Miniature Figures and Model Figurines
Christmas Village Displays
You can quite happily go to all the trouble (and expense) of creating your Christmas village diorama, and yet it really doesn't come alive until you start adding in your figurines. As soon as you have people walking along the pathways or positioned as if they were chatting outside a shop, the whole illusion of a miniature winter's scene is achieved.
Some of the items sold by Lemax and Department 56 do come with figures, although these tend to only be the animated or specially themed pieces with several parts.
When it comes to purchasing your figurines, you will quickly realise that the choice is huge, and although each pack may be quite inexpensive on its own, as your shopping basket quickly fills up with a marching band, singing choir, family of shoppers and a group of skiers, the overall cost can be quite alarming.
As you gradually extend and expand your village, Christmas by Christmas, you can also gradually increase its population. This makes the whole process all the more affordable and introduces an element of excitement for all of the family, particularly as the big names in this field of modelling always launch new ranges as December approaches.
One important point to consider is the character of your chosen village and its residents. Many figurines are themed and tend to fall into three main categories, namely Victorian, modern and religious.
There are always lots of Victorian-style model people for sale, dressed in period clothing, suiting a more traditional Dickens arrangement. And there will also be figures in modern dress, often carrying items such as shopping bags or suitcases, and wearing striped woolly hats and scarves.
And finally, there are the classical nativity figurines, aimed at those trying to create that iconic religious Christmas scene with Joseph, Mary and their new born-son housed within an illuminated stable, surrounded by miniature farmyard animals and perhaps some shepherds.
These characters are some of the earliest elements that started off the whole idea of a modern-day Christmas village, from its religious beginnings.
Of note, try to stand your characters on a firm base, to avoid them constantly falling and toppling over at the slightest sign of movement. If the base of your village is a little 'spongy', such as a thick piece of white polyester fabric, then a dab of PVA glue, stick glue or an adhesive pad may prove sensible. Lemax even sell an adhesive product specially designed for this purpose, known as 'Sticky Max'.
Photo showing model skiers zooming down the snowy mountainside:
The following figurines are all readily available, being manufactured and sold by Lemax.
Photo of traditional Victorian carolers:
Image showing Victorian ladies, dressed in all their winter finery:
A modern Lemax family of figurines, named the Holiday Shoppers. There are six individual pieces in total within this grouping:
This bright-red marching band comprises no less than nine miniature figures, which would easily fill up a large space in any Christmas village layout:
Filled with children, this model sledge is designed to be glued to a sloping mountainside or ski slope, providing a feeling of movement:
Photograph of Victorian family figurines decorating a model Christmas tree outside in the open:
The Lemax 'Our Snowman' is another Dickens-style offering, with two children, a small Jack Russell dog and a very smartly dressed snowmen in a waistcoat and top hat:
Picture showing traditional nativity models:
Photo of a garden centre selling a huge assortment of Lemax figurines: