Saturday, 27 October 2012

How to Change a Resin Doll Figure in 1:12 Scale

Upgrade a Resin Doll in 1:12 Scale to Make it Unique
If you're a dolls house fan, I'm sure you've seen the resin dolls that are available in 1:12 and 1:24 scale. They are a relatively cheap way of populating a dolls house or miniature scene. They come in such a wide variety of poses: from a housemaid kneeling with a brush and dust pan; to a portly gentleman holding a brandy glass; to a child cuddling a teddy bear, and just about everything you can think of in between!
  And they may be styled as Victorian or Georgian or Edwardian or Art Deco or Modern Day. There are so many to choose from.
  But once you have a resin doll you might want to customise it to make it unique to your project. And there are a couple of ways of doing just that.

  • With fabric and glue. I use UHU glue because it 'grabs' quickly and seems to stick cloth to resin very well.  This started out as a Victorian resin figure in a brown dress with a bustle down the back. Transformed into an Edwardian lady, the only things sewn are the ribbon roses. All the cream fabric and lace was glued straight onto the resin doll. (And yes, she is headless - I wanted her to look like a mannequin in my miniature museum rather than a person.)

Lace is Glued to a Resin Doll to Change the Style of Dress
  • The tricky bits. Some of the resin figurines might have their hands or arms in places that are awkward to stick the fabric around. I found it best to cut and tuck the material so it looked as if it was falling in natural folds. You really just need to play around with it until you're happy with the draped effect. This figurine (ignore the hair, I haven't finished trimming it!) was a lady in a very posh frock but some black fabric, white apron and lace downgraded her status to one of parlour maid.
  • With paint. Those test pots of acrylic paints or tubes of artists' paints come in such a range of colours and brush onto the resin so smoothly that in a few minutes, you can change the colour of your doll's clothing or hair or accessories very cheaply and easily.
It's fun to take a mass-produced object and customise it in your own, unique way. Give it a try!

Monday, 15 October 2012

How to Stock Your Dolls House Pantry

A Well-stocked Edwardian Pantry in 1:12 Scale
Part of the enormous pleasure I get from the dolls house hobby is making all the little bits and pieces to fill the cupboards, drawers and shelves. So stocking a dolls house pantry is right up my alley!
  Because this is the pantry in my Edwardian dolls house, I wanted to make sure that the tins and drinks were accurate for the era. I was lucky enough to find a book with pictures of real Edwardian products and that's when the photocopier was put to good use. I shrank down the photos of the labels and used them. 
Use Real Labels in Miniature
 You could do the same for a modern dolls house, or even a Victorian one if you can find a suitable reference book. It all adds to the authentic details.
  I bought a couple of glass bottles to stick drink labels on. I made square boxes out of card to make the biscuit tins and the tea tin. The ginger beer bottles I made out of Fimo. For the tinned goods, dowelling cut to size, with the labels stuck on and the tops and bottoms painted with chrome nail polish made realistic looking cans.
  I hope you'll use some of these ideas to stock your own mini pantry. Have fun!

Glass Jars Filled with Fimo Fruit and Vegetables

These little glass containers are filled with a variety of fruit and vege I made from Fimo. To get the labels looking as if the cook wrote them, I used a tiny handwriting font on the computer.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Dolls for an Edwardian Dolls House

Kewpie Dolls, Porcelain Dolls and Paper Dolls as Toys for an Edwardian Dolls House
If, like me, you are the proud owner of an Edwardian dolls house, you'll be keen to stock the nursery with toys suitable for that era. I talked about teddy bears in another post and now here are some ideas for toy dolls.
   In the early years of the 20th century, porcelain headed dolls were replacing wax and wooden ones. They were dressed in miniature versions of children's clothes. Boy dolls were often dressed in sailor suits; girl dolls wore the full outfit from the pantaloons and petticoats to the pretty dresses and white pinafores. Many of the best dolls came from Germany and looked particularly lifelike. My one in the photo was made by Barbara Blowes from Christchurch. 
   A totally different looking doll, not in the least bit realistic, was invented in 1909. The kewpie doll was drawn by Rose O'Neill to illustrate stories in the Ladies Home Journal magazine. With its large eyes, cute hairdo and rounded belly, it couldn't be more different from the traditional dolls.
Scale down paper dolls to 1:12 size
   Paper dolls were popular too. Some were advertisements for products where children could collect a set of dolls and their clothes, as long as their parents kept buying!
   I bought a book called 'Antique Paper Dolls of the Edwardian Era'. It has reproductions in full colour of original paper dolls from France in 1908. I photocopied some of the pages down to 1:12 scale, cut out the teeny tiny dresses and paper dolls and made a little box to put them in. Fiddly, but fun!