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Forum Home > General Discussion > Just got a Triang No.53 Ultra Modern!

Erin
Member
Posts: 35

Just joined this amazing site a week or so ago - hi!

 

After several 'near misses' I was very excited to at last get my Triang Ultra Modern no. 53 (very big chap!) and I'd be ever so grateful for some advice on restoring it. I'd really like to keep it as true to its origins as possible.

I'll post some pics of it as soon as I can (I'm using a tablet at the moment and the upload option won't work) and I haven't done anything with it yet. It's going to be a l-o-n-g project...

It needs a lot of attention, although it's still sound. It was apparently repainted white many years ago but it's tatty, dirty and all needs repainting. There's no glass in any of the windows and 4 of the internal doors are missing but hinges are still in the doorways. I think the fireplaces are the originals but they're detached, as is the upstairs landing section. The lovely staircase is intact and still has its metal handrail.

 

A few questions please...

* Re. the outside paintwork - might it look better repainted in a cream or ivory shade rather than bright white? I understand it would have been white originally, but perhaps after all these years, perhaps ivory or cream would look better? The metal window frames are currently painted matte black. Although I think the black looks good, I understand that the No. 53 only ever came with sage green window frames. Would it be better to repaint them in the green?

* Also missing is the movable sun trap from the roof, and the chimney(s) all of which I'd love to replace. Please does anyone know how many chimneys there should be (one or two?) what the dimensions the sun trap and chimney might have been, and where I might get them made? Although I can make some stuff, sadly this kind of thing is way beyond my skill set - I feel these are important elements of the design and really want to do the house justice.

* Would this house originally have had real glass in the windows? If so, it could be a problem as one of the windows is curved. Could I get away with Plexiglass or similar, and if so, would it be glued on with transparent adhesive?

* The hinges from the missing doors are still attached to the opening. As the internal doors are just plain, I *might* be able to make them if I can't find original replacements, but not sure how easy it will be to access the inside for attaching the hinges....

* As an electrical numpty, I have no idea what to do about the lighting, or indeed whether it's even worth getting the electrics working again if it's going to be very involved. There appears to be a wall light in each room and there are a couple of tiny screw-in lightbulbs. Stupid question alert: the back seems to have battery compartments? - or did the lights work by being plugged into the mains?

* Should all 4 rooms have fireplaces, as only 2 of the rooms have one?

 

I'll strip the wallpaper remains and probably repaint the walls in plain colours from the Farrow & Ball range similar to other No.53s I've seen pictures of, and try to remove the glue residues from the floor.

I'd quite like to replace the flooring with printed 'lino' paper. I have a few nice Art Deco designs ready to print on thin card and maybe lightly varnish. I could laminate them, but feel that laminating might look too shiny, new and wrong.

 

If it's not taking a liberty - (please be gentle with me, as I'm new here ;0) - I'd like to post as and when things arise(?) and I'd be very grateful indeed for any advice.

Thank you so much.

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November 15, 2014 at 5:20 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Rebecca Green
Site Owner
Posts: 2083

Hi Erin, welcome to Dolls Houses Past and Present! We'd love to see photos of your new house - if you don't have access to a computer with Adobe Flash, you could email the photos to me or Julie Hardy, and we can upload them on your behalf.


I'm sure other members will have more helpful advice on many of your questions (I have a No 52 which is still lacking glass or an alternative like plexiglass in the curved window!)


On the question of the fireplaces, though - you can see in a photo of the interior of a No 53 in our Lines Bros' Triang Database that there were fireplaces in three rooms. I've just checked Marion Osborne's book on Triang dolls houses, and that too shows fireplaces in 3 rooms. Both the upper rooms would have had an Odeon-style fireplace, and the lower right had a wider beige fireplace that you can see in the photo in the database. The lower left room, the kitchen, would have had a Triang dresser, sink and a gas cooker, rather than a fireplace.


Re the external paint, the catalogue entry states that it was finished in cream and green, so painting it cream would be entirely appropriate. Other members have more experience with repainting windows, so I hope they'll comment!


You are very welcome to post as and when things arise - one of the things we love best is hearing about and seeing the progress of members' 'new' dolls houses, and offering suggestion!

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Rebecca :)

November 16, 2014 at 12:10 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rebecca Green
Site Owner
Posts: 2083

PS - I've used vintage 1930s 'sanitary' kitchen wallpaper as flooring in a couple of my houses. It's shiny - it was coated somehow so it could be wiped down more easily - and it looks fine.

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Rebecca :)

November 16, 2014 at 12:12 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rosemary
Member
Posts: 2505

Erin, the curved window was flexible stuff which darked with age- and is held in place by oin nails. The batteries were in the two boxes on the roof.

November 16, 2014 at 2:34 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Erin
Member
Posts: 35

Thank you so much, Rebecca and Rosemary, for your very helpful replies. I'll try and get the pics up later on today when I'll have computer access.

November 16, 2014 at 5:36 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Wendy Stephen
Member
Posts: 1743

Congratulations Erin on your new addition. I would sand the black painted metal window frames and then paint with a humbrol paint in a Triang green colour.

November 16, 2014 at 8:08 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Erin
Member
Posts: 35

Thanks Wendy! Yes, I think at the moment, I'm definitely veering towards repainting the window frames.

