I have always had a fascination with lighthouses and I wanted to build one in miniature scale so the hunt was on to find a design that I could build. Then I found this miniature dollhouse from Real Good Toys; this is the RGT New England Lighthouse kit in one-inch scale. I will be constructing this Lighthouse in a traditional colonial nautical theme and showing you my build and some tips and tricks as I progress. I plan on building most of my furniture and other special objects and lighting. Come on this journey with me and watch me build this beauty. Feel free to ask any questions along the way. Enjoy as I now get started!
If you would like to see the assembly instructions, you can go here RGT New England Lighthouse Assembly Instructions for 1 inch scale
Finished Lighthouse measures: 19 1/2″W x 19 1/2″D x 43″H with 3 Rooms
Unpack your box and jump up and down and then shake your head at all of the parts lying everywhere…just kidding. Read all the instructions, group, and label your pieces so you know what goes where. Trust me this will be easier when you start the assembly process and when you don’t build things in order. Also, make sure none of the parts are warped or damaged. If there are any issues, with your pieces, it is easy enough to call the manufacture and they will ship you replacement pieces.
Next, it’s time to decide on my main paint colors. Since I am going with traditional nautical colors; of course, I am going to choose red, white and blue. I used:
- Americana Napa Red (make sure you have enough before you start painting trying to find this color again was difficult)
- Apple Barrel Tuscan Red (as a replacement for the Napa Red)
- Americana Snow (Titanium) White
- Americana Deep Midnight Blue
Preparing Your Structure Before Assembly
Before I started painting, I sealed all my pieces with clear Gesso. This is a step you don’t want to skip. It will keep your surface from warping and will help apply an even layer of paint. So apply your Gesso I just happen to use Liquitex clear Gesso it goes on clear and then when you sand the surface afterwards it will appear like a chalky white. Now on to all of the pieces, if it seems overwhelming to do all the pieces at once, just do the sections that you need for that group. Do not Gesso sides, edges or grooves that will be glued to each other. Let your pieces dry over night before you begin sanding and painting.
After all of your pieces are prepared here comes the painting. I used two coats of white paint then sanded and painted all of my pieces with the final third coat. Think of this step like primer when your painting your own house. It’s all about the prep to get those smooth walls. Do not paint sides, edges or grooves that will be glued to each other. Set aside and let your pieces dry overnight.
Next, make a template of all your pieces. It will be much easier to make your templates at this time then when the structure is completely put together. The reason for making templates is so that you can add wallpaper, flooring, wainscoting, trim and such later on. Make sure you label your templates so you know what matches up to what.
Here comes the tricky part… I recommend having two people for this part. Carefully reread the instructions again. Lay your pieces out in the order that you are going to glue them. You may accidentally swap pieces if you don’t do this and will make stair placement difficult. To start I laid my pieces out in reverse order with the finished side up making sure they were in the correct order when it got flipped over.
I used blue painters tape to hold all the joints and seams together so I could flip this over to glue. Don’t apply any glue yet.
Carefully now carefully…flip the whole thing over so that all the seams and grooves on the Tower pieces are facing up. Don’t remove the tape yet.
Dry fit your floors into their perspective spots and then add glue to all the seams…I say all because I forgot to add glue to my vertical seams and only did it on the horizontal seams. Don’t put glue where the stair openings appear. There is a small piece that will fill that gap later on. I will show you what happened, but it was easily fixable and I have had only a few issues. Just remember to glue all your seams.
This is where an extra set of hands will come in hand. Now gently start rolling the sides around the floors insuring that the floors fit into their grooves. Don’t try and force them in they will go in easily. If you still find that you are having issues, you can try lightly sanding the floor edge and try again. Yes, this is upside down so I could install the base floor. Then I taped this sucker up but good to sit over night and let all the glue dry.
Do you see the gaps and such where my walls are joined together? That’s what happens when you don’t remember to glue all of your seams. In addition, the top where the Gallery deck attaches was loose; so I used staples on the corners at the top of the tower to help hold them together. Back to the walls…To fill in the gaps of the walls I used wood filler. To get into all of the crevices, I put wood filler into a pastry bag (Ziploc bag) then snipped the end of the bag. The Ziploc bag made it easy to get into hard to reach places and easy to clean up.
Follow along for the next part of the RGT New England Lighthouse build RGT New England Lighthouse Part 2All content and images are Copyright ©2010-2017 Angelic Creations LLC All rights reserved.