Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fantasy Villa in 1/24 scale

I added some customized dolls to my web site. They are Lanard's Petite Catwalk Kitties and one of them got transformed from yellow to a black cat while others are less customized.

The actual subject of this post is a 1/24 scale dollhouse I have finally finished. My website has the pictures from halfway through, but nothing from the beginning of the project as I did not have a digital camera at the time. I finally decided to scan the photos I took on those early days. The picture quality is not very good, although the photos were perfectly fine. I guess it is the scanner, but that would not be a suprise as it is about ten years old. Still, it is working and even poor quality is better than no photos at all.

I ordered the house from the UK and it arrived flat packed in a fairly large package. A word of warning, if you hate puzzles and Ikea furniture, this house is not for you. The pieces are laser cut in wood boards and the house is basically a 3D puzzle. I love puzzles, so this was just the thing for me.

After you have taken the boards out of the package, the very first thing to do is to use the pictures on the back of the box to identify and mark all parts. The parts are numbered in the pictures and you should number them in the wood boards in the same way with a pencil. This is essential as you will inevitably end up with a piece you cannot figure out and the numbers will help you find the piece where it is supposed to be attached. The numbering in the pictures was accurate and numbering the pieces myself saved me from a lot of trouble.

The next step is to separate the pieces from the boards. You should sort the pieces into separate piles according to the part of the house they belong to.

After that, I assembled small parts of the house without using any glue. This was just to check that I had understood correctly what goes where and also to keep the relevant pieces together. You should only use glue when you have checked that the assembled part will fit in its place (if it will not, it needs to be modified).

The next pictures show the house with just the walls and part of the staircase in place. The first picture is the view from the back and the other one shows the front.

Even though this is a laser cut kit and everything should be accurate, that is not the case. If you assemble the house without any modification, it will be nice, but there will be gaps here and there. It will be much better with some extra effort. For example, I decided to electrify my house and you can see the copper tape in the picture below. I had only done this once before for a 1/12 scale house, so it was a bit challenging, but quite manageable. Another thing is that the house is assembled using a slot and tab system. I decided to cut off quite a lot of those tabs and fill the holes designed for them where necessary. This makes assembly a bit harder because you need to glue a lot, but the end result is much nicer. I also filled any gaps between parts that would have been visible in the finished house.

There is one flaw in the design of the house and that is the missing piece of floor under the staircase going to the attic. I added that myself as you can see in the next picture. It was quite easy as I could cut the piece from the wood boards left over after removing the pieces.

Then it was just painting and wallpapering and those pictures can be found on my web site,

The finished house looks like this.

Building this house was fun and I'm sure kids would love the house even if assembled as it is intended. I just wanted something even nicer and also, I did not want to get it done too quickly as the building is the best part for me.

About those leftover pieces I mentioned, you should definitely save them as they have all sorts of interesting shapes and can be used for making your own furniture for the house. There is also a FURNITURE SET that will fit this house. I have got that one and the furniture size is also suitable for 1/16 scale houses such as Lundby. Another thing you should save is the box as it is invaluable as a reference, especially if your project takes as long as mine (the house was sitting on the shelf for months at times when I did not have time for it).

The name of the house is FANTASY VILLA SET and it is available in Amazon at the moment. I noticed that they also have the GOTHIC HOUSE SET, which was the other house I was considering when I got this one.


Sacha said...

Hello! Your finished Fantasy Villa looks beautiful. What kind of paint did you use?

Tarja said...

I used FolkArt acrylic paints, because those were easily available here, but any acrylic paints should be fine (I use acrylic, because it's water soluble and that makes it easy to clean the brushes).

Sarah said...

I adore your house and especially how you fixed the floating door issue!!! I just finished one of my own (http://stuwahacreations.com/2014/04/17/fantasy-villa-woodcraft-construction-kit/)and now (despite every fiber of my being screaming nooooo) I want to do another!

Unknown said...

Your house is amazing and I really liked the use of the colors ,what color did you use for the walls? Is it gray?

Tarja said...

It's not gray, but more like beige. Unfortunately, I have no recollection of the name of the color.

Anonymous said...

Did you do the wallpaper before you glued it together or afterwards ?