Victorianna tower exteriors

I’ve finally reached the point on the Victorianna where I can glue on the front roof pieces. Yay, progress!

My plan was to add fishscale shingles to the top portions of the towers. I got these from Alpha Stamps.

I don’t know why, but even though it looked great in my head, I hated this once I saw it. The scale of the shingles is fine but they seem too big and chunky somehow — more like a dragon’s back than a pretty Victorian detail. I let it sit like that overnight just in case I changed my mind, but the next day I still hated it. Luckily the chipboard shingles were easy to rip off!

On to Plan B (which didn’t exist yet). I hadn’t prepared the plywood with the intention of having it show, so the towers needed to be covered up with something. Adding siding seemed like a pain because of all the seams — I’ve never been very good at cutting straight edges on clapboard siding, and the siding I have on hand is brittle and splits easily. I knew it wouldn’t look good.

The beadboard I used inside on the bathroom wall was easier to work with, but when I held it up against the tower wall the grooves seemed way too small.

So I ended up buying some 1/4″ board and batten siding from Miniatures.com. Since the grooves run vertically, the corners will be much easier to deal with than they would have been with clapboard siding — I’ll just butt the pieces up next to each other and fill in the seams with wood filler.

Whenever possible I like to swap out the windows on a die-cut dollhouse with Houseworks windows, or at least make my own trim as I did on the tower’s bay windows, but that’s easier said than done when the window has a non-standard shape. I wasn’t excited about using the window trim that came with the kits. Compared to the bay windows underneath, the oval trim seems clunky and way out of scale.

I wanted something more like the oval trim on the Rosedale.

I looked online for alternatives and found these oval pendants with an opening that’s slightly smaller than the window openings. I used wire cutters to snip off the loop at the top, then sanded off the remaining nubs with a metal file.

From the front, you can’t even tell that the trim is smaller than the opening.

I glued the window trim directly onto the siding. I plan to glue the window acetate to the side of the house, and then glue on the siding with the window trim attached.

You’ll be able to see this edge through the window from the inside, so I cleaned it up with wood filler.

I measured from the top of the siding pieces to make sure the three windows are lined up.

Then I painted the siding pieces. The metal needed several coats.

The paint caused the siding pieces to warp, which caused the edges of the window trim to come unglued and the wood filler to crack. I slid more glue under the trim edges and clamped on the trim (under wax paper to protect the paint). Once this glue dried, I had to touch up the wood filler on the backs and re-paint.

I decided to use the same trim on the inside so it would be the same size on both sides of the window. After painting (3-4 coats to completely cover the metal), I added a coat of matte finish to hopefully keep the paint from scraping off.

Here’s how it looks from the inside of the tower.

And from the outside.

I added wood filler to fill in the gap.

And painted it to match the trim.

Here’s how it will look once the exterior piece is glued on. The window acetate will be sandwiched underneath.

I haven’t glued on the siding pieces yet, but here’s a sneak peek. Much better than those fishscale shingles!


  1. Alayne

    A great deal of thought and effort has gone into creating the tower’s final appearance…love the oval windows and the vertical siding is a lovely choice for the tower! Cheers, Alayne

  2. Sheila

    Oh that looks just gorgeous. Delicate and elegant to match the rest of the house. Good choice!

  3. Jodi Hippler

    Your instincts on the siding and the window frames was spot on as always! What a treat it is to see the lovely details coming together!

  4. Samantha

    Oh Bravo.. this looks wonderful! I love the pretty window trims.. Fantastic idea to use little oval frame pendants. I really like the vertical board, I think it’s different and interesting. As well as being neat. I’ve found that shingles in the same scale as a house used as siding always look clunky to me. I like the idea of going down a size when using them for siding. I think I got the idea from Otterine’s blog where she used half scale shingles as siding on her 1:12 heritage. It looked much better. Not sure if the same theory would work for half scale with 1:48 but it’s worth pondering for next time. :)

  5. Barb

    This is amazing, looks so much better then the dragon scales, seems to match the rest of the house. The windows add so much to the finish!

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