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Monday, December 15

The Beacon Hill Dollhouse Revisited Week 39

Finishing The Dormer Fronts
These dormer fronts will have a side facing the interior of the dollhouse and a side facing the exterior so each side has to be finished to match where they will be facing. My interior trim is all white so I painted the areas that are facing the interior white.

You then have to fit in the casings. These casings are not made up of two pieces, laminated together with the acetate window sandwiched between them. Instead, they are singles and the acetate piece goes glued to their backs, exposed. This means that you will have to do extra work to make them look right.

I sanded each casing down until it fit loose enough to move, inside of the front trim. This has to be done little by little because you want the casing to be loose enough to move but not so loose that it won't stay closed. There has to be a little snag to hold it in place when closed.

I dry fitted each front trim, with the casing temporarily hinged with masking take, into each opening in order to make sure they have correct movement.

Now comes the part where you have to make some choices. How are you going to hinge these casings? You can use real miniature hinges or fabric. The instructions recommend fabric but I tried all methods and the best movement I achieved is with masking tape.

Masking tape is very strong and will not break unless it is torn at a specific angle. That angle is virtually impossible to achieve when the tape is used as a hinge. You wouldn't want to use this tape for a door, but it can be used successfully for these windows. It will not wear down with movement. It lays very flat and can be painted to match the white trim, making it invisible once applied. It also achieves the best and smoothest movement.

So I cut the tape to fit on the side I wanted to hinge. You have to glue the tape down to the trim and to the door but do not get glue in the joint that has to move. Once dry, paint the tape white so it blends in with the trim as best as possible.

Now you have swinging dormers.

Apply the acetate window to the back of the casings. You will have to snip them to fit. Make sure they are all the same size and the diamond pattern is the same on all dormers. This prevents for some to end up being higher or lower than the others.

Once the window is dry, paint along the back edge of the acetate, to create an interior "trim" for the window since it doesn't have any. Doing this hides the shine from the acetate making it appear as though the window does have an interior trim to it.

Glue a doorknob or a pull on the side of the casing that opens. Touch up all of your paint now since it will be difficult to do afterwards.

Glue your dormer fronts, with the hinged casing, in place. The dormer front legs go into the slots of the window sill and their backs rest against the dormer opening sides and roof. Make sure the dormer front is flush with the dormer sides. Apply glue only to the legs and sides. You do not want to get glue on the copper paper. Clamp with masking tape to dry.

Finishing The Tower Dormer
I installed the tower dormer according to the instructions, since I did not want it to be operable. If you want it to be operable, you would need to install and finish it as the others, described above.

Keep In Mind
There will be small gaps along the dormer roof top and/or sides. I recommend you leave them alone. Use touch up paint to hide them but do not apply spackle. The spackle will create a caked mess in these small, detailed areas and will cause more harm than good. The gaps are barely noticeable and hidden, almost entirely, with paint. The last thing you want is for oozing spackle to seep into the interior of your dormer. It will be extremely difficult to smooth out and fix, especially if you used a paper cover on the interior.

The dormer is a round arch. This means that your casing will not swing open all of the way because the top arch of the dormer will be too low. These windows will only open halfway inwards.

If you want your casings to swing outwards, you would have to assemble the dormer fronts in the opposite direction. Meaning you apply the large trim on top of the small trim. Your hinges will be exposed to the exterior of the dollhouse so I recommend using real miniature hinges in this case. The exterior of your dormer will look different as well. It will look like the interior of mines, shown below. If this doesn't bother you, then you can hinge the casings to swing outwards and it will not effect the installation of the dormer.



















 

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