This was a simple piece inspired by a papier mache box sold in a craft store. It has a plain rectangular bottom, but the lid was a gabled roof-shape with overhanging eaves. It is structurally strong, and is pre-made with a removeable roof. There are several sizes available, including some I have looked at for European buildings.
I originally bought it years ago to make into a Dark Ages Hall (which wouldn’t reallyhave been all that different) but looking through Stanley’s Darkest Africa books I saw a similar structure and was thus inspired.
I drew a line on the outside of the box bottom, where I wanted the lid to sit. I then glued matchsticks to the sides with the tops aligned with this line (one side at a time) and when dried, sawed them flush with the bottom. When dry I weathered them with a black wash. (A doorway was cut into the front of the hall.)
I also used matchsticks braced inside to keep the side walls from warping inwards as the glue set. These were removed when the glue had set completely.
I thatched the roof & sides with frayed-out string painted with white glue. and finished the peak with a roof-beam. The thatching was painted, and dry-brushed to bring out the details… A RAFM shield was glued to the front of the roof as a decoration.
All in all, a simple craft project of gluing sticks & string to decorate a cardboard box. (All too similar to kindergarten arts & crafts) If you feel you have no talent for this sort of thing, it’s an ideal first project. There is essentially no cutting, fitting, or measuring.
Overall cost was probably about $5.00 Canadian, plus of course my time, which is beyond price!
The figures in the pictures are from Foundry’s Darkest Africa range. The greenery is made from cake decoration palm trees.