Thursday, 14 July 2016

Scaling down - a 1/24th scale Modern Cottage

Do you remember the first time? That moment you discovered the world of miniatures, after which real life was never the same again.

Now people work in many different scales, but probably the majority of miniaturists cut their miniature teeth in 1/12th scale. When you first start out, everything seems tiny and oh-so-cute. As I always say, you can get used to anything. One day, you realise that 1/12th scale doesn't seem so small anymore. And that somehow your collection of one inch scale miniatures has filled all available space in your real-life house.

Faced with a choice between giving up or going smaller, most of us have decided to at least try a smaller scale. I am a real fan of 12th scale but was encouraged to try 1/24th scale by some of my miniature friends who now work in no other scale. 

At first, I liked it. The oh-so-smallness of it all after the relative enormity of 12th scale! I bought two cottages from Petite Properties and set to work. 

The first (shown on the left) was decorated and furnished in a country style and I bought everything to go in it. 

The second (shown on the right) was to be very modern and almost everything in it homemade.

One of the 1/24th scale rooms in my "Everything-Bought" cottage

The original cottage had just two rooms. I made and installed false walls to create two rooms on each of the ground and first floors. I installed a further floor and dividing wall to create two further rooms in the loft space. The walls were constructed from 5mm foamcore board and pinned in place through the back wall of the cottage. The floor I fitted was supported by using some wood moulding to form coving in the first floor rooms. The original two floors were already finished in a wooden planked effect by the maker. I replicated the effect on the top floor by painting and distressing a piece of cereal packet, cutting into strips and laying it in the same way using tacky glue.

Next, I decorated the walls and ceilings using emulsion tester pots from the local DIY store. I built the kitchen units from mountboard to my own design to exactly fit the space available. The doors are all non-opening and the handles are made from lengths of paper clip. I made a sink using pieces of thin stainless steel  and supported  it on scraps of wood inside the sink unit so that the top edges of each were exactly flush. When I fitted the worktop counter, the edges of the sink were concealed. I made a kitchen tap from the curved part of an extra large paper clip and two square silvered beads for taps. The worktop and splashback were both made from mountboard painted in black enamel paint for a high gloss modern finish.

The hob and oven front were purchased from ELF for a very reasonable price but it is possible to find perfectly acceptable printables to download and print out instead, like the microwave, which was printed onto photo paper, cut out, scored and folded.

The settee was a resin kit from Borcraft Miniatures that I covered in leopard-print fabric. The floor lamp was a kit from Jane Harrop. The little house ornaments and dolls house in the study are also kits from Jane Harrop. Otherwise, except as stated, I made all the furniture and accessories myself. 

The books were scraps of mountboard covered in paper, the clock was a cut out from the Argos catalogue mounted on a square sequin stuck onto scraps of wood and painted black. I cut out tiny images of my family from contact prints and framed them using scraps of mountboard.

The little drawer unit is three pieces of wood glued on top of each other, painted and then the join between each piece accentuated by sticking a piece of sewing cotton in the joint. The figure is an N-scale figure mounted on a tiny circle of mountboard.

I made the jewellery box in the same way. The bottles/jars are beads with no-hole beads for stoppers. The necklace is no-hole beads glued into an oval and the candles are nails, painted cream and set in silver coloured beads.

I made the lamp using the end of a ballpoint pen and scrap of cardboard. The radio alarm clock is a scrap of wood painted silver, with painted buttons and a cut-out bar code from a magazine to represent the speaker.

The bathroom is made from wood, purchased from eBay. I added a toilet roll, made from a small Hama bead with a scrap of quilling paper as the tissue. The bin is a large Hama bead with cardboard lid painted silver and scraps of card for the hinge and pedal. The soap dispenser is the rubber back from an earring with a tear-drop shaped jewellery finding as a pump.

The pictures were downloaded from the internet, sealed with Mod Podge and mounted on scraps of card.

The pot plant is made from poly fibre (available from railway modeller supplies) set in the cup of a birthday candle holder. The little wicker chair is by Chicken Little. The pencils are fine nails, painted and glued into tiny plastic pots.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the overall result. However, I really didn't enjoy this project. Having to use tweezers rather than fingers, having to make things in a scale that doesn't come easy to me....on balance I would rather have fewer 12th scale items than more items in 24th scale. Sadly, that didn't stop me trying 1/48th scale.....more on that next time .

Kathryn x


  1. Both of your cottages have Wonderfully Aged exteriors, but what a transition once you venture inside!
    I have to say, that your innovations in making realistic accessories for your modern cottage had me transfixed. Your clever and creative use of bits and pieces made to 1/24th scale are fascinating.
    Very Well done on both properties! :D


  2. Thank you so much! It's so easy to spend a lot of money on this hobby, but it's also possible to do things on a shoestring. So glad you enjoyed my little piece x