How to Make a 3D Colosseum Model

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Take an online 3-D tour of the Colosseum to see the building before you start your model.
Take an online 3-D tour of the Colosseum to see the building before you start your model. (Image: jenifoto/iStock/Getty Images)

Inside the walls of Rome’s first permanent amphitheater, gladiators clashed, animals were hunted and theatrical productions were performed. The sophisticated engineering and architecture of the Colosseum allowed 50,000 people to easily come and go to events. Build a 3-D model of the Colosseum out of Styrofoam project blocks. The project will give you an appreciation of the design of the building as you carefully construct the arches that hold up each of the levels.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 boxes of foam project bricks (300 count)
  • Knife
  • 18-by-24-inch piece of plywood
  • School glue
  • Toothpicks

Lay three foam blocks on the plywood, which will be the display board and will easily transport the finished Colosseum. Position the three blocks on their sides so that they rest lengthwise, short ends touching. Glue these ends together so the three connect to form one long piece.

Arrange approximately 6 more rectangular blocks to form an arch. Cut the bottom corners off of another block to make a pie or wedge-shaped piece (the arch's keystone). Place the wedge piece in the center of the arch. Start and end the arch at the ends of the long piece you glued in Step 1. Add or subtract blocks as needed. Glue the blocks together, and glue the long piece of foam to them for a base. This is your first arch.

Create a total of 20 arches for the bottom level. Glue the arches to one another sequentially, forming a ring of arches (the bottom level of the Colosseum).

Repeat the same process for the next level, also 20 arches. Cut toothpicks into quarters or halves. Push a toothpick piece into the top of the first level and leave part of it sticking out. Repeat with a few more toothpick pieces. Cover the tops of this first layer of blocks with glue and press the second level gently onto the first, anchoring it onto the toothpicks.

Create 10 arches for the third level and adhere in the same manner to the second level. (The third and fourth levels of the Colosseum are no longer complete after being destroyed by people and the elements.)

Cover the blocks with glue and stack them to create a solid wall for the partial fourth floor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add model trees and grass to the plywood outside the Colosseum.
  • Use caution when using the knife. Ask for an adult to help if needed.

References

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