Text by Anna-Carin Betzén
When I was new to 1:48 scale, I encountered a number of company and brand names that I wasn't familiar with. In particular, I didn't know that there were some companies that carried a fairly complete assortment of mini supplies. So, now that I know a bit more, I'm writing a guide that I would have enjoyed having several years ago! I hope someone else will benefit from it. Note that model railroad shops may carry some of these items, particularly landscaping supplies and scale lumber, and perhaps plastic windows and doors.
Most of the companies below have online ordering and take VISA and MC. I have no connection to any of them other than as a customer. If you live in Sweden or other parts of Scandinavia, do visit my bi-lingual supply sources page, for suggestions on where to find supplies locally.
carries just about everything for the quarter incher. Kits, supplies, building components, etc. It aims to be a complete resource, and it certainly is - visit the website and see for yourself! You may have heard about The Quarter Source as an offline catalog, but it went online in 2008 so now it's better than ever.
1:48 scale kits by a few different makers. Lots of 1:12 scale accessory kits too. Useful supplies for smaller scales include ultra-fine glitter, no-hole beads, and floral foam - all in several colors. Also various landscaping supplies, including lycopodium. Tiny Turnings.
Thin wood strips by Northeastern Scale Lumber, choppers by Nortwest Short Line, landscaping supplies by Woodland Scenics, and lots and lots of different tools. Among other things, I've bought a replacement saw blade with high teeth count for my miter box, and a set of drill bits for drilling miniature holes. Free catalog.
Formerly a part of Northeastern Scale Models. Manufactures thin wood strips and wood sheet in different dimensions, sheetwood for siding etc., also 1:12 scale dollhouse moldings. I ordered from them once, but now I buy their wood strips from MicroMark instead, as they carry them in neat plastic bags of ten strips, that help keeping my wood supply tidy and organized.
Choppers and other handy implements for cutting and sanding small wood pieces.
Plastic components for building 1:48 scale structures (also other scales). A large assortment of windows, several doors, different railings, brackets, etc. I've used their windows in some of the structures I've built, and also railings and brackets for furniture details.
Online store with lots of lace, trims, bunka, fabrics, no-hole beads, great metal findings, and more.
Fabrics, ribbons, trims and much more. (Miniature Luxuries took over the retail division of Sandy's Lace and Trims.)
Fabrics, lace, trims etc. Last time I checked, the catalog wasn't online yet; use the contact information on the site to get in touch with the owner and find out how to order at the moment. (Eva Steinbach purchased Etcetera Etc from Pam Killie in 2005, and I haven't happened to order since then.)
Bobbie Schoonmaker sells silk gauze at a good price, and larger scale needlepoint kits. Credit cards through PayPal only. Do visit the gallery to see her beautiful needlepoint items!
Silk embroidery thread. A double thickness of their 2/20 very fine twisted silk works fine on 90 HPI silk gauze. Located in Britain.
Wallpapers in 1:48, 1:24 and 1:12 scale. Printed silks, some are small enough for 1:48 scale. I used wallpapers from their 1:24 scale Arts and Crafts range for my English Cottage. On their 1:48 scale wallpapers, the colors are either strong and bold, or very pale. I've never ordered from Brodnax Prints directly, as I felt their fees for overseas customers were too high.
(not online - address: P.O. Box 4023, El Monte, CA 91734 Telephone: (626)287-3141) Nice wallpapers for 1:24, 1:48 and 1:144 scale (most of the wallpapers are labeled 1/2" i.e. 1:24 but lots of them work equally well for 1:48 scale). Also several glossy gift-wrap papers, and some papers with printed wood flooring, brickwork, and shingles patterns etc. Flocked wallpapers. J. Hermes' wallpaper colors are soft but not too pale, filling the gap in the color range of Brodnax Prints' wallpapers. Also, their patterns are of a different style than Brodnax Prints' 1:48 scale collection, including some naturalistic flower patterns.
The 5+ year old catalog I have from them also contains printed paper needlework samplers, a selection of 1:48 scale Grandt Line components, 1:144 scale metal furniture from Kummerow, and 1:48 scale sets of plastic dishes and flatware. I don't know if they still carry these. (Joe passed away in February 2005. In Fall 2006 his wife Janet was running their business; I don't know what's happened since.)
A complete range of landscaping supplies, often found in good model railroad stores. The greenery is very good and the colors seem to be fairly lifelike; they carry tree kits, liquid water, snow, and much more. Unfortunately, the packets usually contain much more than you need, as they're intended for large railway layouts, so you might want to share with a friend. Also, their package of "flowers" (floral foam) isn't worth the money (buy them from Kitz! instead - better price and much wider color range).