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Hi everyone

I would like to introduce myself, my name is Sarah, I live in Empangeni, South Africa, where I work as a doctor.

I am a complete newbie to the world of miniatures, apart from ice cream stick cabins I built as an eight year old fashioned after the Little House on the Prairie. I have always loved dollhouses (I had a beautiful shop-bought dollhouse as a little girl inherited from older cousins), and it was my absolute favorite plaything and made my imagination run wild.

I also have a deeply entrenched love of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books. I would therefore like to make my first project a log-cabin dollhouse, furnished after the log cabin built in the second book in the series (Little house on the prairie)

I have been checking out Dura-Craft houses available on eBay. What is the difference between the Oregon trail log cabin and the Pioneer cabin by Dura-Craft? They look the same to me in the pictures posted on line.

I would also like to ask, has anyone built one of these two houses before? Are they worth it, or is there a better model kit for a pioneer cabin?

Also, what tools, glues and other supplies will I need to purchase for this project? ( I won't be using wallpaper as I want to maintain the rustic pioneer feel)

Thanks everyone, and nice to meet you.

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Hi Sarah and :welcome: to the forum!

Greenleaf Dollhouses (sponsor of this forum) has two cabins that you might also consider, the Creekside and the Shadybrook.

It is my understanding that the DuraCraft houses are made of MDF board, which is much heavier than the 1/8" plywood used in the Greenleaf kits. The difference in shipping costs to get it to you in South Africa may be a consideration.

As for supplies, you can search "getting started" and find several threads that go into detail, but essentially all you will need for this build is a utility knife, sandpaper, and glue (wood or white), Masking tape or painter's tape is good for clamping pieces while the glue dries and is also useful in doing a dry fit of the house before gluing to be sure all of the pieces fit well.(Some tabs or slots may need a little sanding.)

You won't be doing any fancy wall treatments, but you may want to stain the wood, darken it near the stove or fireplace, etc. In the US, Minwax has felt-tipped pens in assorted shades that are handy. Acrylic craft paints can be thinned down to act as a stain.(Hint: stain the pieces before gluing. The stain or paint won't stick to any little glue blobs that sneak out of the joint.)

You'll also want something for the chinking between the logs. Off the top of my head, I might consider Spackle (polyfilla), air dry clay, or even tissue paper wetted with diluted white glue. Half the fun of construction is experimenting to get just the right look.

Feel free to come here for information and suggestions. We'll look forward to watching your Little House progress, so plan to take lots of photos.

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Welcome to the little family, Sarah! I don't know about the differences between the two Dura-Craft kits, since I haven't built either cabin (I have built their San Franciscan and Cambridge kits and have a Newberg in my stash); but the company has been out of business for a number of years now, so whichever of their kits you get you'll want to be sure to have all the parts.

Under their Corona Concepts line Greenleaf has a nice little cabin kit called the Shady Brook.

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Welcome to the forum Sarah! We have other members who have done Little House on the Prairie builds. You can search on the main page to find other's interpretations of those books too. I think we also have a couple of members from South Africa; hopefully they will chime in soon. It's always fun to find others who love miniatures! Fortunately for all of us, this forum exists to share our ideas and love of this engrossing hobby. Maybe some of our South African members will be close to you geographically. You never know! :D

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Welcome, Sarah!

I too love anything Little House and log cabins. I have a DuraCraft cabin. While many of DuraCrafts kits are MDF, the cabins are wood. In my opinion, they are seriously lacking in realism. Staining the wood dark (photos all show light stain) adds to the realism. I will check but there is a company that makes log cabins that are very realistic. They don't even compare to Greenleaf and Duracraft. Don't get me wrong, I'm a die hard Greenleaf fan but not for cabins.

It will be exciting to see your build :)

Edit: I can't post links, sorry. But a company called Rustic Replica's makes kits that appear very realistic.

Have fun,


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