Hello fellow miniature enthusiasts:
This is my first official blog post.
*Disclaimer: If you happen to comment, please know that I am notoriously bad at checking email or voicemail, so don’t take it personally if I take many weeks to respond. Know that I do appreciate your participation though.
For several years now I’ve been planning in my mind to make a realistic Weber-style charcoal grill for my dollhouse. I can just see it sitting on the front porch with a tiny bag of charcoal briquettes next to it. It started when I got a 2″ plastic toy capsule from a vending machine. In my mind’s eye, I saw a mini BBQ grill right away. When I measured it, and then our own human-sized grill in the backyard, I was delighted to find that the scale was nearly perfect. Then the capsules sat in my closet for about 14 years. Fast forward to the summer of 2016.
The first challenge was removing the ridge from the bottom of the toy capsule. Otherwise the top and bottom of the grill would be snapped together, which I didn’t want. I wanted the top to be easily removed from the base. Since the capsule is rigid plastic, most attempts to cut it would result in cracking it. I ended up having a friend use a hot wire to cut through it. Possibly a very fine saw may work, but I didn’t try it. I may have to if I want to make another one, as I don’t want to invest in a hot wire. I also wonder if there aren’t other types of plastic capsules that would be a bit more flexible, and thereby easier to cut. This is another thing I want to research.
I know that you would like to see pictures of all the steps of my process, but unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures until the end. This is the best I can do with pictures, so I apologize, because am not great at taking pictures, although I am getting better.
As you can see from the picture of the grates, my soldering skills could use some improvement. Hey, did you know that not all metals can be soldered together? I do now. Bending the wire into the correct shape also proved tricky. I spray painted the toy capsule black, which took a few coats, but looked great when done. The top had some embossed letters in the plastic, which I removed with an emory board prior to painting. I couldn’t find a suitable wooden disk for the wheels, so I made them out of polymer clay. I also made the charcoal out of clay. Then I glued the teeney briquettes together into a pile and used an artists brush to paint the edges white, and red in the center, to make them appear to be hot and glowing.
If I make another mini grill in the future, I will remember to take pictures of the process – promise!