My wife never ceases to amaze me. I had been casting around for ideas about how to build the frame for my hobbit house project, and she came up with this brilliant suggestion - papier-mache. Light, cheap and easy to make. We are not entirely certain if this will work, so, to test out the method, we have started a new project - an Arab style house made of papier-mache (which should prove to be useful , as my main army is a Zamoran force, using Perry Miniatures Saracens).
The frame of the house has been made out of everyday, ordinary cardboard. The stairs were made out of a sheet of thin card, bent into an accordion shape and then carefully stuck on to the side.
The plan is to cover the entire structure with papier-mache, so that the finished model will look like a typical Middle-Eastern mud-brick dwelling , covered over with mud-plaster (Adobe is simply the Spanish word for mud-brick, derived from the Arabic al-tub). It remains to be seen if this will work, or if the cardboard frame will collapse from the weight of the overlying papier-mache. Of course, there is only one way to find out.
The base was just the back of an old picture frame, that I pulled out. There was an ugly metal bit on the back (to hang up the picture), so I made a simple water tank (which will also be covered with papier mache) to cover it up.
And a few matchsticks around the opening for the door to create a wooden door-frame. The plan is to build up the papier-mache around this, to make it look like a timber frame set into the building. Whether or not this works remains to be seen...