Sunday, 18 December 2011


Brandon Williams, the smarty-pants artist behind the gorgeous ModFire , has caused more than a little  bit of a stir in the modern design world. News of his sleek fireplace has quickly filtered down the miniature grape vine thanks to the ever vigilant and style savvy Modern Mc
Unfortunately for us, these beautiful creations are only available to buy (via the link) in life-size proportions. Dangnabbit Brandon, say after me 'I must make 12th scale prototypes of everything I design in the future'! =0D

Well why shouldn't our mini homes be bang-up-to-date-slap-you-in-the-face-contemporary huh? I've made a tutorial on how to make your own 12th scale version. The following isn't the law on 'how to'. It's how I managed to replicate the ModFire but please feel free to put your stamp on the idea.

For the purpose of this tutorial I have made the ModFire out of 0.5mm aluminium sheet. There's no reason, no reason at all why you can't make this out of stiff card stock. The idea and technique are pretty much the same.

Start with one template. (click to open full size and then right clicky, save)
This is sized for 12th scale and should be printed out on the A4 setting (do not scale to fit media)

If you're making it out of card stock, print directly onto your chosen card. If you're making an aluminium type, you need to print out onto a stiff card, cut out the template and then transfer the image onto the aluminium sheet. Note there are two tabs on one side of the template. This is the overlap so that you can hold the cone shape in place with adhesive

The hole is pretty rough. I'm going to plead 'rushing like a mad woman' as an excuse but obviously you should take far more care of your own version =0/ The hole can be cut with a 3mm metal drill bit. Aluminium this thin is easily cut with a pair of scissors. It just takes a bit of patience and a little bit of sanding with 320 grit sandpaper to clean up the edges. Make sure you do all the prettying up whilst the sheet is flat. Once you've formed the shape, the edge cleaning etc becomes a veritable pain.

If you are intending to paint the ModFire (aluminium version), you need to gently scuff the surface so that the primer and paint stick. Paint has an aversion to holding onto smooth aluminium so 'keying' the surface gives the primer something to hold onto. Use a 320 grit sandpaper to scuff the surface.

Now the fun bit. Whether you are using aluminium or card stock, the principle is the same. Use a smooth tube to shape the material into a cone. If you have a ring sizer or similar, this will be a breeze. If not, the shape takes a bit of cajoling. Just keep rolling the aluminium in between hand and 'former' until the whole thing easily meets along the seam. When it's formed correctly, everything will line up perfectly. The two holes to the front and back of the ModFire will mirror each other. Its preferable to use a former slightly smaller than the circumference of the top of the ModFire. Keep rolling, rolling, rolling

When the seams meet erm...seamlessly =0} stick the tabs inside with a resin based glue (Araldite or similar) and clamp until it is dry. Yeah I know, I've used double sided sticky tape but hey, mad woman rushing and all that...

The fire basket is simply half of a plastic ball. (Ping pong or similar) Feed a ball into the base to check for size and then use a blob of blu-tack to hold it whilst you saw it in half

Clean the edge of the half of the ball with 320 grit sandpaper so it is smooth. If you're making a card version, you need to paint the ball half before you glue it into place, With the aluminium version, use the resin based glue to stick the half ball into the base of the ModFire. Take some time to make sure the ball is sitting evenly in place. Leave to set

For the aluminium version, give the whole thing an even coat of metal primer. Once dry, you can coat with your desired choice of paint.

TIP: when using spray paint, use multiple sweeping motions with the spray can and build up the layers. Don't try to cover it in one go. Chances are you'll get a run in the paint which is almost impossible to remove 0-o

Finished article

Til next time, have a great day
Pepper x


  1. You are awesome. Thank you for making this for me. I will cherish it forever!

  2. Excellent. Now who do I know who has time on their hands to make me one? ... Guess it will have to be me, then.

  3. Holy smokes. I love you. This is amazing. I can't wait to try this when I get home. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!! Thank you so much for all of the great detailed info. FABULOUS!!!

  4. @*#(&$#&@# I CANNOT HELP BUT SWEAR.

    because I cannot find the right words.

    and i overuse AWESOME whenever I visit your blog.


  5. WOW.
    Thank You! Amazing! I Love this
    I want to try...
    Hugs and Thanks

  6. Very very very cool.... I really don't know how you do it... but you do! :) Brilliant!

  7. Amazing, awesome... wow! THANK YOU!Great great job! wow, wow, wow. I have no enough words in English...:o

  8. Thank you MMc, you are so very welcome =0*

  9. Thanks M1K1 =0)

    Hey MiniDork, warm fuzzies coming right back atcha!

    *puts fingers in ears* Lol Cindy. You certainly have a way with words

  10. Hey there Kikka, thank you very much

    Aye up there Jo *waves*

    Thank you Cowboybunny. I'm glad you like it =0)

    Thank you Blanca =0)

  11. hey pepper,
    Just noticed youor blog and love it, read it through. Just found this site, maybe it will interest you, they do stuff for shop/pub alike, a bit pricey though. I am sure you have all the talent to make things on their site!

  12. Hey there Siren London,
    I've seen Delph at a few miniature fairs and agree that they are a bit pricey.
    Glad you like the blog and welcome aboard =0)

  13. Thank you so much for posting this tutorial and the template. I made one with card stock and an egg carton cup (didn't have a ping pong ball). I was tickled with the results. Thanks again!

  14. Hey there Sandra,
    I've just had a wander over to your blog for a look see and you've done an excellent job!
    *high five*

    You're now on my 'cool blogs to visit' so I can catch up with your fab projects =0)