Martin Butler of Small World Products lives in rural Suffolk, in a village not far from Woodbridge. We drove to meet him in his new studio one afternoon and enjoyed a very amiable 'tutorial' on the dolls house wiring system. I left with a 3-Amp digital power supply, which can cope with 1-60 wired bulbs (that'll do nicely on my calculations for Brennans, plus plenty to spare). Other purchases were Grain of Wheat (GOW) bulbs on brown wires rather than white, which will look really authentic in a 1948 setting. I also got some ready-wired LED strips - less soldering for me - which can be stuck discreetly in recesses, window pelmets etc for a fill-in light where needed.
With apologies for the rubbish focusing (my fault not the camera's), here is the ideal place for an LED strip, right at the back of the shop under the stairs, near the back door (the opening on the right). This is Charlie's kitchenette. There'll be a gas ring for the kettle, and a sink, and probably a dummy window. The main shop lights won't illuminate this area but a hidden LED strip will. And no worries about a harsh blue light, LEDs are available in warmer 'candle colour' as well.
Last week I taped the house and inner walls together with black duct tape to help decide precisely where the wires should run. Below is another fuzzy shot (sorry again), showing the entrance hallway and stairs this time. It's taken from the other side of the doorway on the left in the picture above. As you can see from the position of the stairs, I won't be able to feed many wires directly from light fittings through the rear wall to connect with the power supply.
Instead I shall have to use skirting boards and ceiling covings to carry concealed wires to the 12-switch power controller that I plan to site out in the yard. This is the special piece of kit I shall collect from Martin next month at Kensington. I'm going to have fun organizing which lights are to go on and off with each switch!
A by-product of the duct-tape exercise was to swap the interior walls between floors 2 and 3. The bedrooms on floor 3 seemed better candidates for having two separate doors. (That's a book you can see through the left-hand doorway, temporarily supporting the inner wall).
On Floor 2 I will also gain a larger living room that reaches the full depth of the house in one corner, which would definitely be more interesting than just another plain flight of stairs seen through the side opening panel.
The caboodle this time is the art deco style plastic teapot that came with the wavy plate in my first dolls house. It's hugely out of scale - like the not-quite-so-old pearlised cup - and sadly it dwarfs any 1/12 table. But I love it, especially the colour, and shall find a place for it somewhere in the shop, possibly as a left-over from the Bluebell Tea Rooms.