Building ‘The End Terrace’ Dolls House (part 4 the landscape of the backscene)

A view of a terrace house in red brick with a yellow front door and a double sash window. The house abuts a tall grey concrete wall with a fence above it that cuts off the end of the terrace row and the road. There is small front garden area with two stone gate posts, a very low wall and stone coping to the right with a hedge growing over it, and a taller brick wall to the left leading to the neighbouring house. Daisy is wearing a yellow high visibility work coat and black trousers and boots. She is standing on the pavement with a hand on a gatepost while looking at the 'For Sale' sign placed by an agent called 'Redi Bricks'. The whole scene is hand made at one twelfth scale.

Following from part 3 I am now going to look at the backscene and landscape that the house sits into. This is quite involved so we’ll look at the concrete wall, fencing and the road first.

Last time we left the house sitting on a OSB back wall and ground. This took up about 1200mm (4 feet) of width and for photographic reasons I decided that wasn’t enough to place the house comfortably into its surroundings. I cut the OSB and split it into a front section and a back section leaving the house to fill the gap. That made the whole scene 1800mm (6feet) long!

A distant view of the dolls house on the workshop bench placed on some OSB for the ground and backdrop.
Setting the scene with OSB.

I wanted the back wall of the scene to be a highways agency slip formed concrete wall that is retaining an embankment that the ring road junction slip road is on.
I decided to use the same process as the front wall of the house but with finishing plaster for a smoother finish, so water PVA, bonding plaster and finish plaster mixed with some grey acrylic paint.

A section of the OSB backdrop plaster textured and painted grey.
Does that look like concrete?

I don’t think I would do that again. I added the grey paint as an afterthought and it made the mix very sloppy and runny. It also took a very long time to dry!

A close up of the grey plastered OSB, looking very shiny.
Maybe better when the paint is dry.

However, several days later the wall looked like this and I was able to score some joint lines into it to make six foot wide panels.
Ignore the two cut outs in the base, they are to clear a raised rim on the miniatures work bench where this will be sited. Measure once, cut twice!

Another grey plastered OSB wall, less shiny.
Back wall looks better.
Close up of the grey concrete wall showing joints in the concrete panels.
The wall looks cast in 6′ panels.
An oblique view of the grey plastered concrete wall with a good view of the vertical joint lines in the panels.
Looks like it was slip formed yesterday!

I decided that there should be a road at the front of the house, only a narrow road as befitting a street of small houses that are less important then the construction of a ring road junction. I decided that bonding plaster would provide a good road texture and could be plastered on to create the proper camber.
Of course, I didn’t learn from doing the grey concrete and mixed it with black acrylic paint…
A week later and it was still tacky!

A black road surface plasted onto the OSB base board.
Laying ‘tarmac’.

I am sure it will look fine when it has been weathered and with some double yellow lines painted, maybe.

A close up of the edge of the plastered black road surface showing the camber and teh testure.
You can almost smell the tar!

To extend the visual height of the concrete wall I decided to add a fence. I started by making some single sided fence posts by cutting some planks and gluing to some 6mm dowel. I could have saved the dowel as I only wanted the end to be round but I had a lot of it spare.

A pile of finished planks and some 6mm diameter dowels cut to 10mm longer then the planks.
Planks and dowels.

The dowel protrudes from one end so that it could be plugged into the top of the wall.

The dowels glued along the face of the planks. Level at one end and withthe dowel sticking out at the other end.
Dowels glued to the planks.

For the top of the wall I cut and shaped a length of scrap wood to form a row of coping stones. The fence posts were installed and the whole thing painted in a concrete grey.

A length of wood carved to look like concrete coping stones with a fence post fitted to the top every scale six feet apart. All painted grey concrete colour.
Fitting the fence posts to the coping stones.

I made fence panels from strips of cereal box cardboard and glued them to the back of the fence posts.

A cardboard fence panel fitted between two of the fence posts with a grey gravel board at the bottom and a trip strip at the top.
One down…
Both lengths of copings and fencing assembled with four and three panels respectively.
Nearly there, bar the half panels and weathering.

The weathering is just a simple dry brushing of greens, greys and browns. I can do more later once they are in situ.

The fence panels in place with some dry brushed grey and green colours added, seen from a different perspective.
Getting there.

Some scrappy trees peering over the top of the fence will help hide the sockets and shelf supports. This is the shelf that limits the height of the house. I could move the shelf, and did consider that to gain a bit more height, but Harriet’s workshop and garden railway lives up there.
As you can see there is still masking tape around the road as it still hasn’t finished curing!

The fencing for the front of the house back drop with some twiggy 'bare trees' peeping over the top.
I will add some trees to hide the wall sockets.

This is how the house sits in the landscape. Daisy will be able to watch, and hear, the traffic on the slip road from her bedroom window, that will be nice for her!

The house front placed on the backdrop against the concrete wall and fencing above.
This is how the house front looks with the backdrop wall.

The area of bare OSB in front of the house will be the pavement footpath and a small front garden for the house.
I will cover that in the next instalment.

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