Diary of a Dummy Board- Photofinish!

BELLE ROCKS!….. she now sports a specially made curved back support

( BluTac underneath the rockers will put a stop to that!) 😉 She does rock…not well- but she does rock. I shall explain to Julie how to make her move more fluently by putting weights on the ends, at the back of the rockers,or a small pendulum at the back, if that is what she would like the figure to do.

Back of Belle- showing stand unpainted and unshaped.

The stand needs a bit of adjustment and to make it rounded at the edges. It’s possible to see the back stand through the rockers if you are looking at Belle from above but not if you are on a level with her. Can’t be helped I’m afraid. That’s the sort of thing we talked about before…a good shape for a dummy board. Belle is partly ‘see through’, on account of the gaps made by cutting through the white space to reveal the rockers, and so the stand must be partly visible. However, we shall work on it and make it less so.

One thing Julie could do when Belle is finally in place…put some toys onto the stand and around the rockers. This would hide it….just a thought.

I’ve got very fond of dear little Belle these past few weeks…and just found myself saying…” come on then little Belle…let’s paint you.”

Talking to my figures now…..you don’t have to be mad to like dummy boards I think, but it helps…. <big and silly grin> 🙂

The back is now painted in Paynes Grey- a blue black, **acrylic – the only time I ever use acrylics to paint dummy boards and this is because it dries so quickly and if I manage to get a splodge on the oil colour of the front it is incompatible and will wipe off with water.

The BluTac 'handle' in place

It’s a good historic colour as the paints that were used for the back were generally black ( of the blueish variety) and dark brown. Sometimes the wood of the back was simply varnished but I don’t think this helps the trompe l’oeil effect as the edges don’t disappear well.

I need to hold the figure carefully (and do so by attaching a piece of BluTac onto the front surface ) in order to get good access to the edges, stand and back. Oil would be far too messy for this.

Belles edges being painted

The varnished back of the Lydiard Girl- Lydiard House WIlts. 4 ft.

Now Belle is varnished. I use a special mixture I “invented ” myself which allows tiny crackles to appear ( not quite one twelfth crackles but not far off).This gives it an aged appearance when rubbed in with brown. I shan’t do too much of that as this isn’t an Historic figure and doesn’t really need to be aged.

Belle, now painted... and with a 2 pence coin

So here she is with her PastMastery gold seal ( telling us that she is the REAL THING – hand painted and crafted by us). Each figure comes with a ‘wax’ seal saying that it’s a PastMastery original. The Historic ones have a leaflet telling you about the original life sized figure too but as this isn’t an historic one we shall forgo that. I haven’t, you will notice, attached the seal to the figure. I usually do….if the figure is big enough. I shall leave that to Julie if she wants to…. it might upset the balance of the rocking action, you see.

Belle with her PastMastery seal

Notice how the dark edges disappear now and she looks three D!

And here she is in my own display house with the 19th century dummy board Christmas tree and a few nice wrapped presents that she will open later. 🙂

You can see that some of her little friends have crept in to see her new horse

Belle ( and friends) playing in the Morning Room!

**I have often been asked why I don’t paint these figure in acrylics. For one thing, the originals were not painted in acrylics and I’m trying to be true to my source. One comment that comes out time and time again…. is ” your colours are so good, so historic looking, not brash, they look authentic”.

I rest my case….

Thank you for following the progress of Belle. Thank you for all your comments and encouragement!

I hope you will all continue to follow “The Making of Another Dummy Board- The Lacemaker which we will take up again in one of our next posts. Interspersed with this project, there will be ( yet) another commission…. ( “Listen very carefully…I shall say this only once.”- with apologies to ‘Allo, Allo’ ) – The Making of René…. the French Waiter.

Hope you can join me?

à bientôt!

6 Responses to “Diary of a Dummy Board- Photofinish!”

  1. Debbie Says:

    Belle looks wonderful. Julie is going to Love her, she’ll look so at home in the Toy Shop.
    Love the Christmas Tree behind Belle, is that based on a Victorian Tree?

  2. pastmastery Says:

    Yes…the tree is a 19th century dummy board in a collection of ‘Christmasabilia’ in the U.S….These 4FT dummy boards were very popular in Germany and Austria in the windows of chocolate and confectioners shops and in toyshops at Christmas. This is unusual in that it IS ENGLISH.

    Thanks for your nice comments Debbie and for your encouragement throughout.

    Now it’s on to the next one and maybe thinking about yours……..?

  3. julie Says:

    Just beautiful Sue,and I am thrilled to bits that she rocks !
    I knew you would make me somethng special but this is even better than I had hoped for ,
    cant wait to put her in my toy shop window :0)
    julie xxx

  4. Maia Says:

    She is so beautiful! love the way it looks when they’re all together, it just brings the scene to life. 🙂

  5. pastmastery Says:

    Thank you Julieand Maia
    For your comments.

    I shall be quite sad to let little Belle go….. so fond have I become of her.
    There are just a few..just some…dummy boards that one really loves…and this is one of them!


  6. Large Plastic Storage Boxes Says:

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the fantastic work Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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