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View Full Version : Any 1:12 Scale House Builders/Miniaturists Out There?



MerriTudor
06-20-2017, 04:22 PM
I don't like to call them "dollhouses" because, in my case, dolls will never reside in them. I take house kits and bash them if they don't suit my purpose, and also make some of the miniatures that will decorate the little rooms. Furniture and fireplaces mainly, but also household items like bottles of cleaners or shampoos, small appliances. All the bits and pieces to make it look lived in.

My houses always turn out to be 18th century New England houses refurbished by modern "owners" which is the best of both worlds - antiques and modern conveniences. Right now, I'm working on a Cape Cod vacation home, and a Nantucket bed and breakfast.

Anyone else out there into miniatures?

Cindyt
06-20-2017, 04:31 PM
Love miniatures but don't have the space for a dollhouse--there would be dolls in it--or the time away from writing.

Alessandra Kelley
06-20-2017, 07:58 PM
I've always enjoyed them and admired their builders, but I never quite had the space for them and my hobby interests got shunted into the more compact scale of Dungeons and Dragons miniatures fairly early on.

I hope you meet others with more experience!

Maggie Maxwell
06-20-2017, 08:02 PM
Dollhouse prop making has always been a hobby that fascinated me, but I'm not sure I could ever do it. I'm both impatient and a perfectionist, which, well, for something so small and delicate, is probably not a good combo. I do love watching videos of people making them, though.

MerriTudor
06-21-2017, 06:27 PM
Cindy and Alessandra - yes, ROOM for these buildings is always a problem! I sold off a huge Victorian so I could have more room for current houses. But yeah...very problematical!

Maggie - I, too, am an impatient perfectionist! But somehow, I manage to finish lots of things and they come out better than I have any reason to expect. Lots of very generous miniaturists with great tutorials helps a lot.

Maggie Maxwell
06-21-2017, 06:35 PM
Well, that's reassuring. :) There are so many amazing tutorials. It always astounds me what random items people can turn into something for a dollhouse. Just the other day, I saw someone take a Tic-Tac box and transform it into little food storage containers simply by slicing the majority of the container away and sanding it. The simple creativity just blows me away.

MerriTudor
06-22-2017, 09:42 PM
Yes! I just made some kitchen canisters from those little desiccant barrels you get in some medications. The lids come off and the little salt bits are stored inside, so the canisters can even be filled and have removable lids. Now I'm hounding everyone I know for those things!

Maggie Maxwell
06-22-2017, 10:01 PM
I can absolutely see how that works! It seems like every random little thing can end up being turned into something else if you have the knowledge and tools. It's like you have to twist your worldview into something much smaller, which fascinates me.

DuncanClinch
08-22-2017, 07:34 AM
My mother is working on a Christmas display to tell the story of A Christmas Carol putting miniatures in boxes that look like books. I don't know what scale she going to finally end up with. She's bought some things online and has made other things with Fimo.

MerriTudor
08-23-2017, 05:05 PM
My mother is working on a Christmas display to tell the story of A Christmas Carol putting miniatures in boxes that look like books. I don't know what scale she going to finally end up with. She's bought some things online and has made other things with Fimo.

That sounds fantastic! I hope it turns out just as she wants it to. I've tried the Fimo thing and discovered that I'm only good at making tiny loaves of bread so far!

Frankie007
08-23-2017, 05:10 PM
i more into being a spectator of them. I could stare at them for hours in awe.
I also love seeing miniature villages. especially the ones they set up in stores for christmas and halloween. i take the time and stare at every little thing. LOL
and then don't get me started on Lego villages with active trains that circle the village or run thru it......

all of those above are my weakness! lol

MerriTudor
08-23-2017, 10:24 PM
i more into being a spectator of them. I could stare at them for hours in awe.
I also love seeing miniature villages. especially the ones they set up in stores for christmas and halloween. i take the time and stare at every little thing. LOL
and then don't get me started on Lego villages with active trains that circle the village or run thru it......

