Break from Beacon Hill but back soon

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This time I did have to take a break from the Beacon Hill. Too much!

I turned to other kits I had bought and stashed. First, a microscale flower shop:

I think one appeal of microscale is that you can build a whole house and landscape it in a weekend! That and it doesn’t take up much display space.

These both are kits from Robin Betterley: https://www.robinbetterley.com/collections/watercolors

Next, I started a quarter inch scale kit from Suzanne and Andrew’s that I’d been hoarding for a year or so.

This kit is called  “Creekside Studio”  in 1/4″ scale. Very small, a first floor and a loft, the first floor divided into two rooms by a cabinet. (I see this kit still for sale on Suzanne and Andrew’s site, so if interested, grab it. Their kits get retired.)  Creekside Studio by Suzanne and Andrew’s Minis

I’m almost finished with the structure. I’ll post pics when I’m done. This one is taking me about a week to finish (maybe two).

But I’m still plugging away on the Beacon Hill. I now have interior trim done for the second-floor room (will be the bathroom):

and the left half of the top floor, which will be a bedroom.

One reason for my slowdown, other than dollhouse fatigue, is having a lot of work to do at my job (real life). Minis had to go on the back burner for a while, always a bummer.

It’s also nice to do simple kits to step back from a more complicated one. Suzanne and Andrew (http://andrewsmini.com/miniatures/ ) and Robin Betterley (https://www.robinbetterley.com) have fun ones that look great when finished. (I promise I don’t work for them or do endorsements for them; I just like their stuff!)

I hate to admit it, but I can’t resist a great kit. I keep telling myself I will design my own houses, and then I see a fantastic, well-designed kit, and in it goes to my stash. But I swear I will make them all! I decided a few years ago that there’s a difference between collecting and hoarding …

More Beacon Hill anon.

 

Halloween Interlude

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Since Halloween is nearly upon us, here’s a montage of some spooky things I’ve made in the past couple of years.

First is Ravenwood, a kit bought from Robin Betterley. All the house pieces and the art is in the kit–I supplied black paint (plus green, burnt umber, etc for aging), glue, varnish, and the bottles and book in the lower part. This is microscale (1:144) on top of a 1:12 scale cabinet (included in the kit).

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Second: A one-inch scale room box I built and filled with things I made or collected. I kept saying “Skulls! Need more skulls!”

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Happy Halloween!

More Microscale (1/144 scale)

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My love affair with this tiny scale continues. Here are some projects I have done / have been doing.

I’ll start with the “Secret” books by Robin Betterley. (I’ve been doing a lot of her kits lately because she has some very nice microscale kits).

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These “books” which can be used in a 1-inch scale setting, fit nicely into the microscale house by Charlotte Scott. I plan to use this as a bookshelf in a 1-inch scale house.

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Outside, they look like well-worn books.

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Inside is a secret space with a microscale scene.

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These secret books (called Teeny-Weeny Secret books) are fun to make, take an afternoon (most of the time is letting glue and paint dry), and are inexpensive ($5-$14). A great way to learn microscale. Find them at:

http://www.robinbetterley.com/collections/teeny-weeny-secret-books

Next, I finished off the little cafe, also 1/144th scale:

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The bedroom furniture (very, very small…)

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The cafe counter and hutch plus the many teeny cakes.

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Putting it altogether.

The Blue Sky Cafe (http://www.robinbetterley.com/collections/watercolors) is another great introductory kit to microscale. It’s a little more expensive, but you get *everything*–for the cafe: parts for the structure, flooring, wallpaper, fence, landscaping, chimney–you only need paint and glue (and a little time).

The furnishings were probably the hardest–the building itself was fairly easy and painless to make. While the kit for both the cafe and interior says they’re for experienced miniaturists (and I guess I am one), I thought the cafe itself was not too hard. It’s only two rooms without a lot of strange angles or tough-to-fit pieces.

