Thursday, 30 May 2013

1:12 scale seedlings and plants

The fern and caladium are laser cut kits. The fern kit is by Jeanetta Kendall, which I bought from Georgie Steed of theminiaturegarden.blogspot. You have to paint it, and I messed it up by spraying it with acrylic varnish, not recommended, those leaves had to be carefully sanded! At the moment it is planted in a 1:12 scale chimney pot. The Caladium is by Bonnie Lavish, which I bought from Fine Flowers in miniature.  There would probably be enough to make two plants, but I crammed mine all into one pot.  I decided to splash out on a set of stylus tools, which are brilliant for shaping the paper, and will definitely be part of my well used tools. Being a bit stingy before, I had been using the end of a crochet hook, which doesn't work quite as well.

I should probably mention, the conservatory idea was born, when I realised I had nowhere to put this tiny trowel.  And I wanted lots and lots of paper plants. Not looking forward to the day when all this stuff will need to be dusted.

Birds eye view of the seedling tray. I bought the seedling tray from My Tiny World, and bent the edges round to give it a battered look. The trowel is by Danny Shotton.

The seedlings were made using thread and painted paper, the sweetpea seedling was the experiment, I just made it  up and called it sweetpea.  I used pva glue to stiffen the thread, before attaching the leaves using pva glue and tweezers. I used nail scissors to cut out the leaves. The chives are railway modellers "grass". The plant labels are made with wood veneer, that was sanded down.  That is the smallest writing I could manage that day. The soil is 1:12 scale soil...I don't know what it is, but I mixed it with a bit of pva glue before I put it in the pots, using a 1:12 scale spoon to spoon the mixture in and tamp the "soil".  Only realised after glueing the labels in, that I have managed to put all three, right were the join of the pot is..........and the courgette looks a bit sickly, so that will have to get another coat of paint.  The card pots are made using the smallest of the pot template that I posted in the previous post.

Friday, 10 May 2013

1:12 Mock Terracotta plant pots and template

Not real clay sadly, but still effective.
The pots were made using lightweight card, that came from inside a christmas wrapping paper roll (optional :D), it is a bit stiffer than standard paper, so holds the shape quite well, though I put an additional layer of this card inside each pot, just to make it a bit thicker, and sturdier. To do this I used the same template, but cut off about 2mm from the end, so that the card would not overlap inside, and using a pencil to roll the (bottomless) pot, helps to firmly secure the card to the glue on the inside.  The rim is made using the same template of the pot, but using a strip from the top, about 2-4mm deep, and made slightly longer, keeping the curve. If you want the side of the rim to be at 90degrees to the ground, use a straight strip (pot 2 is like this, pot 4 is at the same angle as the pot)  They were flocked using Richard Stacey modelling powder in light red, though you could just paint them, or even leave them natural. The tiny one would look like those seedling starter pots, if left natural.  You could also stick embossed stickers or jewellery stampings onto the pots, before painting and flocking, which would be a nice detail.

I used the same method as Kris Compas' bucket tutorial, which is great for explaining how to make this "bucket/pot" shape. 

The template I made is for these pots.  The templates could also be used for mugs, buckets, lampshades etc. The I logic cone calcluator can be used to make templates with a larger or smaller angle than these ones.

The strange dull lighting in the photographs, is because the weather here is behaving erratically!

Graduating pots, in the same order as the template. The last pot is my first and experimental card pot, and is not on the template.  The first pot is a super cute 9mm high!

I used a needle to punch the holes in the card, before glueing the bottoms in. I now think the holes could be a tad bigger...

This is the card template, before it is rolled into its pot shape and glued using the tab, it helps to"curl" the paper pot template with a blade or something first . Glue the tab, line it up with the other side and use tweezers to hold until it sets.   DO NOT crease the tab, as this will misshape the pot, speaking from experience.  The bottom has the hole punched, and I used a stylus (blunt needle would work well) to crease the circle, to aid in bending the tabs. The tabs are created by cutting out V shapes as shown.

These pot templates were made with help using the I logic cone calculator available freely online. Or you could do it the old fashioned way and use the truncated cone formula.....................if you dare try to understand that, thankfully I found the cone calculator :D. Here I have drawn them with a true scale ruler to help with printing, hopefully that works ok, I don't have a printer,  so I don't know.   Though you could use them at any size you want.
The dotted line is just there to remind you not to cut flush to the solid line, as you will need this extra for the tabs. The pot bottom will need V notches cut into it.

P.s. If you don't own a printer, you can lightly trace these onto paper from your computer screen. I traced these shapes from the cone calculator produced shapes. Just use your screen magnifier to get them to the right size. Try not to damage your screen, should be alright if  you keep the pencilling light, mines ok, and I have been using my screen as a lightbox for years :D

Free PDF file of this template available here

Saturday, 4 May 2013

1:12 Lean to conservatory

It has been awhile since I have posted, simply because, my camera died. I now have another camera, so I am finally able to update my blog. I have been working on this conservatory for a good few months now, since October 2012, it was a spur of the moment decision. All of the kits, were too big, and I wasn't keen on them anyway, and the basic structure (excluding the wall/floor tiles) cost about the same as a basic kit, in the region of £60 I think. I used wood from wood-supplies. This is their catalogue The perspex I bought on Ebay, in A4 sheets, and the lead tape is for golf clubs. The MDF base was cut to order, by Spalding DIY, also on Ebay.

