How to Make a Model of Simple Wooden Huts in the Medieval Times

Written by dan antony
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Huts in medieval times were rough-hewn from sod, wood and thatch. They were square or circular, and typically had one doorway and maybe one small window for ventilation. The builders were peasants who worked the land. They used any material available to them--timbers, sticks, hay and thatch. You can make a model from the materials you'll find in hobby stores, or you can use natural materials for an authentic look and feel.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Large and small brushes
  • Craft glue
  • Base, of wood or heavy cardboard
  • Clean, dry dirt
  • Lightweight cardboard
  • Toothpicks
  • Brown wood paint or shoe dye
  • Twigs
  • Straw or long, dry grass
  • Strip of rough cloth

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  1. 1

    Select a scale. A scale of 1/24 is typical for automotive models, while 1/35 is more typical for war and gaming dioramas. At a 1/35 scale, a 12-foot by12-foot hut would be about 4 inches by 4 inches--not very big--but of course, you may make your model as large as you like.

  2. 2

    Brush craft glue in a thin layer over the entire surface of your base of wood or heavy cardboard.

  3. 3

    Dust the base with dry dirt, in an even layer. Your hut will have an earthen floor.

  4. 4

    Cut a long strip of cardboard, with which you will make the walls of a round hut.

  5. 5

    Cut out a doorway that is nearly as tall as the wall itself. The walls of medieval huts were typically short.

  6. 6

    Glue the ends of this strip together, so that you have a ring of cardboard.

  7. 7

    Glue toothpicks to the walls so that they are parallel to the "ground" and are stacked upon one another running up the side of the hut. Stack them fairly roughly, not in neat, perfect rows. Leave 1/8 inch between one stack and the next. Allow to dry.

  8. 8

    Paint the toothpicks with brown wood paint, or better, shoe dye, such as Kiwi's "Scuff Magic" brand.

  9. 9

    Glue rough but straight twigs into the 1/8-inch gaps between the toothpicks. These will serve as "support timbers."

  10. 10

    Repeat with toothpicks and twigs on the inside walls, if you intend to leave your roof removable to see the inside the model.

  11. 11

    Cut a circle of lightweight cardboard to serve as your roof. Cut inward to the centre of the circle from one edge, and shape the cardboard into a sloped cone. This will serve as your roof. It should overhang the walls by a wide margin; the roofs of medieval huts were substantial.

  12. 12

    Glue the cone's edges, then paint the surface of the cone with craft glue.

  13. 13

    Lay straw or dried grass onto the roof, radiating out from the peak to the edges. Allow the first layer of thatch to dry, paint on another layer of glue, and add more thatch. Keep going until the cardboard is hidden completely and the roof is fairly thick.

  14. 14

    Glue a strip of rough cloth to the top of the doorway. This serves as a simple curtain door. Colour the cloth with your paint or shoe polish for a rough look.

  15. 15

    Embellish your model with a small wooden outhouse, made the same way as the hut; a chicken coop made of twigs; or whatever other clever ideas strike you.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) glue, such as Elmer's Glue. This will dry clear.

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