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Review of Fairbanks by The Dolls House Magazine

December 3rd, 2009

Our dolls’ house kits are regularly reviewed by the hobby’s leading publications. The following review of Fairbanks by Sarah Lawrence is taken from The Dolls House Magazine, issue 44. Fairbanks has since been replaced but we have many new and exciting childrens dolls’ houses available.

FairbanksIt may have been time-consuming, but Sarah Lawrence found this 1930s house well worth the effort.

Each kit from The Dolls House Emporium comes with a set of clear instructions, in an easy-to-read step-by-step format. The Fairbanks – the Emporium’s 1930s-style house – is no exception. The kit even includes a turntable, so that you can rotate the model and view it from every angle as you build.

One of the few drawbacks of the kit is its size. The house takes up quite a lot of room in the early stages of its construction, and demands quite a large display area.

Building
The Fairbanks was a most enjoyable house to build. The completion of an initial dry run gave me a clear indication of how well the pieces would fit. Before fixing the shell of the house together, I painted each of the ceilings. Once the structure was assembled, I began decorating and lighting the house. I deviated from the instructions on one occasion by installing my own lighting, but other than that I stayed true to the guide. Although a plan for a copper tape lighting system was included in the instructions, I am not a lover of copper tape so I decided to light the house my own way.

FairbanksLight change
First, I fixed a plug strip into the roof. Because the roof is not permanently attached, the fittings can be accessed in case the lights fuse. I fitted the downstairs ceiling lights, and passed the wires through the small holes I had drilled through the downstairs ceilings. The wires were taken along the upstairs floors, and to the corners of the rooms. They were fixed with masking tape for a smooth finish. The wires were then passed through the upstairs ceiling into the roof, and plugged into the plug strip. To hide the bulge under the carpets, small grooves were routed into the upstairs floors.

In order to attach the transformer to the plug strip, I purchased a hollow tube from B&Q, and passed the wire down through it. Next, I attached the tube to the back of the house, where it resembled a drainpipe. The wire was then fed through a hole – which I drilled – under the house, and then attached to the transformer. After being plugged into the wall, the circuit was complete and The Fairbanks was lit to perfection.

FairbanksWindows and doors
The windows and doors of The Fairbanks were the most time-consuming parts of the kit to complete. As they are already fitted with acetate, it is essential to have a steady hand, or lots of masking tape, when painting and staining. I stained all of the wooden pieces: stairs, windows, doors and skirting, in a Medium Oak wood-stain, and painted the frames with great care to avoid staining the acetate. The stained glass transfers were easy to add, once the stain had dried.

FairbanksGarden
The back garden is very simple to create, and can be designed in any style. I have chosen to use a lawn and some flowers, but you could choose a patio and a barbecue, or perhaps a small vegetable garden enabling the occupants to be self-sufficient.

Results
Due to its size, and the need for a steady hand when decorating the windows, the kit would make an ideal second or subsequent project for a dolls’ house enthusiast.

I decided to follow the look The Dolls House Emporium created for their brochure, as I wanted to find out how easy it was to re-create. Although it was fairly time-consuming, the end result was a comfortable property, just waiting for the right family to move in with their furniture and personal belongings.

Visit the main website to view the full range of childrens dolls’ houses »

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