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Book Review - Miniature Dolls' Houses in 1:24 Scale by Derek Rowbottom

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Book cover of

Book cover of Miniature Doll's House in 1:24 Scale by Derek Rowbottom illustrating three of the dolls house designs covered in the book.

Photo Courtesy Price Grabber Copyright 1999 Used With Permission

The Bottom Line

Fans of 1:24 scale wooden dolls houses have plenty of finishing details and building plans to explore in Miniature Dolls' Houses in 1:24 Scale by Derek Rowbottom. The book covers basic building instructions and do it yourself building details to help novice builders successfully work in this smaller dolls house scale. The book includes full plans for a scratch built thatched cottage, a Georgian town house, Victorian shop, and Tudor manor house. Furniture instructions include a period post bed, tapered leg table, Regency chair, and Victorian shop counter.
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  • Great information on period detail and how to create details in 1:24 scale
  • Good range of interesting dolls house plans, built from easily sourced materials
  • Well illustrated, with good attention to construction detail


  • Written in 1999, must be sourced through second hand bookstores


  • Good well illustrated instructions four building four very different 1:24 scale dolls houses mainly from wood.
  • Good information on making appropriate scale finishes, roofing, stone, beams, windows and doors.
  • Designed with projects for a beginning builder, as well as individuals who like a challenge.

Guide Review - Book Review - Miniature Dolls' Houses in 1:24 Scale by Derek Rowbottom

Miniature Doll's Houses in 1:24 Scale is a good reference guide for anyone who wants to learn to make detailed front opening wooden dolls houses in 1:24 scale. Designed for a beginner who needs help adjusting to the scale measurements, Derek Rowbottom's book walks you through suitable materials and basic tools, also covering architectural details and finishing touches to make your house design look more authentic. Two starting projects are written to get a complete beginner used to working in this scale. There are detailed plans for a corner or triangular roombox, and a standard rectangular roombox, both with sliding glass fronts.

Information and Techniques Covered - by Chapter

  • Tools and Materials: Covers basic hand tools and some power tools suggested for building 1:24 scale dolls houses. Covers woods, plywoods, card, glazing materials, metals, polystyrene sheets, glues, paints and wallpapers.
  • Architectural Details: Descriptions of period details for the main styles popular with English Dolls house builders, Tudor(1485-1603), Georgian (1714 - 1830), Regency (1811-1820), Victorian (1819-1901) Included in this chapter are various architectural elements you will need to assemble any 1:24 scale dolls house including instructions for a variety of scale floors, doors, hinges, period windows, beams, panelling, fireplaces, staircases, chimneys, roofing, guttering and downspouts, lighting and electrical runs.
  • Beginner's Projects: Triangular and rectangular roomboxes with sliding glass fronts
  • Thatched Cottage: Built from thin plywood and polystyrene foam, this two story cottage has two downstairs rooms with a hinged front opening, a staircase, and two attic rooms behind the opening roof. The thatching is very cleverly made from faux fur fabric, to create thatch in the correct scale.
  • Georgian Town House: The Georgian town house has three storeys and a back extension. The two main floors have a large reception room and a staircase on each floor with two smaller rooms in the attic storey. You can choose to build an optional extension on the back of the house, which contains another two large rooms and a small garden area.
  • Victorian Shop: The front opening Victorian Shop has a two large shop windows and a one room shop on the main floor, with a staircase at the back leading to two living rooms on the second floor, and the option of two more rooms with dormer windows in the attic. Instructions are given for scratch building all the windows and doors.
  • Tudor Manor House: The most elaborate dollhouse plans are for a beamed Tudor manor house with two staircases, a great hall, minstrels gallery and kitchen wing. This plan makes a house which opens in four sections for easy access. The plans are designed so that a beginner can make a simpler house without the gallery and kitchen from the main plans, this section has six rooms, the great hall section (optional) has three attic rooms with dormers above the hall, while the kitchen extension is a single story.
  • Furniture: The book ends with a selection of furniture projects including a double bed, Tapered leg table, regency chair, and Victorian shop counter.

Price and Availability - Miniature Doll's Houses in 1:24 Scale by Derek Rowbottom, David and Charles UK, 1999 ISBN 0 7153 0836 X

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