Sunday, 12 September 2010

Shingling done, for better or for worse

I made a big push today on the shingling. The family went out for the day to a modelling show so I was able to put in about six hours on the dollshouse.  I am relieved to report that all the shingles are now on, including the ridge tiles, and the first coat of paint applied.  I will be honest and confess that I am not incredibly happy with how the main roof turned out.  My row spacing is pretty erratic in some places.  I'm thinking perhaps the inhabitants got their cousin the roofer to do the shingling job for them on the cheap (and perhaps he has a slight alcohol problem). My only excuse is that with these little shingles, small discrepancies soon build up into obvious faults.  Also, if I were to do it all again, I would buy third-party shingles and not use the kit shingles, as they were pretty rubbish.

At the end of the shingling I still had a good half a bag of shingles left.  If you put your rows closer together than I did mine, then you would use more, but there are still ample shingles supplied in the kit for the job.

After completing the wooden shingles on the roof, I moved on and shingled the porch roof.

Then I shingled the bay window roof, which was tricky because of the angles and small area to work on, plus having to notch the shingles around the vertical battens.

Ridge Treatment

While deciding how to finish the ridge of my main roof, I had a look at several other houses pictured in the gallery on the Greenleaf Forum to see what other people have done.  There were a variety of treatments used:

  • butting the last row of shingles neatly against each other
  • applying individual ridge tiles overlapping the roof ridge
  • applying long horizontal lengths of trim along the ridge
  • applying an ornamental 'gingerbread' fretwork along the ridge and butting the shingles up against this
  • applying a long horizontal strip of folded card or paper along the ridge, to mimic roofing paper or flashing.
I also looked at the pictures I have of the original Pickett Hill house that I am copying, and it seems to use individual ridge tiles.  So I decided to go with those.  I used my quilting ruler to mark up thin card (from the back of a writing pad) into strips 3/8" wide (roughly the width of a narrow shingle) and 1/2" long (to overlap 1/4" on either side of ridge).  Before cutting these out, I scored a line halfway along the length, so that each shingle would have a fold line.  

I applied these to the house using Aleene's Thick Designer Tacky Glue, which is a super tacky thick white glue which works really well with card.

On the dormer, I cut the 3/8" strips into longer 1-inch lengths, with the fold scored at 1/2", so that the dormer ridge tiles overlap 1/2" on to either side of the dormer.

With all the shingling done, I applied a first coat of Anita's Leaf Green acrylic paint, using a pointed brush to carefully paint the areas touching the white walls, and a bigger brush for the main areas.  This is going to take a few coats to achieve a uniform colour.  Shingled roofs are one of those never-ending paint jobs where you think you have it all painted, then you turn it to a different angle and suddenly see all these crevices and bits you missed.

Curiously, I think the house looks smaller now than it did when the shingles were plain wood.  Perhaps because the green has made them darker, as well as uniting the various surfaces into one roof.

Looking on the Greenleaf Forum gallery has left me with a major case of inadequacy.  Some of the pictures on there are so detailed and so perfect that it is hard to tell they are of dollshouses and not of real rooms.  I know my house is never going to look that perfect (particularly in unforgiving high definition photographs). I can only admire people who can achieve that level of detail, particularly in the half-inch scale.  I have to remind myself that my original goal is to achieve a suitable home for my Lydia Pickett furniture, and that it's not a competition, and there are no Dollshouse Inspection Police!


  1. The shingles look great, thanks for making me laugh. your writing about hiring your cousin was a chuckle. I think hes also done work for some of my family. lol

    Looking forward to seeing some more interior pics. Jenn

  2. Your house looks great! We are always our worst critics! There is always something that I would have done differently when I "finish" a house. But that is how you learn. I can usually walk away for a few hours and when I come back I like it more. Please give yourself time to "live" with the house and any "mistakes" won't be so glaring. Be proud of what you have acconplished. Especilly if this is your first house. You should have seen mine! LOL I hope you have joined the forum. Lots to learn and everyone is super friendly and supportive. Hugs, Teresa

  3. I second what Teresa said - it's a beautiful house, and no mini or real house is ever perfect. I personally love what you've done. :]

  4. ¡Cuantas horas trabajando! ¿Cuando volvió la familia se creyeron que tuviste ayuda?
    Yo veo las tejas bien puestas, en las casas reales tampoco están perfectas :(
    Si tu ves algún defecto es porque eres muy exigente.
    Me gusta cómo has hecho el remate del tejado.
    Besos Clara

  5. Coming along nicely. Looking more and more like a picket cottage!

  6. I think it looks great. We all look at our houses and see the things we wish we had done differently...I could give you a long list of things that are wrong with my house! I think when it's done the house will become a back drop for the furnishings, the house will be seen as a whole, and the 'bad spots' won't be noticeable. **Please don't disagree with me because it's taken me a long time to convince myself that once I furnish my house nobody will notice that the dining room fireplace is crooked**

  7. I agree with those above. We see the faults in our projects, while others look at the house as a whole - mostly the furnishings and accessories 'make' the house. You have done a great job of your Fairfield, and it is a fabulous result. I too need to take a step back and leave well enough alone instead of trying to forever fiddle with things that are not important in the overall picture. Be proud!


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