St Williams House :: Rooms and Windows

St Williams - House Front photo StW-House-04_zps5712a7fd.jpg

I’ve made considerable progress on the house for St. Williams. As the lead photo shows, I’ve built and installed the windows and doors, including curtains and glazing with real glass.

I started by adding room dividers, so that if someone looks into a window they can’t see the light coming through windows on other walls – a dead giveaway that a model is nothing more than an empty shell. Normally, I would simply install some baffles made of thin sheets of styrene – preferably the black stuff. But the instructions for this kit include a drawing of the floor plan of the prototype for this house, and I thought it would be fun to divide the interior into rooms:
St Williams - House Rooms photo StW-House-05_zpsd55d2c8b.jpg

I made no attempt to model a full, detailed interior: The goal was to allow the curious to see light through appropriate windows – for example, if one looks across the front bedroom one can see light from the window on the far side.

I started by cutting two floors from styrene, notched to fit around the interior wall braces. I glued the ground floor in place, then added interior walls following the diagram in the kit instructions. The ground floor includes an L-shaped living/dining room, a kitchen, and an L-shaped staircase. I cut two wall sections from styrene to form the interior walls for the kitchen and glued them in place.

Before continuing to the bedroom level, I realized I had to add curtains to the windows in the ground floor, so I did that. (More on the curtains in a moment.)

Next, I glued the upstairs floor in place on top of the kitchen walls. Then I divided the upstairs with more styrene walls, as shown in the above photo. I didn’t worry about making these walls exactly match the pitch of the end walls – in fact, they don’t even rise to the peak of the roof. This won’t be seen when the roof is in place. Instead, I cut them so they would not interfere with the roof and glued them in place.

The master bedroom runs across the front of the house. Behind that is a an L-shaped space representing the stairwell and hallway. A single bathroom is to the right, behind the master bedroom, while two smaller bedrooms share the back of the house.

With the walls in place upstairs, I added curtains to the bedroom windows.

For curtains, I went online and found some 1950s curtain patterns. I saved the images, imported them into a Microsoft Word document, and resized them so they were 1.25 inches tall – big enough to cover the windows. I duplicated the images so I’d have enough of each type of curtain to do each room, then printed out a sheet of curtains on a colour printer. Easy-peasy.

I cut out each curtain, then folded it accordion-style, in very tight folds. I then smoothed out the top of each curtain, added a bit of CA, and glued the paper curtain in place behind the appropriate window opening. For some rooms, I used the printed material flat, to represent a roller blind.

This image shows the interior of the rear bedrooms. At left, a pair of curtains. At right, a roller blind:
St Williams - House Curtains inside photo StW-House-06_zps585279be.jpg

And here’s what these rooms look like from the outside, before adding the windows:
St Williams - House Curtains outside photo StW-House-07_zps57b896c1.jpg
(I really like the steam tractor roller blind for a kid’s room.)

While curtains and blinds might not be printed on the back side – the side facing the outside world – I think doing this on the model adds some nice colour and looks better than plain white paper. Others may prefer to simply cut material from printer paper and not bother with printing out appropriately scaled patterns.

With floors, interior walls, and curtains in place, I then turned my attention to the windows. The kit windows are built up from three layers of laser cut wood, complete with peel’n’stick backings. These are, the outside frame, a two-light interior frame that represents the upper (fixed) sash, and a single-light interior frame that represents the lower (movable) sash.

The instructions do not mention that the outer frames and two-light interior frames have a top and bottom – so I’ll mention it here. I goofed on a couple of windows before I realized this and hand to peel them apart to rebuild them. The outer frame should be positioned so that the wider piece is at the bottom. The two-light interior frame has one opening that’s larger than the other – this is the lower of the two lights.

The instructions would also have one start on the innermost frame and work one’s way out. This is backwards: It’s a whole lot easier to start with the outer frame and work in, especially if one is using real glass as I did.

Work on one window at a time, installing it as it’s finished. Cut both pieces of glass before assembling the window. (Here’s how I cut glass.)

Peel the backing away from the outer frame, and lay the two-light interior frame in place. Peel the backing away and add glass to the upper window. Then add the single-light interior frame – either fully closed or positioned partially- or fully-open. (I left a number of windows open, since I’m modelling August.) Then peel the backing off the lower sash and add the glass. Finally, position and press the completed window into place.

To model open windows, the lower sash will not have enough contact with the adhesive on the two-light frame. Secure the lower sash in place by holding it in the desired position and using a toothpick to add a line of Microscale’s Kristal Klear to each side of the sash. Do not use CA, which will fog the glass. This high-tack adhesive will not do that, but will hold the sash in place.

One last item – not done on the windows in the photos – is to add a piece of wood to the outer frame, below the lower light. (Here’s an example on a Tichy O scale window.) This trim detail is not included in the kit but I can whip up some out of strip wood and glue it in place with Kristal Klear. (I won’t use CA here, as it’s too close to the glass and could fog my glazing.)

As the photos show, I’ve also added the foundation and the porch – although I need to finish painting some edges. There’s more to do, including shingling the roof – but the house is very close to being finished. It’s going to look really nice across from the station in St. Williams!

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