The very first thing I start with when making a room or scene is the window placement. How many and what kind of view? While shooting several different sets with miniatures I've learned that the window is always what brings the most lifelike illusion to the photograph. I've also learned that custom handmade wood windows are extremely tedious and difficult to make! (I applaud all you who have mastered that art!) You might remember in my loft series I made these really large windows. I needed something simple without the hassle of cutting and gluing tiny sticks of wood in straight lines. If I didn't have access to a laser cutter now I most likely would have continued using this method for all my future builds. So if you haven't discovered this method and need something simple I encourage you to give it a try!
First you need transparent printing paper. I got mine from a local printing/photocopy store. These sheets of transparent plastic are most used with overhead projectors. They sometimes come with a protective backing on each sheet.
You can go about making the grid lines either manually or digitally:
1. You can take a ruler and permeant maker and draw each line right onto the transparency.
2. Draw the lines on plain printer paper and scan onto your computer. Then use an inkjet printer to print onto the transparency.
3. Use photoshop or another drawing application (as I did) to make a grid and then use an inkjet printer to print onto the transparency.
If you don't have a printer, or as in my case your printer doesn't print dark enough, take your file to your local business/photocopy centre. They should be able to print it for you and most places have the transparent printing paper there.
Here is my grid:
I chose thinner lines for the mullions so that they wouldn't be too visible. The window I was making had 3 large sections but remained as one piece. I added thick black lines to show where the pieces of the frame would go. These thicker lines were made based on the approx thickness of the framing I was using. By adding these into your design your grid will be evenly spaced on either side of the framing.
The thickness of your framing depends on the thickness of your walls. I was using 1/4" foam board so my wood was 1/4" thick.
Next I glued the pieces together to make a frame using the dark lines as a guide.
Paint the frame.
Glue the grid sheet to the bottom of the frame.
The Back. Personally my roombox was only meant to be seen from the front so I never finished the back... to finish:
Make a second frame to give yourself a complete window. That would give you a front frame, window grid sheet, and back frame. (Not shown).
Place the window inside your wall and add strips of trim around the outer edges on the back.
You could finish with trim on the front too if you wish.
And there you are! Windows without the fuss. Or glue. Or straight edge lining up. Or pulling your hair out because something just nudges a piece the wrong way and it all just falls apart... you know.
A big thanks to Mini Mod Pod for requesting this and then waiting so so long for me to post ;) And for another cool idea for transparencies check out what the The Shopping Sherpa did with her cafe logo. Makes me think a few more experiments are in order...coloured stained glass maybe?
Hope you are all off to a great week! I'm looking at rain rain rain more rain and the possibility of snow... Good stay inside mini making weather. :)