Category Archives: 1930 – 1950 design (UK)

Shrunk in the wash


Sunday morning

A ‘no sleep’ night so messed with minis

theinfill art deco dolls house blog, theinfill dolls house blog, theinfill 1930s-50s Deco House, Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - Medieval Tudor Jacobean dolls house blog - blocking out room furniture

and shortened the Jane Harrop 1:12 kit bed from 6 1/8″ to 5 1/8″ and lowered it about 1/4″, making it neither 1:12 nor 1:16 I suppose. Also cut up mattress to fit.

What’s been lost?

  • Lost cross-bar on headboard, but, as I had one of these beds for real, I can tell you that, depending on the depth of your mattress, you could not see the bar (but you could get your hand trapped down between mattress and it).
  • Finish no longer as ‘good’ but as will have lots of bedding on it I reckon the hacking can be disguised one way or another
  • No longer have a proportional Jane Harrop 1:12 bed

What’s been gained?

  • Bed/mattress arrangement much less ‘in your face’ in such a small room
  • Gives space at foot of bed for piece of accessible furniture
  • Is much firmer build than when I first made it – was first kit I did and struggled – I have slid the cut off piece of base and end supports into the remainder and glued
  • No longer have a 1:12 bed to lose amongst all the other things stored away for a ‘rainy day’
  • Got a JH double bed to make and have gained information that it might fit better with a slightly mix-and-match of scales planned for that bedroom if I lower it a little

What’s still to fix?

  • Got to do something about the walls – my usual method will make the room smaller all round!
  • Then establish if that wardrobe really can go in here – it appears to be made by someone’s relative way-back-when and has a pleasant look and period feel to it, not to mention it is multiple wood shades which would help bring all the odd colours of wooden items together
  • Find one of the 1:16 wooden armchairs and dress it to see if looks better than the larger match-box one as determined to have some chair by the window
  • Decide on what drawer storage will fit – always assuming I can locate the larger chest of drawers for the boy’s bedroom and put the smaller one in here
  • and so on …
  • and get some sleep perhaps and give the old brain a rest?

Combos of choice


A game of Spot-the-Difference

Been a little tied up but in the back of my mind I have been trying to decide on what goes where upstairs in this 1:12 house.  I mention the scale because I’ve some lovely 1:16 items that might fit in here and there too.

There is a very small front bedroom.  Its walls look taller because the room itself is so small.  I’ve not cropped these pictures so that we can see how much wallpaper is going to stare us in the face. By the way, all of the internal walls are bits of card and foam board propping each other up at the moment.

So far we have

theinfill art deco dolls house blog, theinfill dolls house blog, theinfill 1930s-50s Deco House, Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - Medieval Tudor Jacobean dolls house blog - blocking out room furniture

Squeeze the wardrobe in sideways. The large wardrobe is going to bust the walls.
Left photo is 1:12 wardrobe while the right one is a lovely 1:16 giving less of an overbearing feel to the room and might even rotate through 90º and still look open-able then we can see its face.


theinfill art deco dolls house blog, theinfill dolls house blog, theinfill 1930s-50s Deco House, Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - Medieval Tudor Jacobean dolls house blog - blocking out room furniture

And then there’s a totally 1:16 set-up for a younger child. More space to breathe etc but look at all that empty wall space in the 1:12 room!  (Must admit the armchair could be either scale.)

I suppose the ceiling could be lowered but that would be even more silly.  Am thinking of cladding the other children’s bedroom like the hallway and kitchen and it might do in here if it were 1:16 …

No; room is small enough already.  Needs a decision of scale or mix and match.  Not yet tried the large wardrobe with the small bed which could be quite a good compromise as the 1:12 bed looks so big in there doesn’t it?

A further so far …

  • the chair looks better by the doorway than any of the wardrobes but is an OK compromise in the 1:16
  • the 1:12 bed is too obstructive across the room
  • I like the lamp by the chair when possible
  • whichever wardrobe it is it needs to be face on so we can see it at a glance

Meanwhile, back to the this and that of life 😉

Wishfully dreaming of paddling in 1:24


Thrilling, what?
Well that’s a vote in the ‘No’ box

Finished the squaring off more or less and busy planning walls and what pieces of floating floor should remain removable for access to wiring, so not much in the line of interesting photos to share.

