She’s (Sorta Not) A Brick House

Sorry, I couldn’t come up with a snazzy title for this post. Given that this is going to cover a rather tedious challenge I’m having while building the CC. But I had a nagging suspicion that I should write about this because

a) I’ve been asked by friends why I haven’t made “progress” on the CC
b) During my morning errands, I heard these two tracks play in my car tracklist: “Dazz” by Brick and my favorite Commodore’s track  “Brick House”

Okay, the last part was more of an excuse to share my growing fondness for classics. But the first part is definitely the main reason for this post.

As I’ve said in previous posts, the CC’s exterior will consist of two types of masonry. The bottom part will be more of a stone finish while the upper part will be encased in brick. I chose egg cartons as my medium of choice to replicate both finishes — the rough texture is perfect for replicating the brick or stone surface. The downside? It’s ALOT of work just prepping them. I decided to follow the steps Brae did on her Haunted Heritage (which she in turn based on tutorials provided by The China Doll and Victoria Miniland). Brae provided me some pointers as well, so I sorta knew this was going to be a big endeavor. Little did I know how much until I got started.

Don’t believe me? Hopefully these shots will provide a good visual (all you miniaturists who use this medium, I’m open to suggestions if there’s a better/efficient way to go about this).

Taking an egg carton (I saved the bottom part for a future project), I sliced it up into two parts: the flat bottom and the sides.

BrickMaking-1

Putting the side part away for a bit, I cut the flat bottom part into 1/4 inch wide strips using a quilting ruler and pencil. I decided for each egg carton lid, I’ll use the flat bottom part to create my bricks.

BrickMaking-2

 

BrickMaking-3

Then proceed to cut the panel into strips with a sharp X-Acto knife. Definitely keep a steady supply of blades. You want the blade to be sharp so when you cut through the layers of paper that make up the carton, the edges has fewer chance of being fuzzy.

BrickMaking-4

Once the strips are done, this is where I sorta deviate from the tutorials. I knew for the upper part of the CC, I would need two types of bricks: ones that would be the “standard” size (at least in 1:12 scale), and the other would be slightly longer (so I can use them in the corners). To ensure that I produce enough of each, I alternated each strip to one of those types.

So for the first strip, I marked it at 3/4″ intervals. Then with a sharp pair of scissors, cut the strips to form 1/4″ x 3/4″ rectangles…

BrickMaking-5

..which I then snipped at the corners to make them slightly rounded.

BrickMaking-6

Once that strip was completed, I go to the next strip and repeat the process. Except this time, I measure and cut them into 1/4″ x 1″ rounded rectangles.  Once I got started, I stored the bricks into some extra freezer bags I had — and added a label on them with the dimensions. More to help me identify what the bag contained, but also to help me figure out what sizes I’d need to make in case I ran out.

BrickMaking-7

Then I just kept repeating the above process until I’ve used up the strips.

As for the side part of the carton I saved…well, I used that to make my stones. I guess Yorkshire Stones to be more exact.

Yorkshire Building Stone. From the Calder Masonry website (http://www.caldermasonry.co.uk/products/building/)

M&M Yorkshire Stone. My inspiration for the CC. Photo from http://www.mmstone.co.uk/products/walling_yorkshire.htm

From the second image, you can see that the stones seem to consist of three sizes: a longer one, one that’s almost square in shape, and an even longer length to use to wrap at the corners. So with my X-Acto knife, I cut the side portion of the egg carton lid into flat panels, and cut them into 3/8 inch high strips.

BrickMaking-8

After cutting out the strips, I again alternated. The first strip was measured and cut into 3/8″ x 3/4″ blocks….

BrickMaking-9

Then the second strip into 3/8″ x 1/2″ blocks…

BrickMaking-10

And the third into 3/8″ x 1″ blocks.

BrickMaking-11

I kept repeating this until I’ve used up all the 3/8″ strips. Which were also stored into their designated baggies.

BrickMaking-12

And that’s what I do on one egg carton egg. Average time it takes me to do all the above? About 1.5 to 2 hrs. So long as I’m not distracted by an apparently needy senior dog. Or a husband who’s hungry and wondering what’s for dinner.

Crazy right? You know what’s even crazier? I ordered more egg cartons — another whopping 50 cartons on top of the 18 17 cartons I’m working on.

(starts to swear profusely)

Ah the things we do for our obsessions. 😀

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