Challenge in Quarter Inch Scale: Making a Chair (Part I)

I’ve worked in various micro scales most of my life.  Recently, I’ve become intrigued by the potential for added detail that 1/48 scale (quarter inch scale) offers. After all, it’s absolutely huge in comparison to 1/144!   The challenge, though, is how to bound that potential.  Should drawers open?  Cabinet doors have working hinges?  Should  the lumber be to scale in thickness?

When I was asked to contribute a 1/48 scale chair to an exhibit about dollhouse scale at the recent IGMA show in Teaneck, NJ, I decided to see just how detailed I could get.  This is the result. To learn more about the process of making the parts and assembling this chair,  stay tuned for my next post.

0. Quarter scale finished - 1 0. Quarter scale chair

 

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Carving a Dragon Chest in Quarter Inch Scale

In June 2013 I took a class from Ann High at IGMA Guild School in Castine, Maine, in which we carved a dragon chest.  Ann does truly amazing carving and is an excellent teacher, getting the best from her students–even the newbies.

Front of chest carved in class with Ann High at Guild School in 2013

Front of chest carved in class with Ann High at Guild School in 2013

The finished chest is about 5 inches long and a little over an inch high. This is the almost finished chest–all that remains is to add the final finishes over the stain.

Finished dragon chest

Finished dragon chest

Chest with tools by David Brookshaw displayed

Chest with tools by David Brookshaw displayed

The beautiful period-appropriate carving tools are made by David Brookshaw, who makes museum-quality reproductions of full-sized antique tools, as well as 1/12 scale miniature tools.

Being incapable of leaving anything in 1/12 scale alone, I tried to make one in 1/48 scale.  The results were not stellar.

Attempt to carve the dragon chest in 1:48 scale.  UGH!

Attempt to carve the dragon chest in 1:48 scale. UGH!

My carving skills were simply not up to the task–and the intricacy of the pattern–even with simplifications–was difficult to reproduce in wood, as small as it needed to be. So, what to do? Perhaps there is another way….