Miniature Buildings and Model Houses
Christmas Village Displays
Wherever you choose to position your Christmas village miniatures, it is essential that you start off with a solid and stable base. If you are planning to build different levels, you will definitely be adding considerable weight to the table or shelves, even before the addition of the fairly heavy porcelain houses.
When building mountains, take your time to ensure that they are stable, particularly when making small towers of boxes. It is often advisable to tape any boxes together for extra stability. And if possible, try to locate your display in a corner or to one side of the room, out of the way, to avoid it accidentally being knocked by passers-by.
For those with young children fascinated by the models, consider placing a small sheet of clear, rigid Perspex plastic along the front, to prevent inquisitive hands reaching over and moving your carefully positioned pieces and figurines.
Even if you only have a narrow shelf or fireplace, there is no excuse not to have at least a few houses. These can be positioned in a row on shelves, rather like they are lining a street. If this is the effect that you are hoping to achieve, choose buildings that are of a similar size, shape and character. The collection of thin, one-sided 'facade' houses sold by Lemax are ideal for shelves and come with built-in battery compartments underneath, with hidden switches conveniently situated on the side of each building.
If you have just a few small buildings, you could lay them out in a big painted cardboard box, with the top and front cut out. For a permanent box diorama, a solid base can be created using plaster, although for many eager collectors, there are simpler, equally effective and less messy solutions, such as white sheets of polyester snow fabric or even cotton wool.
When arranging your buildings on a table or shelves, you will find that you can achieve a most impressive and village-like layout by grouping your model porcelain houses and shops in clusters, rather than spreading them out individually, far apart. Try to leave space for landscaping, trees and figurines.
The following photo shows a collection of both Lemax and Department 56 houses, with close similarities in style and expert detailing. From left to right, top to bottom, these are:
- Department 56 - Fulton Fish House, Peekytoe Crab Shack, Ed's Diner, Sophia's Pizzeria, Bob's Truck Stop and Our Lady of Grace Church.
- Lemax - Christmas Lane, Clark Residence, Geppettos Toy Shop, Market Square, Santa's Cabin, Town Hall, Toy Box, Tudor Lane Post Office and the Wayside Cottage.