Monday 14 January 2013

Winter Cabin ….the curtains are up and my late Spring/Summer Cabin project.

 This is only a tiny update on the Winter cabin. :o))

I haven't had broadband access for 3 weeks (just my phone), and I'm only just back online with my laptop, so I still have to reply to all your wonderful comments!! :o)))
I have now fitted and hung the little curtains, I didn’t bother with a frilly pelmet in the end, it would have overwhelmed the tiny window, so I’ve left them as they are. I have a commission to be added to the cabin, once it arrives I can come back to it and work on it.

The Christmas tree I made is for another project, I will make more realistic outdoor trees for this project I think. :o)

 I'm really pleased that I can see the curtains from the outside. 
 You can see them from the front too! lol
They took a while to fit and they weren't that easy to do. I didn't fit them in the usual way (no brackets etc.,), so it was a case of making sure they were straight and all the same level!

It needs door furnishings etc., and some work on the back of the cabin. I will leave these things till I move or when I can work in my Summer House. ;o)
 I have bought the bedside light (the card is not staying! lol) and will fit that once I have the beside cabinet! ;o)

I am undecided whether to buy any of the furniture, I need one item though, the bed because that needs to be dressed and it will take time to do. :o) I really am not keen to buy mini’s at the moment (only OOAK’s or mini’s I think I might not see again) because of   having to pack them up when I move house. 

I have worked out when I move I will be between 26 and 28 miles from my nearest HobbyCraft, Wickes, The Range and B&Q, all places I buy supplies. So, I’m going to stock up on things I know I will need in the interim and not just from these suppliers. ;o) 

So, I am devising a plan of what projects I will be working on before and just after I move and I plan on adding to the Winter Cabin. It is for Father Christmas, in the film he has a sleigh and a caravan…which he takes on holiday. There is also one other kit for a different project that I plan to buy, that I can work on whilst I am waiting for my real work space to be sorted out. ;o)
My late Spring/Summer cabin project...
Whilst I am waiting then for supplies to arrive for both cabins, I am now starting work on my other cabin. This one will mimic my real life work room and my cabin to be (when I move). I plan on decorating it as similar to the real one as I can, but I will change some things for ease! Lol :oP 

I'm going to do a kit bash on it and change some things that I don't like, some subtle, some not so. 
One'll have to see how...
 I plan to change and embellish these. They are not realistic enough for me. 
My real cabin will be in the main Buttemilk with Aqua windows, doors etc. However, finding that exact colour in either a match pot or Acrylic was a challenge, so I will mix my own from the ones I have bought.

A big warm welcome to my new followers….I hope you don’t mind my ramblings and madness! :o))

Michelle xxxx 

Tuesday 1 January 2013

Winter Cabin - Let it snow, let it snow...and a little ice too!

Firstly, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!! :o)))))

I’ve not had broadband for over a week, even now I have no idea if the problem has been resolved, I just have to wait and see. We’ve had lots of flooding in my area and although I’m on high ground it doesn’t stop the lower areas from flooding. The BT engineer has been booked to come out next Tuesday to look at my landline…but as I have managed to get access today, I am ever hopeful access is here to stay!   :oP 

I have been busy with my Winter cabin though! I have to thank an immensely helpful person, I won’t name her but she has been invaluable with obtaining ideas and tutorials on snow and ice effects. :o) Thank you heaps, I owe you! :o) There are 3 peeps at least who have devised the below methods/ideas.  However, I have played with all the methods and techniques to suit my needs etc.

The photo's aren't great, what with poor light and the camera not picking up the true colour of my little cabin...not good overall! The snow looks a little odd in colour too on the windows, again shadows galore and the snow is white and no other colour! lol 
I knew I wanted the realistic snow method I could find, I also wanted a thickly covered roof (with snow) and layers of snow showing. I Googled images of roofs etc to get an idea what snow looks like, I had no idea that snow really is a wonderful and amazing thing…the things it can do! Lol :o)

Firstly, I needed something that would give me the depth of snow, without using the actual snow product etc. I used polystyrene, it was the perfect depth and it was light. In the UK you cannot buy the type of foam that can be sculpted, I believe it’s used as some kind of insulation in lofts which I’ve never seen to buy overhere. If you can buy it, I’d use that, polystyrene is not the best out of the two, it’s the messiest to carve! 

I glued on my polystyrene with PVA (white glue). Once dried I shaped the ends off at an angle. If you look at heavy snow on a roof, you will know what I mean. I also applied a thick layer of PVA over the whole roof, this was to give a hardened surface and also give my snow application something to adhere to. You can sand any real lumpy bits off the roof at this stage too.  
I have never done a snow look before, so I had no idea what to use or what would give me the most realistic look. I also wanted icicles and maybe ice, a real challenge I set myself up for! 

A very good person stepped in with some great ideas on how to create your own snow and ice etc! I explored all the options, ideas and methods. :o) When I experiment, I always start off with the idea and method I am most likely to think will give me the best look. 

