Sunday, 6 February 2011

1/24th kit reviews: nightstand, bookshelf, chest of drawers

This week I was adding more furniture to my little girl's room, using three inexpensive kits that I bought at Miniatura.  But first of all, I finished off the Flutterbye kits by making up the clothes hangers and the basket.

The clothes hangers are absolutely minute.  There were no instructions, but what I did was to curve a hook from the supplied wire, and glue it with a dab of glue onto one side of the hanger.  While that was drying, I cut out the artwork, and then glued the artwork straight over the wire.  This worked great for the first hanger.  For the second hanger, I glued on the wire, cut out the artwork, put glue on the artwork, and reached for the hanger only to find that it had completely disappeared.  I looked for 10 minutes all over myself, the table and the floor, meanwhile with the artwork congealing on my fingertip.  I had to give up in the end.  However, my brilliant DH came home and heard my tale of woe, and conducted his own fingertip search.  He eventually spotted the wayward hanger, clinging to one of the struts of the table.  How it got there I have no idea.  These are gorgeous but now I'm scared of losing them, and have shut them in the wardrobe drawer. You will note in the picture below that while I was searching for the hanger, I did find the missing flower-shaped cupboard handle that I lost last week.  Sigh...

The basket is of printed paper, from the artwork included with the kits.  It consisted of a side piece, round outer base, round inner base (smaller), and a finishing strip for the rim, and a handle.  It was fairly straightforward to put together, and quite cute.

Kit Review:  Model Village Miniatures 1/24th Bed Side Table

This is an extremely reasonably priced kit for a basic nightstand, from Model Village Miniatures, which cost £2.95. As you can see, the pre-cut wooden pieces come in clearly labelled bags, accompanied by non-illustrated but clearly written instructions, and a colour photograph of the finished piece.  I painted the wood in the same colours I used for the Flutterbye furniture.

This is a dry assembly, so the top is off-kilter as otherwise the pieces wouldn't stand up for the photograph.  I found the pieces were accurately cut and fit well together with no sanding necessary.

Kit Review:  Model Village Miniatures 1/24th Bookcase

Again, very reasonably priced at £2.50, and once again well labelled and packaged, and accurately cut pieces.

This is the dry fit, so top and base are off-kilter as they are designed to be centred on top of the sides - but if I tried to do that for the photo, the whole thing would collapse without glue.

Petite Properties 1/24th Chest of Drawers

This is a new line of laser-cut kits from Petite Properties, the brilliant UK builders of detailed and unusual 1/24th scale houses and 1/48th scale kits. I have one of their 1/24th houses, the Fisherman's Rest, which I turned into a tearoom.  At Miniatura they were showing a line of 1/24th scale kits which are laser cut from stiff card, similar to mat board.

The chest of drawers has one working drawer, and two false drawers.  The kit comes with the pieces shown, cut all from card, and six beads to use as drawer knobs (one of which I promptly lost, sigh... but I wasn't going to use them because they are black, so it was ok).

The pieces are very cleanly cut, and the instructions are excellent and very well illustrated.  However, I had some issues with getting a smooth paint finish on the card, particularly on the edges of pieces.  I found I had to watch the rectangular frames for the drawer fronts, as they easily became slightly warped in the middle so they didn't look exactly rectangular any more. The sides/front, and the base trim piece, have scored corners so that you can bend them into a box-shape.  This worked ok on the larger side/front piece, but I found the base trim started to peel its layers apart at the score mark when I bent it to shape. I didn't use it in the end, partly because the corners looked so crude.

I also found that my working drawer front didn't fit into the drawer cut-out in the front, and while it was relatively easy to shave the opening bigger with a scalpel, it was also very easy to bend the card front when putting pressure on it.

All in all, I felt the kit wasn't very robust and it felt more like a display model than an actual piece of furniture.  I think I prefer to work in wood. However, it was very cheap (£4.49 on their online shop) and there are many accompanying kits of furniture so you could furnish a whole house very cheaply - as long as you didn't plan to touch the furniture much once it was in place.


I wanted my three kits to fit into my Flutterbye bedroom, so I decorated them with some leftover artwork and    low-res internet images.  I was surprised when I put them into the bedroom, at how giant they seemed beside the original Flutterbye wardrobe, table and chair.  But they look true to scale when I put them in the Miss Lydia Pickett bedroom.  I think it is because the wardrobe, table and chair are 'child sized', so are somewhere in scale around, maybe, 1/30th?


  1. All those pieces are gorgeous! I can't imagine losing something that small! I would never find it. I can't wait to see the house when it is done....but then again I love seeing each pice as you get it done. The whole house is going to be fantastic!

  2. Your miniatures are so great I have become one of your followers. I also make miniatures. Please visit my blog.

  3. Isn't it surprising how much work goes into these little pieces of furniture? No-one guesses just how much when they see them all in place at the end, but it is worth it all. Mini hugs, Sandie


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