Suddenly my exterior is more or less finished. There are still the windows to install, but as they go on the inside they don't really count as part of the exterior. The only thing I still need to do is the landscaping of the base. I've been trying harder to put time in on the Willowcrest because I want to get it finished so I can get busy with the house that I built in Chicago in a workshop with Rik Pierce.
After painting the plastic railings to look like verdigris, I installed them around the top roof fascia by drilling holes partway into the wood to accommodate the plastic posts. By carefully trimming the pieces of railing, I was able to achieve a seamless look although I haven't actually glued the seams yet. If I do glue them, I will use plastic modeller's glue. The posts themselves are fixed into the holes with tacky glue. I think the railing really adds an authentic 'Second Empire' look to the house. I may also install railing around the porch roof and fix a sign to it, but I will leave that decision until later.
Then I painted the Northeastern brackets that I bought in Chicago at the Three Blind Mice show. The brackets that came with the Willowcrest kit almost all fell apart, the inside of the veneer sandwich literally crumbling away in whole or in part from most of them. These Northeastern brackets are virtually the same size. They came in sets of four so I had enough to install two brackets at the rear of the house to give continuity, although I had to trim them narrower as the fascia does not protrude as much at the back. I think I mentioned earlier that my main fascia is not entirely level, so I had to trim the angle on several of my brackets to fit them into the not-90-degree positions.
I am now working on all the interior window mouldings, which I sealed and then gave a preliminary coat of emulsion prior to a thorough sanding and filling holes with smooth filler. Before I did all that, I glued some crown moulding on the 'sills' of most of the frames, to make them look more dimensional and realistic. It seems that each window will need individual attention, as the frames are not exact matches for the openings. Therefore on some windows you will see the underside of the interior frame from outside (so it will need to be painted in the interior colour) and on other windows you will see the interior edge of the opening protruding forward from the interior window frame (so it will need to be painted in the external colour).