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  1. FurMama's post here reminded me that I have two Greenleaf kits (somewhere! I haven't seen them in months!) that I had once intended to bash. Yeah, I know, another project I'll probably never get to. I didn't want to hijack her thread with my own project and questions so I'll start anew. The kits are this one: https://shop.greenleafdollhouses.com/laser-cut-chantilly-dollhouse-kit/ That brought up the question of just how hard is it to kit-bash a tab-and-slot house? Can you reverse them by flipping over the pieces? I know it's more involved than that but I think you get what I'm asking. I've never built a tab-and-slot house before. I owned one but I didn't build it. Way back in the day when Michael's stopped carrying Greenleaf products, I got a smokin' deal on their already-built Beacon Hill display model. What a mistake that was! I eventually gave up on that mess and set it out on the curb with a "Free to Good Home" sign. Mind you, that is in NO WAY slamming Greenleaf. Trying to fix up that shoddily constructed hot-glue-gunned-POS was a nightmare I never should have attempted. ANYWHO . . . I finally managed to find my silly mock-up of what I'd intended to do with my two kits. You're all the experts on this, can it be done?
  2. Travel Trailer Screen Door

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    Next on the list was the screen door. I wasn't going to have one but every photo I came across showed one. Okay. The challenge came to finding scale screen material. Brae had shared what she used for her screen door but I could not find it locally. I hunted everywhere. Luckily at Michaels the associate showed me Tulle. It looked good to me!  I made two frames and sandwiched the Tulle between them. Then painted aluminum. It didn't turn out half bad. 
  3. Hello All!    This will be my attempt to share my attempt at building the Greenleaf Travel Trailer. As some of you may know from my introduction, I am preparing to start building my sister's Glencroft I gave her back in the 80's. To prepare for this I have been building various kits to help me prepare for this task. I started by building a few Robotime kits including the greenhouse kit I gave my mother for Mother's Day last year. Wanting to "get my feet wet" with the style of construction I would face with the Glencroft, I came across the Travel Trailer kit. I thought this would be a perfect "primer" and since my father has always wanted a camper, I could finally give him one, albeit on a smaller scale!    So after clearing off my workbench and purchasing the kit I began in earnest. DISCLAIMER- just to be clear, I really have no idea what I'm doing! My background is in building plastic model kits some 25+ years ago so I'm a bit out of my element. My posts and pictures may elicit feelings of shock, disbelief and cries of "what the heck are you doing"    I welcome all suggestions and criticism as I feel that's the only way to learn and improve one's skill. There are parts of my build process that took way more time than it should have so I welcome any ideas and thoughts on how I did things.    Another side effect of not knowing what you're doing is you have no idea what you can or can not do! You end up with crazy and sometimes outlandish ideas on what you want to include in the build. I was not immune to those ideas! Some were relatively normal like interior/exterior lighting. Others a bit more "out there". Since this will be given to my father, I wanted to put some "Easter Eggs" in the build/diorama such as favorite things or personal touches he would recognize.     One of those things is his Weber BBQ grille. He has had a Weber as far back as I can remember. When I came across one at the hobby shop I grabbed it! looking at it later, the first thing that popped into my mind was "I wonder if I could make it smoke" Alas, after a bit of research I concluded that "yes I can"! That led me to Ebay and after all was said and done I will have a ton of electronics in the base of the diorama that if all goes well, smoke should waft out of the grille with a push of a button. I will have a lot more info on this later. So to wrap up this intro, I thank you all for the opportunity to learn and grow from this community. I have learned a lot by reading your posts and staring at all the wonderful photos of both under construction and finished projects.I am truly in awe of the skills demonstrated by you fine Folks! Bill
  4. Light test

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    Here I have them lit. I really like how they look. I have two amber lights for the front markers. I can finally check these off my to do list!
  5. From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    The next order of business to come up with some clearance lights. Using 1/4" styrene  tube I cut some small sections and profiled them to the contour of the curving roof line, drilled holes for the led's and epoxied them in place.
  6. It finally occurred to me that I'm on a Greenleaf forum and I have never shared that Greenleaf has one of my favorite and most used products, but I'll get to that last. First a couple of questions. Is anyone familiar with Greenleaf's vinyl tile flooring? Is it glossy, and if so, can it be dulled? I want a paved stone look throughout the entire first floor of my Creole plantation house. This product: https://shop.greenleafdollhouses.com/miniature-scale-vinyl-floor-tiles-grey/ While I can do the paperclay method, I'm worried that is going to add a great deal of weight to an already very heavy house. It's Lawbre's Rosedawn and it weighs a lot even in its unfinished state. Added weight brings up my other question. Can anyone recommend a good brick sheet? Something textured, embossed, with the appearance of real brick? I've in the past purchased a few printed sheets of brick from England just to see what they were like and, well, I'd use them on a child's dollhouse maybe but not something on which I'm going for realism. They look good but even when not up close they are very obviously just printed paper. I've etched brick into joint compound (a lot of work but looks great!). I've done brick and stone out of egg cartons (also looks great!). The joint compound will make this house far too heavy, and there is no way in heck I am cutting thousands of individual bricks out of egg cartons! I am seriously hoping there's some product out there that would work. Okay, so there are my questions, now allow me to sing Greenleaf's praises for one of their products that is one of my favorites and most used. Their siding: https://shop.greenleafdollhouses.com/miniature-clapboard-siding/ OMG have I bought bags and bags of this stuff over the years. It's admittedly a bit rough and I probably wouldn't use it to side a gleaming mansion, but it has so many other uses! Here are some that I've used it for. It's perfect for siding a farmhouse or other "rustic" building. A simple wash gives it a fantastic aged appearance without a ton of work futzing around with multi-layers of painting and sanding and aging techniques. Some awful blurry old pics below of my farmhouse when it was in progress. I don't think they show just how fantastic that siding looked IRL. Another pic below is a pic of a bedroom in (I think) Salem, MA. See that ceiling and that planked wall behind the bed? I used Greenleaf siding to recreate that and I was totally thrilled with the result. I also used Greenleaf's shingles on that same Colonial. The front was clapboard but I shingled the sides. I needed smaller shingles because historically those were pretty narrow. I simply snapped 'em in half, no scoring required. The first floor of my Creole is going to be pretty "raw", with exposed brick exterior walls, but the interior walls of the first floor will be exposed planks behind stud framing. I'll be using even more Greenleaf siding for that. It's 3/4" wide so I'm going to score it at 1/2". The half-inch planks will be for the wall framing, the remaining 1/4" will be the equivalent of 3" lathing for the attic ceilings. And, of course, loads of it to plank almost all of the ceilings! So there are a few of my handy-dandy uses. And at $5.00 for 360 square inches, I challenge anyone to find a better deal! If you could even find something that works half as well. Do you have other-than-intended uses for the siding or other products? Edit: And oh yeah, it worked fabulously well for horizontal planked wainscoting in that Colonial house. I was going for a very early Colonial look so I didn't want any fine mouldings. That siding did the trick!
  7. Removing imperfections on Frame

