Nesting Houses: Part 2


Part 1 of this post detailed the construction of the foamcore houses, carving the brick facade, and painting the exterior. This segment will cover the interior of the houses. I’ll demonstrate how to stain masking tape with lacquer and finish, and how to scratch-build some of the furniture I used inside.

As you may recall, I started the interior of the houses by layering masking tape to emulate wood panels and planks. This also helps to reinforce the structure.


This is how the wood paneling turned out, using various types of stains and lacquer.


Left is a spray-on pine. Middle is a red mahogany, sponged and brushed. Right is a cherry-wood spray.

The sponged mahogany would have made for a good dungeon or peasant hovel because of the stained, raw look of how it dried under the tape layers. But because I wanted a more uniform, sophisticated look to the paneling, I went with brushed red mahogany. Again, I got these from the hardware store, where I live…


Yes, that’s a tiny outhouse on the right. Because barbarians have needs too.

Here I’ve done some touch-up on my grey bricks. Also, you can see where I’ve intentionally split the wood panels here and there in the floorboards, to give it a segmented, nailed-together look.

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Some more touching up on the inside lids is required. Just avoid turning the newly stained wood panels grey.


Next I cut brick fireplaces out of the foamcore. I made a paper template which I glued the carved stone to.


Also seen on the right: A potted plant, made from a halved wine cork and a plastic aquarium plant.


Some rickety shelves for a hovel or two.


Barrels made from wine corks, sharpened / tapered with an exacto blade.


Add layered masking tape, the same as the floorboards, for a wine barrel or cask.


Lastly, paint. I used the same techniques for the barrel as I did the floorboards, and the same tone of grey for the fireplace as I did the walls.


Always measure the clearance available between one nesting box and the walls of the box it will rest in. Some of my smaller boxes will only have room for tapestries or objects narrower than 1/2cm. My larger boxes have a clearance of nearly an inch. Your designs will vary.


As you glue pieces into the houses, I suggest re-stacking them to be sure your furniture won’t hinder the boxes from fitting back together.


I had a dream like this…


As you can see, the final product is a pair of outer boxes that measure less than 6 inches by 4. Each segment can be stacked together for castle walls or city buildings, or split open for larger manses, or separately as a small township.



A potted plant in the entryway says “welcome home”. Unfortunately Orc raiders don’t give a fig for Feng Shui.



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