Now for the bit, that upped the budget. I used Richard Stacey York stone flags, these all had to be cut in half. The Victorian floor tiles, are by The design I used, is called Stevenson, with a Kingsley Border. I have been looking for an excuse to use the tiny tiles this company makes, and this small floor space was the perfect excuse. Slightly nightmarish to lay, but so pleasing in the end.  I had to redo this floor, so I am so glad I used their advice to lay on a piece of card (though I used graph paper) then glue in place, as I made a mistake and had to soak them all off and start again, which would have been impossible to do if they had been stuck straight onto the MDF. Always follow the instructions!!! :D

The conservatory is based on a bespoke one that I saw on the Victorian Greenhouse website. The interior ceiling is not finished, and there a few holes need filled, and other bits and bobs to do, but my blog was neglected, so here is a work in progress.

The roof is one sheet of perspex, held in a frame using wood supplies no. 287. The lead tape is self adhesive, and normally used for weighting golf clubs. I used some 1:12 scale dado rail underneath it and the copper glass clips were made using strips cut from medium, Art Emboss copper.

The door was made from scratch, using wood from wood-supplies.  The quadrant piece (around the windows, for example) is not the boxwood quadrant available from wood-supplies, as it was much too expensive for the amount I needed, so I used square pine dowelling, and sanded one edge down. The door handle, is a fluted vintaj bead and pin. The oval eye brass shape, is from A Miniature marvel.

Stevenson pattern, with Kingsley Border, tiles from dollshouse-tiles.

The rim lock is made from wood, card, thread (edge detail), and painted black ,  the handle is a fluted Vintaj bead and a tiny bead cap, on a pin.  The plant stand is made from coffee stirrer sticks, lollypop sticks and square dowelling. It has an intentional broken slat, based on a real French one that I saw online. The tub is a bought one, with a wash of white primer. The plant, is paper, carefully cut into long thin triangular strips, painted, then glued onto a cocktail stick, with the surplus cut off.

View through the door, you can see the ceiling is not finished. Still working that part out.

The hanging shelf, hopefully, the picture helps to explain. There are two tiny drilled holes behind the link. I used a "U" shaped piece of copper wire to hold the link in place, held with tweezers and using superglue on the ends of the "U", to "staple" the link to the wood.  The U shape was formed against a needle the same width as the space between the holes, then the ends trimmed.  Since attaching the chain is quite fiddly, its best to mark out which link needs to be attached, by laying the four chains out flat, pinning either end with a fine needle, be careful not to open the links, like I did,  then count the chains, marking the ones that needs to be attached, using a little spot of paint, rather than said needle. Even one chain out, you could end up with wonky shelves.  By the way, it is surprisingly strong, I don't have anything on it for the photos, but it has been piled high with stuff, whilst I was playing around with it. It will need to have the chain anchored though, as it swings a bit. I used a fine 24 LPI brass chain and 1.5mm wood, which made it quite fiddly, but I think it would look great with a thicker chain and thicker wood, which would definitely be less fiddly. I was going for the ethereal look :D

I used Richard Stacey tiles for the wall. Each tile had to be cut to fit, which I did by soaking the tile in water, then using a stanley knife to scribe a snap line. The snap line was then tidied up using various grades of sandpaper. This wall took forever to do, but I am pleased with the result. Once each tile was in place and grouted, I sanded the surface, to give it a worn, softer appearance.

I used a Tamiya scribe to cut the perspex. I highly recommend this tool, for anyone working with perspex. I had tried using a stanley knife, with disastrous, perspex shattering results. This tool, cuts cleanly, as you can see from the perspex sheet it is sitting on

It started off looking like an aquarium. The perspex is held in a frame, like the roof, using no.287 and no.242 from wood-supplies, which has a groove along the length that the perspex fits into, and the window panels were created by sticking double beading no.305 directly onto the perspex, front and back. The door, seen in the background to the left, is also made using wood-supplies wood.

The MDF wood base, cut to order by Spalding DIY. I don't have a table saw, so thought this was a great service for anybody in the same boat, in the UK.

I also bought some glass beads to fill cushions with. I saw someone else had used these for stuffing, sorry, can't remember who they were, but they are perfect. These are used for weighting reborn babies, the size I  have used is 0.7 - 1mm.  Any smaller and it might go through the weave. I got a 400g bag from Mohair bear making supplies on Ebay, but you can buy them from all over the place. They are quite cheap. .

The glass beads make the cushion heavy, and you can "dent" them. And they are delightfully squishy.