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What is Quarter or "O" Scale and How Can I Tell if My Building is That Scale?


Quarter scale dollhouse

Quarter scale dollhouses can be very detailed

Lesley Shepherd

What is Quarter Scale?:

1:48 or Quarter scale doll houses are catching on in popularity as more and more laser and molded resin miniatures become available. In this scale 1/4 inch = 1 foot. Long a main railroad scale for toy trains as "O" scale, parts for house exteriors are easy to come by from Model Railroad suppliers such as Grandt Line who have also created 1/4 scale dolls'house kits. The scale appears to be most popular on the West Coast. But is also gaining ground in the UK where Petit Properties have introduced a range of very reasonably priced kits.

Advantages of Quarter Scale:

The main advantage of quarter scale for dolls' house collectors is its size. The 1:48 scale house pictured above occupies 6 x 7 inches and has three rooms, a porch and a garden. This is a fraction of the size of an equivalent 1:12 scale house. The scale is much easier to adapt to than most people imagine. Plans for simple 1/4 scale houses are available in several back issues of Dollhouse miniatures magazine, including July 2003 (Americana House) and December 2003 (Visions of Sugarplums ) both by Debbie Young.

Viewing Quarter Scale Buildings and Dolls' Houses:

A number of collections of quarter scale houses exist online. Anna - Carin Betzén's quarter scale pages showcase projects and samples of her 1/4 scale houses. Sue Herber has whole villages available as kits and Petite Properties in the UK is developing a range of very reasonably priced 1:48 scale cottages. The large dollhouse shows listed below also showcase the work of 1/4 scale artisans.

Laser Assisted Design:

With the emergence of laser cut furniture and house trims, furniture for 1/4 scale dollhouses is becoming increasingly detailed. Pamela Junk Miniatures and Susan and Andrew’s Miniatures have a wide variety. Increasing numbers of wallpapers, fabrics and accessories are also emerging in this scale.

Easy to Try:

The scale is surprisingly easy to work in with a satisfying amount of detail. There is even an online miniaturist’s club, the Quarter Connection. and several large miniature shows have workshops and 1/4 scale artisans. You can start with furniture kits or building kits from any of the links above, or begin with online projects or articles from magazines.

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