Thursday, November 18, 2010

The tower proceeds

Finally! I got more paperclay to clad the exterior walls of the tower.

I couldn't decide whether to set the windows and door in first, or last, or somewhere in the middle of the process. I ended up by gluing them in while the applied paperclay was damp. After it dried I had to fill the gaps left around them with more clay. Untidy. There will have to be vines or ivy to cover some of the worst bits :)
An interesting learning process!
This was all difficult to decide, as the MDF bends and bows when the damp clay is put on, making it tricky to put in the windows and door at any stage, but I kept pressure on the frames as the glue dried, and it seemed to help force the walls to behave and be more straight.

If I did it again, I think I'd wait until all the paperclay was totally dry, then press the walls under weights until they lay flat, then glue in the windows and door. You'd have to be sure to cut away enough clay while damp so they'd fit properly.

This project is taking on a life of its own - it is drifting away from my first ideas. One of the things that has changed is the colour - of the roof support, the roof ridges and the windows and door surround. I wanted a rich golden semi-aged oak look, but with MDF you can't use washes or age it, so solid colour is necessary. I'm not a fan of black tudor, and paler oak colours looked milky. The final choice was a rich chocolate brown as you see (72% cocoa, not pale Cadbury's milk choc!!) made up of 1 part burnt umber to 3 parts yellow oxide.
A lot more contrast than I wanted, but I'm getting used to it :)

The sleepy Green Man ornament is from Mainly Minis - they have several others, fun and quirky (search for 'garden ornament').

Next I have to decide on the floor.
I'm making haste slowly, especially as other new projects keep trying to take over my thinking time :)



  1. I think it looks really stunning, and I guess the contrast with the dark stain wood (72% cocoa is a great description) will change depending on the colour wash(es) you put on the outside. Love the green man, must check out that site.

    Good luck with the flooring decisions :)

  2. Felt from an air of magic ...

  3. I love the contrast:) It looks so good:) Can't wait for more of this project and others too:D The Green Man ornament is great!:)

  4. I love watching the work in progress of these doll houses and castles. Yours is looking so good Glenda, I can tell this is going to be really cool when it's completed. Me too, love the green man wall ornament!!

  5. If you were to prime the mdf first it would not warp. I head to the automotive supply store and get my spray primer there. That type of primer is lacquer based and dries quickly but give it at least 24 hours for a good solid and strong bonding cure before putting on the carpenter's glue and paperclay.

  6. I think it is coming along lovely.. isn't it funny how they take on their on way after a while, we find that with some too, but I think that whats makes a really good project :) Your green man is lovely, I will have to pop over there and have a peek, thank you :)
    Julia xxxx

    Ps the floor... grey worn flagstones (paperclay again) on the ground and waxed floorboards on the second floor :)xxx

  7. I@m watching this closely Glenda, as I have yet to Start on mine. I'm trying out some experiments with Fimo Ultra Light Air Dry Clay as its a total nightmare trying to get paper clay over here. x

  8. Glenda, this looks really great so far, and I like the colour of the wood parts in contrast to the wall. And you gave me a good laugh with that "there have to be vines or ivy" phrase... ;O) Can't wait to see how you'll do the floors.

    Have a great weekend!

  9. I enlarge your pic to find a spot where you will have to put your ivy or fern and found...NONE! But I do love having creepers on the walls :)

    Thank you for sharing the tips about working with paperclay. I will have to start soon with the furniture in the kitchen.

  10. Thanks, ladies!

    Karin - thanks for the tip - I did seal the MDF with a 1:1 mix of PVA glue and water. A lacquer spray would be much better.

    Julia - I'm tossing up between card or paperclay flagstones for the bottom floor. Going to have to do some sampling!!

    Debbie - Living at the end of the world, I ended up having to get my paperclay in from a seller in Florida on eBay. BTW the paperclay has cost me more than the kit originally did. I'm learning . . .
    Next similar house I'm thinking of trying Julia's method of using paper mache spackle.

  11. I forgot to say that the cat walked on the damp paperclay - it is now personalised with a pawprint! Not too noticeable, but I like it!


  12. Todos estos procesos tienen mucho trabajo y la espera del secado. Las irregularidades le dan relaismo. Nunca un albañil trabaja perfecto.
    Ahora el suelo seguro.
    Buenas experiencias.
    Besos Clara

  13. Thanks Clara! I'm too fussy, but building mini houses is curing that sickness!! :D

  14. Wonderful to follow the building of your tower! Love the green man ornament!

  15. Que gran trabajo, debe ser muy duro que quede perfecto.
    A mi me encanta como ha quedado.
    Sigue experimentando.
    besitos ascension