Saturday, 18 June 2016

Life's not perfect

I had a bit if a whinge about the kit in my previous post, so I may as well continue here.

There is a good reason to do this - please take it as a reminder that if you want utter realism and you are a perfectionist then a kit build is almost definitely not for you.  Different makers will vary in quality but even within one maker the houses will vary and I am sure they will all fall short of perfect.  That said - try to assess how fussy you will be and then if you are in the fussy bracket, be very careful choosing your house.

tiddly steps

Just today, with all the house front done, I suddenly noticed that that the steps up to the door looked more like a staircase rather than the usual few steps.  So, already a bit peeved, I then spotted they consisted of treads just half an inch wide. If you translate this to real world, we would have steps with a six inch tread.  Believe me you will struggle to ascend them and its sideways only and with care when coming down!!!!

I finally figured what the overall problem was with the basic design .... the exterior pavement/basement isn't deep enough - so we have the issue of not having enough height to get into the house from the area and having to have a staircase rather than a couple of steps to enable us to get into the house.  If they had made the stairs a reasonable depth they would have come all the way to the front edge of the entrance wall which clearly wouldn't do.  The only option is the one taken, they have squeezed in a steep climb over a short depth and so very narrow treads.  Hey ho, let's try hold the thought that dollhousing is all about illusion.  It is miniatures that are about realism.

good fit railing

The railings also left something to be desired.  The ones on the right edge were too long and I spent ages drilling into the post to take the excess horizontal bars rather than cut them shorter.  My thinking was this might be a good idea to give the whole run added support.  I then went to the left hand side and, guess what, they just touch the post (this is an OK thing) so no drilling was needed on this side.  Now I wanted the sides to match.  Back to the right and trim those to fit and turn the post so the drilled holes go to the back.  Left and right ends now mach and are sort of sorted.

boo hoo

As for the railings at the front and centre on both sides of the stairs, there is a big gap and there is nothing I can do about this.  W...e....l...l there is actually.... further down the line I think I may have nice metal ones made by The Iron Works and Black Country Miniatures.

I repeat - do not let this complaining put you off DHD kits - they are nice designs, good sizes, good value for money and for any normal person would be just brilliant.  I just find that with every build I do I get pickier and pickier.

Since writing this DHD are now using a laser cutter and have whacked out a lot of nice and also fairly unusual houses; even Dalton House has been tweaked.  So please interpret this post as being more about deciding what level of perfection you want to work at before buying a house rather than it being a moan about a particular vendor.


  1. Hi Em! I think that had you not mentioned it I wouldn't have taken any notice of the shallow stair tread- So There! :D
    The only thing that I've noticed is that ascetically the top step would look less awkward if the gaps on either side of it were plugged. Could you consider infilling it with a narrow planter box the height of the concrete on either side? I know that life, as you say "is not perfect" which is why our hobby offers so many opportunities for dreaming, yet I have found that if something is really bugging you visually, then it continues to bug you, even if you are trying to ignore it.
    Anyway, I know and fully appreciate that you have to pick your battles, even when it comes to a doll's house. :D


    1. Great minds, Elizabeth.... the plant boxes are on the 'to do' list. Purpose built (by me) 'lead' planters probably with the ubiquitous bay trees. Thanks for suggesting it though I may not have got there and it will solve the falling down the gap problem. I am also considering a small row of railings on top of the flat handrail at the top of the steps as the height of that now is wrong thanks to the step fiddling. Why does every solution make another problem? Marilyn

  2. I wouldn't have noticed the treads either but you are looking at it every day and yes, that would bug me too. Once spotted, it never goes away. As for the railings (that gap would annoy me too) Perhaps another spindle would close the gap or maybe laser cut railings painted in metal paint?

    1. Treads, schmeds, gonna ignore them..... or not! As for the railings that is in the lap of the gods. My cunning plan is that when I have pretty much finished the house I will spend the rest of my years making it better. I will buy nicer things and oust the less pleasing version and first on the list is to replace the railings with proper ones from Iron Works & Black Country Miniatures. I am resisting for now as I'd like to spend the hundred plus they will cost me on other things to progress the build. Marilyn