Warning – small over-load in mind department

Am finding my thoughts trying to float off, with the floor, into calmer, ready planned waters and was skiving around on the web, visiting some of my usual haunts – the weather forecast, email, Jane Harrop kits … – and took a fancy, oh so strong a fancy, to doing a small box scene based on her 1:24 bathroom kit – this I’ve got to see some time soon, when the pennies are ripe for the picking.  Musing on its possibilities as we speak …

Squaring away


(squaring away – meaning)

With the ground floor more or less complete it is time to check angles, square-ness, and general alignment, along with fit of the two parts of the house.

theinfill art deco dolls house blog, theinfill dolls house blog, theinfill 1930s-50s Deco House, Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - Medieval Tudor Jacobean dolls house blog - entrance hallway and other spaces

A view of the larger slice of house with hallway through to kitchen plus a little of the landing above, the dining room and the bedroom above

What should be going on

Anyone who really can make models would be horrified by the way I use materials – usually the wrong ones for the wrong purposes – and try to defy the known uses and limitations of them.  I don’t do it for the sake of ‘bloody-mindedness“, if you’ll forgive the expression.  I can’t cut wood adequately and there is only so much I feel prepared to ask someone else to cut and prepare form me before I reckon it stops being my work and is really theirs.  I suppose I’m not a good sharer(?) who knows.

The upshot is that I don’t go out of my way to use unsuitable materials, but use what I can handle or learn to handle.

Structural Needs – materials

  • be adaptable, carve-able and easily cut and drilled
  • to be light as, once more than two pieces are joined, it has to be lifted and manoeuvred around
  • as rigid as possible – even if this can only be achieved by applying wood-strip or other batons at strategic places
  • needs to be forgiving – ie when it goes astray it can be re-handled and adjusted and allows bodging where necessary

Problems of the Materials

I like to use foam board.  Pieces of this material warp when it is used other than for small areas.  There are different types of foam board and recommendations can vary but David Neat’s website has some of the best information, instruction and advice I’ve come across.

It’s in the sandwich

To reduce warping of the board I try to buy the Kapa-line foam board for the main structure and use wood-strip batons throughout, before adding a layer of mount-board to the sandwich.  I do this for at least three reasons.


Hogepotche Hall stands about just short of four-foot tall from the table top and has four storeys, the first two being MDF (second-hand room boxes torn apart and re-assembled, almost no cutting of wood necessary) but the top two floors and the roof are sandwiches of one sort or another.   So far, with Hogepotche which was started about six or seven years ago, the only thing that has warped are single thicknesses of recycled 3 mm card with not enough wood strip on them – these are the removable covers for the big chimney stacks which conceal the wiring runs.


Both of the models of any size that I’ve tried were first built onto an MDF base.  This is what I get somewhat else to cut to specifications.

MDF can be very heavy indeed.  The first house, Hogepotche Hall, always sat on a small work table with wheels, and, as it grew, had further leaves added to it, finally being transferred, a bit at a time, to a purpose adapted dining table (also on wheels).  So the MDF weight problem was more or less covered there, except when it needed man and woman handled on to its new home, when we needed further hands to help.

I went with MDF for the 30s – 50s build as a firm structure to as a base to build on but it’s half the thickness of the first house base – first base is about 10 mm this one 5 mm.  I have to make sure this base sits flat and level everywhere I move it as it does have a slight tendency to think about bending if allowed to stand badly for long.

From there I build up.

The Squaring

  • I was looking at the dining room with a view to go on with the bedroom above and decided that the outer wall had flared outwards and would throw the whole fit and alignment totally out.

theinfill art deco dolls house blog, theinfill dolls house blog, theinfill 1930s-50s Deco House, Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - Medieval Tudor Jacobean dolls house blog - sitting room sandwich wall allowing wiring to run behind

  • I figured that the hallway and sitting room party-wall could have a squarer fit to the return wall that forms the edge of the dining room
  • I wished to improve the fit of the two sections of the house across the front

— ~ —

Three days later

  • removed dining room ceiling and cut to a looser fit and got the outer wall to level off and now all measurements more or less match
  • lifted the party-wall and re-stuck (twice) to produce an angle closer to 90 degrees where the movable section of house snuggles in
  • dressed and am still dressing the edge surfaces of the two sections of the front wall with either brick or render effect as necessary – getting closer but there’s still going to be an annoying gap

Once again it’s the waiting game while everything dries out and settles then time to check the front small bedroom and if A-OK then add its walls …