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Making a 28mm Japanese house with interiors

This tutorial will utilize what we learned on the basic 28mm scale Japanese house, but add interiors including a more realistic raised floor, better lattice work, and more details.


Instead of the box style of the basic house, we will build this house from bottom to top, and from inside out. We will also need sticks of balsa or other easily cut wood of roughly 1cmm width to make the pillars. Other than that, no new tools or materials are strictly necessary.

Step 1


When building interiors you are much more restricted to our initial plan than if you just make a box-like house and decorate it. As such I made an intial plan based on pictures I had of old japanese houses. The house will end up with two rooms and an extended balcony along half of the house. The big room to the left will be covered with tatami mats, and the room to the right will feature the entrance (genkan) with an exposed dirt floor and some raised floors of wooden planks. After sketching this out on a piece of paper I go to town with a metal ruler and a pen, carefully sketching everything out without making a dent in the foamcore. I note out where I plan to have the walls and the doors, and I mark out where the wooden pillars will go through the floor.

Step 2

Now I go back to the initial sketch and carefully push down the pen to physically mark out the planks and the edges of the tatami floors. Then I use a box cutter to cut around the edges of the entire floor.

Step 3


Next I cut through the marked holes for the pillars, and insert pillars made of balsa wood. This is when you adjust just how much your house should be raised from the ground. Once the pillars are in place you can start to make walls out of foamcore that spans from pillar to pillar, effectively creating all the walls of the house.



Here is the house after all the walls are added. Notice that I have cut out windows and doors where appropriate.

Step 4

The other thing that we will do more advanced on this house are the wall texture. Instead of just gluing on cardboard, we will make a simple lattice structure that is extremely common on wooden buildings in Japan, from large houses to tiny dog house sized shrines.



For this we will use the same old cardboard box, but also some fine balsa sticks. I use sticks of 2x2mm and 1x2mm size for this. Cut strips as before, 5-6 mm wide, but instead of mounting them vertically we will put them on horizontally from the bottom to about roughly half the wall up. At the upper top we glue on the 2x2mm balsa sticks. Then, finally, cut 1x2mm sticks to be exactly as tall as from the bottom to the top of the cardboard strips, and glue them on 1-2 cm from each other along the wall. Of course you can adjust both the size of the lattice and the planks to your own content. You should end up with a wall looking roughly like this:



Pretty much your enture house can be covered in this kind of lattice wall, either with our without the plaster wall at the top. Add a border of balsa sticks around windows, door openings etc, and it will look pretty nifty.

Step 5

Again I made a thatched roof according to the thatched roof tutorial. Rocks were added by modelling clay that dries without baking. Finish off the base like the previous house, and you have a house with working interiors that will work great for skirmish games.


Here's another example of a house using the techniques of this tutorial and the basic tutorial.


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Jimmu, meaning "the Divine Warrior", was according to legends the first Emperor of Japan around 600 B.C.
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