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Calling 1/2 scale artists


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So, after screaming at me to get finished with my Vermont Jr. for I don't know how long my Orchid has become completely silent. Since inspiration seems to have stalled out there, I need a new project which will probably start the yelling again.

I have very limited space in my house for this hobby since my family will insist on being able to eat at the table, use the bookcases, have space in their closets; they have some nerve :lol: Because of this, I've decided to go with a half-scale house as my next project :banana: I'm quite excited about it, but I am hoping you guys can give me some tips on what kind of additional tools I may need. I didn't really use tweezers that much for my other house until the end when I was decorating with some of the smaller pieces, so I know I need those. Anything else you guys can think of would really be appreciated. Thanks :)

Now I just have to figure out which house to get...there are so many great choices!

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I love half scale! The tools are basically the same the tricky part is the size of our hands. Some of the spaces/rooms can be quite small so decorating can be challenging. My advise is to read ahead as much as possible and decorate as you assemble. It's very exciting that you get to choose a great half scale house. I have the Fairfield and love it. My half scale dream house is the Elizabeth Anne, but they don't make it anymore. Good luck, I can't wait to see what house you choose.

My Fairfield Blog

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I don't think I've ever used tweezers for miniatures, not even in 1/144th :hmm:

A six inch ruler comes in really handy, as well as an assortment of smaller/finer craft brushes. Really, it's all the same stuff... unless you want suggestions on supplies too?

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I don't think I've ever used tweezers for miniatures, not even in 1/144th :hmm:

REALLY? I have these tweezer style things, (that you have to push them to open them, (so tweezers in reverse), they are helping me with building furniture, holding things, painting, when my fingers are too fat!!! :) I use small binder clips and the smaller miniature clamps, (the blue ones), I'd be lost without them, and some tiny craft paint brushes, (sold at Michaels)...I find, the smaller the brush the easier the detail...(either that or I just stink at painting!!! The smaller brushes help me not to GLOB!)... :p Lastly, I'd like a "finer" needle-nose pliers, (I have a jewelry pair I've used to make jewelry with)... when I pull out the hinge/nail at the base of a 1/2scale door the pliers I have tend to gouge out the bottom...but again, that's probably just me being a bozo!!! :p

The rest of my tools convert to half scale when I need them!!! :)

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For really tiny things, I just wet the end of a toothpick and use that to pick things up for gluing placement. I've thought about getting some longer tweezers, the nice ones, to use but I just haven't got around to it... maybe when I finally get a gluing jig. Seems like everyone has one except for me, I have tool envy.

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Thanks guys!

Holly, I have seen a couple of people mention reverse tweezers. Would they sell those in the jewelry section of a craft store? Gotta go out today, so I'm going to look.

Cat, tool envy is not a bad thing. A gluing jig is at the top of my list :ohyeah:

Speaking of gluing, is there some kind of glue bottle I can get that will put out a really fine bead of glue? I had some trouble with my glue clumping when I was building my other house and would like to not have to spend extra time scraping of excess glue :angry:

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Both hobby stores and places like Harbor Freight carry reverse tweezers, and you can get them both straight and bent. I like them slightly better than hemostats, the latter tend to cruch the wood fibers. No matter what scale I'm gluing in, for a really fine bead I drip some glue onto a bit of waxed paper and use a fine pointed toothpick dipped into the drop to spread or draw the glue bead. Check out Micro mark for the gluing jig, they recently had a sale.

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Thanks guys!

Holly, I have seen a couple of people mention reverse tweezers. Would they sell those in the jewelry section of a craft store? Gotta go out today, so I'm going to look.

Cat, tool envy is not a bad thing. A gluing jig is at the top of my list :ohyeah:

Speaking of gluing, is there some kind of glue bottle I can get that will put out a really fine bead of glue? I had some trouble with my glue clumping when I was building my other house and would like to not have to spend extra time scraping of excess glue :angry:

I know that EarthnTree sells the Tweezers, Gluing Jig and Zap-A-Gap,(glue), (Zap-A-Gap is a permanent thing though, there is no moving once is adhered!)

I got my tweezers from this scrapb-book set that I had owned before I started mini-ing... (I use each and every single one of these tools for mini-ing...)

making-memories-tool-kit-deluxe.jpg?w=287&h=300

I got this at AC Moore once with a coupon...so it was about $11...

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I, too, have the half-scale fever. I find it much easier and less expensive to work with it as long as you plan ahead and try to organize your decorating as it is being assembled. You don't have to glue the wallpaper in as you assemble, but I would at least cut it to size. It is also easier to make your own furniture (at least for me). I am also adding lighting but not wiring. I just hide the electrical wires in the wallpaper and moulding...most lights come with very long wires that can go the length of the house and still have plenty of extra length to plug in.

