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Half-timbered house for a fantasy or medieval setting

The house

Aim of this project

Over the big projects we terrain makers sometimes tend to forget the small basic buildings for a great looking wargaming table. A small half-timbered house fits to nearly every setting from medieval to high fantasy. On top it is easy and fast to build without requiring the knowledge of special techniques. The overall size is around 7" x 5"

Tools and material

Tools required:

  • 6" hot knife
  • freehand router
  • hobby knife
  • cutting board
  • white glue

Materials needed:

  • 1" pink foam
  • 0.2" grey foam (for the timber)
  • Cardboard for the roof
  • balsa wood or 0.2" grey foam

Building the house

The first layer of the house represents the stonework foundation. I used the hot knife to carve in the stone structure. The next two layers should look like a plastered wall with stone edges. With the hot knife it was no problem to cut the walls a bit and leave the edges and the frame of the door raised:

The basement in pink

The roof is as simple as the basement. I stacked several layers of foam.

The house in pink

Then the freehand-router played its big role. It's perfect if you want a round or bended shape - exactly what I wanted the roof to look like.

The roof after cutting

The framework for the upper floor was constructed out of 0.2" grey foam and cut with a hobby knife.

The wooden framework

For the roof itself I used rectangular cardboard shingles with some irregular shapes. Don't forget the chimney!

The shingles

The door and the windows are built out of balsa wood. It would have been possible to use grey foam, but I have lots of balsa wood still laying around here, so I try to use this as well in my projects. For the hinges cardboard was perfect.

The door

Finishing the house

First I put a bit of spackle on the plastered walls to cover the gaps between the layers of foam.
The paintjob was done using cheap acrylic paints

Base ColorShade/WashDrybrush
Stonework:medium greyblacklight grey and white
Plaster: bamboo yellowbrownwhite
Wood: medium brownblacklight brown
Shingles:dark greyblacklight grey and white

The last step was to drybrush the foundation with an earthy brown and green to represent the dust and moss growing on such houses.

Side of the finished house

Upper view of the house

Front view of the house


The Hot Wire Foam Factory tools truly facilitated the construction of this house - not to say that without the freehand router I would have had a hard job to get this great shape of the roof. I'm looking forward to a lifelong terrain building friendship with them.

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