Anyway...I saw the Darlington and immediately fell in love with it and had to have it. If you're not familiar with it, here is a link to a picture of it from the company's website. Majestic Mansions "The Darlington".
My original plan was to make it into a hotel, similar to how it is pictured on the website. However, after further consideration, I decided to make it a very modern brownstone with afrocentric decor. So that's what we're working towards. The house is VERY large with decent sized rooms, so it should be fun to decorate. The only problem I have had with it was the fact that the instructions were not at all well written and it was difficult putting the shell together. Here are a few pictures of the shell after I was finally able to get it put together.
As you can see, it's a pretty big house, and the pictures really don't do justice to how huge it really is.
After the shell was put together, I primed the inside and outside. A brief word on priming. Some miniaturists don't believe in priming and some do. I've been told that priming your dollhouse before you decorate serves a few purposes: 1) over time the wood secretes oils that can ruin your wallpaper/paint. Sealing the wood helps to prevent that from occurring. & 2) Priming the walls helps the wallpaper adhere to the walls better than if you apply it to the bare wood. Whether those things are true or not, I really don't know. I DO know that I have a lot invested in my houses and the last thing I'd want is for them to be ruined over the years because I didn't do something as simple as priming. So that's my thought on the issue of priming.
After priming the inside and the outside, I gave the exterior a coat of grey paint. Why? Because I decided that I would brick & mortar the exterior. Just in case I missed applying mortar on certain small sections of the house, I wanted it to be the same color as my mortar so it wouldn't be as noticeable. After that, the long and very arduous process of bricking the house began. This is how I started out...
|And so it began....|
I won't lie and say that there have been times that I haven't felt like saying "to hell with this" and walking away from it. It IS extremely tedious work. However, I'm almost done with it now and am so pleased with the results so far that I'm glad I stuck with it. Here are a few more shots of how it progressed over the months....we went from the above....to this...
|After applying mortar...|
Now with this section, I used the mini mortar mix that comes in the jars. However, since then I bought a huge tub of spackle compound that I will use to mortar the rest of the house. I think the spackle may go on smoother and create less of a mess than the mortar (which tends to be very gritty and rough).
So that is where I stopped for tonight. The next steps will be to finish applying the bricks and the mortar the rest of the house. Then I'll decide where to go from there.