AUGUSTA — In an auditorium buzzing with model railways, tracks and cars in various sizes, the dollhouses and accouterments seemed out of sync.

But it’s all a matter of scale.

“Generally, a man who has a model railroad for a hobby will have a wife who has a dollhouse,” said Barbara Hagan of Windsor. “She’s doing something in a different scale.”

Hagan should know. Her late husband, Richard, was a model train buff.

“The hobbies sort of complement each other,” Hagan said. “If you’re working on one scale and he’s working on another, you understand each other’s requirements.”

The 31st Whitefield Lions Club Model Railroad and Doll House Show held Saturday at the Augusta State Armory attracted hundreds of spectators.

Steven P. Laundrie of Randolph, a Lions Club member who organizes the show, said it is limited to about 100 tables and attracts some exhibitors year after year.

Richard Hagan coordinated the Whitefield Lions Club Model Railroad and Doll House Show for many years, and Hagan was an exhibitor for 29 years.

However, Barbara Hagan, who has a dollhouse shop in her home, said this will be her final year at the show.

At 81, she said, “I’m getting too old.”

She brought a four-room dollhouse this year as well as a series of room boxes she had crafted, including an exquisite carpenter’s shop where tiny tools await the return of a skilled cabinetmaker, and a fire extinguisher is atop the workbench in case of a disaster.

Hagan’s dollhouse shop is one of the few remaining in the area, she said, adding, “There used to be a lot of shops, but with the economy the way it is, there’s not as much discretionary income.”

She showed off what looked like a dining room hutch in a 1:12 scale, but the top half was a miniature dollhouse itself, set in a 1:144 scale, also known as micro scale, with staircases rising between floors. In fact, the 1:144 scale is close to the “N” model railway scale, 1:160.

Kathy Allen of Sidney, whose items were set up next to Hagan’s, said collectors sometimes move from larger to smaller scale as the numbers of their collectibles increase. It’s all a matter of conserving space.

Allen has made miniature items for doll houses for more than 30 years, explaining that most are 1:12 scale; in that dimension, a 6-foot-tall person would be depicted as a 6-inch-tall doll. “That’s the common scale,” Allen said.

In that scale, she fashions colorful Christmas and Valentine table settings that would look totally at home on a dollhouse dining table.

“Doll house people party a lot,” Allen said. “They decorate for the holidays, have lots of pets, and mine have tea parties.”

She calls her work “scrapping” or “upcycling.” She takes pieces of ordinary items, such as children’s erasers, to create red and white cookies spread on baking trays and cooling racks.

“I’ve been cursed with the ability to see alternate uses for things,” Allen said.

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

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