Monday 18 August 2014

A Nice Little Detached in the Suburbs

The Dapol (formerly Airfix) Detached House is a classic. First released in 1956, it stands the test of time despite it's obviously dated appearance.

 Dapol 1/76 C27 Detached House
Cheap, Cheerful and Readily Available

When you see them painted up, they tend to look like the type of houses seen on Army estates. I've bought several of these for Winter of '79 games but I have to admit that I am struggling to use them as is. I will admit myself in advance that I'm being a bit precious here, but once assembled they simply don't fit the mental image I'm trying to create for my Winter of '79 suburbs.

Then I fell across this beaut of a kit bash on RMWeb. The very same Dapol model house but sympathetically converted into something more akin of my memory growing up in a house like this. I really take my hat off to the guy. Do check out the other photos in his gallery.


The thing to consider about these detached suburban houses over say classic Victorian terraces of the industrial heartlands is footprint. Together with gardens and leafy back alleys if you want to model them, you need far fewer buildings and have greater opportunity for manoeuvre and cover. Think of the scenes in Shawn of the Dead where they are making their way to the Winchester via the relative safety of the house backs.  By comparison the average 1/76 Victorian semi is only 6cm wide. That's a lot of red brick. Waltham Forest Council have produced an informative PDF on housing typologies found across their borough, whihc provides an excellent primer on C20th British housing in cities and suburbs.

Now, whilst that kit bashed Dapol house on RMWeb is perfect, it does need a lot of modelling to replicate.  I was umming and aahing about the effort required, when I came across this photo of a similar, if more down at heel house from the period. From this I figured that the the addition of a brick course, shingle roof over the front door porch and bay window could make a huge difference in the final look with far less work.

Then quite by chance I found the above Linka compatible Bay Window mould available from eBay seller Martin.Stancer. This arrived on Friday just gone. I've got plenty of Slaters OO scale (4mm) Brick embossed plastikard, so I'm going to give it a go. Will let you know how I get on.



  1. Interesting. I may well be on the look out for something similar but in 28mm, for a future project. So will follow these developments with interest. The house on RMweb is stunning.

  2. I have a whole load of these ex Airfix houses which I fully intend to make one day. :)