Monday, May 20, 2013

Company Houses

These are from a competition I started on the Terragenesis site last June. The theme was objects in a row, and they had to be closer together than a single one was wide. My thought was to scratch build three Company Houses down a mountain side. As my layout was to have a Coal Mine, these houses would end up there when the competition was over. Though I never started it, I had planned on a Company Store on the slope below the houses.

I began, of course, with styrene. Clapboard for the front and left sides, with V-Groove for the wooden floors. As the back and right walls were not going to be seen, I went with Plain for them. (Actually, I never intended to make any interior details, so  all the inner surfaces would be plain as well. Though I was making three houses, I started just with one to test the proportions. The side walls are 12' wide by 8' tall, with the roof peak at 11'.The front wall is 20' wide.
 I liked the size, and window/door placement.
 The plain back and right-hand side.
 I figured houses made by the coal company would be built using common doors and windows, according to a standardized plan, so I made this template. I didn't want the houses to be exactly the same, just close. This template maintains the three openings spaced equally, but allows different door and window arrangements. I drilled holes in the corners to mark doors 30" wide by 6'6" tall, with the windows being 30" by 36". I decide the pattern I want, lay the template over the front blank, then mark them with a scribe.
 The first house with the roof installed, plus a flat roof over the porch. The roofs are plain styrene. I plan on using paper or masking tape to represent tar paper.
 The second house. Here you see two doors in the front wall. The door on the right has a small stoop, and is the actual entrance. I envisioned this house to have small children, and the left door opens onto a closed-in porch.
 The third house, with a door on the left, opening to a small porch.
 The three houses with the floor joists installed. Also, a scale 1x8 has been added as a corner board, hiding the exposed edge of the side wall. Compare to the picture above to see the improvement.
 The three houses are going to sit on a steep slope, so various height stilts were needed. I taped these two squares to make a jig that would hold the styrene strips in alignment while gluing them. The wood blocks have marks for the various sizes.
 Some of the different stilts.
 The stilts in place, with cross-bracing installed.
These are now packed away in preparation of moving. Still left to finish is the door and window trim, porch columns and railings, and  view-blocks inside. Then tar paper and paint. Thanks for looking. Don

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Quick Update

I know, I had just started posting after a long absence, then suddenly I was off the grid again. A hard drive crash on my primary computer, along with a virus on my backup, knocked me off line for a while. Replacing the drive was fairly simple, but I thought all my pictures were gone. I did burn a CD of my most recent shots (the last two years worth) before the drive went fully ka-flooey, but I was afraid all the earlier ones were lost forever. Then I found the memory cards I had used to transfer all my shots from the old computer to the new one, which I had never erased and reused. So now everything has been restored, and I hope to start posting again. See you in a few days.  Don