Sunday, 15 June 2014

Petite Properties

Introduction

Very recently, someone posted a link to their blog article on The Miniatures Page.  That's not unusual, of course (done it myself a few times!), but what caught my attention was that the author had collected links to a number of dolls' house manufacturers who made smaller-scale items.  I'm annoyed that I cannot remember the original author, in order to give him proper credit for inspiring me!  [Edit: Zabadak has correctly identified the original post as coming from Shedwars.  Thanks to both Zabadak and the author of Shedwars]  Here's what happened next...

I looked through the catalogues for the various dolls' house manufacturers and filtered out most of them.  Either they were too expensive or they only had a very small range in a scale that might suit me.  However, one company really caught my eye: Petite Properties.  They have a large range of cottages, houses, churches and the like in 1:48 scale.  They also sell a lot of smaller items with which to furnish these houses or their gardens and surroundings.  Since the prices were fairly cheap, I thought that I'd buy a few kits as testers.

The remainder of this article describes the 3 kits I've build (or part-built) so far, though none of them are painted yet.  I've shown them with some half-painted "28mm" figures beside them so that you can judge the size and decide whether the 1:48 items are too large.  Note that I've used quotes around "28mm"; the young man with the suitcase (from Reaper) is more like 31mm base-to-eye.  The woman with the golf club (Wargames Factory) is a digital sculpt and is probably the truest shape and size of the 3 figures.

The Hen House

This is a sweet little kit with a surprising number of parts to it.  I don't think I'd recommend it for raw beginners (some of the pieces are very small), but it should be straightforward for most modellers.

Amazingly, the hen house even has a removable roof and detailed interior - a roosting bar and divided nest box!  The cost of this kit is £1.75.

The Old Lych Gate

A lych gate is a covered, gated passage often found at the entrance to churchyards in England (and elsewhere?).  I plan to use this as the way into a "gothic" graveyard - when I eventually get round to that project.

This is a much more substantial structure than the other pieces in this article, but for all that it wasn't too hard to build.  The walls were probably the most tricky - and that only because some blocks of 3mm MDF needed to be "doubled up" to produce 6mm thick parts.  Cost: £5.99


The Cold Frame

I haven't finished building this model, for the obvious reason that I need to paint some or all of it before sticking the windows together.  Acetate squares are supplied for the glazing, though I haven't shown them in this picture.

This was probably the simplest of the 3 kits to build; it's certainly the one with the fewest parts!  Once again, the cost is £1.75


Conclusion

I'm very happy with the way these models so far.  They're a touch big for 28mm figures, but of course the figures have a base which adds to their height and this helps to hide the difference.

As well as entire buildings and the outdoor elements that I've shown here, Petite Properties also make plenty of indoor furnishings including packs to furnish an entire schoolhouse or church.  I can see these being very useful!  The style of their ranges is very definitely centred around a slightly romantic 1930s English village, but I don't see why much of their product couldn't be used in other time periods or other geographical areas.  Have a look for yourself!

22 comments:

  1. I think the poster of the link was :
    http://shedwars.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/148-scale-dolls-house-suppliers-for.html
    He gives a very good link to a number of doll's house suppliers. (the series of posts about his church build is very, very interesting)
    IMO these are all worthy of a place on the table, and are very compatible with all the figures you feature (for the price though I couldn't stop thinking I would just have to make my own).

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    1. Thanks, Joe - it was indeed Shedwars blog!

      I agree that the original post and the dolls' house catalogues are very inspirational. Obviously if you make your own versions then they'll be cheaper, but will (probably?) take more time and effort.

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  2. They are very nice models indeed, but I agree with Joe above. I'd prefer to stick to card models for a fraction of the price. However, if money was no object, I'd be very tempted by them.

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    1. Well, that's fine as long as there is a card alternative :-) , or you have the time and energy to scratch-build your own. I wouldn't build a town from these small dolls houses, but I might do the isolated farmhouse or church. Or just use smaller pieces as accents :-) ...

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  3. Very nice models dude. Card is a lot cheaper alternative though.

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    1. Perhaps, but the 2 smaller pieces I made are each about the price of a single metal 28mm figure (plus or minus a bit, depending on the manufacturer). Is that really so much?

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  4. Not seen the litch gate before but the chicken coop is a fine and dandy bit of kit. It makes me want to get one.

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    1. My imagination is definitely stirred by all the items in these catalogues, even if I'm not necessarily going to run out and buy them all :-)

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  5. I'm now trying to justify the need for a chicken coop - will this madness ever stop? ;)

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    1. Nope, probably not :-) . You might be able to assuage your desire for a hen house by looking through the catalogue until you find something else you'd prefer!

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  6. Nifty items. I like the stuff that is coming out from various laser cut places, if the prices drop, they become pretty economical. These are interesting additions, a hen house is great addition to a post apocalyptic survivor camp...

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    1. I'm particularly taken with the smaller, "detail" pieces for both the inside and the outside of a house. That's something which the wargames MDF community often ignore.

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  7. That hen house looks great. Not really needed, but certainly full of character. With a cold frame, can I expect a post about building a garden? :)

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    1. Perhaps :-) . All I would need is a greenhouse and a garden bench. Oh, a pergola would be nice as well - and a compost bin - and ...

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  8. Replies
    1. Thanks, Dave. But really I was just reporting on what someone else had found.

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  9. These are really great! Nice addition to make it all that more "real"

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    1. I agree; a few scenic "accents" can make all the difference to the realism!

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  10. Thanks for the tip, those models look very good. That chicken house looks not too dissimilar to the full size one I have in my garden!

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    1. It's similar to ours as well, though not quite identical :-) .

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  11. Just noticed your post - thanks for the reference

    all the best

    Eric the Shed from Shedwars

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    1. You're welcome - your original post is very useful.

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