Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The (not) dry build

I finally found a half day to give to the dry build of Les Roches (aka Le Petit Palais).... but ....

Guess what... quarter scale, again, doesn't work like 1/12ths.  Why does this keep surprising me.

With the twelfths I have always done three or four dry builds before glue ever meets the carcass - one in its naked state to see if I want to change anything and what needs painting and when and how, then build two after the first round of paint to check all is OK and adjust accordingly, lots of tweaking then gets done and build three confirms I am good to go and I mark up for wiring grooves etc.  As I said I have been known to do a fourth if needs be.

Already in quarter scale, I did do two dry builds on the Gatehouse for similar reasons.

This little kit really isn't going to lend itself to that much messing about with and certainly it needs as much done to it as possible in the way of paint and prepping before messing about  shoving it together every which way.  Also, looking at it now, it is going to need a very different approach.  I don't see that it will just be fully built and then finished off.  I need to be able to get to each room at each level before another level goes in as they are very tiny.

So here is where I am up to:

I checked all the items against the list on the instruction sheet to be sure I have everything.  I have no idea how anyone manages to pack these things there are so many fiddly little pieces and everyone of them was there.  Indeed I think I have an extra something.  If you look carefully at the picture you will see one teeny tiny rectangle floating around (centre front) all on its own - no idea what that is, but I have kept it just in case.

click to see full size

I have grouped like components together and put them in individual ziplock bags so I don't have to do a sort through when I am building.

Mostly from the proposed dry build I wanted to know the size of the rooms and how they looked in relation to each other in hands-on reality.  If you are doing this kit and haven't yet started this is what I think we have got:

Two rooms on the ground floor measuring 2 7/8 inch wide (real life 11' 6") by 3 3/4 inch deep (real life 15') and 2 1/2 inch high (real life 10') plus a hall same height and depth but 2 1/2 inches wide (real life 10').

Two rooms on the next floor measuring same width and depth but 2 3/8 inches high (real life 9' 6") plus the same hall as below but with the slightly lower ceiling.

The loft will depend on how you want to configure it mine will be cut into two not three spaces.

The kit measurements are in centimetres, but I can't do my real life conversions easily if I do that.  I am lucky enough in this instance to be old enough to think in feet and inches any way so it is easy peasy and, of course, America still uses imperial. 

The room I just did in The Gatehouse was 5 1/2 inches by 4 inches.  Even allowing stairs and moving around room that is generous, so Les Roches is terrifyingly small.  As a real person moving in there I might consider no right hand diving wall downstairs (we'll knock through) but it is a shame to lose the splendour of a large French hallway.  The real life conversions show us they are actually fairly generous size rooms but I am still praying for dainty furniture out there somewhere.  Anyone have any recommended vendor who makes small - Gayle B at Petworth?  Wonder what her kits are like for Hungerford?

I am definitely back to Plan A again though - the chimney will be on the side walls.  I can not see how I furnish and false door it otherwise so that it works in real life - my absolute criteria in this game.


  1. Again we are thinking alike - there has to be extra rooms behind, hasn't there? I am putting faux doors in mine on the back wall and like you have the fireplaces on the side walls. You are very organised in the way you put all the components into zip-lock bags for each part. Hope you are enjoying this project.

    1. Really getting excited about it now and have all kinds of stuff on the way (to the States) so I will have things to make to bring home next Spring. Marilyn