Monday, 1 September 2014

Egyption Style bench - Stewart Dollhouse Creations & True2Scale

Stewart Dollhouse Creations & True2Scale

Egyptian Style Bench

I haven't put a link to this one in the heading as it 'belongs' to two vendors.  There are links to the two companies further down in the text.  There is obviously a collaboration between them for this Egyptian theme.  I bought the kit from Ruth Stewart but it is clearly packaged by True2Scale.

Just a reminder that these daily posts aren't purporting to be proper reviews of products - more a case of newbie meets kits (and see what happens).  This effort was a case in point and the lesson learned is do try to do as you are told.  The makers of these kits have had success with them because they do it the way they tell you to do it.  All will become clear.....

True2Scale's forte is definitely their presentation.  They always have a lovely stall where you can see everything clearly and their packaging is some of the best around for attractiveness and clarity.  They have developed an instant signature recognition with their little silver envelopes.

I don't know which them did the instruction sheet as is it is again assigned to both.  We have the same issue I mentioned on a previous kit in that an instruction is on one side of the paper and the image for it on the reverse.  Again, in no way critical to the build, but would be better avoided when possible as it is so much easier to read some instruction against a picture.

I (you may not) had a problem understanding instruction 4. which reads 'Glue the X-shape piece onto the seat and the support seat'  I took this to mean the X-shaped piece was to be stuck down onto the seat and I had no idea where the 'support piece' was.  Luckily I noticed on the packet cover photo the seat had a back which looked remarkably like the X-shaped piece.  So I glued the back of the seat (X-shaped piece) to the two back supports, taking care to line up the bottom edge onto the very edge of the back of the seat when gluing.

The first instruction recommends a matte sealer for the art work and a particular paint is also recommended.  As a first-timer I don't have a ton of stuff to draw from and am reluctant to buy an item for each piece of kit in case it never gets used again, so it is a case of making do with what I've got.  I suspect I am not alone in this.  BUT this is where this then becomes an unfair review because using products the creator recommends may make a considerable difference to the overall finish.

Look at the lovely detail on the cats (missing on the instruction sheet cats).

Here you can see the three test runs using what I had to 'paint' this gold:  top left - gel pen, top right - metallic felt tip, bottom centre - gold acrylic paint.  This created something of a dilemma.  The best gold effect was the acrylic paint but it created massive surface issues and was very dense - I was sure this would obliterate the fine details that I wanted to preserve.  The metallic felt tip wasn't even in the running as it is an odd sort of gold.  That left me with the gel pen which is what I used.

I had a fairly dull finish.  I tried to add some liquid wax polish - thank heavens to only one small section.  This was way too liquid and turned the wood to mush and warped it.  I desperately tried to straighten the foot and then spent a jolly half hour trying to glue it back on.  Try and keep as much moisture as possible away from these kits.  I am now thinking about looking at stamping inks - I am sure they do powders?

This is the end result which is perfectly acceptable and I will keep my eyes open for a way of gilding it here and there.  Don't forget to click on the picture to enlarge and see how nice it is.

Incidentally you might notice the art work for the seat hasn't been used by me.  I had two of them in my kit and have no idea what possessed me to ruin both in the same way.  Not having matte sealer of the kind described on their sheet I plastered them both (!!) with satin varnish.  They just buckled and curled and went opaque.  My fault, not theirs.  Mental note, buy a matte sealer for art work - this going to come up again.  If anyone can recommend a 'best' all-purpose one please do.  This kit has the instruction to be sure it contains Hindred Amine Light Stabilizers (HALS) for maximum UV light protection.

PS:  just had a response from Ruth about how this came about.

....... we made it for National 2013 Tucson last year for a class we did together for fun;-) 

Everything was Laser cut by us on our laser.
Depending on which kit you are looking at depends on who made it.

The Cat bench was designed by Carol, laser cut by us. Art work by Carol.

We did all the laser cutting so Carol did the packaging. That's why things are in her packages. She has discontinued the kits now but I still have most of them available.

Dan sent the most time by far designing most of the kit. So most of the credit should probably go to Dan.

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