How to Build a Model of the Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China stretches over 4,000 miles from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Nur in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. The Great Wall of China has been preserved and rebuilt since the fifth century. The Great Wall of China is steeped in history and stands as a masterpiece of architecture. With time, patience and diligent attention to detail, you can recreate this architectural wonder in amazing detail.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood

  • Foam

  • Popsicle sticks

  • Hot wire foam cutters

  • X-acto knife

  • Gray paint

  • White paint

  • Brown paint

  • Black paint

Step 1

Decide how much of the Great Wall of China you want to recreate and what size you want it to be. The scale ratio you choose will determine how big your model will be. Because the Great Wall of China is 4,000 miles long, you'll likely want to make only a representative section of the Great Wall of China. Much of what is done in model landscaping is illusion. You want to create realistic effects with relatively simple materials.

Step 2

Cut a wooden base that will be large enough and strong enough to support your model. You'll do all of your work on this board. The wood can be anything you like, but if you plan to transport your model for viewing, the lighter the wood the better. Use a scale ratio calculator to determine the scale size of your model. You can purchase one at a model landscape supply shop or use one online (see Resources).

Step 3

Use foam pieces to fashion the Great Wall of China itself. This will take some time and a lot of attention to detail. You'll cut the pieces with an X-acto knife and hot wire foam cutters.

Step 4

Build the landscape. You'll need plenty of crumbled foam colored for stone and sand. Glue this to the landscape and blend with miniature shrubbery and foliage to match your scene. Use quick-drying clay to form any rises and dips in your scene and dress with more of your matching miniature shrubbery and foliage. You can apply natural-colored paints to fill out the detail of your landscape and to blend the different textures.

Step 5

Paint the pieces of your Great Wall of China with a combination of gray and white paints to achieve a stone look. You can dab the paint with a sponge to give it more detailed texture. Add tiny beads of foam to enhance the effect.

Step 6

Purchase premade miniature building structures if you can find them to match your scene. Use Popsicle sticks and foam to create any structures you need and can't find in a miniature model shop.

Step 7

Finish your landscape and start building the Great Wall of China, gluing each piece of the wall to the landscape as you place it. Arrange extra foliage and shrubbery needed to achieve the effect you've chosen to create or to cover up any flaws you might find. The is a time-consuming project, but the the final result will be impressive to anyone who sees it.