How to Build a Model of an Ancient Greek House

Greek island scene image by rrruss from

Ancient Greek houses were usually designed in a similar fashion. They had whitewashed walls, clay roof tiles and pillars. Making such a model can be time-consuming, yet rewarding. With a few basic tools and the proper equipment, and even the novice model-maker will be able to construct one of these ancient dwellings.

Design the house on paper. Draw out every feature you want the house to have. Most ancient Greek houses were white with red-tiled roofs. They had pillars outside with the edge of the roof resting on them. Take these points into account and incorporate them in whatever design you choose.

Cut the individual components out of wood. Sketch each component onto a sheet of balsa wood and use a power jigsaw to cut out the shape. Balsa wood is the best wood for making models because it is lightweight, yet surprisingly strong. For the pillars you won't be able to use sheet wood, so find thick wooden sticks and cut them to the appropriate length.

Carve the wooden pieces with all the details you want in them. Carve the windows, pillar details and the shape of the tiles. For the roof, simply carve the shape of tiles into one large piece of balsa sheet wood. There is no need to cut out each tile.

Paint the pieces. Most ancient Greek houses were white. Use two or three layers of paint so the finish doesn't look cloudy. Use a primer on the roof first and then paint it a terracotta colour. Apply two or three layers of colour on the roof.

Assemble the pieces using wood glue. Assemble the largest parts of the house first, such as the walls and roof. Then move on to finer details, such as the pillars or any small features you may wish to add. Don't use too much glue as wood glue is tough, and excess glue may smudge and ruin the appearance of the model.

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