Sunday, March 30, 2014

His and hers houses

The deadline for my Iliad-inspired earring challenge is tomorrow at 11:59:59p!  Please don't hesitate to send me your pictures at  Click the above link for all of the information.  Remember... there's a $25 bead gift certificate for the winner!

Once upon a time, Steve and I built a pair of houses that would go on his model railroad layout.  We painted the roofs (that's the correct pluralization of "roof" - I checked) and the main parts of the houses then set them aside to dry before painting the trim and adding the finishing touches.  That was over six years ago.

See, we were dating at the time, and lots of stuff happened between then and now.  The houses had been sitting on Steve's in-process layout, and every time we looked at them we'd say, "We really need to finish those houses one of these days."

Today was the day.  I had planned on finishing that "Cobblestone Path" bracelet I've been talking about, but Steve brought the houses up from the basement and suggested we finish those.  I wasn't keen on the idea at first, but I remembered that this year is for finishing projects as well as for creating new things.  Besides, I was happy to share an activity with Steve.  If he's working on his layout, he's usually in the basement, and I don't see him for big chunks of the day.

Here's how we left the houses 6+ years ago, and you get one guess as to which one is mine:

We set about painting the trim, Steve's in green and mine in white.  I had problems seeing what I was doing even with a task lamp.  There were too many shadows and angles.

I'm not terribly happy with the paint job I did, even after two coats.  I spent an awful lot of time doing it and was extremely careful, but there are spots that don't look good, and there are a few spots of white on purple.  I wiped as much as I could off, but it's not perfect.  The light purple was mixed, and Steve said we could mix up some more for touch-ups.  I was afraid that it wouldn't be the exact color, which would mean I'd have to paint the whole house again.  I decided that it looked just fine as it is.  It was as good as I could do, and it looks a bit like the house was fifty years old with a number of coats of paint on it.  Steve said that was perfect.

The two houses came in one kit, Emery House by DPM.  Even though both houses are essentially the same, there are variations to make them look different, like where the front porch is put on or what features are added.

Included in the kit is a lot of metal pieces.  The above jumble mainly contains fences, but there are also other items such as a propane tank (that oblong blob on the right), streetlights, chairs and arms of chairs, and a whole bunch of other things we're probably not going to use.  What you're supposed to do is glue things together if needed and paint them.  Steve must like picking through this pile because a few times he had all the parts for something set aside and refused my offer of a little bag to keep them separate.

Steve won't need items such as the propane tank because he's modeling the Cincinnati, Lebanon and Northern Railway in 1906.  He has to really think about what was available in 1906 and what hadn't been invented yet.  The houses work fine, but things like power lines and propane tanks would not.

While I was painting my trim, Steve painted his trim (two coats!), painted and glued in posts and fancy trim for his house, painted my posts and fancy trim, glued window glazing in his house, pawed through the above jumble, painted a dog on his doghouse, and started making lunch.  He's a lot quicker than I am.

Since this picture was taken, he added some different coloring to the dog to make him look more realistic.

After lunch I watched as Steve glued the external components in:

Here's how the house looks nearly finished:

You can see there's some paint up on the dark purple peak.  I'm choosing to believe that the HO scale (1/87th of normal size) people who live there are crappy painters.

I added my own glazing inside the house so there would look like there were windows:

Steve put a piece of dark paper inside each of the sections so you can't see straight through the house.  It gives an illusion that the house has rooms.

Here are both houses finished:

I wanted to show you how they're going to look on the layout, but the section where Steve wants to put them is nowhere near finished.  For now, he put them in another section (that's also not finished, but it looks a lot better than the other one):

Even though this wasn't what I had planned to do today, I'm glad we were able to get our little houses done!

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