Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hartley House: Part 1 Building a Better House

The 25mm Harwood House from Old Glory's Western buildings line, pictured here from their website, has always had a problem that Old Glory knows about but cannot fix. The bottom off the roof is poorly designed, so that when you place the roof on the building it will literally fall down around the walls. In their website's photo, the only thing holding up the roof are the two dowels and probably some Photo Shop magic. Getting the porch posts to fit the bottom edge of the roof would be difficult due to poor casting, with little space along the roof edge as the photos will show.

Fixing The Roof
A while back, I came up with an easy solution you can see in the photo. I used a piece of thin plastic left over from an item we bought at the store. I have no idea what it was any more, but it came from one of those items that has a clear window letting you look in the box. I cut the plastic to fit the bottom of the roof and then glued it in place. In other words, I created a new bottom for the roof. No more falling off the building for this roof. Of course, I forgot to do this before I primed the building last week. Figures! We had a clear, dry day here in Central Florida, and I was so eager to take advantage of it that I sprayed the building, forgetting that I had to work on it first. Oh well. No harm done.

Adding Porch Posts
Guess what? I have finally added porch posts to one of my Western buildings! It suddenly looks like a real building with a real porch. Old Glory supplies dowels with all their Western buildings, but I really don't like them. Most posts in the real West would have been square instead of round, which cost more. Still, this being a residence I decided to use some balsa wood dollhouse posts I had gotten a couple years ago on sale. (Dollhouse stuff is great.) I cut the posts to fit the roof, drove a size #20 pin into the base of the post, drilled a hole into the porch floor using a #72 pinvise drill, and then glued the entire assembly into place using Zap-a-Gap superglue. Worked perfectly. Of course, I should have done this prior to priming last week! Oh well again. The posts are straight but look a bit off due to the angle of my camera.

Final Thoughts
While I like the building, it had a great deal of thick resin flash between the window openings. It was very difficult to remove since I don't have a Dremel tool (that will be changing soon!).

Later this week, look for photos of the finished Sheriff's Office and some newly painted Western figures. The project is really moving along. I'm even looking into building my own structures. After 35 years of wanting one, I am about to buy The Chopper wood cutting tool! Until next time...

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