© Carrie-Anne Ford and Cacao Castle, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Project 2 - The Retreat.


This project was originally going to be a HMC project (see my other blog for details), but I re-purposed the Gatehouse for Willy Wonka.

The purpose of this project is to give Wonka somewhere to relax and think of new ideas. Its a cross between a retreat and a hobby house. The left section is "The Old Cow Shed" and the right section is "the Lemon Belle Gatehouse."

Cow shed detail

Both structures fit snugly together and the cow shed is fixed to the base board. The gatehouse has been left unglued so that I can remove it if I need to add anything to it. The walls of the cow shed are actually parts from a basement kit that I brought but never used because the base board for it was huge.

Left side - End wall has a chocolate honeycomb raised pattern on it.

The roof slab on the cow shed will be a practical area fitted with chocolate slab tables to work on. This board simply lifts off to reveal the interior of the shed. This project is accessible from all sides which is a nice change from a normal front opening house/project.

 Focusing on the cow theme for the shed I decided to paint it two-tone and make a raised cow print/brick pattern over the walls. The brick work on the gatehouse is also raised to make it look more realistic.

 The door to the shed has yet to be fitted with a handle and the brickwork underneath needs cutting to fit.

Ground floor room - Lemon Belle Gatehouse

Middle room - Lemon Belle Gatehouse

Attic room - Lemon Belle Gatehouse
 When I put the gatehouse together for my HMC project I painted the attic room green and it never sat quite right as the space is very closed in and difficult to see when the light isn't bright. To alter this I covered the walls and ceiling of the room which helped to hide the wood join lines that had previously been visible. I then painted it all pale yellow. The changes really opened up the space and made it easier to see into.

Right side

Brickwork detail
This project is designed to be soft and pretty. I've kept the interiors relatively normal looking just as I did in the castle and let the outside show off it's chocolate foundations. 

I've had a nature print wallpaper for ages that I wanted to use and thought it suited wonka's shed perfectly.

Shed interior

 The shed is a simple room with a rough chocolate floor and a simple work bench at one end. Both windows are glazed and I expect to add more furniture soon.


 Both the gatehouse and the shed need skirting/cornice etc Then I can focus on getting the furniture in place and filling it up with everything Wonka could possibly need to inspire and relax him!

I hope you enjoy this project x

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Cacao Castle Miniature Project. 2015

I thought I would re-design my blog for the castle project and give you an update on it's progress at the same time. I started this miniature project in 2009 and it's been ongoing since then. The main concept is that this is a castle inspired by the character Willy Wonka. It's my idea of where he might have retired too after handing over the factory to Charlie. I'm hoping to fit in most of the things mentioned in both books with a few additions of my own.

The castle kit is from Dolls house Emporium and is in 12th scale.

Top Courtyard - Spa area with sauna cabin 
Middle Room - Treasury
Bottom Room - Chocolate Room

Top Courtyard - Gigantic oven space
 Top Room - The War room
Middle Room - The drum room/Lounge
Bottom Room - Entrance Hall

Top courtyard - Oompa Loompa mini castle and animal area
Middle Room - Wonka's Office
Bottom Room - Baking kitchen

 The Chocolate Room is designed as Wonka's place to blend new chocolate recipes. It has plenty of stove space and a small oven which will be painted soon. All the rooms have pipework across the ceiling and up the walls as does the factory in the book.

 The stove at the front of the room has a stove opening on both sides to allow you to see through into the room rather than blocking it off.
All the stoves are made in the simple style of Tudor stoves.

 The Treasury is a place to store and process the more valuable items that Wonka is working on such as his golden eggs. The table on the back right will be for polishing eggs and the front table is designed to mimic the layout of the egg wrapping tables in the original film.


 The Drum room is a place to have afternoon tea and will also be including a few Oompa Loompa Drums.


 The war room contains Wonka's chocolate cannon. I'm going to make chocolate cannon balls to go with it. It is positioned at just the right height so that the ball would shoot straight through the open window in front of it.


 Wonka seems like a person who needs a little luxury in his life so I made a sauna room/cabin and a hot chocolate bath tub. The large seat in the cabin has an open area below to place hot chocolate rocks underneath to warm the seat. The cabin also has a small desk on the left.

 The space on top of the cabin is occupied by a beehive and table next to a large wooden goose house. I've included several bee hives around the castle as I think they would be perfect defenders of wonka's sugary treasure. The Goose house will be home to a retired golden goose.






 This space is still under development at the moment but it does host my version of a Gigantic oven. I know in the book that the oven was glass fronted but I decided to go for an open brick oven. It has a nook built onto the side with shelving to hold drying items before they go into the oven.

Gigantic Brick oven.

 This courtyard holds my squirrel sorting tables and another beehive. The well has a fully mobile roof that can be tilted up and down. I thought it would make an excellent place to dry out cacao pods and such.

Squirrel sorting tables

The tops of the tables swivel open giving access to storage space.

Wonka's office/study. 

 The baking kitchen is home to my version of a big melting pot/ huge lidded pot. It is chocolate outside and coated with gold inside to keep the liquid chocolate that goes into it as hot as possible.

At the rear of this room is a set of shelving containing my Chocolate brick piles. These bricks are all different flavours and would be used to build chocolate structures.



The chimney stacks visible on top of the tallest tower have been made on a removable platform so that I can adjust them more easily if I need to. The base of the platform has a hatch in it to show how Wonka gets up there and several rogue eggs are perched atop the chimneys for good measure.

 The chimneys are covered in a raised pattern paper which I painted over and dusted with pale paint to show up the flower pattern.


Miniature Oompa Loompa Castle:
(located on top of the pergola on the right side courtyard.)

 I wanted to make a miniature castle home for one of the oompa loompas who may have been accidentally shrunk during an experiment gone awry. The platform lifts off of the pergola so that you can turn it around and see into the castle rooms. Each room has some pipework and furniture but I do intend to expand it with some tiny accessories when I get around to making them.

The window shutter detail is hard to capture in more distant shots but it shows up here.




The tiny hot tub above was made from a dolls house bowl which shows how tiny it is. I know its slightly too large to be a bath for this mini space but I thought the Oompa Loompa might like a tub slightly more grand than the norm which is also why it is accessed via ladder.

More Photos:




Obviously lots of bits need making/buying still and there are things yet to be painted but I wanted to give you an idea of where it is at now. I hope you enjoy it.