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Interior Building Detail

I’ll focus on detail for a “general store” and address it from two perspectives: furnishings and commodities. 


Furnishings such as shelving, tables, work benches, chairs, display cases and counters are available. I either scratch build what I need or purchase what I need from Banta Modelworks or Ty’s Planes and Trains.

Speaking of details in general:

Finding interior and exterior detail parts for F/G scale structures is not all that simple. There are a few sources but it’s not like you can overwhelm the interior or exterior of your building with detail like you can in HO scale. Some sources that I tend to turn to include:

  1. Iron Creek Shops - They have several items that can be used in and around buildings.

  2. Wild West Scale Model Builders - Unfortunately most of their large-scale items are out of stock.

  3. Shapeways miniatures - Limited number of building details.

  4. San Juan Details - They have lots of building detail parts such as doors and windows but have very little in the way of interior or exterior non structure details.

  5. Ty’s Planes and Trains - - Ty has a reasonable amount of interior and exterior large-scale detail parts.

  6. Ozark Miniatures - Lots of G and some F scale details. Mostly what you would find in an engine facility, depot, or logging operation.

  7. Etsy - Lots to look through and you might find detail items that you can use.

  8. There are lots of manufactures of ½ scale dollhouse details.  A great source is My Favorite Dollhouse.

In my Martin’s General Store, I have a considerable amount of ½” dollhouse accessories such as food and other commodities.  Unfortunately filling a general store with ½ inch doll house details end up costing more than the building. Most people don’t notice them anyway. They tend to notice all the canned goods on the shelves. At first, I used HO scale 55-gallon drums wrapped with food can labels that I found online. I searched “free vintage food can labels”. I found a bunch. I also found a lot more that were very inexpensive. There are a lot in 1/12 scale for dollhouses. On the sites that were free I used the screen shot ap on my computer. I sized the images using Preview. I could have also sized them using the printer scale setting. I ran out of HO scale drums and started using dowel rods. I’d glue on the labels then cut the dowels. I painted the top of the cans with silver paint. For the CONOCO station I also glued labels on S and O scale drums.


If you look closely at the “goods” on the shelves in the CONOCO store you might notice that I glued 2-D images to the back of the shelves and added 3-D commodities in front. I did an online search for vintage general store photos. I found several photos with just stocked shelves of commodities. You can also find fruit crate labels online. I used some in front of my Gallegos Produce building. With a little searching you can find online images of box and bag goods. Many of them are images that are intended to be made into 3-D objects. On Etsy you can find vintage food/medicine labels in 1/12 scale. You can use your printer or Preview to scale them to 1:20.

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Image capture on the left (shift command 4) of food labels.Two pages for less than $5. They are downloaded and come sized for 1/12. I did an image capture to show what's available. The image below are ones that I found for free online. They are intended to be made into 3-D packages.

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Image above of Martin's General Store is full of commodities. Because the building is "downsized" there isn't a whole lot of room for shelving and display cases. The image on the right is a top down view on the CONOCO gas station store. The shelves on the back wall have 2-D images glued to the back of the shelves. The shelves on the left are a combination of 2-D and 3-D. The items on and in the display cases are all 3-D. The image at the top of the page on the right shows the shelf and case. Looking in the window below you really can't tell that the commodities are 2-D.

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