Tucson – January 2023 – Amazing Miniatures

Tucson is home to the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, which by the name gave me the impression that it would be a slightly interesting, but kitschy Roadside America type of a place. I was surprised to find the building, and contents to be a high quality museum.

The museum is a result of the passion of Patricia Arnell and her husband Walter. Pat started collecting miniatures as a small girl in the 1930s, up until she passed away just last year.

The collection, stated to number more than 500, including some from 200 years ago, and features a fantastic collection of displays over the years, hence the name Mini Time Machines.

The details are amazing – notice the tiny loom has an actual rug being weaved.

Many of the displays feature well known people or items. When close up’s are taken it is difficult to realize these items are just a few inches tall.

As an Addams Family fan, I spent considerable time checking out the entire family, each in their own room.

It is only when you see a collection of them with people in the background do you get a sense of the small scale, and intricate detail.

The collection is wide and varied, all with great detail – note the bottles on the table.

The artist and his collection of tiny paintings.

A library full of individual books.

The Mini Time Machine Museums of Miniatures is a highlight of Tucson.

Houston – May 2019 – Lucky Land

As you make your way down Airline Drive in Houston, passing by signs in Spanish for restaurants, shops and auto repair facilities, the last thing you would expect to see is two acres of some of the best Asian themed photo ops around.

Lucky Land in Houston is this Asian themed attraction that is a visual overload. Nida Lee is a flea market owner who bought, among other things, a former attraction known as Forbidden Gardens and moved the collection to her flea market. The results are a photographers dream – resulting is a long posting!

The park is set up in various villages, including Panda Village. These life size statues are scattered amongst the landscaping in various poses.

The landscaping and artwork throughout is well done, and very colorful.

There are statues scattered everywhere in the park.

One of the highlights is the large scale near perfect replica of the Terra Cotta Army of China. This alone is worth the trip!

Along the perimeter they have some larger size statues of the soldiers.

Their collection of miniature villages complete with people is extensive as well.

The visual buffet continues….

The Happy Buddha – note the smaller one’s belly has been rubbed for good luck so much the finish is worn off.

Just when you think you are done, you find this section with transformer like sculptures.

Lucky Land has to be one of the best places we have seen for a ‘Roadside America’ type attraction. It is well done, well kept and thoroughly entertaining.

Hickory Corners, Michigan – September 2018 – Midwest Miniatures

Just northeast of the city of Kalamzoo, Michigan is Midwest Miniatures. Located on the grounds of the Gilmore Car Museum (more on this later), Midwest Miniatures features numerous miniature houses, roomboxes and vinettes, most in 1:12 scale.

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The details are amazing. The display below is the size of a small doll house.

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But when you zoom in you see the detail of the individual quilts – in this case tiny pieces of paper towels printed to look like quilts.

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Each vignette has a scene from a house or business. The dog in this display is about 1/8″.

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In keeping with the car museum theme, they have a garage. Notice the very tiny cans of oil on the shelves.

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There is a series of antique health care settings.

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An obstetrician.

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A florists truck with bundles of flowers.

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By panning back you can see the size compared to the table and windows of the room.

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The Kellogg Manor House – miniature

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Nearby is the real thing.

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Working on a quilt.

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A final stop at the nursery.

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