The Den of Slack

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Craftsman bungalow porch (part 1)

The Craftsman bungalow vignette came with a 7″ x 3″ x 3/4″ block of wood to use as the porch. It also came with precut railing pieces, which I lay between the posts to see how they’re supposed to be spaced. Centering the porch on the door would look like this.

This kit is a 1:24 version of a 1:48 kit, that was produced in a limited quantity. The picture on the box is of the 1:48 version. There, the porch is centered on the door and the porch posts land at the outer corners of the porch roof.

But on the 1:24 kit, centering the porch on the door results in the posts being significantly off-center at the top. That just looks weird.

I thought about making the porch bigger so the posts would line up with the corners, but the proportions are nice and I didn’t necessarily want a bigger porch. So I played around with configurations.

Here’s how it would look with the porch centered on the roof, and the posts and railing centered on the porch. This is a nonstarter for me. The door is off just enough to look like a mistake.

Here’s how it looks with the porch centered on the porch roof and the stairs lined up with the door. This is okay, but it leaves a very skinny railing area to the left of the stairs. The two thick post bases so close to each other are overwhelming.

I thought about moving the stairs to the side of the porch, but didn’t like the idea of the railing stretching all the way across the front and cutting off the view of the door. Seems less welcoming.

So I decided to go with this layout, which has wider steps to incorporate the door as well as the area to its left. This eliminates the skinny railing and its post that was too close to the corner post. The door isn’t centered on the stairs, but the wider staircase will make it look more balanced. I can put a plant or a bench next to the door to fill up that space.

I envisioned the porch pillars having stone bases, but that seemed like it would be very heavy on top of a wooden porch floor. (If they were real pillars with real stone, I mean.)

While googling, I discovered that real-life Craftsman bungalows that have wooden posts sitting on stone or brick bases, those bases go all the way down to the ground and tie in to the foundation.

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The haunted house of my youth

Check out this house that’s on the market in the neighborhood where I grew up.

This house is next door to one of my best friend’s houses, but I don’t remember it. When I showed her the listing she said, “Oh yeah, the haunted house!” which sounded familiar, but I still can’t picture this house being next to hers. Apparently we refused to trick or treat there because, y’know, ghosts.

This is just one of many historic houses in the area. I had friends who lived in Queen Anne Victorians and Colonials. The house I grew up in is a Dutch Colonial (I think? I’m sure my dad will weigh in) built in 1905 1912. But when I was a kid, those houses were just houses. I didn’t know to appreciate glass doorknobs and windows that slid up and down on ropes and original hardwood floors.

And just look at these details

This house is priced at $1.95M even though it clearly needs a ton of work. This isn’t like the bargains on that Cheap Old Houses show on HGTV. But with a staircase like that — and a turret! — I sure hope someone buys it to fix it up, not tear it down.

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Craftsman bungalow window trim

The windows and door I’m using for my 1:24 scale Craftsman bungalow vignette are Real Good Toys components that I bought off eBay. I’ve never seen these available for sale individually, but they match the components in the (now discontinued) East Side Townhouse as well as the Queen Anne (which is only available in 1:12 scale).

These windows come with pre-assembled interior trim. I assume the window plastic is supposed to be wedged between the exterior and interior trim, but mine either didn’t come with plastic or I’ve misplaced it. I cut out some of the thin acetate and glued it to the exterior window piece with dots of super glue.

Then I covered the exposed wood with stained pieces.

Here’s how that looks. I’ll add additional trim, this is just the first step. I held off on doing the smaller windows for now because I might want to do those as stained glass.

Next I glued the windows into the house and added the headers I made back in the beginning of the project.

Back then I had also assembled a door frame, but that fell apart at some point.

The frame fit nicely into the door hole at the time, but the siding must have changed the size of the hole a little, because the pieces had to be shoved in there. I managed to get the door pin-hinged again and get all the pieces in place.

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