Model houses make excellent school projects, architectural examples and terrain for miniatures, wargaming and railroad displays. House construction ranges from simple one-room buildings to massive multi-family dwellings. Building model houses can be a fun hobby project or a serious professional undertaking. Many important factors are shared by all uses of model houses.
The basic structure of a model house consists of the four supporting walls and roof. The walls should intersect at perfect 90 degree angles to create the greatest amount of support, unless a specific architecture is required. Decoration and materials for the walls will depend on the style of home desired. The simplest homes will be cardboard constructions that are painted to resemble wood or vinyl paneling. More advanced structures can be made of dried mud, or adobe, and thatched grasses. You can even construct small bricks of red clay and make supportive mortar of flour and water. Roofs need to match the design of the walls. The traditional roof is a two piece construction that angles to a point in the center. This requires additional triangles of material to create the attic or crawlspace and connect the walls to the roof. Try increasing the height of the rear walls for a slanted roof; these are popular in snowy areas. If your models are meant for play or room display, attach a hinge on the underside of the roof in an inconspicuous location.
Rooms and Hallways
Even when a one-room building isn't the end result, you can still use the same structure as above. The addition of dividing walls can be used to create rooms and hallways that are needed for more advanced structures. As with external walls, 90 degree intersections are the most common and supportive structures. Hallways should be narrower than rooms, typically one-half to one-third of a standard room's width. Special purpose rooms such as family rooms or recreational areas need to be designed with additional space in mind.
Yards and Furnishings
To finish a model house, you will need to decorate a small yard and provide furnishings that will dictate the purpose of each room. Yards can be a simple matter of roughed felt glued to a display surface as grass, or a complex mixture of small pebble walkways, static grass and dried lichen bushes. Miniature furniture gives the house the look and feel of a home. You can purchase this from a hobby or model railroad store. Depending on your scale, you can also use dollhouse furniture from a toy store. Alternatively, you can construct your own model furniture. The key to small furniture is to use materials that can support their own weight, even when cut small. Balsa wood is a common material, as is Styrofoam.
- How to Build Realistic Model Railroad Scenery; Dave Frary; 2005
- The Art of War; Peter Simunovich, Battlefront Miniatures; 2006
How to Make Miniature Paper Furniture
The directions here are for a bed, dining room table, and chair that can be used with any dollhouse. You can enlarge...
How to Build a Scale House Model
Architects and developers often use scale models in their work as a way of showing their client exactly what they are planning....
How to Build an Inexpensive House Model
Building a model of your house is a fun project. Having a cutaway view can give you new perspectives on remodeling possibilities....
How to Build a Model House for a School Project
School projects help children to learn through hands-on experiences. Children learn best when the project is meaningful to their lives. When a...
How to Build a House Model
Model houses are built for a variety of reasons. For the architect, it represents a set a plans, a 3-D visualization of...
How to Build a Cardboard Model House
Building a cardboard house from scratch may seem like a big project for a beginner, but a sound blueprint and the right...
Instructions on Building a Model House
A scale model is a copy or reproduction of a building that is smaller than the original. A great way to visualize...
How to Make a Small Model House
Model building is a fun and exciting hobby that can demonstrate how things work together. To visualize home improvements, your dream home...
How to Buy Model Homes
When builders erect new home developments, among the first structures to go up are the model homes. These are artfully designed and...
How to Make Houses Out of Modeling Clay
Modeling clay is a pliable material that can be formed into almost any shape and does not harden. It is the perfect...
How to Model Eco-Friendly Houses for a School Project
Green building is one of the strongest, fastest-growing segments of the building industry. For students interested in architecture or construction engineering, green...
Materials to Build a Model House
Model houses are constructed for many reasons. They can be created by architects, school children, university students, builders or hobbyists. Scale models...