B.B. Miniatures
BARBARA BREAR
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B.B. Miniatures
3 Uitgift Street
SOMERSET WEST
7130
South Africa

e mail : bbminiatures@yahoo.com

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I am often asked "How did you do your ....." So I thought it would be a good idea to record it on my web site and then those who are interested can read all about it.  So here is the start.......

Kitchen floor:  These are flagstones made with tiles made from the BACK of formica.

Because there is sanding involved I find it easier to do this step before actually constructing the house.  Also this is the only floor in my house that is actually stuck down to the structure because being the ground floor, there is no access to lights in the floor below.

You can use any ordinary formica (kitchen counter tops/ plastic laminate).  It does not matter what colour because you are going to use the back of the formica for your flagstones.  This method was taken from Brian Nickolls’ book, Making Dolls’ Houses in one twelfth scale.  The instructions are on pg 114 and the picture on page 107, for those of you who have the book. 

You cut the pieces into 2 by 2 inches and cut some of them in half again so they are 2 by 1 inch.  You first cut them square (I used my mini circular saw but you can score them with a Stanley knife and then snap them) and then sand them to give an uneven edge.  Edges that are going to be along the front wall or back wall must be left with one straight edge.  Stick the tiles in a random pattern using contact adhesive (I used Alcolin contact glue) with the reverse side of the laminate upwards. This is the kind of pattern ll=ll=ll but random also looks good.

Place a wax paper and a board on top. Weight it down and leave them to dry overnight.

Do one layer of clear SATIN varnish.  This is not gloss and not matte but somewhere between and it might be called Satin or Suede finish.

Mix some paint (I used acrylic) with Spackle to get a colour for your grout. You can only get an accurate idea of the colour once it has dried so do a test.

Put spackle grout beteen the tiles.  It doesn't matter if you go onto the tiles because you are going to sand it all off leaving only the spackle in the cracks. However, if you want to reduce the amount of sanding you can wipe the tiles clean provided you don't go near the cracks, otherwise out comes the grout.   Leave to dry overnight.

The next day, sand off the excess grout.

Finish with one layer of  clear satin varnish.

Stand back and admire.


Walls:
This is the method that I love. It is quick, clean, easy, neat and allows you access to wiring if you need it.  

I buy matte board in the colour of the room.  This is available from framing shops.  In the case of the kitchen I bought a grey with a slight mottled appearance. 

You cut the matte board to the size of each wall using a green cutting mat and a craft knife with a NEW blade.  You test fit each section until it is perfect.  Remember that a cornice at the top will finish off and hide a small gap to it does not have to be a tight fit but must rather slide in and out with ease.  If your walls are not exactly square you can test fit and adjust the size of your boards ad infinitum until they are exactly right.   Mark any openings with pencil and cut those out as appropriate.  On the back write in pencil "Back wall of kitchen. Made with love by Barbara Brear 18 October 2005" and sign it!

Always position the back wall first and then slide your side walls in place and you will get the neatest corner.  I hold mine in place with double sided carpet tape or a few dots of clear silicone.  You need to be able to remove it in case you need to access wiring.

I had to make the back wall of my kitchen in two parts so that it could be taken out without knocking the overhead lights.  I covered the join with my favourite gap filler:  Strip styrene made by Evergreen scale models.  It is made in Kirkland WA in the USA.  It is so useful for hiding gaps and gives a really professional finish.  I HATE gaps and when I look at other people's houses (especially photos) I think to myself "Can't they SEE the gaps?"  You should be able to buy it from Model shops or railway shops.  You can get thin round rods 1mm wide and also quarter rounds as well as tiles made by the same people.  Anyway, I used the quarter rounds for hiding the joint.  You can just see it sticking above the cook's head!

For my method of doing walls with wallpaper also using matte board have a look at my How did I do it? Dining Room page.
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