Woohoo! Finally…not feeling too sick compared to the last couple of days. I mostly spent Friday resting after getting hit with another fever. By Saturday morning…I was feeling a little bit tired at first, but started to feel like I had a little more stamina. And for once, an appetite to actually eat something beyond water, crackers, and ginger ale. So that was good at least. Because I wanted to work on some miniatures.
But in my case…it was a different kind. As in a different scale altogether. That’s right folks….along with working on 1/12, 1/16 (or 1/18), and half scale…..I’ve made the plunge and added 1:6 scale in my madness.
For those who aren’t familiar with this scale…it’s essentially the scale used for 11-12″ fashion dolls. This scale had intrigued me since college, but at that time, I couldn’t exactly afford anything. Let alone the fashion dolls outside the ones available for little girls. I figured, when I get to a point in life where I can invest more into my hobby…then I’d explore the 1:6 scale realm in more detail.
Which brings us to…I dunno, November 2014. I decided from there, I’d make 2015 the year I really took the plunge and dive into this scale. And the fact I have to wait for the materials for The Retreat to arrive…figured maybe this weekend, I’m going to complete my first 1:6 diorama.
I will admit here folks, I did kinda cheat by getting things over the holidays. And that’s partly why, if you recall in a previous entry, why I had a HUGE pile of packages awaiting BK and I when we came back. I can now admit to you all that of that pile….maybe 40% of the loot consisted of things I had acquired relating to this new scale.
For starters….instead of doing dollhouses, I opted for roomboxes for flexibility (and for not taking up too much space). I ultimately purchased three over the holidays, and of the three, decided to work on this one.
I purchased this roombox from Mlle Yogi of RoomLotus over at Etsy. She specializes in creating roomboxes meant for 1:6 scale, but she does accept custom work if you want a roombox of different scales and styles. I ended up picking this roombox because I loved how it has a corner window…much like what you’d see in condos or urban lofts. For some weird reason, I got an image of the afternoon sunlight streaming through that huge window, while curled up with a good book. Suffice to say, I took that image and ran with it.
I began this project around lunchtime this past Saturday….my goal was to see how quickly could I complete this diorama. I figured, hey, it’s a bigger scale — I should finish this quicker right? Figured so long as I maximize use of all my available resources, this should be a relatively fast build.
For starters, I started with the hardest task. Namely removing the already installed baseboard trim and window casings. When I bought the roombox, it already had the trim installed. I was fine with the trim (sorry Mlle Yogi), but because I was planning to install flooring and wallpaper…I knew it will be easier to install those with the trim out of the way.
So with my utility knife, a screwdriver, and sandpaper…I pried off the trim. Once the walls were sanded smooth, I used remnants of the sapele wood veneer edge banding (that made up the floors of the ARC III) and applied them to the roombox as its new hardwood floors. Then of course, I sanded the flooring and buffed it with my beeswax wood polish.
While the wood polish was being absorbed, I covered the floor using some wax paper and painters tape before flipping the roombox on its sides to paint the side walls. I ended up using a whole container of my FolkArt Clay Bisque acrylic paint because I ended up doing two coats on each side wall, and sanding it twice to get the smooth finish I wanted.
For the rear wall, I used the Multi-Stem Flower wrapping paper from Paper Source. The design is based on a popular pattern from Orla Kiely (you can get this as wallpaper in real life — if you can afford the cost that is). I love that the paper has the pattern in a larger scale on one side, but if you flip it over, the other side has a smaller scale version of the same pattern. I opted for the latter to decorate the wall — now I wish I had gotten more of this paper. It’s pretty thick (given it’s gift wrap), and when I applied my Yes! Adhesive paste on it….it absorbed the paper like a champ. And it hung like a dream when I applied it to the wall.
At this point, it was about 3:30 pm in the afternoon. BK and I were due to leave to have dinner with my parents that evening, and I only had about an hour left to work on the roombox before I had get ready. I ended up cutting and prepping the new trim for that remaining hour before I had to reluctantly leave everything to get ready. While we had a blast having dinner with my family, we managed to get home early. Mostly for BK to return to finish up work he brought from the office, and for me to at least install the trim.
In terms of the trim, I actually got mine from Manchester Dollhouse and Woodworks. The eBay shop has a section specifically for Barbie-sized (1:8 or Playscale) projects. Am not going to lie…the prices for the trim is a little bit more steep compared to 1:12 scale. When I was purchasing the stuff back in December, I took a gamble and really stockpiled the parts from 1/24 all the way to 1/8 scale. Mostly to make the shipping cost worthwhile. Plus, the last thing I want is to find myself short on a particular piece of trim. 😦
Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the actual work done on the trim. But I’ll at least share the following things I’ve learned.
