Monday, 29 April 2013

Pubdate: The Rachel's Return is complete!

I shall try not to make this post too gushy but I can't explain how much I LOVE my pub. My dad has done an absolutely fantastic job with the decoration and I couldn't be more pleased with it.

I've realised it's rather hard to photograph a box room that has two mirrors on the back wall but I've done my best. So here goes...

The beautiful exterior - I'm especially fond of the windows

Apologies for the fact that these photos aren't particularly sharp but I wanted to show you a couple of pictures of the pub as it really is so I haven't used the flash. It's a little dark and dingy inside, just as you would expect an old man's pub to be.

Peering through the double doors

With the flash on, you can start to pick out some of the detail in the pub - even the dust on the bar...

Anyone for a pint?

Photographing the whole room is a challenge but I think it's important to show the pub in its entirety. I had a lot of fun unpacking all the bits and pieces I've bought over the years and deciding where they should go.

It might be a small pub but it has everything you could want

I think I need to find a way to put some scores on the dart board - just not quite sure where to find chalk that thin.

One day I hope to buy a dog from Designer Dog Miniatures or similar but they are very pricey and there's always a waiting list. I bought this little chap to see what he would look like and actually I've become rather fond of him. The lead and bowl are from Shepherd Miniatures (I couldn't have him wandering all over the bar).


I think the bar area is almost complete but you might notice a couple of empty shelves that need filling. This is good news as I don't really want this little project to be over.

Pickled egg? Pork pie? It's all on sale at The Rachel's Return

I wasn't sure if I would have enough glassware but it turns out I've collected just the right amount for the shelf. I'm particularly fond of the decanter and soda syphon from Glasscraft. Don't be put off by the website; the products are first class, the prices are extremely reasonable and the creator is one of the nicest men you could hope to meet.

I dread to think how much I've spent on those bottles - and I can't even drink them! 

Over on the other side of the room is the seating area - just waiting for some customers.

Can you imagine how small that corkscrew is? Or those dominoes?

I thought it was important to have lots of pictures on the walls - it feels like that kind of pub. Pictured on the right are Reg and Doris Howsley, my lovely grandparents, on their wedding day. They would have loved this pub - I'm glad I got into miniatures early enough in life to be able to share the hobby with them. 

The picture to the left is what Tim calls 'The Rachel's Return', The Rachel being the ship itself. This little picture inspired the whole pub.

Whoever was playing the piano seems to have left his pint and sandwich

Obviously this is before the smoking ban...

It took a long time to match up the dominoes but they had to be right!

I have a yard of ale, also from Glasscraft, but need to find a way to display it properly. I think it might need a small shelf of its own.

Looks like it must be winter with all the coats hanging up

So what's missing? Customers! I wanted to take some pictures without dolls because I think the room looks more realistic but this is one setting where it would be wrong not to have a few people enjoying the beer and snacks.

The pub is filling up

This is Reg, the barman (named after my Grandpop) from World of my own. They sell a great variety of very well made dolls at very reasonable prices. 

I think he needs to take a cloth to that bar myself.

Over in the corner we have Eadie from Bags of Character who is probably my favourite doll. As the name suggests, she has tons of character and looks just right gripping her purse and a cigarette. I haven't quite decided what her gentleman companion is called yet but I'll keep you posted.

They look like they're settled in for the evening

So that's it - your tour of The Rachel's Return is complete. Reg is ready to ring the bell and wipe down the bar.

Reg wants to clear up now

Looks like Eadie and her companion have moved on. Time to close up for another day.

Farewell, little pub

For those now thinking I'm a bit mad - well, possibly. But I think the vast majority of miniaturists have their dolls' back stories all planned out in their heads, even if they don't choose to share them. Trust me, it's part of the fun.

Monday, 15 April 2013

A pub in progress (part 4)

Although there haven't been many pub updates lately (or 'pubdates' as a friend of mine calls them), my dad has been busy in his workroom. He's had to overcome quite a few problems on this project but it really is looking amazing now.

The lettering on the frosted windows was quite a challenge

The first issue was the lettering on the frosted windows which smudged as soon as it came off the printer. Luckily, after finding a spray to treat them with they now look just as they should.

The electrics really bring the pub to life

Next up was the electrics. You might think of electric lights in a box room a bit of a luxury but actually you really need them in order to see all the detail. 

A peek inside

Lighting also adds a sense of realism - I can't have my regulars staring into a pint in the dark.

Fortunately for me my dad is a perfectionist. When he asked if I'd like gold edging around the sign I didn't think much of saying yes. A week later and I discovered my parents had been through the entire house to find a roller small enough for the task - it does look great though.

The gold edging was another challenge

The major hold up on this project has been the lettering to complete the sign. Originally ordered from a traditional mail order company around a month ago, this week we gave up all hope of ever seeing a delivery from them and asked for the cheque to be returned. A day later and they'd been found on ebay, ordered and delivered. It's a sad state of affairs but if traditional companies haven't got a decent level of customer service then what have they got?

Anyway, here they are...

The elusive lettering

Not much to look at at the moment but when my dad's finished, I am 100 per cent sure the sign will be a fitting finish to The Rachel's Return. It just might take a bit of imagination looking at them strewn about below.

It's like a word search. Can you spot the pub name?