Firstly, I made my icicles.  The original artisans who made these don’t work in 1/12th scale. They suggested using old blister packs for the main shape/form, of the icicle. For 1/12th scale, there wouldn’t be enough plastic etc,  the acetate I had (what is used for window panes) was either too thick or thin. Over the years of doing mini’s I have learnt to keep certain would-be waste items, I happened to have some plastic door packaging that I used instead, and it was the perfect thickness. :o)) 

Here is one of the icicle references, cool miniornot

 Lots of icicles! 
 Now I glued them onto a lolly stick, so I could easily apply my glue.
I cut my basic icicle shape, I did a few different sizes and I glued them to a lolly stick with PVA and left to dry. For my ice look I used 5 minute epoxy glue resin. It  must be the 5 minute one, otherwise you will be waiting over 24 hours for it to dry and set! You could use Solid Water (it’s a resin too) too, again this takes a long time to dry and set.  You need to squeeze out equal parts of resin and hardener and mix together (I used a cocktail stick). I advise that you do not have anymore to work with than I show below, you only have 5 minutes to apply your glue and anymore won‘t be usable in that time frame. Again I used a cocktail stick to apply the glue to my icicle, depending on the size of the icicle I worked on about 2 or 3 at a time, making sure the glue was both sides of the plastic.  Once I did a row I left to dry for over an hour to set, most icicles needed more than one coat of glue. Do not apply another coat until the glue feels non tacky, depending on the thickness of the glue you may need to leave longer to dry before applying another coat of glue. 
The above shows the amount of glue I used at any one time for my little icicles   
Apply your glue with your icicles this way up, so that the glue runs to the bottom easier, you will need a cocktail stick to move the glue to where you want it. 
 After a couple of coats of glue...
Almost finished with one row.
Snap off the icicles from your lolly stick.
Seeing how it will look and also thinking the best way to glue them to my roof!
 Experimenting with both snow and icicles here.

I know some peeps worry about resin going yellow, I'm not sure it always does. Solid Water is resin based as is this glue. However, the icicles are easily removed, thus replaced, but I won't have to worry about it for a few years yet if it does happen! Again, with the far as I know it has a long longevity, again this could all be removed and replaced...for a new look if you so wish too. After all, no two snow falls are the same! lol

Once I made all my icicles I made I was ready to play with snow methods! 

***Before you start making your snow, you must have very clean hands (I washed mine after each segment and cleaned my work table) and work surface. This is because you need your hands to press the snow down etc., therefore any dirt etc., will immediately be absorbed into your snow and it won't be clean etc.**

I was going to use a base layer of Art Mache and then apply a layer of snow over the top. Art Mache dries white, but not that bluey ice white. Paperclay dries a warmish cream. I hasten to add, that you could of course paint both of these mediums for snow, for me personally they are the wrong texture for snow, so in the end I didn’t use an Art Mache base for my snow. 
 Ingredients to make your own snow...not spangly looking snow...

One blog of reference... Orsis Mini's
For spangly snow.
 Ready to go...nearly!
The first corner...I started at the back, just incase it was a horrid mess! lol
Before I glued on my polystyrene, I experimented with a homemade snow product, using Bicarbonate of Soda and PVA glue. I wanted my snow to glisten (like real snow), so I added a smidgen of ultra fine iridescent glitter to my mix. Less is more in my book, I was not seeking a overally spangly looking snow look, my cabin is not a Christmas decoration! lol I did experiment with using this snow mix over my Art Mache to see what it looked like and whether it would adhere to the surface, it did. I also experimented with using the snow mixture straight onto the polystyrene and also straight onto my wood roof (before I glued the polystyrene on). I cannot give you amounts of how much of Bicarbonate of Soda, glitter and PVA to use, you will have to experiment yourself and see what look you like and what works for you. What I can say however, obviously the more glue you add the runnier your snow will be and the harder it will be to manage and sculpt! :o))    
The back of the cabin complete, I am far happier with the back than I am the front...the bit that shows the most...tis always the way with me! 
I covered my roof in segments, I found it easier to do this because I wanted to pay particular attention to the edges of the roof and the detailing of etc.  I used an artist’s pallet knife to apply my snow mixture and a modelling tool for the detailing. I worked on as much of the roof as I could at any one time because it made it easier to shape, merge and blend the edges etc., as one. Once left overnight, it dries rock hard. I added some of my icicles as I applied the roof. I added a little PVA to the end of my icicle and gently glued under my roof beams.
Adding icicles as I go...
 For a non runny snow look or a shovelled snow look... 
 Adding the last segment of snow to my roof... 
Still lots of work to do yet...
 Adding ice and wind swept snow look...
Experimenting with foot prints in the snow. This look was far too contrived for me, but the idea did work. I also added an ice layer over the top that worked too. :o)    
More snow...
I love this snow effect, not only is it the correct colour and consistency but it is also opaque like real snow. It also feels like real snow when made up, the only difference between this and the real thing is that is doesn’t melt in your hand! Lol

I’ve added some of the other snow effects to my cabin too. Again, I built the snow layers up to achieve my desired look. Some areas I simply applied some PVA to my cabin and sprinkled the dry powder mix (no PVA added) over the glue and left to dry and then brushed off the excess. My snow is still very much WIP and is not finished. :o) 
Footprints in the snow...
I still need to work on the side has no snow yet!
I have also cut my curtain poles, my Mum is making the little curtains as we speak. They will be put up next!
I have also fitted the hanging light, I need to buy the bedside light now. :o)

 The curtains so far. They need to be glued so they hang in a more to scale way. 
They won't be hung like this, nor look like this! lol I may add a frilly pelmet too.

For now...Happy New Year to you all!!! 

A big warm welcome to my new followers….I hope you don’t mind my ramblings and madness! :o))

Michelle xxxx