Sunday, 30 October 2016

Halloween Special: And now for something a little different...

These days it's possible to buy almost anything you can think of in miniature. There was a time when choice was limited to a Victorian or Georgian dollshouse so it wasn't too hard to pick a theme and get going. Not any more...

One of the ongoing projects in our house is my husband's castle. He had seen a kit for sale but my dad knew he could make something far superior so for Tim's 40th birthday, my parents gave him the three room building below.

Quite rightly, they didn't decorate it as that's such a personal choice they wanted Tim to decide how it should look. He was thrilled with it (still is) and it meant a lot to me that we could share the hobby. I was pretty lucky to marry a man who not only tolerates my miniature obsession but also joins in.

The problem is Tim's going to be 50 next month. Yep, that's 10 long years the poor castle has been nothing more than MDF.  

There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, we're perfectionists when it comes to our miniature projects but between us, we have very little skill. We know how good it could look but we're scared to start in case we get it wrong.

Secondly, Tim has changed his mind so many times over the years about the theme I've completely lost track of what it's going to be.

What started as a witch's home then became a Victorian Doctor Who themed castle. That turned into a monster's lair and for the moment, he seems to have settled on a magical superhero's headquarters.  

We haven't totally neglected the project though as every time I go to a show I pick up a little something that will, I hope, be on display one day. With Halloween upon us it seemed like a good time to share some of his treasures.

Anyone got a miniature feather duster?

The first piece I bought was this table and chair set (now complete with authentic dust), back when the theme was very definitely witch-related.

Handy for going into battle
At one point there was talk of wood panelling and a nod to medieval times which is probably why we ended up with the pieces above. Whatever the final theme, I still think they'll look pretty good on the walls.

Then there's one of my favourite pieces - a beautifully put together shelving unit complete with scrolls, books and maps. I suspect there are hundreds of spells and potion recipes in those books, just waiting to be discovered (by a witch, monster, Doctor Who, whoever). 

I tend not to buy this kind of thing, generally believing that half the fun is in finding the right miniatures and putting it all together yourself. However, when I saw this I knew Tim would love it and it was so nicely done - so into my tiny tote bag it went (after paying for it, obviously).

A selection of the 'horrifying' things that will find a home in the castle

In recent years there has definitely been more unusual miniatures at the exhibitions so it's getting easier to pick up a skull, a book of spells or even this amazing room divider.

There's a close up below (because I think some of these pieces are just lovely).

One day I imagine there'll be a lot of shelving in the castle full of potions, which is why we ended up with jars of dragons' blood, eyeballs and tapeworms...

Everything you need to conjure up... who knows what? 

Of course, even the most accomplished witch/wizard/superhero can't remember everything so they're going to need a few books - and what better place to store them than an old coffin?

One day I hope to post pictures of the finished castle - or at least a work in progress - and hopefully we won't be waiting another decade.


  1. I think I've changed my mind... no, no... just kidding! Thank you for the lovely write-up. Hopefully this will inspire me to crack on with the task at hand. ;)

  2. You're not allowed to change your mind! It would be lovely to get it finished (or even started...)

  3. The bookcase not having a home is criminal - I look forward to seeing it in situ, one day.

  4. Nicely Done...!!!
    wonderfulimages !
    and a Happy Halloween...

    1. Thank you - glad you like them :-)

    2. We do like that scroll cabinet... was working a bit on a few 1/6th scale pieces ourself... a great weekend to you and yours...

  5. I can't think of a much better present from in-laws than a handmade miniature castle...!

    1. I may be a little biased but I think they're great in-laws!