Sunday, 18 November 2007

Miss Lydia Pickett - Coop Cupboard and Wardian Case

This is actually two months at the same time from my Miss Lydia Pickett club which I am doing in half-inch scale from 'In Some Small Way'. I have found in the past that it makes sense to do two months at once, because many of the steps are similar and you can do all the painting, or all the sanding at one go.

For some reason, maybe I am in a slump, I found both of these kits more challenging than the ones I have done previously. I also am not very pleased with the paint finish. On the previous kits I have always sprayed with white auto primer first, before painting in acrylic, and I think that smoothed out the wood grain much more and gave a good base for paint. These kits have acrylic inserts that go in during construction, so I couldn't spray. The resulting finish is very grainy. I also had tremendous problems trying not to get glue or paint onto the acrylic, particularly in the Wardian Case.

The Wardian case went together fine, although the instructions were a bit confusing as they are written for 1 inch scale which has slightly different components than the half-inch kit. My roof ended up slightly crooked as the acrylic insert is very unforgiving - if you get it slightly out of line, the roof won't glue on straight. I wanted to 'fill' the inside with some soil and greenery, which despite my best efforts ended up sticking to the glass several times so I ended up wiping it away with damp cotton buds etc. I found the 'Grow' carving hard to paint also, it is so shallow that it is easy to obliterate it with paint even when you are trying for a light touch.

The Coop cupboard has a multi layer sandwich construction for the walls and doors, with the acrylic insert sandwiched between the frame and the trim. So you have to do a lot of painting ahead of time before assembly, because you can see the inside of the trim from the inside of the 'glass'. The doors are hinged with wire pins. Two things to learn from my mistakes: the sides of the cupboard should be mirror images of each other (the wide leg goes to the back) so don't just assume the 'good' side of the wood should be up on both pieces. Also, the door trim on the front side of both doors has to exactly line up on both pieces, so that your handle holes are in line with each other. I decided not to try adding the 'chicken wire' effect to the glass.

I think these kits are ingenious, giving a very 3-d result for a laser cut kit, but I am not so pleased with my end product on either kit. Definitely more challenging than the bedroom set, or the desk or day bed.

1 comment:

swooze said...

I am in awe that you can work on things so small. Perhaps you could place a coin next to one of these pieces next time you take a photograph.

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