelle xxxx


  1. This why I buy already assembled structures. You are doing things the way they are supposed to be done. Maybe one day I will get up the nerve to start a kit from scratch!
    Love what you have done so far!

    1. Aww putting together a kit isn't that hard...start with something small and go from there. ;o) Glad you like it so far...a lot of work but time well served. ;o))

  2. Hi Michelle
    I can't believe how much work you have done. All that stripping and prep work must have taken an age! Well done for finishing it all, I would have been too easily distracted! This is really going to be a great project. There is so much for you to do but I know you'll do a great job. I kind of like the smaller sized doors, they add character. Besides, look at older houses here in the UK, the doors are always much smaller because people were shorted then. You clearly have loads of things ready to use and start working on, I bet you're excited to be getting on with the "fun" part?
    I can't wait to see more - stay cool up in Norfolk. My Dad, near Dereham, spends most days with the curtains shut as its too hot! lol

    1. Hi Simon,

      It felt like an age, I'm kinda glad that I didn't take note of how many hours it took! lol I was a women on a mission with no distractions allowed! lol It was a good plan and a wise one...I've lost too much time when I work other ways and I procrastinate when I'm stuck.

      I don't have an issue with the shorter and narrower doors, I'm just finding it impossible to find doors that will fit. The doorway is the width of a 1/12th door that you buy now and most if not all doors now come complete with an inner frame (which won't fit in my gap), so I have the issue of them not only being too tall, but too wide. ;o/ I don't want to make them as I want Georgian panelled doors and I don't have the tools for the routed out panels. A friend said that DHE sell shorter doors, so they may work. Otherwise it will be false doors. :o/

      Once the outsides are done, I can start and resume work on the insides and that includes the projects already started. ;o))

      Gosh, we are on our 5th lot of hot weather here! The irony was that I thought moving from Hampshire back up to Norfolk I would experience cooler weather....be careful what you hope for is all I can say! lol :oP

      Michelle ;o))

  3. Hi Michelle,
    It's so good to read a post from you, I love your projects, I look forward to seeing how you progress and hope your foot gets better so you can indulge in your passion for minis more.


    1. Awww thank you Natalie! It will be a while before I will have more interesting progress, but I will be back as soon as there is more to see! ;o))

      I hope it doesn't take months for my foot to get better....I never really know. So slower progress till I'm back to normal. ;o))

      Michelle ;o))

  4. Hi Michelle,
    so sorry to hear about your foot and ankle I've been lucky this year last year I had some really bad spills which knocked me out for over a month. I love how things are coming along and I'm learning a lot by watching you work. I can't wait to see how you do your signs

    Hope you feel better soon
    Marisa :)

    1. Hi Marisa,

      I hope it won't take too long to heal as I'm mostly bed bound till it does! I hope your better year continues..no fun when you're knocked back.

      I'm gIad you like it so far and great to hear you learn stuff! ;o)) I have quite a few more hanging signs to buy. ;o))

      Michelle ;o))

  5. adding my hope for a speedy recovery <3

  6. Hello Michelle,
    I can imagine how many hours of work went into the project so far. it is a great project and you are doing a terrific job of it. I look forward to seeing more.
    Big hug,

    1. Hi Giac,

      It felt like an awfully long time I was stripping back...the heat gun work was slow going not to mention hot! lol ;o)) I'm thrilled that I can now work on all my projects as and when....more to show as soon as I can! ;o))

      Big hugs from me! ;o))

  7. Gee willikers, you have been busy! It's good to have multiple projects on the go at once - if you are waiting for supplies for one, you can continue with the others.

    1. That's the plan Shannon. ;o)) Though I intend to continue to buy supplies in bulk, because then whilst I am waiting for things to dry on one project...I will have the supplies for another to work on. I think most miniaturists will agree that an awful lot of time is wasted waiting for things to dry! lol

      Michelle ;o))