- Get a deeper mitre box. The baseboard I used for the roombox was a couple of millimeters taller than my mitre box. I had to jerry-rig a pseudo mitre tool using scrap mdf pieces to make sure I was making accurate 45 degree cuts. Not fun at all.
- Use a 1 1/2″ tall saw when cutting 1:6 to 1:8 scale trim. When I was sawing, and I was about 75% through the height of the trim….my saw couldn’t go further. Again, had to jerry-rig a bit to complete the cut — all while cursing up a storm.
- When installing window casing….don’t use water based adhesives like Tacky glue. Especially if said trim is kinda on the thin side. The minute I tried to install the new casing around the window….the trim kinda buckled a bit from the moisture. I had to either lie the roombox on its back or sides, and weigh the casing trim down with whatever heavy books I could fit to make sure the trim dried in position — and level. Again, not fun. But at least I wasn’t cursing. At least not too much.
At this point, it was already close to 11:00 pm, and I was already exhausted. So I took my antibiotics and got ready to bed. Figured once I get up on Sunday, the trim will have dried nicely — and I can resume working on the roombox and finish it up. You can imagine how relieved I was when I checked the roombox — the glue dried up nicely, and the trim was level around the windows. Capital!
At the advice of my sister, she suggested that I try taking pics of my work in the living room since I can get as much natural light as possible. That was actually a good idea — not only did my pics appear a bit better, but I could safely take pics in probably the most tidy room in the house! 😀
Now that the trims are all secured….it was time to setup the pieces and decor.
The furniture I used is actually a doll furniture playset from IKEA called Huset. If it looks familiar to some of you…it’s the same pieces I used to furnish the CC. I actually bought 4 sets of this during an IKEA run last year. For $13/set…I couldn’t pass it up. I used one whole set to furnish the room, but hijacked the green table from another set.
What do you think? Does it look cozy? I really had to scrunged around my remaining bins (most are now in storage) to see what I could use to decorate the room. Again, I wanted to create a cozy setting where one could curl up on the couch to read a book. Or maybe have company over for coffee and some homemade pastries.
Above contents: pink couch, yellow chair, rug, green tables, and bookcase are part of IKEA Huset doll furniture set. Pillows from MiniaturesfromAvalon. Tall lime green plant and wooden bowl from ItsPerfectlyPetite. Coffee pot, mugs, and pastries were random eBay purchases.
For the walls, because the accent wallpaper provided such a strong background…I wanted the wall art to be just as strong. Given that BK and I are still grieving the loss of his beloved Grandma Ellie….I found myself doing a search on vintage travel posters of Martha’s Vineyard. I ended up settling on these two designs. I resized them in Adobe Fireworks, and increased the dpi to 300 to make sure the design and colors remain crisp. I then printed them on some matte photo paper, trimmed to size, and then attached to matboard. The frames are actually wood ACEO frames I purchased from D’s Miniatures and Collectibles shop on eBay, which I stained a dark walnut and waxes.
For the left sidewall, I resized and printed some movie posters. King Kong (the 1933 version) is one of BK’s favorite movies so I wanted to put it here as a nod to him. The other print is actually a nod to the movie Pacific Rim, which is one of my favorite films.
Guess this is another sign of BK’s and my compatibility. When it comes to terrorizing cities, he’s for giant apes; I’m all for giant robots.
For the right side wall, I found this travel poster for Nantucket, which is someplace BK and I haven’t visited yet.
For the bookcase…because I had the Vineyard prints, I guess I ended up gravitating towards something nautical.
Bookcase contents: Plant is from Minimagine. Leather books were an eBay purchase. Green vase purchased from Manor House Miniatures. Aged deep diver’s helmet and red lantern from Diane Paone Miniatures. Paper box on lower shelf, file folders , and books on upper left cubicle from Paper Doll Productions. Captain figurine from private collection. Yellow chair and heart shaped pillow from IKEA Huset doll furniture set. Red/blue pillowcase from Paper Doll Productions.
Now that the decoration is complete….I can move in two (of my slowly growing) collection of 1:6 scale dolls. For this roombox, I figured I wanted to have best friends Anya and Lia to be the official occupants.
I’m still relatively new to the dolls….I don’t have a clear criteria per se in terms of what I’m looking for. I definitely wanted ball jointed dolls (BJDs) for maximum movement and articulation. And I definitely wasn’t too interested in Barbies…or the very popular Fashion Integrity dolls. Don’t get wrong…am sure others find them appealing. But I guess since I had grown up watching Japanese animation/anime….I leaned towards the somewhat cartoony. And I wanted my (female dolls) to dress in clothes I’d love to wear everyday if I could. Hopefully I’ll get a better bearing as I delve deeper into this.
For now…I’m just going to let the girls enjoy their Sunday afternoon. While I sit on my couch nearby and enjoy my book and tea.