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The following is a randomly selected newspaper headline from many years ago:

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I have also added a separate page to the blog for the Tower of Magic with a brief summary of all the rooms of the ToM in the one spot. The link is just below this and above the main body of the blog, or you can just click here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Little Boxes

Lately I've been looking at houses.  If you don't count 48th scale I haven't done a full house in ages, just room boxes and small projects and I was starting to get itchy.  It's time for another whole house.  I don't have room for another 12th scale house, so whatever I do has to be in 24th (half) scale.  The house I found that I liked best is the 24th scale version of Trelawney Manor, but no one will ship it to Australia (at least not for a price I can afford).  But I'd fallen for the idea of a large (smaller scale) manor house somewhere in the 1830s or 40s.

So then I had this wild idea . . . . .

Boxes like the ones above are constantly available from a local store in a changing variety of colours and designs and in a range of sizes all for just $2 a each.  They're made of strong cardboard and one size of these boxes makes good 12th scale vignettes.  I used one to house the Christmas scene pictured below a couple of years ago.

They're a good size for a small scene like this, but nowhere near deep enough to use as a proper room box . . . in 12th scale.  Then it occurred to me, I don't necessarily want a 12th scale room.  If the boxes are only half as deep as the minimum for a 12th scale room, wouldn't they be perfect for a 24th scale room?  Glue several rooms together and you get a house as big as you want.  I clung onto this idea for a few days until I had a chance to hit the shops, tape measure in hand, only to discover none of the sizes of box were quite right for 24th scale.  Phooey.  The smallest box size was perfect for 48th scale rooms however, so half a dozen of them went into my shopping basket.  Then another thought, Why just one room per box?  I wanted a big house anyway.  The largest size of box worked out to be a good size for dividing into six 24th scale rooms.  So I bought two of these boxes so I could have a twelve room house.

Rushing home I began to plan the layout of my new 'house', but even with twelve rooms I kept running short on space.  I considered not having stairs and relying on fake doors in the back wall to create the illusion there may be stairs somewhere out of sight, but if you're going to design a house from scratch, why should you have to compromise?  So instead of positioning both boxes directly against each other I cut up the lids of the boxes to create an extra room between the boxes for the central staircase.

By making two of the rooms double sized, I now have a thirteen room mansion.  I used the lids of the boxes to make the stairwell as by adding the room between the boxes the lids would no longer have covered the whole front of the house anyway.  I haven't decided yet whether to make a front to make it look like a proper house or if I should leave the front clear to display the inside.  I think I'll leave that decision until I see how the insides turn out.  If I make a mess of things, solid front to hide it away it will be.

The interior of the house will be set sometime in the very early Victorian era, somewhere around the 1830s or 40s.  So the first thing you'll tell me about this is that at that time they did not have toilets like the one you can see in the photo above and indoor bathrooms at all were rare.  Well, I already had the 24th scale bathroom set so I figure I might as well use it and I think I can snap the cistern off the loo and mount it on the wall to create a slightly more appropriate high flush system.

Despite getting carried away with this new 24th scale project, I also managed to make a start on the next 12th scale room for the Tower of Magic.  Originally, this room was going to be the bathroom, but I couldn't make up my mind on the layout, colour scheme, design . . . OK, basically on the whole room, so I pushed the bathroom back for a later time and will make this room something else.  This means that the structure in the back corner is not a shower regardless of what it currently looks like.  As for what it actually is . . . I'll tell you next week!

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