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July 7, 2016

My delight with the 144th scale Willowcrest kit (Aegean Sea) waned a bit when I explored deeper into the box.  The kit comes with furniture, but I was highly unimpressed with it.  First and foremost, it is NOT to scale.  Not even close.   Check out the bed below:

The white board is the second floor - the entire interior of the house.  (Sorry for the blur, my phone camera can only do so much macro!)  The wooden bed is from a 1:144th scale kit by Anita McNary (now SDK Miniatures)  It's a BIG difference, and while I'd probably like sleeping in a bed that big, it takes up pretty much the entire second floor.  I also have no idea what it's made from. It's hard, has a kind of chalky, waxy feel to it, and you could probably break up chunks of it without too much effort.  The rest of the furniture is to the same scale, which I will eventually figure out what it is.  The bed might work well as a child's toy in 1:12 scale.

Then, of course, we had to investigate the wiring.  It came with a voice activated (?) chip board and two lights, and even watch batteries for it.  One of the batteries was obviously unusable, having swelled horribly.  Fortunately I had extra batteries of the same type.  Unfortunately it didn't matter, because the wires were loosely soldered to the board and I managed to knock one loose while attempting to insert the batteries into the awkward holders.  The lights did light up when testing the batteries!
At that point, I looked at the light device, looked at the McNary bed, looked at the instructions for how to hide the device: under the house, with the batteries, intended to be tucked through a small hole in a glass ball (and you just know those batteries won't last long!) and I decided I had a much better idea.  So I headed to Evan Designs and purchased a pico chip light kit with two lights.  It arrived super fast!  I'm actually impressed by just how tiny the pico light is.  I could probably fit four or more of these in the house with no problems.  Below you can see the lights that came with the kit, compared to the bed for sizing, and you can ALMOST see the pico bulb because my camera said 'what bulb?' when I tried to convince it to take a photo.  They're attached to the yellow bits.

I'm impressed, and also slightly concerned, because I feel they're TOO small for lighting up two floors.  Still, the chip kit runs on a single, easy to extract battery, and has a button switch to make it easy to light up.  I probably won't bother using the glass ball at this point, but I'm at least going to check and make sure it's possible to fit the house in there in the first place.  

I still feel the kit is well worth it just for the house!