Thursday, September 4, 2014

Quick and Easy Project Stage 2: The eBaying

At the end of Stage 1 (Euphoric Activity), I determined that the furniture I'd intended for the Old Schoolhouse (my Salvation Army shadow box) was far too large. It seems that when it comes to dollhouse-making, I have no sense of proportion.

The first possible size that occurred to me was 1:144 ("dollhouse for a dollhouse"), mostly because this scale is very small. While the painted metal furniture in this scale runs $10 a room and up ($60 to furnish this house. . . um, nope), unpainted sets are much more budget-friendly.

Dining set from seller tandscraft, who has an amazing selection of room sets.
Then I Googled for "144th scale furniture," as who among us would not?

OMG, there is little wooden laser-cut furniture! It is a bit pricier, due to the higher level of detail.

Dining set from SDK Miniatures, who also has Gothic furniture in this scale.
OMG, there is also resin furniture. These are from makers whose name is Kummerow, and at that level of detail, it is probably just as well I cannot find out more about their pricing. They are artisans.

From Norm's Country Store.

There is also less-detailed unpainted resin furniture at a price point midway between unpainted metal and painted metal. These offer a modern kitchen but no bathroom.

From Nell Corkin.
At this point, I thought to myself "but what about furniture for N gauge train layouts?" N is 1:160 or 1:148, depending whom you ask (well, depending if it's U.S. or British).

OMG, there's a horse in the conference room! I'm hesitant to embed photos from personal blogs (as opposed to photos used to sell items), so follow the link, check out Quinntopia, scroll down to admire the horse in the conference room, but make sure to come back. If you go to Quinntopia's main page, you're likely to be sucked into a post on serious train layout mistakes resulting from trying to do too much, too big, too fast, a phenomenon that has no possible applicability to my projects, none, nada, nosiree.

The furniture is from Luetke Modelbahn and appears to arrive in mass quantities, attached to plastic spurges. It must be de-spurged, sanded, and painted. This will go poorly in my household.

But is my building truly N gauge? Might it perhaps be HO, which is 1:87?

OMG, there is modernist plastic furniture in HO.

Room set from Noc GMBH & Co., sold by Hobbylinc
OMG, there is a thrilling modernist kitchen in HO scale.

Room set from Preiser, sold by Hobbylinc

OMG, there are 3-D printed HO furniture room sets on Shapeways, and they are stunning. We're now back to $10 a room, but with substantially more style, choice, and general amazing-ness.

Living room set from seller dcyale, patron saint of HO furniture.
In the search for dollhouse furniture, Shapeways constitutes the end of the internet. You have seen it all; there is no further to go.

Since I was doing this search over lunch -- as a break from reading about a company that makes crockpots, specialized ammo, and adult diapers -- I could not look at the shadowbox and determine its actual size. This must be done!

At 1:87 (HO), one inch is a little over seven feet.
At 1:144 ("dollhouse for a dollhouse"), one inch is twelve feet.

Dollhouse scale, in my world, is primarily determined by floor footprint, with ceiling height as a secondary consideration to make sure you don't get silly.

The shadowbox is about 1/2" deep:

  • In HO, that's ~3.5 feet.
  • In 144th scale, that's about 6 feet.
I think 1:144 wins because it allows me to cram more furniture in. (If I had a family crest, it would read Permittit suffarcino plus me in vasis, which Google Translate promises is the Latin for "It allows me to cram more furniture in," so if the phrase actually refers to something ordinarily covered only in a Dan Savage column, chuckle and move on.)

This scale means the parlor ceiling is 12" (reasonable) and the kitchen and dining room ceilings are 18" (exaggerated) -- but all of my houses except the Steampunk Orchid have unusually high ceilings for their scale, so why stop now? Anywhere, it's a converted schoolhouse, so anything could have happened with ceilings.

So it's time to move on to Stage 3: The Modge-Podging.

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