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Book Review - Thirties and Forties Miniatures in 1:12 Scale by Jane Harrop

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Front cover of Jane Harrop's book, Thirties and Forties Miniatures in 1:12 Scale

Front cover of Jane Harrop's book, Thirties and Forties Miniatures in 1:12 Scale

Photo Courtesy Price Grabber Copyright 2007 Used With Permission

The Bottom Line

A well written book with a wide range of easy to follow instructions for furniture and accessories to create a basis for a 1930's or 1940's middle class home. The projects use a variety of materials and showcase basic skills that will enable a miniaturist to complete more complex furniture and accessory projects. The detail and finish are simple but very effective for the particular period covered.
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  • Well Designed Projects For A House Full of Furniture and Everyday Accessories
  • Clear, Well Illustrated Instrucions Laid Out In Pictures as Well As Written Form.
  • Projects Are Made With Card And Inexpensive Craft Wood, Materials Are Easily Obtained.


  • Written Mainly for the UK Market, Will Require Some Small Translations of Terms for Materials


  • Clear well laid out instructions and tips for creating 1:12 scale miniatures with the feel of the 1930's and 1940's.
  • Styles are utilitarian rather than Hollywood glamor. These pieces are ideal for middle class and farmhouse scenes.
  • Good range of skills illustrated. The skill set developed will be useful for many more detailed miniatures.
  • Use of wood where necessary, and card where wood is not an advantage. Good introduction to building with both materials.

Guide Review - Book Review - Thirties and Forties Miniatures in 1:12 Scale by Jane Harrop

Jane Harrop's book gives brief snapshots of life in the 1930's and 1940's in both the UK and the USA. Divided into sections for various areas of the house, she gives the miniaturist simple furniture and decorative projects, as well as information on appropriate period materials and styles for a middle class home of the time. For each project there are historical notes, dimensions of the finished piece, suggested skill level and templates for cutting pieces. The projects range from simple non working decorative lamps to dressers and wardrobes with working drawers, all in a simple period appropriate style.

The book covers four areas of the home; the hallway, living room, kitchen and bedroom. Each section contains a range of projects aimed at various skill levels. The hallway section has instructions for a hat and coat rack, a cactus, a tea cart, a child's scooter, a gas mask, and a woven shopping cart. The living room projects include a rocking chair, magazine rack, two non working lamps, a wall mirror, console and table top radios, a sewing table with a drawer, a magazine rack, fireside chair, dining chair and rocking chair, mirror, electric fire, drop leaf dining table, basic sideboard, eyeglasses and books. The kitchen section has instructions for a washboard with a wringer, a clothes drying rack, sink and draining board, gas and electric stoves, pots and pans, refrigerator, kitchen cabinet, food safe, storage containers, mixing bowl and wooden spoon, breadboard and bread knife, carpet sweeper, and pot holder. In the bedroom section there are instructions for single and double beds, a simple wardrobe with working drawers, a chest of drawers, a bedside table, a dresser or chest of drawers, a chifferobe (half wardrobe and half drawers), and a bedside rug

Fifteen projects, mostly accessories, are designed for beginners. Eighteen are suggested for intermediate miniaturists, and include the child's scooter, tea cart, stoves and wardrobe. Advanced projects include the woven shopping cart and the more elaborate pieces of furniture. The nine projects listed as requiring advanced skills are mostly those with fitted doors or sets of drawers.

Who Would Benefit From This Book? This book offers the reader an introduction to a wide range of skills which can be adapted for many miniature projects. The furniture projects, especially those for the living and bedroom, can be adjusted for use in many settings. There writer has worked hard to help a miniaturist create a range of furniture and accessories to make a generous base for 30's and 40's scenes. Although most of the designs are based on war time furniture in England, the range is very similar to that found in middle class America during the same period, and many of the pieces can be adapted for use in contemporary settings.

Price and Availability - Published 2007 by GMC (Guild of Master Craftsmen) Publications in large format soft cover (175 pages). Available through many retailers. ISBN 13: 978-1-86108-501-6 ISBN 10: 1-86108-501-x Price $15 - $20.

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