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Old 06-21-2008, 01:28 PM
Location: Naples, Fl. w/change
185 posts, read 594,221 times
Reputation: 101


We used soap flakes and water, mixed it with an electric mixer to make a paste. Sometimes put a little glitter in. Then apply it the way you want it. It sets up nice. I see now what your project is about. There is another place: ccollectables.com that have a few Dickens buildings. That Department 56 is something else I went on a coffee kick looking at all there sculpts. Oh and there is a store in North Texas called "Always Christmas". It's a year around Christmas store. They carry Department 56 items.
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:52 PM
Location: Mooresville, NC
1,865 posts, read 4,780,846 times
Reputation: 697
Originally Posted by Rathagos View Post
I started a collection a few years back with the intent of putting together a minature village (I think it was a Dicken's collection). I have a couple questions, if I can trouble any of you for answers...

First, is there a good online website to get online ideas and see other places people have set up and tricks of the trade (little tidbits of learned information)?

Second, is there a reputable online website(s) that we can go to to get additional structures, figures, landscaping, etc.


Hi Rath!

I'm a village collector myself so I can definitely help you with this. I have to warn you...village collecting is addictive, LOL!!

First...go back to the Department56 website...click on collecting...then click on village collecting...then click on club news....scroll down to the green box with gold lettering that says "NCC" (National Council of 56 Clubs) & go to that website. There you will find if there's any collectors clubs near you. (TX has a few that are very active). It's a great place to find out what's happening in D56 & Village collecting with lots of links.

Second...most important...check out the D56 clubs on Yahoo (I belong to 3 of them). I would start with "Matt's Group" (dept56). TONS of info on building displays, etc... DEFINITELY check out the link to Dan Lima's photo archives. Just about everyone that villages has a folder there with tons of displays to look at, "steal" ideas from (don't worry, we all do it!) & just "OOOH & AHHH" over (I have a few there myself- Rosann NY/NC). Some of them are hokey, but some are creative masterpieces with extraordinary detail.

You can learn just about anything on these groups...how to carve styrofoam, make realistic water, build trees, add a train set to your display, etc...They are a great resource & alot of really nice people from all walks of life belong to them.

You can also find some bargains on the groups too as people downsize their collections or sell them off...for other collections.

Hope this helps! WELCOME to the Village! Feel Free to PM if you have any questions!


OK...here's what the initials stand for:
CIC-Christmas in the City (my main village)
OSV-Original Snow Village (my son & I -newest village)
SVH-Snow Village Halloween (very small village)
NP-North Pole Village (originally my son's village, he has started to sell it off)
TTC-Time To Celebrate (Dept56's brief foray into the home party plan business, I was a consultant for the whole 3 yrs it was in business. Then D56 purchased Lenox & it's holdings & dumped TTC )
ALOOST- A Lot Of Other Stuff Too, LOL!!! (like Christopher Radko)
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:09 PM
Location: Its easy to be a perfectionist when someone else is doing all the work.
2,230 posts, read 5,445,804 times
Reputation: 4083
Originally Posted by Rathagos View Post
Thank you both very much... I appreciate your inputs. I don't want to make a small scene.. but a very large one. I live in a small city (100k people), and in my side of town, it's very quiet. A common thing in our town is to drive around and look at lights at Christmas.

I was hoping to put together a LARGE town on a piece of plywood or something similar. Fill it with tons of details, and prop it up in a window in a front room (surrounded by a curtain for privacy outside of the village). Then as people drove by, they would see it, get out of their cars and look at it. I think everyone likes to escape into small scenes, especially if packed with small details so every time you look somewhere else you say "Oh... cool... look at that!!"
Originally Posted by Rathagos View Post
The buildings are ceramic (I think). They are a Department 56 theme. There's other parts to it (I have a central circle.. it's a rubberized-type mat that looks like old style cobblestones used during "Charles Dickens" time.

I would use all the available accessories to me (lights, people, buildings, roads, etc.)... and the wood is just the platform to put it all on. I've seen great ideas using flour and salt for some snow effects.

The entire scent would be set on the wood platform and propped up on a table or such.

Does that make more sense?
I can see this but not sure if I can expain it. I would do a series of boxes benches tables that stack on top of each other. These could be hinged or have screw on legs. This would be the bones of the display. So that when everything was put together it would look like you were looking up a hill side. This way everything would break down into smaller units and be easier to store.

Instead of a curtain I would do a backdrop. A good cotton painters tarp could be painted with a night scene. Then you coiuld poke holes and use twinkle lights for the stars. If you cant paint you could apply a wall mural to the tarp and then over paint it an add snow etc.

If you go up instead of doing everything on the flat the more of your stuff will show from a distance.
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:22 PM
Location: Naples, Fl. w/change
185 posts, read 594,221 times
Reputation: 101
Hi Rathagos,

I found something that might interest you. I hit upon a web site. Micro-Mark. They have all kinds of HO, N, O, figures and also scenery layouts and building kits. All you would have to do is add the snow. Have you started your project? I'm doing some gourd carving, something that was a past hobby coming alive eeeeeks! I went on Micro-Mark site and found the mini blades I need, and a ton of other things as well. Was thinking of your mini village. In some art shows around Florida, needle felting isn't considered an art form. Don't know why? I think it's ridiculous. And I'm still wondering if any of New Mexico is, "Sheep Country?" Can't seem to get a reply on the New Mexico form. It might be easier to raise gourds then sheep! So might just shelve or do less of the needle felt craft and do the gourds. As always, Good Luck!
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:28 PM
Location: Eastern Shore maryland
3 posts, read 2,233 times
Reputation: 10
I think I have a couple of unopened Dickens Village Train sets.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:30 AM
Location: MA/NH
17,098 posts, read 34,498,670 times
Reputation: 16138
Miniature railroad buffs have been making village panoramas for a long time. You could get some great ideas from their projects.


I like this one:

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