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.
As LEDs become smaller and smaller, it becomes more fun—and feasible—to add fireplace lights to a dollhouse-for-dollhouse roombox or vignettes. Even unlighted, fireplaces are a staple in living rooms of all time periods. While a few metal minis, laser cut wood fireplace mantels, and cast resin pieces are available, not a lot of choice exists. What I wanted was a way to make fireplaces for roomboxes in different styles—traditional, art deco, ornate, and so on.
This was my first foray into molding and casting–and began back in January of 2013. As I learned in a wonderful course taught by Judy Andraka (Acorns by Oak) at Philadelphia Miniaturia a few years ago, molding and casting allows you build a “matrix” or object to be reproduced using a variety of materials. Molding and casting is the great equalizer; whether you use paper, styrene, metal, fabric, or braid, ultimately everything looks like plastic when it comes out—and has the same level of permanence. And if one happily spends 10 hours designing a single fireplace, all that work ends up embodied in not only one roombox—but can be used again and again.
Of course designing, building, molding, and casting is not an easy task, and getting from here—an idea—to there—a fireplace in 1/144 scale–took time.
How to Build a Miniature Fireplace is a look at the process of building free standing fireplaces—and getting them ready for casting.
Be sure to keep an eye on my website this summer, to see the fireplaces painted and in use in vignettes. Hopefully, a few unpainted mantels and free-standing fireplaces will be offered for sale.
Here’s a look at the finished and painted free-standing fireplaces. The tallest is about 5 feet in real life.
Tile fireplace with copper highlights
Painted black and white