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1:24th Scale Project...

By AIM Member, Bea Broadwood
Materials…  ⅞ inch thick polystyrene ‘off cut’  Mount board (1.2mm thick)  Air dry clay or paper clay  Matt emulsion paint ‘tester pots’in terracotta, light stone & medium brown  Black & white poster paint  Grain of wheat light  Balsa wood ‘off cut’ for mantle beam  PVA & tacky glue

Step 1… Draw out the fireplace front; part A and back; part B (see fig. A) onto 1.2mm thick mount board. Cut out using a craft knife and metal ruler. Step 2… Draw around part A onto a piece of ⅞ inch thick polystyrene, and again cut out the polystyrene shape; part C using a craft knife and metal ruler. Step 3... Cut away an additional ½ inch at the top of the fireplace aperture of part C to allow space in which to later conceal the internal fireplace light. (See fig. B)

Fig. A

2¾in

2¾in FRONT The internal height of your room setting.

Fig. B

A

B

BACK

C
POLYSTYRENE off cut: (Same size as Part A)

1¾in ½in

1¾in

CUT AWAY
2½in

½in

2in ½in

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Step 4... Using PVA adhesive, glue the front; part A onto the front on the polystyrene chimney breast; part C. Then glue on the back; part B, see picture 1. Ensure all three pieces line up. Weigh down and compress with heavy books / weight if necessary. Leave to dry thoroughly. Step 5... Roll out a rectangular piece of air dry clay that is approximately the same size as the rear internal back wall of the fireplace and about ⅛ inch thick, see picture 2. Working quickly, liberally coat the rear internal wall with PVA adhesive, again see picture 2. Lay the rectangle of clay onto the rear wall within the fireplace aperture and press the clay into place. Next, take an off cut of a stiff plastic margarine lid (or similar) and press the plastic strip into the clay at approximately ⅛ inch intervals - to form the horizontal mortar courses of the bricks, see picture 3. Alternatively if you have a steady hand, use a fine scribe tool and imprint the horizontal lines onto the surface of the clay by hand. Next take a pair of inexpensive tweezers and pull the two blades apart so that they no longer touch. Widen the tweezer’s ends so that they stay approximately ⅜ inch apart. Press the ends gently into the clay to form the vertical ends of the bricks, see picture 8. Step 6... Next paint the exterior of the fireplace (both mount board, polystyrene’s external and internal sides) with PVA adhesive. Roll out a piece of air dry clay, that is approximately ⅛ inch thick and larger than the chimney breast. In the same way that you would cover the top of a pie with pastry, lay the clay over the front of the chimney breast, see picture 4. Smooth the clay over the chimney breast, pressing it gently onto the front and sides, in turn covering over the fireplace aperture. Press and smooth the clay to follow the contours of the chimney breast. Page 2.

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Step 7... Next (again similar to when making when making a pie) trim the excess clay away from the top, bottom and back edges of the chimney breast using a sharp knife. Then using scissors, cut the clay vertically in the centre of the fireplace aperture, see picture 5. Then with a sharp knife cut along the top of the fireplace aperture to allow the two sides to be folded back to cover the internal side walls of the fireplace and press gently into place, see pictures 6a and 6b. Step 8... Using the edge of a knife carefully imprint the clay with horizontal lines onto all elevations of the chimney breast, evenly spaced approximately ⅛ inch apart, see pictures 7a and 7b, then again use the tweezers to imprint the vertical ends of the bricks. See picture 8. Leave the chimney breast overnight to dry out and completely hardened, as per the air dry clay manufacturer’s instructions. Do not put the chimney breast near to a heat source, as this will dry it out too quickly and may cause cracking and warping to occur. Step 9… Once the chimney breast has completely dried and hardened, sand edges and ends flat. Gently sand all of the brick elevations, then using a scribe tool or similar sharp ended tool, gently scrape along the horizontal lines to help define the brick shapes and to remove any small pieces of excess clay. See picture 9. Step 10… To create the hearth, take an off cut of 1.2mm thick mount board. Place the fireplace on top of the mount board and draw around the inside aperture of the fireplace, see picture 10. Cut the hearth shape out and check that it fits snugly inside the fireplace aperture. Step 11… Sponge paint the hearth with medium grey paint - made by mixing white and black poster paint together to create the desired shade. When dry, darken the grey paint by adding a little more black paint and lightly sponge the hearth again - this time only allowing the darker grey paint to slightly cover the hearth, creating a stone effect. See picture 11. Step 12… Paint the chimney breast all over with light stone paint, ensuring that the paint is worked into all of the groves between the bricks. Leave to dry completely before continuing. Step 13… Using a firm sponge and a little terracotta coloured paint, gently sponge paint the brick elevations, ensuring that the paint does not go into the grooves between the bricks. Paint all the bricks in this way and allow to dry, see picture 12.

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Step 14… Using either a small paint brush or a cotton bud paint random bricks with a little black poster paint. Repeat this process with a little white poster paint, see picture 13. Leave to dry. Step 15… Next mix a small amount of black poster paint into the original terracotta colour emulsion in order to darken it and repeat the sponge painting process, but this time only allow the ‘darkened’ paint to slightly cover the bricks so that not only the original colour of the bricks shows through, but also the random black and white bricks too. See picture 14. Again leave to dry thoroughly. Step 16.. Take an ‘off cut’ of balsa wood and using a craft knife, round off the edges. Add notches and cuts to age the wood’s appearance, see picture 15a. Paint with diluted brown paint and distress with a little black poster paint if required, see picture 15b. Stick the mantle beam onto the fireplace, see picture 15c. Step 17... Using a sharp ended tool, carefully make a hole through the back of the chimney breast, at the top of the fireplace aperture. Ensure that the hole is large enough to thread a small grain of wheat bulb easily through and that it is in a position that both the hole, bulb and wires will be hidden from sight. Thread the bulb of a grain of wheat light through the hole previously made in part B, see picture 16. Stick the completed fireplace permanently into position in your room setting, then stick the inset hearth into place. Thread the wire of the light through the hole and electrify as per the bulb manufacturer’s instructions.

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Step back and admire your work! This 1:24th project was taken from Bea’s book: ‘A Country Sitting Room’ www.petite-properties.com

(Formatted by Bea Broadwood)

Text & Images © Lumo Publishing / Petite Properties Ltd

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