I've just posted some pics  of it.:)

November 16, 2014 at 11:53 AM Flag Quote & Reply

cestina
Member
Posts: 473

I much enjoyed looking at the pictures of your blank canvas Erin.   I acquired my 53 this time last year, after many years of searching for one I could afford.   It came completely renovated, including hand-made furniture, as you can read here so although I very much like how it was done, I have missed out on all the fun you will have.


The latest photos of it, with new and somewhat more fitting inhabitants,are at the very end of this post.


I didn't realise these houses had been wired - whoever renovated mine clearly did as I do with most of the old houses that come my way, and had removed all traces, including the boxes on the roof.   I see that I ought to create some chimneys though.....


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Cestina's Dollshouses: https://czechdollshouses.blogspot.com/2019/04/in-eclectic-manor_20.html" target="_blank">In an Eclectic Manor

November 17, 2014 at 4:25 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Comfort
Member
Posts: 340

Cestina, i have a four figure hedgie family. here in the U.S. they are calico critters (i hope i got that right). love all your animals on your blog.

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November 18, 2014 at 9:41 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Erin
Member
Posts: 35

Cestina - just looked at your wonderful blogs and pictures of your own No. 53. Wow, it's a truly stunning house, and weren't you lucky to find it on eBay! A lot of work and love has gone into that.

Just one question please, if you don't mind? Please would you be able to give me an idea of the sun trap dimensions, as mine is missing and I want to try and make one, even if only as a temporary measure? The house just doesn't look right without it.

November 18, 2014 at 6:42 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Val Hill
Member
Posts: 459

I don't have a 53, but Marion Osborne's book gives the dimensions as seven and a half by two and one eighth by one and a quarter inches. You will need three windows though. If you look at the list of contents on the left, you will find 'greconfield tales', in there is a story 'Alberts bachelor pad'.   I made those windows out of painted card. 

November 19, 2014 at 2:15 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Erin
Member
Posts: 35

Thank you Val, that's very helpful.

Just taken a look at Albert's Bachelor Pad - your sun trap box is amazing and no one would ever guess that the windows were made from card! (I want to read through all of your little narratives!)

Interesting you mentioning that there'd be three windows, as I've seen pictures of sun traps with both two and three windows. I do think that three would make it 'sunnier' though!


November 19, 2014 at 4:38 AM Flag Quote & Reply

cestina
Member
Posts: 473

Hello Erin -  Yes, I still can't believe my luck getting it. I play with it a lot and I think it is my secret favourite amongst all the houses I have.   I'm glad Val answered the question about dimensions because sadly I can't - the house is in the Czech Republic and I am in the UK for the winter months.  Mine has definitely only got two windows and one completely open side....


I never knew that Sylvanians had another name in the US, Comfort.   I think I prefer Sylvanians! :)

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Cestina's Dollshouses: https://czechdollshouses.blogspot.com/2019/04/in-eclectic-manor_20.html" target="_blank">In an Eclectic Manor

November 19, 2014 at 6:16 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Erin
Member
Posts: 35

They really are fantastic houses, Cestina. I doubt I'll ever be able to part with mine; if I like it this much in its present state, I can only imagine how much more I'll love it when it's completed (do they ever really get completed though...?) :)

November 19, 2014 at 6:38 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rosemary
Member
Posts: 2505

Only two windows on my suntrap. Erin.

November 19, 2014 at 10:04 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Val Hill
Member
Posts: 459

Your right Rosemary. I don't know why I thought three. 

November 19, 2014 at 11:48 AM Flag Quote & Reply

carol
Member
Posts: 79

Hi Erin

with regards to painting the window frames I have used Hammerite paint on the metal windows of two of my houses. The advantage is you don't need to be careful as this paint likes to be thick and gooey, and also if your windows are very rusty as mine were you don't need to bother with too much rubbing down. I also painted the inside as well as the outside, so that it looked nicer when the doors were open. I used a hammered brown finish on mine because that is what I had in the shed, although I originally thought the plain finish might be better but as it turns out it looks very good, gives a more subtle vintage look.

when I was fitting the new acetate in my curved windows I found that using those clear sticky glue tab things worked very well for holding it in place while I fitted the windows back onto my house. Hope this helps.

November 19, 2014 at 1:27 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Linda B
Member
Posts: 1505

I find the acetate boxes some Christmas cards and gift sets come in make great window panes.

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:)


November 19, 2014 at 1:37 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Erin
Member
Posts: 35

Thank you, Rosemary, Val , Carol and Linda!

I found a cube-shaped cardboard gift box of almost the right size while I was out today, and with a bit of tweaking - it's just a little too big - I think it'll be ideal to form the basis of my suntrap. 

November 19, 2014 at 1:41 PM Flag Quote & Reply

carol
Member
Posts: 79

Ps, as regards lighting I have given up on the idea of rewiring and use battery operated lights now. It is so easy, just buy the lamp and switch it on! If you are careful in the sizes of what you buy they can be used in 1/16th houses as well as the 1/12th,  there is such a good selection and it has the added bonus that you can move them around from one house to another, as you feel like it,  so cutting down on costs. I have found that the ones with the amber lights give the best light, for my settings, but have not yet tried my idea of painting either the bulb, or the shade of the clear one I bought with amber glass paint.

tip:If you buy a bulb for the fireplace go for the non flashing ones or they will drive you mad. The flickering ones are regular flashes, not random as firelight should be. I bought two flickering ones and think I will have to buy some non flashing ones to go with them.

November 19, 2014 at 1:42 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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