Following on from part 2 I needed to decide on the appearance of the front of the house, window and front door, brickwork, and the ‘curb appeal’ for the estate agents.
To save time and cost I bought some generic premade sash windows, one double sash and a pair of single sashes. Incredibly good value for an otherwise fiddly construction. They came intended for ordinary dolls house use, glued into holes in a 9mm house front, complete with mouldings, sills and decorative lintels.
None of that would be needed for this house so it was all carefully sliced off.
I decided the positions of the windows after a lot of careful consideration, mainly to ensure that the windows, and the door, would be a whole number of bricks both in height and in spacing. Having cut the openings carefully I forgot to take any photos! I added spacing battens and then glued on a new facing plywood. The opening were then routed out to ensure alignment. The rounded corners, at this stage, gave the appearance of 1970s sci-fi architecture.
Anyway, the corners were squared up and the windows test fitted. They look a lot better set on the inside face of the wall.
To create the brick frontage I carried out some experiments in painting and carving the bricks. I made a couple of test patches using wood filler and polyfiller to see how that would work.
I preferred the look and texture of the wood filler but it was very hard to score the mortar lines into. Also the wood filler, though not as white as the polyfiller, underneath would still need more colour.
I finally decided to use bonding plaster.
Firstly the plywood was coated with PVA glue and then the bonding was also mixed with PVA glue and the front of the house given a 3-4mm coat. The surface was left rough and then lightly sanded to de-nib and scraped in some of the high spots to vary the textures.
Once cured and dry I marked out the lintels and sills and set them at three brick courses high. a batch of brick red acrylic paint was mixed up and the whole front painted leaving the lintels and sills bare. A random range of black, grey and brown patches were then painted and dry brushed to give an aged and discoloured appearance.
Using a square and steel rule the mortar courses were scribed using a piece of broken hacksaw blade, one of the giant ones used on a power hacksaw or ‘donkey saw’.
It was tedious work but not as tedious as getting the brick bond into the courses, so I chose an easy stretcher bond.
“Another brick in the wall…”The bonding plaster really gives the bricks a convincing brick texture and also produces a good mortar colour underneath.
I made sure I could continue the brickwork into the door reveal. The chipped edge of the door lintel was left as it looks very convincing as damage to stone work.
Once the brickwork was done I applied a skim of wood filler over the lintels to make them look smoother then the bricks, as painted stone would be.
Using a simple mould the sills were built up with more bonding plaster so that they protruded from the wall. They were then skimmed with wood filler as well, ready for painting.
I made and installed a door liner
And with the liner in place I cast a door step using wood filler, sanded to give the impression of a very worn stone step. The colour of the wood filler gives a good representation of a donkey stone having been used on it.
And then made a front door. That was a simple make with a 2mm sheet of wood and then thickness added with 1mm planks to create the four panel door.
I made the letter plate from brass sheet, and made sure the letter flap worked. It is hinged behind with some self adhesive copper tape.
The door pull on the cylinder lock, the mortice lock escutcheon, and the number 6 were also made from brass sheet.
So number six being an end terrace? Ether the terrace is very short, or something else is going on here.
I was questioned by Lisa Milne as to the appropriateness of the stretcher bond for the age and type of house, so I had to invent some ‘history’ to this house to explain it.
The end of the terrace has been cut off as part of the creation of the town’s ring road system. The wall that closes off the road is part of the embankment for the elevated slip road that joins the ring road at a junction.
Houses 2 and 4 have been lost on this side of the road, and most of the other side has been lost to the construction of the junction. During demolition of houses the front wall of number six was badly damaged. It was rebuilt with stretcher bond and a cavity as in keeping with building regulations. Matching the original bond was not a priority for the contractor.
Here is an example of a motorway junction cutting off the end of the road.
So that’s sorted then, any more criticisms? 😉
That’s all for now. The next instalment will look at construction of the landscape around the front of the house.