I got an interesting catalog in the mail recently that miniaturists may find useful. It is from Micro-Mark. They are specialists in small tools, mostly for railroad scale but there are plenty of things that could really help mini-fans (tiny jigsaws, drills, different types of finishing paints and stains, chemicals to make things look weathered, a mini lumber yard, precision hobby knives, clamps and micro-screws, the list goes on).

www.micromark.com

Most everything that i used for my Harrison, I use for my half-scale projects. One idea that I had was to start a thread where we can share all of our favorite vendors who sell half scale supplies/furniture. I have seen mention of different websites, but I think it might be nice to put it all in one thread. What do you think?

-Janet H. (the other Janet on the forum):wave:

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We started listing suppliers in the pinned 1/24th topic at the top of this forum. The only problem is that we cannot talk about bad experiences, only good ones, so it's all very much buyer beware. Also businesses that are "in business" one year may be "out of business" the next. There was a really nice gal who used to keep up a list of Smaller Scale Resources, but I don't know if she maintains it anymore.

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Kathryn and all that don't have a Micro Mark gluing jig, I have had mine for about twenty years. I use it more than any other kind of clamp for furniture and other things. It is so much easier to make things square with it. I do believe that they last forever. Save your pennies or wait for a sale and grab one. You won't ever be sorry. They are wonderful. When they are on sale, they go for under twenty dollars sometimes. Money well spent! No. I don't work for Micro Mark. I am just a big fan of the company. :thumb:

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It's only a matter of time before I cave in and buy one. It's good to know it's a quality product, thank you Casey. I was wondering if it was worth the money. I know it will make my life easier. I wonder if I can convince someone to buy it for me for Christmas? Now THAT's an idea!

My boss said he'd try to make one for me, that should be interesting.

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Well, I have to clean my computer screen again from drooling while on the Micro Mark site :lol: If their gluing jig is good enough for Zar and Tessie, it must be fab!

The pinned topic is really what convinced me to give this scale a go.

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Zar swears by it....Tessie just likes to try to fill it with water for a wading pool.... That's pretty hard to do. Two of the corners are open so that you can fit the overhang of a counter or table in and still get a square finish. Just though you might want to know about that when you get it.

The only problem if someone makes you one....It could be just enough off to mess things up. You never know.

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The only problem if someone makes you one....It could be just enough off to mess things up. You never know.

:whistle: I told him what you said and he's taking it as a personal challenge. This will be fun to see what he comes up with. :groucho:

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:whistle: I told him what you said and he's taking it as a personal challenge. This will be fun to see what he comes up with. :groucho:

LOL. Is he going to provide you with the metal stage and eight extra strong magnets to go with it? Accuracy is the most important thing and the method of holding things in place is a close second. Good Luck!!!:lol:

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Well, after thinking about it for most of today(got nothing else done) I've decided to get a 1/2 scale house from Earth and Tree called the Litchfield. I really like the small, ha ha, size, but it's big enough to personalize too. I'm thinking dormers on the second floor for light, more windows outside, maybe even adding a removable wall to the open side with a full dormer to peek through :whistle: I just really fell for the porch; it's so cute :giggle:

Here's a link to it in case you guys want to see. I'm sure mine will not look as good as that one, but I'm going to do my best :banana:Litchfield

Since this is my first attempt at putting in a link, I'm apologizing in advance in case it doesn't work :doh:

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Micro Mark is most definitely NOT a "here-today-gone-tomorrow" company. When I got my gluing jig I got two extra packets of magnets and when I'm making windows I betcha I've used all two dozen of them!

My latest sale purchase from Micro Mark is a draw plate, that I've been searching for for YEARS! It will allow me to make custom-sized dowels for 1:24 furniture parts that would be too fragile to turn on the lathe.

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I love the Litchfield! When I bashed my Primrose into 1/24th, I loosely based the resulting house on that plus two other sources.

Casey, he's the youngest of three brothers so he's a little competitive. He has an elaborate workshop for both metal and wood... he even has a forge and an anvil. He might just come up with something, it's hard to say. I'm still going to ask for the micromark jig from my family for Christmas, and if he makes me one... then I'll have two.

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Now that sounds like a good plan :thumb: If you had two, think how many more projects you could work on at once :whistle:

Have you looked at my signature lately? :giggle:

I think I need a bigger desk...

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I've ordered a gluing jig from Micro Mark too. Kept putting it off thinking ah I'll never use it etc. But boy has that come in handy! I used it the whole time I built my Lydia Pickett House and it's really helping with my 1/144th houses too. I've got their catalog also, and practically every page is turned down for an item for my dream list of tools LOL. Also MicroMark carries different glue bottles with precision tips. One looks like an accordian plastic bottle with metal tips that I've used on 1/4 scale and also 1/144. Love them.

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I have caved to mini-peer pressure and ordered a gluing jig from Micro Mark. I am sooo weak :lol:

I heard from Kari at Earth and Tree. They are just so wonderful I can't say enough about them. I put a note in my order mentioning I was planning on putting dormers in; their cutting man, Ryan, is on vacation right now, but when he gets back he will be cutting me a kit complete with holes for the dormers I want to install :banana: I didn't think customer service like that even existed anymore! They have a customer for life even if for some things they may be a little more than I could get it elsewhere. :thumb:

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