How to make a 3D Colosseum model

Updated April 17, 2017

Originally referred to as the Flavian Ampitheatre, the Colosseum in Rome represents an era of Roman history. Here, gladiators fought their first fights, mock naval battles entertained and many lives ended. According to historians, more than 9,000 animals died in the inaugural fights and, over the course of its history, more than 500,000 people and 1 million animals met their death. A study of Rome requires a look at the Colosseum. One of the first buildings built with concrete and vaulted arches, the Colosseum's history is rich. Create your own replica of the Colosseum for a school project or just for fun.

Look at photos and view the virtual tour found at Destination 360 in the Resource section. Get a good image of the Colosseum in your mind. Note the differences in each floor. Note the elliptical shape of the ruins. Trim about 12 mm (1/2 inch) off of two horizontal sides of each of the four round pieces of polystyrene (stryrofoam) and create the elliptical shape. Use the first cut shape to cut the others so the four pieces form the same, exact shape. Glue three elliptical shapes together.

Allow the glue to dry. On the bottom three floors, carve a series of arches around the entire shape. Center each arch with a 25 mm (1 inch) border above and below each arch. Make each arch 50 mm (2 inches) tall and 25 mm (1 inch) wide and 12 mm (1/2 inch) deep. Leave 12 mm (1/2 inch) between each arch.

Carve out the inside of the three levels. Leave a one or one and one-half inch ledge around the entire outer wall. Carve down, forming steps and you go. This forms the seating area. The lowest level needs a 150 by 175 mm (6 by 7 inch) rectangular space left in the centre to form the arena floor.

Determine which direction each wall will face. The longer two walls face the north and the south. On the fourth elliptical shape, Cut off everything but the long north wall. Cut the remaining wall one or one and one-half inches thick to match the other layers. Glue it to the top on the "north" side. Once the glue has dried, carve a 25 by 37 mm (1 by 1/2 inch) square above every third arch in the third floor.

Paint the structure with white latex and let it dry. The polystyrene (styrofoam) absorbs a lot of liquid and the latex protects the polystyrene (styrofoam). Once the latex coat has dried, cover the entire Colosseum with a tan shade of paint. Cover the inside and the outside. Once it dries, display your Roman Colosseum.


Protect your project. Use latex paint first.

Things You'll Need

  • Craft Glue
  • Craft knife
  • Beige Paint
  • White latex paint
  • 3 Round polystyrene (styrofoam) cake dummy 355 mm (14 inches) diameter, 100 mm (4 inches) thick
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About the Author

Joan Collins began writing in 2008. Specializing in health, marriage, crafts and money, her articles appear on eHow. Collins earned a Bachelor of Arts in education from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master of Arts in instructional technology from American InterContinental University.