Mini Time Machine Again

I had the fortune to go to Tucson and revisit the Mini Time Machine museum. Check out the Gallery in the Feb 2012 issue of Miniature Collector for a small peek the things there. Apparently there will be an entire article on it in Min Collector soon.

The collection is huge. I love that every time I go in, I see something new. This time what caught my eye was:

This room in the large dollhouse in the lobby, called Lagniappe by Madelyn Cook. This dollhouse is gigantic (the photo in the Feb. Min Collector shows only one side of it). The dollhouse has rooms on all four sides, a big courtyard, and so many other things. This room is tucked away on the side of the house, and caught my attention when I walked around it to get to the rest of the museum. (BTW, all the rooms are different–the whole house is not like this room.)

Is it not delicious? The color is like cake icing.

Click on the picture and the one below to enlarge them and roam around. Beautiful!


A couple other structures I hadn’t noticed last time is the French Keep, by Robert Daugherty

and this Dutch house by Ron and April Gill.

Amazing stuff. This is the tip of the iceberg. (I have more photos, but thought I’d dribble them out a little at a time).

The Mini Time Machine is very easy to get to, in Tucson, on the corner of Swan and Camp Lowell (Fort Lowell road turns into Camp Lowell just before you get to the museum). On the northwest corner, but not right on the corner (the entrance is on Camp Lowell just west of the strip mall).

Everyone should go! Worth the trip to Tucson.


Trim, Trim, Trim-ity, Trim

Because the Fairfield is made of thin plywood that warps and has many raw edges, trimming everything is a must.

My helpful hint is to arm yourself with plenty of wood strips in the following sizes (all measurements in inches):

1/8  x 1/8

1/8 x 1/16

1/4 x 1/16

1/4 x 1/4

1/8 cove molding or 1/8 corner molding (available from Northeastern Scale Models, which Karen at The Quarter Source sells–see link on my sidebar).

1/2 – scale baseboards (optional–I like them, but 1/4 x 1/16 strips will do). Dollhouse Heaven carries 1/2-scale baseboards.

1/2 x 1/16 strips can be useful too

Wood veneer: I have been cutting apart and using scraps from the flooring sheets by Houseworks or Handley House (whoever is doing those now). Hobby Builders Supply carries them in different woods.

The wood veneer comes in handy for trimming the inside curves of the arched doorways and inside the arches of the bay windows.

I also suggest an E-Z Cutter (worth every penny), and wood stain pens by Minwax to keep yourself sane. TG for stain pens.

The wood veneer bent around the insides of the arches pretty well. It’s also useful to trim ragged ends of flooring (or anything else). The bookcase will be trimmed when I get the shelves in–I’ll probably do that last.

Lots of trim, including around the inside of the staircase opening

So much trimming in the upstairs hall! Floors, ceiling, staircase openings, walls, doorframes. I still haven’t finished.

The bathroom, mostly trimmed.

Bedroom with trim in place.

Left (or front) attic room.

The “elephant room” (back or right attic). . I also added brick paper to the chimney.

Tower Room. Ceiling will be trimmed after I get the cupola done and attached.

I know I have a little more to do, but I think for now, the inside is finished enough that I can concentrate on the outside, and figure out how to paint my painted lady.


Ceiling fixes

One thing I like about working in smaller scales is that when I need to fix or redo something, I can turn the entire house upside-down without much problem. I decided that the kitchen ceiling was drab, so I made a ceiling pattern similar to the living room with strip molding.

I think it adds a little character to the kitchen. I’ve trimmed this out partially, waiting to see what cabinetry I add before I do the baseboards.



The second floor ceilings are embossed paper.

Next: Trim!!


Getting the Roof on the Fairfield


As I put on the roof, the 1/2″ Fairfield is starting to look more like a real house.



Back of the house. I modified the attic/roof wall because I wanted the attic closed into rooms a little more (kit has it one big open space). You can see where I modified the attic floor to put in a second staircase as well as to have an open gallery to the second floor.


Staircases roughed in. Kit has no staircase to the attic, but I have vowed never to build a house again without stairs that access all floors. It’s a quirk.


More modifications to the attic floor. I wanted to have the tower accessible from the house instead of being closed off. This entailed cutting the roof to allow for an opening, and building in pieces to connect tower to the house. Also, because of warping and because I wanted more support, I put in roof beams at all corners.


The left attic room. Modifications mean I have to trim and hide much–I continued the elephant motif on the chunk of trim I had to use to hide the hole at the bottom of the wall.

The entire house needs trimming, trimming, trimming! That’s next.


More Available from The Scale Cabinetmaker

Good news from The Scale Cabinetmaker, one of the best miniaturist magazines ever:

“Just a quick update from Dorsett Publications. We have released Volumes 4 through 10 of The Scale Cabinetmaker and hope to have the final 10 volumes, as well as the first in a series of beginner’s books out by the beginning of November.”

See:   for more info.