I know! I'd love to have a Christmas village. I had a friend who had a Halloween village that took up one of those 8' folding tables. It was crazy good!

And my husband was into Lego trains, and had a Lego town complete with reservoir with little fishermen on the banks and swans among the reeds. He sold all that and now he had an HO scale train layout - small town, farm, stores, diner, cars, the whole nine yards.

Little things quickly become an obsession!

frimble3
08-24-2017, 01:38 AM
That sounds fantastic! I hope it turns out just as she wants it to. I've tried the Fimo thing and discovered that I'm only good at making tiny loaves of bread so far!
Try oranges! Oranges are good!

Orange Fimo: roll little balls
- the medium balls can be 'regular' oranges
-the large ones Navel oranges (make a slightly raised bump at the opposite of the stem end, and make a dimple in that)
-the little one can be Mandarin or Satsuma oranges (flatten them slightly).

On all oranges, texture them with a piece of sandpaper or a emery board, (test to see if you want a coarser or finer grit) by patting them gently with the gritty surface (gently so as not to distort the shape. Then take a ball tool, rounded toothpick end, etc, and make a small dent in one end where the stem would have been.
Then bake, as per package directions.
If you want to get fancy, you could add a little yellow or green shading.

Aside from their use in bowls, and produce scenes, they're nice for Christmas scenes: oranges and candy canes make a nice 'old-fashioned' looking Christmas tree decorations. For that matter, if you've got a good 'baked goods' colour going, you could make decorated Christmas cookies to hang on the tree.

MerriTudor
08-24-2017, 10:09 PM
Try oranges! Oranges are good!

Oooooh! I think I can do that! Thank you for directions!

I tried pumpkins last fall - I desperately wanted a little pumpkin to sit on the porch. They came out very...lopsided. And the grooves seemed to bake out of them somehow. I tried green apples. ONE came out decently, the others looked like giant peas! I was tempted to try a watermelon this summer, but thought - seriously, girl? Who are you trying to kid? :)

But I'm going to the craft store, get myself some orange Fimo and give this a try. Absolutely, oranges always said "Christmas" in our house growing up. And I do have tiny molds for Christmas cookies somewhere I've never even tried...

Thanks for the inspiration!

frimble3
08-24-2017, 10:39 PM
Oooooh! I think I can do that! Thank you for directions!

I tried pumpkins last fall - I desperately wanted a little pumpkin to sit on the porch. They came out very...lopsided. And the grooves seemed to bake out of them somehow. I tried green apples. ONE came out decently, the others looked like giant peas! I was tempted to try a watermelon this summer, but thought - seriously, girl? Who are you trying to kid? :)

But I'm going to the craft store, get myself some orange Fimo and give this a try. Absolutely, oranges always said "Christmas" in our house growing up. And I do have tiny molds for Christmas cookies somewhere I've never even tried...

When you have the orange Fimo, you might also try carrots. Make a ball, roll it out into a carrot shape. You can make little grooves around the carrot for more authenticity. For variety, try mixing a little yellow Fimo in, to make a paler orange carrot.
Out of curiosity, how did you make your pumpkins? I learned how to make them hollow (for carving) which caused lopsidedness, as the insides heat up and expand. I've never heard of grooves vanishing, though. One of the pleasures of Fimo is that, unlike actual clay (or bread-dough clay), it doesn't shrink when heating.

MerriTudor
08-25-2017, 05:30 AM
When you have the orange Fimo, you might also try carrots. Make a ball, roll it out into a carrot shape. You can make little grooves around the carrot for more authenticity. For variety, try mixing a little yellow Fimo in, to make a paler orange carrot.

Out of curiosity, how did you make your pumpkins? I learned how to make them hollow (for carving) which caused lopsidedness, as the insides heat up and expand. I've never heard of grooves vanishing, though. One of the pleasures of Fimo is that, unlike actual clay (or bread-dough clay), it doesn't shrink when heating.

