The Making of...
Ok first, my dirty little secret. Things never seem to look as good in person as the photo. So, at risk of humbling the creation a bit, I'm going to expose the piece a little.
This first image here with the beginning of the first floor. Note the burned window which I later redid. This image also shows the process of adding bricks to the facade. Each 'brick' takes at least 5 or 6 pieces. This was quite a process. Surprisingly, while the walls are entirely 1x1 bricks (headlights as well as normal bricks), they remained pretty sturdy. This is due to 1 stud wide plates behind the bricks attached to the headlights strung horizontally which added a great amount of stability. The terrain was redone, as you will see later, as I needed more room for the tree.
Also, you can see here that I was playing with the notion of curtains. In the end, I thought there were not exactly as fluid as I wanted and they were so obscured by tree and branches that it was not worth keeping. I had also played with using minifig capes for curtains. Here's the thing. While I could have strung the cloth capes together to make a totally convincing curtain, they would not appear 'lego'. For me, the magic is seeing hard bricks transform into something else. That, to me, is Lego.
A few things to note here. Firstly, I got rid of the first floor burned out window which looked like a hole, as a friend pointed out. I later revisited this on the second floor when I had another idea how to achieve. This time I was much more pleased.
The landscaping was mostly removed to change the ground to make room for the tree. Sounds like a waste and bad planning, but, I needed to see first off how the effect of levers and droid arms would look in mass. It's sort of like painting a room. That little swatch you get from the hardware store never seems to look the same after you paint a wall. The front ground was sort of my temporary painted wall. Once I 'painted' the ground with many hundreds of levers, I was satisfied that the effect was what I wanted.
I put the tree in just by leaning. I had thought I would need to use some hinges and fancy connecting, but simply leaning it on the wall was all it needed. It never fell or budge either, which was a huge relief. Every morning I'd come down wondering if this would be the day the tree would slip and bring the model down with it.
I was very, very pleased with the shingling on the tower cornice. There is offsetting both horizontally and vertically to get the pattern. In particular, I was able to get a nice clean corner, which was very satisfying.
The tower roof now going up. I had to do this 4 times as getting the corners to meet properly was very difficult. It was not so bad getting the plates to butt up next to each other, but there were tiles on top of it which complicated things for me at first.
The large victorian bracket just below the 3rd floor on right was not the final one. I sort of gave up after a while and left it until I could get back to do a design that was appealing to me. I spent some time digging through Katie (eilonwy77's) beautiful patterns, but I don't have quite that mindset to think through that way and figured I'd get to it later when, hopefully, more advanced.
One thing I'll point out in this picture is the makeshift porch beam leaning on the wall up to support the porch roof. It is both thematic and real support for it. The columns offer no support at all. I decided to make the columns appear cracked by flipping the pieces back and forth. They connect by a 3mm ridged hose that runs through them.
Hope you enjoy!