The furnishings I thought were more difficult, only because they are so small. Painting the pieces for the folding chairs and gluing them together was a trick! But not too bad. The interior kit also has everything you see–the furniture plus artwork for it, the bedding, throw for the chair, and all the little cakes cupcakes and accessories for both bedroom and dining area.

However, if you’re going to foray into microscale with the Betterleys’ kits, I recommend doing the cafe or the secret books before you try the “secret” house I just finished (below).

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I enjoyed the heck out of building this kit (Ravenwood: microscale on top, the base is 1″ scale), but I was glad I built the cafe first. This one has many more rooms and more details, more things to mess up! I’ll show more of this house in my next post. (The kit: http://www.robinbetterley.com/collections/secret-houses)

I swear I do not work for them. 🙂 I’m just a happy customer. I will post about other microscale offerings out there and show other houses I’ve collected or made.

For my next project, I’m going to finish and furnish a Bespaq baby house that I picked up on a discount, doing everything my own self. I’ll let you know how it goes …

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Microscale–When quarter inch scale just isn’t small enough

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Microscale (1/144 scale) is becoming more popular these days, I’ve been noticing. It’s 1/12 of 1/12, or dollhouse sized for your dollhouse.

I’ve been intimidated by this scale (cause it’s so small!!!!) but I have collected a few microscale houses and am feeling my way.

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This is a kit by Robin Betterley. It’s tiny! It fits in a 3″ x 3″ x 3″ cube (the base in the kit is a little bigger than that–probably 3.5 inches. I trimmed it to fit the cube).

I’ll do a post on construction tips for this kit sometime. I found it relatively easy, though handling these little bits gets tricky!

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The kit is called Blue Sky Cafe. There’s a second kit for the interior furnishings. I haven’t attempted it yet.

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This is a 1/144 house I found at an auction, made by Charlotte Scott. It’s 5.5″ wide, 6.5″ tall (including the legs), and 1.5 inches deep. The inside has been finished (painted) but not furnished. I might use it as a cabinet in a 1/12 scale house, maybe with books or wine bottles inside. Or maybe I will furnish it.

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I do plan to furnish this Bespaq baby house that I bought slightly damaged and unfinished. The cabinet itself is 1/12 scale. The interior is a 1/144 scale house.

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I’ve stained the outside and finished it with paste wax. I will attempt to wallpaper and furnish it! Six rooms, and three halls, all teeny tiny. 🙂 (The house behind it is a 1/4 scale French Quarter house.)

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Another shot of the Blue Sky Cafe house. Everything is included in the kit: structure; art for outside, inside, and roof; doors and windows; base, fence, and landscaping materials. Even the doorknobs.

 

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A shot of the interior. Not the best photo, but you get the idea.

Now to furnish it with tiny stuff.

The advantages of microscale–An entire six to ten room dollhouse takes up less than six cubic inches of space. It can be displayed on an end table or table inside the front door, used as a decorative accent on a bookshelf, set on a small shelf in the bathroom.

I’m enjoying it so far. Tweezers, though, are a must.

 

 

Cool Auction Find #3 — 1/144 scale houses

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The one scale I don’t have much of is 1/144 (1/12 of 1/12). For one, my eyesight is bad! And I’ve never come across anything in the scale that excited me.

That changed when I saw these two charming houses by Charlotte Scott in that big auction last fall. (BTW, the auction has been covered in Miniature Collector in the latest two issues–the pieces written up in the magazine were on the high end; I’d dropped out long before!)

Be sure to click on these pics for bigger versions!

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This is a Georgian brick cabinet dollhouse, finished inside and out. I love how she put the dollhouse on legs.

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The middle is one solid piece (doesn’t open), and the roof doesn’t open either.

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Detail of the front door. So pretty (click photo for close up).

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Side and back of the house with more details.

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The Tudor house. The Georgian house was the one that had caught my eye, but when this one came up, I couldn’t resist. Terrific details.

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Each floor opens separately. Top two floors.

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Bottom two floors.

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Side of the house with great decorative details.

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