Monday, 27 August 2012

The Village Centre

In the centre of my mini village I put a row of shops and a corner pub.They are kit sets by Kestrel Designs I made up. I think, when painted up, they look very realistic. Positioning the tiny people was fun, making them appear as if they were chatting or admiring goods in the shop windows or sitting on a bench outside the pub or waiting to cross the road.
The N Scale Village Shops

The Newer Part of the N Scale Village
Beside the pub is the old Norman church. I made the gravestones by painting the offcuts of plastic from the kits. Can you see the gravediggers with their shovel and pick?!
   Behind the shops is the bus stop and the newer part of the village. These kit set houses are a mix of brick Kestrel Design bungalows and American kits for weatherboard houses.
   One of the things I really like about this layout is that every time I look at it, I see something different. It has been a project that has given me an immense amount of satisfaction!

Monday, 20 August 2012

The Miniature Village Layout - Left Side

A Wedding Scene in N Scale
Deciding what to put where was all part of the enjoyment when laying out the miniature village. I made a little hill out of paper clay to put the church on and staged a wedding scene there complete with a tiny bride, groom and wedding guests.
   On the left-hand roadway I placed the largest house in the village surrounded by a stone wall. In the garden is the housekeeper's cottage, a garden shed and a veggie garden with two men working in it.

Also along that side of the road are smaller houses and the village hall. I imagined this to be the older part of the village. The houses are all made of brick with tile roofs. Some are built so close to the road that their front doors open directly on to the footpath, as you see in many old English villages.
The Older Section of the Miniature Village
 Next time I'll write about how I set out the middle section of the village with its shops, church and newer houses. I hope you're enjoying the photos!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Making a Miniature Farm

An N Scale Miniature Farmyard
As part of my N scale village I really wanted a section of it to be a farm. That is why the village layout grew and grew - I had to have paddocks and hills and a farmyard and barn!
   On the board that my husband had cut for me, I made hills and hollows out of paper clay. I arranged them so that the back of the board was a bit higher than the front. Then I marked out the position of the house and barn and the farm track and circular driveway. 
   Once the paper clay had thoroughly dried, I painted it with dark green paint, leaving the track and driveway bare. While the paint was still wet I shook grass scatter over it. This was particularly messy! Even though I had put down a double sheet on the studio floor to work on, I still managed to get bits of green stuff everywhere.
Animals and Buildings in N Scale
   I left it overnight then took the board outside and gave it a gentle shake. The bits of grass scatter that hadn't stuck blew away. On the balder-looking patches I sprayed glue and shook scatter over those again. The final touch was to give everything a good swoosh of hair spray.
   For the driveway and farm track I painted glue straight onto the board and, using a teaspoon, gently shook fine artist's sand over them. Once they were dry I could get onto the fun part - the landscaping.
   Fences, trees, bushes, flowers; sheep and lambs, cows and calves; the shepherd and his dog, a tractor towing a trailer of supplies, a horse-drawn hay wagon and the farmer standing at the doorway of the farmhouse.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

My Miniature Village in N Scale

An N Scale (1:160) Village
The last time I wrote about my N scale buildings I had decided not to do a village layout and instead keep the little houses and churches in a wall cabinet.
   Well, all that has changed! I've reverted to my original idea and for the last three weeks have been working on my mini village. It was a lot of fun planning the layout - how big to have the farm, where to put the pub and the churches, would I have straight streets or curving ones, was there room for a village duck pond?
Churches, Shops and Houses in N Scale
   And I also enjoyed tracking down vehicles and teeny tiny people to populate it.
Farm Animals and Vehicles in N Scale
Over the next few blog posts I'll tell you in detail how I made each part of the village. I hope you'll enjoy it!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Inspired by a Dolls House

I have been reading an article in Writing Magazine (April 2012) about the author Karen Maitland. She writes wonderful mediaeval thrillers. She says that when she is working she becomes "immersed in mediaeval life". This is why, I think, her books have such a great atmosphere with all the details of what life was like in those early centuries.
   But what really fascinated me is that Karen has a dolls house, a mediaeval great Hall "complete with glowing fire and mad monk." She says that whenever she peers inside it is as if she is right back in the mediaeval world.
   What a wonderful way to incorporate your dolls house into your working life!