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Some thoughts on building models of all types and sizes

Some thoughts on building models of all types and sizes

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In praise of 1/144th scale

1/144th scale exists in other contexts but it appears most in the context of dolls houses. Far too small to play with of course. Most little hands would struggle with 1/72nd, let alone something half the size. But if you have a 1/12th scale house you may want a model dolls house to go in it. Hence 1/144.

I'm including within this article the nearby scales of 1/148 and 1/150.  To most eyes the 2.8% or 4.2% variation will not be visible.  Why?  1/150 exists but only I think in architectural modelling circles.  1/148 because that is the scale of British N gauge railways.  In due course I will produce something on buildings in N scale/gauge - which varies by country and manufacturer from 1/148 to 1/160 - but for now it sits in here.  In the world of military modelling 1/144 seems to equate to '12mm' figures. 12x144 is 1.73m,or just over 5'8".

1/144 means that 1mm on the model equals 14.4cm, 1/16 inch equals 9 inches.  5cm/2 inches in real life (such as the thickness of a door) is roughly 1/3 of a millimetre/1/64 of an inch.  That is very small.  A statement of the bleedin' obvious I know but it does mean that (for most of us!) some sacrifices have to be made between true scale and structural stability.

One operation offering such models (and items to go in it !) is A Trifle Small of Bury in Lancashire.  Given what is available in the various N gauge scales it has to be said there is room for improvement.

A row of Faller N scale houses ( probably 1/160 rther than 1/144)

A Petite Properties cotttage as assembled by the designer

The most serious approach I have come across is Petite Properties of Metheringham near Lincoln.  It is rare to find a manufacturer with a fan base but that is exactly what PP has established.  They are rare in that they cater for both the dolls house market and the model railway market and also for the stand-alone building modeller/collector.  I have only (thus far) tried one of their buildings and my story of that can be found in my 'St Thomas's article.  I'm very impressed by them.

St Thomas's from PP before decorating and roofing

One site offering (resin?) models in this scale for the military enthusiast is Magister Militum though the buildings were produced by JR Miniatures which seems now to have ceased operating.

I am aware of two Facebook groups for this scale, though I'm sure there must be others. One is linked to Petite Properties, and thus focused on their products. The other is '1:48 & 1:144 Scale Minis' though the emphasis does seem to be on 1/48.

In general it is the houses I'm interested in rather than the miniatures that fill the inside of dolls' houses.  Which usually means the outside but I like interior detail too.  And appreciate the craftmanship of good furniture examples.  Talking of liking interiors, this is a rare example of an interior from a 1/144 house taken from RidiculousTinyThings on Instagram.  A.

Astonishing detail by someone who modestly calls herself "The Clumsy Miniaturist"

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October 2022