Tearing Down the House

The dollhouse is (almost) completely disassembled.

This is basically the whole thing. I was lucky that my parents used hot glue, so it was really easy to pull it apart (compared to what I assume other glues would be like). It took trial and error (and tips from the Greenleaf forum) to get it to come apart, though.

So, a hair drier will melt the hot glue. So I used a hair drier. But there are a lot of ways to use it.

Inefficient way: Heat it up, then scrape the glue away until the parts are no longer attached.

Better way: Heat the glue. Apply light pressure to the pieces that need to stop being attached. They will come apart once the glue is melted.

Cons of the better way: I only have 2 hands. I used my feet to apply pressure. Also, anything that gets in the blow drier stream gets heated, like your hands. Or feet.

I think I need to replace the windows, though.

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I mean, besides the fact that I ripped a couple of them, they’re yellowish and warped. Removing them will certainly make spray painting everything easier….

I had to remove these three. They weren’t mounted correctly in the first place. I’ll figure out the others.

Oh, I also learned from the forums that white vinegar helps remove the smell of bleach and mildew from hands. Probably should just wear gloves? Oh well.

I just need to figure out how and when to spray paint the pieces. The paint says “Hey, use me between 30F and 90F, and let me tell you, it’s not commonly above 30 here in Jan/Feb. I can’t do it inside, because I can’t put a breathing mask on the cat. Well, I can. but it won’t fit.


3D printed 1/12 scale ball jointed doll

There are a few things that are facts… to me.

  • 3D printing is awesome.
  • Basically all available 1/12 scale dolls look terrible and aren’t poseable. Even when they are, it’s not great.
  • Ball jointed dolls are cool… but expensive and a little weird looking. I can’t find ANY that look like an average male human. Plus, they’re WAY too big to make scenes with.

There is one person out there who has solved my problem. And that person is mr_props on Shapeways. I think his work was designed with stop motion in mind, and not 1/12 scale dollhouses. Especially since, from what I can tell, 1/24 is in (smaller, more room) and 1/12 is out. On the other hand, with this doll, 1/12 is the perfect middle point to join dollhouses and ball-joined dolls into one big weird hobby that small children will love when they visit me.

Now, the thing about these dolls, when compared to other dolls, is that you need to build it. This may or may not be a problem, depending on who you are. Now, here were my main worries when I bought the 1/12 scale Alter Ego (with white strong and flexible plastic).

  • I have never strung a doll before
  • I have never really played around with 3D printed material before
  • It’s going to be too tiny and I will break everything with my giant demon hands oh no
  • I’ll never be able to figure it out

And yet, somehow….

Alter Ego 1/12 scale: all built

Resources are a bit difficult, so here’s another list.

There was a lot I didn’t add into the video, because editing is exhausting. So here’s yet another list, this time of tips and thoughts!

  • I used 0.5mm (20 gauge) craft wire, but I made it double-long and twisted it together…
  • Why did I twist the wire together?! I can’t find any resources that suggest that.
  • Sand and paint before you wire this guy up, because you WILL NOT take him apart to do it after you do your “proof of concept”
  • Making a new faceplate is hard
  • Clean out all the 3D printing dust! There’s a lot.
  • Make sure you keep the limbs tight. It’s obvious, but not easy.
  • Don’t cut out pieces until you need them, if you can help it. Granted, doing the sanding and painting first probably makes that a lot harder. In these cases, tape down the pieces with some wussy tape, like masking tape! Put them on paper and label the parts. Maybe write “Left arm,” put the pieces in order and circle them. Something like that.
  • Take a break for your sanity and spine.

Greenleaf Arthur

My parents… well, my dad… have an old Greenleaf Arthur dollhouse.


This picture was taken today, but this house has existed my whole life, as far as I know. Never displayed in my house (my parents’ house?) growing up. Maybe at my dad’s sister’s house? I’m not sure yet.

But it’s the same house still being sold. I think it’s even the exact pre-built one they still offer, based on the colors.

There’s something about this that’s really cool to me. Sure, this makes it easy: they still make the literal pieces for my dollhouse. But it’s not really that. I don’t see a lot of stuff that they still make, that was made in the 70s or 80s. I think? I wish I knew.


How am I going to make it my own, knowing it’s sentimental to my dad?