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  • Dale

In the Hen House

Paper and Card Hen House with Britains scale models.

Hen House front view..

Hen House back view.

Hen House with removable parts.

As a child I enjoyed and played with Britains 1/32 scale Farm range. As an adult I still occasionally collect the animals from car-boot sales or emporiums selling vintage toys. There is certainly a continued market and interest in these models, having worked in retail I also know that people also are keen on farm buildings and layouts, a lot of the time homemade items from wood or other scale model building materials. I've made gift boxes and other 3D items from paper and card I challenged myself to create something in 1/32 scale that could sit alongside my (or somebody else's) Britains toys and not look out of place. I chose to produce a hen house, we kept chickens at home when I was growing up so there was a personal connection to making such an object and I reasoned to myself that as it was a smaller agricultural item it would be relatively simple to do.

I ended up underestimating the amount of time it would take for such a small item. Something really I should have known as this is typically the case it making objects with paper! The way that I made the piece also probably slowed things down too - to add to the effect that it could fit seamlessly into a Britains collection I thought about it in terms of play and toy-ness. Typically (at least when I was a child) the buildings and animal houses you could get would have movable or removable parts, this would be in the manner of opening doors or removable roofs to see inside. Having made the main base of my house I chose to do a removable roof to both the main frame of the coop and to the nest box. I also attempted to make a back entrance with a swinging door with a basic latch.

After about two weeks work the completed chicken house was done. Getting the finish right added to the time taken as I wanted as few paper 'seams' visible as possible. The fit isn't perfect - the roof doesn't sit quite true and the nest box sits slightly wonky and the swinging door at the back has limited mobility but all in all I'm quite content with it. I chose the colour scheme based on both Google images and the basic colouring that the toys would be painted or moulded in. From the picture with the scale chickens I'm happy that it fits in with the line. It's certainly too delicate to be played with in the same way you would with a plastic or wooden item but it's not so fragile that you can't be tactile with it. Whether I end up making another object like this remains to be seen but it has been a rewarding experience.

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