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    You may find that after sanding the Bondic there may be some slight imperfections on the frame. I used a long standing secret among plastic model builders.........Pledge Floor Gloss (formally know as Future Floor Shine). Among its many uses it to render clear plastic (such as model airplane canopies) crystal clear, act as a clear coat on model car bodies and can simulate glass lenses on aircraft instruments. Dipping the frames into the Pledge a few times produces a smooth, clear acrylic coating that looks great once painted.
  8. Painted Window Frames

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    Here is the final result after airbrushing the frames with Tester's Model Master Aluminum paint. 
  9. Frame Sanded And Ready To Finish

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    The frame is then sanded and the resin is blended into the surrounding area.
  10. Gaps Filled in Frame

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    Here is what the frame looks like after the gaps are filled. What's nice about this stuff is you can continue to build up the resin in layers and the new layer bonds with the underlying layer. 
  11. Bondic

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    I was trying to come up with a way to fill the gaps in the corners of the frame but nothing really worked. I then came across a product called Bondic. Bondic is a clear resin that cures with ultraviolet light. Once cured, it can be sanded, polished, drilled, tapped, painted etc. It is not a glue, you can actually make things with it and the website explains more on how it works.  https://notaglue.com/   The orange piece on the end of the tube is the ultraviolet light. You literally dispense the resin and then shine the light on the resin for 4-8 seconds and it's cured! 
  12. Frame Now One Piece

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    Here you can see the ends are glued together and the smaller angle piece bridging both ends.
  13. Trimming the Edges Flush

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    Then I use the original frame to help form the new one. I trim the edges flush and install a smaller piece of angle underneath to bridge the two ends together. Glue it up and you now have a frame!
  14. Making Relief Cuts

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    I then make the four cuts locating the corners, then make additional cuts on either side of the first so the frame can bend.
  15. Using Template to Mark Frame Corners

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    Using the original frame as a mold, I made a template indicating the center of the four corners and transferred that to a piece of styrene.
  16. Making New Window Frames

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    I didn't like the window frames that came with the travel trailer so I made my own. Used some 1/8th" styrene angle
  17. Trailer Frame

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    I did not like how the trailer tongue looked so I decided to make my own. So why stop there! A full frame was made from styrene.
  18. Finished Wheels

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    These are how they look finished. I decided to eliminate the wheel wells in the trailer so that's why the two are cut flat on top. The complete one will be mounted on the rear tire carrier. The axles are painted with a special chrome paint that looks the best I have ever seen. You can actually see yourself a bit in the finish. I wanted to simulate chrome baby moon hub caps
  19. Wooden Axles

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    These are the matching axles.
  20. Wooden Wheels

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    The wheels that come with the kit are a joke in my opinion. Basically three wooden disks with a rectangular hole per side. You are supposed to glue two stacks of three disks together and the "axle" is a rectangular flat piece that the disks fit on to. When researching alternatives these wheels were mentioned by HavannaHolly and some others as perfect replacements. They look 1000 times better!
  21. Interior Paneling

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    When researching  vintage TT's I came across pictures of Shasta interiors with their maple paneling. Since I didn't know any better I got more of the 1/64" veneer, made templates and cut out each piece and custom fitted it to the trailer. I then stained them maple with satin polyurethane. A ton of work but I think it will pay off in the end.
  22. Interior Rear

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    Here is looking toward the rear. All of these support beams I made as the kit's wood sheets were in poor shape. I also added a few extra to help with the curve.
  23. Front Interior Shot

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    Here is looking forward with the roof beams visible.
  24. Rear of Trailer

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    Here is the rear where you can see the holes for the taillights and license plate light
  25. Trailer Front

    From the album Greenleaf Travel Trailer

    Looking at front of trailer. The wood veneer included with the kit was broken so I went to a local hobby shop and got some 1/64" wood veneer used on RC aircraft. I didn't like how the instructions had you install the veneer so I ended up making and using extra studs to support the veneer and then modified them so the end result was the veneer was flush with the tops of the sides. I thought it gave it a much cleaner appearance.