With the staircase mostly completed, it was time to glue in the other two walls to complete the second half of the house. This turned into a bit of a juggling act, trying to hold the 2nd floor in place, and the front and side walls, to see how they were going to fit, with only two hands when I really needed three. The 2nd floor needed some fine tuning to get it to sit square on my turned-around staircase. I had to trim away a hairsbreadth from the cut out in the 2nd floor that fits over the banister, and slightly enlarge the slot in the side wall that receives the 2nd floor tab, before it would all fit together.
After all the excitement of this large-scale assembly, I am suddenly back to fiddly slow bits. Lots and lots of filling, and sanding, and filling, and sanding... as I covered up the tabs and slots in the walls, and finished the edges of the house. It is a never ending task: you hold the house up to the light to give it one final sand, thinking you are done, and then the light catches yet another imperfection. I eventually called it quits and decided it was good enough.
Now it's decision time on what to tackle next. My instinct is to finish all the vertical battens and give the exterior walls their final coat of white paint, prior to gluing in all the windows. However, the vertical battens are going to be interrupted not only by windows, but by things I haven't built yet - like the front porch and the conservatory. Yet the porch and conservatory feel like final trim items that need to be decorative and match the roof gingerbread... only I haven't built the roof yet and won't be building it for some time. Dollshousing often feels like this - an exercise in logical sequencing: "If I do that now, then I won't be able to reach this, so I'd better do this first, except then I won't be able to reach that..."
One big minus for this house is that it isn't going to have the exquisite laser cut gingerbread trim of the 1/48th original. Especially the original porch, which looks lovely. I had a play with the porch pieces which come with the kit, and by cutting them slightly shorter, and cutting out the middle post, I think I can use these to support my new porch roof. For the side, I have cut up two pieces and will join them into one. It won't be as nice as the original but I think it will look ok.