I'll try some carrots, too! I don't think I could go too far wrong with those. I'll grab some yellow Fimo as well. My husband will be out all day Saturday, so this will be a nice little project!

I used Sculpey for the pumpkins. Maybe that's where I went wrong? They were solid. I really wanted to do a jack o'lantern, but once I did the solid pumpkins, I was too demoralized. I really haven't had much luck with Sculpey - it seems very tough somehow. Maybe I'll have better luck with Fimo.

frimble3
08-25-2017, 05:55 AM
Remember, if you're short of orange Fimo, but have scraps of other colours, you can smush the scrap colours together and make the basic shape, then cover that in a sheet of orange, where it will show. Just make thick enough to groove, and firmly attached (make sure all pieces are equally worked and warm).
Shall I explain the 'hollow pumpkin' method, or wait 'til later to not overcomplicate things?

MerriTudor
08-25-2017, 04:04 PM
Shall I explain the 'hollow pumpkin' method, or wait 'til later to not overcomplicate things?

As it happens, I do have a bunch of pale colors (suitable for the loaves of bread I've been churning out), so definitely can make the body of the pumpkin with that and cover with a skin of orange. Good point. Why waste colored clay?

No, please go on! Pen in hand to take notes on the hollow pumpkin scenario! :)

frimble3
08-31-2017, 11:46 PM
Sorry for the delay in replying! I don't get this far down the thread-list (usually run out of time after the Politics thread), and I thought we were still at your 'carrot' reply.

'Hollow Pumpkin' involves some possibly toxic objects (you know all the warnings on the Fimo package - don't use your cooking oven, vent, etc.?) Well, the hollow-pumpkin method I was taught involves a small Styrofoam ball (we used the crisp, sharp, crystal-like kind, not the packing-pellet opaque, soft-looking kind). Popular in craft stores for decorating around holidays.

Get a Styrofoam ball slightly smaller than the pumpkin you want to make, then flatten and squish it into a rough pumpkin shape (don't need to worry about grooves, this in only the inside shape).

Now, cover it with a layer of yellow-orange pumpkin-interior colour Fimo. While that layer is still warm from handling, cover the yellow-orange layer with a thin layer of pure orange. Push the layers firmly together, without distorting the pumpkin shape. Mark in grooves, trying not to make any holes all the way through the Fimo.

Do you want a stem? In which case, make a small green/brown stem-shape and attach it to the top of the pumpkin (for your first attempt, I'd skip the stem.)

Now, put a small hole someplace inconspicuous on your pumpkin, depending on what you're planning to do with it: either the blossom-end on the bottom, or where the 'stem' would be. (Middle of the back would be another possibility, but for your first few attempts, you may want a choice of what side to carve.) The purpose of this hole is to vent air from the shrinking Styrofoam, so make sure it goes through all the Fimo, and reaches the Styrofoam.

Now, heat the pumpkin according to the Fimo instructions, remembering that Styrofoam vapours are not to be breathed in. Once the time is up, haul out the pumpkin and let it cool.
Once it's cool enough to handle, and has gone hard, inspect your pumpkin to see if there's a preferred side to put the face on. For your first face, go simple: easy triangular features, well-spaced (so that the pressure of cutting out features doesn't crack the adjoining feature-edges.) Be gentle, you're dealing with a somewhat fragile, hollow object.
Cut the 'top/roof/hat' off last. Cut in at an angle, so that there's a bit of a ledge to stand the top on. (Like a real pumpkin) Once you have the top off, you can knock out the shrunken remains of the styrofoam It may be hung up on the bottom, a flick with some sort of implement should release it.

Then you should have the finished product: a hollow pumpkin with a yellow-orange crinkled lining, and a jack-o'-lantern face. You could skip the face and have a pumpkin-shell tureen for soup to go with your bread.
If you like mini-electrics, you could make a hole big enough for two wires, and put a small light bulb inside. Or, if this is too much fuss, just draw on features with a fine-tip felt pen.