Blog 13  –  Update and fire escape tutorial

Yes!  I’m still here and working on the CC Kit!

Hi!  How are you all?   To begin with, I’ll give an update following on from my last Blog post - Fail – first attempt in learning….. and second, and third! 

I didn’t manage to get my ‘holographic’ resin image working.  I think the main reason is because of how cloudy and bubbly the clear resin was.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a de-gassing chamber – although my husband does keep promising to build one.  I tried all the tricks I know – gas torch, mixing carefully and slowly, tapping and leaving it to sit before carefully and slowly pouring.  It may also have been because it wasn’t deep enough – although I don’t know if that would be an issue.  But after all the time and resin I poured into it, it hasn’t worked and now I have two blocks of different coloured resin that I may use sometime in the future for some unknown to me now reason.

I moved on and ended up with something completely different yet maybe even more cool….well….really, what can be cooler than a holographic image…?

I have been working pretty much non-stop on my 2021 HBS Creatin Contest entry.  I have to say, I just don’t understand how people can get amazing builds done in short amounts of time!  Maybe they have more of a plan than I do….my plans are constantly evolving leading me to try new and interesting ways of creating.  Which is totally fine – except when it doesn’t work and I’ve effectively lost a chunk of time on a time-based project. 

Also I only work for a couple of hours a day – I have a bad shoulder at the moment (had an MRI yesterday) so if I do too much it gets pretty darn sore.  Whereas I’m sure there are lots of miniaturists and crafts people out there who are happy to spend complete days working on projects.

The other issue of course is that we’ve been in lockdown for quite a few months now.  That combined with USPS no longer shipping to NZ and postage in general taking far longer than normal, means that much of this year I have been waiting for items to arrive before I can move on to the next stage or finish what I’ve been working on.

In this blog I thought I’d share how I made the old beat up fire escape which I shared on my IG.  While it’s not fixed into place as yet, it’s going to look seriously cool when I finally get to that point.

I have a Cricut Maker and have used it more in this miniature build than any before.  I keep having to drag it out and let it sit on the dining table for a while.  When I do put it away I realise that I need it again almost immediately. 

For the fire escape I used a decorative metal screen that I found a few years ago at a hardware store for the base.  I cut out the size I needed and painted it to age it.  Obviously if you don’t have something like this lying around you could use something else or make one in the same way I made the balustrades. 

In the Cricut Design space I searched for ‘iron works’, ‘swirls’ and ‘borders’ until I had a few different choices.  I actually cut a few different types so that I could see how they looked with the metal floor.  Once I’d decided which I wanted and worked to get them to the correct size, I cut six of each side using plain scrapbooking cardstock and the ‘card for intricate cuts’ setting.  I then glued all the layers together and let dry.  I tend to glue on wax paper so that it protects the surface I’m using but doesn’t stick to the paper/card.

Once dry I painted them black – it took about 3 - 4 coats to cover completely and I didn’t worry too much about slightly glugginess in areas as old painted wrought iron railings often look that way.  You do need to turn them up and around and all over to ensure each angle is completely covered – it’s very easy to miss bits.  I have a pewter coloured Resene paint which is like a dark metallic grey.  I sparingly dry-brushed this on to the balustrades to give it that painted metal look.

To weather it I used a combination of Vallejo model wash – rust and a burnt sienna acrylic paint to add the rust effects.  I put them on sparingly at first and then gradually built it up till I was happy with it.  The wash is a little light to use on it’s own on the black acrylic painted railings but is wonderful for fading out and just giving the odd tinge of colour here and there.

After that I made the ladder which is just out of strip wood.  I made a whole ladder and then chopped in half to form the look of an expanding ladder.  Once glued I painted it in much the same way that I did the railings.  I cut a little metal strip for each side and glued into place to look like latches and then glued everything together.

 Honestly, I’m really pleased with how this has turned out and I’m looking forward to seeing it in place.

Hope everyone is doing well – happily getting out and about finally for so many of you who have been living with restrictions for well over a year.  Keep safe and look after your loved ones.

Please remember to leave me any questions or comments and I’ll be happy to answer when I can.

Stay creative and enjoy your quirks,

Rebecca xx


  1. It looks very authentic, I am so excited to see your final creation.I know what you are saying about the Cricut, I have to drag mine out to use it. During use, my Cricut sits on the floor next to the desk where my desk top computer resides. ....

    1. Thanks Carrie! Yes, the more I use it for minis, the more applications I can see it used for. There's no room in my craft cottage so it's stored inside in a cupboard. My next craft room will definitely have a space just for the Cricut and supplies so that I can have it ready for use at any time.

  2. The fire escape looks wonderful. Thanks so much for showing us your step-by-step process.

    1. Thanks Sherrill! Often I try to take pictures as I'm going through a process so that I can explain how I created it. I'll try to add a few more mini tutorials onto my blog although sometimes there may be better ways out there of doing things. It's all learning though!!

  3. The fire escape is such a charming feature to the building, and the way you've made the ladder and locks is so clever! It's such a disappointment when we work so hard at an idea, and we just keep getting tripped up. But for every fail there are so many victories, and your tenacity always pays off in truly inspirational features. You keep going, Rebecca! And best of luck with the contest!

    1. Thanks so much Jodi! Being a creative my immediate thoughts when I make a mistake is - how can I turn this into something better, or how can I hide this if I really need to. I try to see other uses for things that haven't quite worked out. This does unfortunately lead to hoarding! Thank you - finally I seem to be making real progress and I'm getting excited as I can see me finishing in time!!!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts