The Late, Great Build-Along Begins (And Do You Want To Buy a Kit?)

Do you want to build a dollhouse? No? Then come back tomorrow, when I’ll post something writing-related. For everyone else, I’ve decided to a build-along. I’m using this year’s Creatin’ Contest kit as a shell and, with that, some additional components (i.e. everything that isn’t a Houseworks product) I first designed and then produced on my Glowforge. Please do let me know if I should share them; I’d be happy to, free of charge.

For those NOT Glowforge (or similar) capable, there are any number of ways to create brick–and stone!–that work really well. I can cover some of those, too, if you’d like. Some miniaturists are super into protecting their “trade secrets” and that’s cool, that’s just not my jam. I don’t really like charging for anything at all, which can make selling things hard, but, again, to the extent that anyone’s interested I could also offer the (precut, lightly sanded) parts on this site as a kit. I could offer it for 300 USD plus shipping.

The shopping list for this project is HUGE, so I’m splitting it up–roughly–by phase. We’ll cover the first four phases, at least materials-wise, today and they are:


  • Gesso (I use gray)
  • AK Interactive (the “diorama” series), concrete


  • Abteilung 502 oil paint, dead flesh
  • A502 oil paint, faded dark yellow
  • A502 oil paint, warm red
  • A502 oil paint, dark brick red
  • A502 oil paint, turquoise
  • A502 oil paint, green grass
  • Vallejo Model Wash, gris obscuro


  • Mig Jimenez (the “Ammo” series), red
  • MJ, dark rust
  • MJ, medium rust
  • MJ, pale gold yellow
  • LifeColor Liquid Pigments, surfaces shadower (for the grout)


  • AK Interactive, middle grey
  • AK Interactive, medium grey
  • AK Interactive, light grey
  • LifeColor Liquid Pigments, light stone
  • AK Interactive Weathering Pencils, smoke
  • AKIWP, black

And now, a few notes. First, as you might’ve noticed, I’ve changed up how I approach brick. This newer method is, at least in my opinion, superior! Paint is tougher to work with than pastels, mainly as pastels are fairly forgiving, but these days they just aren’t delivering the results I want. In particular, I’m absolutely so fed up with traditional grouting methods. There are still cases where smearing stuff on and then wiping it off works fine, but overall I find that maintaining realism is a challenge.

As far as substitutions, Payne’s gray dupes for AKIWP’s “smoke” and Mars black…same thing, for black. I’ve had the best success with straight from the tube watercolor, rather than watercolor pencils; I buy Winsor & Newton. There’s also, of course, no need to fuss around with oils; Liquitex makes great acrylics, they’re what I use when I’m not using oils.

So apply that gesso, now, to every porous surface as the next post in this series is all about creating a really great base coat.

Wait–from grayscale to this, all in one post?


And then the fun REALLY begins.


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