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Modern Miniatures, Models and Shelf Insert Kits

FINALLY there are cool, modern miniatures and model kits that aren't airplanes or cars or something your great-grandpa would enjoy building.


There are various themes and scenes such as shops, alleyways, culinary delights, detective agencies, greenhouses and gardening. Also new onto the scene are shelf inserts; designed to nestle between books on your shelf and give dimension and whimsy. Many kits also include LED lights that make your shelf come to life at night.


But now that there are options, which kit(s) are for you or a gift recipient?


We carry several types with varying levels of difficulty and average completion times.


Everyone has different tastes, attention spans, and available shelf space so here is a breakdown of the different types.

 

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Mainly Build-from-Scratch Kits

Steps such a painting and gluing cute miniature greenhouse model kit included finished green house

With these kits, you are basically building them from the ground up. They include some pre-made pieces but for the most part you will be cutting, gluing and putting together most of the components.


For example, to make a lamp you could be given two beads, some wire and a pre-made lamp shade that need to be glued together.


The LED lighting included in these kits will need to be wired from bulb to the battery pack. While the lighting is not as plug-and-play as the other kits it does NOT require you to be an electrician (speaking from experience).


Because you are creating most of it, you have the ability to customize the miniature a bit more, including deciding which pieces may or may not make it into the final miniature.


With these kits, the detail is extremely high. Everyone will want to peer into them for a while because there is so much to discover in them.


Components of greenhouse mini model kit such as glue, paint, stickers, paint brush and instructions

Attributes

  • Highest complexity (cutting, gluing, furniture building and some basic painting may be required)

  • Longer build times (10-16 hours)

  • Very high detail

  • Most ability for customization

  • Recommended for ages 14+





  • For a smaller build in this style, the Free Time Bookshop takes approximately 6.5 hours to complete


All kits in this style:


 

Shelf Insert Puzzle-like Kits

Putting together time travel modern miniature book nook shelf insert kit with train station hogwarts express

Shelf inserts, also known as book nooks, are miniature dioramas that fit between books on your bookshelf. They depict a wide variety of scenes that can create the illusion of a portal or pathway leading to a different world, adding depth and magic to your shelves.


This line of kits come in flat-pack type sheets where you punch out pieces and put them together sort of like a 3D puzzle.


There are some components that will need to be cut out or glued but it is significantly less than the 'build mainly-from-scratch kits'.


The LED lighting is pre-assembled in these kits, but they will still need to be wired through the miniature.


These are the best kits if you want to build the least amount from scratch.


Within this line of kits, both the complexity and detail vary between them. Consequently, the kits also take a variable amount of time to complete. Below we have broken down the various kits.

Components and pieces included in sakura densya or cherry blossom train miniature modern book nook kit like LED lights, stickers, tools, glue water
Contents of Sakura Densya Kit

Attributes

  • Medium Complexity (some gluing required, minimal cutting and little to no painting required)

  • 4-9 hour build time (get it done in a weekend)

  • Medium - High detail

  • Recommended for ages 14+

Magic House alley diagon inspired booknook shelf insert kit with LED lights on bookshelf



Kits from Least to Most Complex:







All Puzzle-like Kits


 

Small-Scale Miniature Kits

different miniature sets with garden with flowers kitchen baking themes retro inspired

These kits are best for those with shorter attention spans, limited display space or are slightly younger (12+).


There are some cutting, gluing and furniture building components but they also include several pre-made pieces for faster assembly. This however, doesn't meant they sacrifice too much detail.


Attributes

  • Lower complexity (Requires some cutting, gluing and furniture building but on a smaller scale)

  • 3-4 hour build time

  • Medium-high detail

  • Small footprint

  • Recommended for ages 12+

*Note that for the Taste Life Kitchen Kit, some basic painting is required.



All Small Format Mini Kits

In order of least to most complex


 

Additional tools required or recommended for each style


Mainly from scratch:

  • Cutting mat (or surface you can safely cut on)

  • X-acto knife or precision cutting tool

  • Sharp pair of scissors

  • Tweezers and/or needle nose pliers for holding while building and precision placement (kit includes tweezers but you may want a sturdier pair)

  • Toothpicks to help apply, spread or clean up glue (recommended, not required)

  • Clothespin to hold the shape of some glued components (recommended, not required)


Puzzle-like Kits:

  • Tweezers and/or needle nose pliers for holding while building and precision placement (kit includes tweezers but you may want a sturdier pair)

  • Toothpicks to help apply, spread or clean up glue (recommended, not required)


Small Mini Model Kits:

  • Sharp scissors

  • Tweezers and/or needle nose pliers for holding while building and precision placement (kit includes tweezers but you may want a sturdier pair)

  • Toothpicks to help apply, spread or clean up glue (recommended, not required)

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