Jackswift's Cardboard Architecture

I’ve been completely off of minis and modelling since a bit before Thanksgiving. A few years back I started a castle/dollhouse for my daughters out of cardboard. I got as far as a tower before time, work, and life started to drag me away. Cut to a few weeks before Thanksgiving, and one of my daughters asks to help build the rest of it. I figure now or never and started it back up. Picks of progress below. It’s a little different scale than is usually seen here (more like 1/12ish), but proof that even when I’m not working on modelling, I’m building something:

I suspect this is going to take up a chunk of my time for the next few months. Will post progress.

Cheers, JR


Those windows, and that tower! Such clean work.

Might your daughters appreciate some Mesopotamian style in the next one?


Wow…this is amazing work!
I build cardboard houses for two hamsters that are pets for the daughter of my girlfriend. The little furballs then spend all night just chewing the houses into shreds…come morning the houses I build look like the ruins of Stalingrad WW2.
But it never occurred to me that cardboard could be used to such perfect construction like you’ve done!
I’m gonna have to up my game and borrow some of your great ideas :hamster:


@Reaver Thank you, Sir. I’m not sure that Ziggarut doll houses have the same appeal for little girls but I will eventually do some CD terrain.

@Fuggit_Khan What a great idea. I’m certain those little creatures get great enjoyment from destroying your creations.

When I first got the idea I did some research and while most of what I found looked… well… cardboard, there are some examples out there of very detailed work done in basic cardboard with amazing patterns and textures bringing the build to life. What you see here is the frame and shell mostly, and once the basic shape is complete will eventually get a layer of detail, shingles, bricks, and patterns.

Going to take a while. Not sure how I get myself into these things. Cheers!


That looks so good. How are you sticking the walls to the floor? Hot glue?


Thank you sir. 99% of the build is just standard white glue. I mark my locations then fit the piece in place with adjacent bracing where needed. I frequently tack the pieces in place with a minimally sticky tape till the glue is dry. A few places required a drop or two of super glue to tack weld until the larger bond dries. The corner buttresses were the first things attached to the floor and offered nice anchor points for the first walls that went in. Second floor will be a bit trickier.

The stairs are all one piece and magnetized to the wall floor and ceiling so they can be removed before the floors are separated (since banister and railing cross between floors a bit). The upper floor just drops in and the only actual attachment point is the magnet beneath to attach the stairs. Currently planning the second floor in my head. Will start in on it this weekend.


That looks like so much fun, and gorgeous architecture too!


Progress update. The second floor is approaching critical mass. One wall, stairs, and 16 windows to detail, then onto the build out of the third floor. Primary centerpiece window is done. Thinking some of the windows will be done in a stained glass style when I do the finishing details. Was a beast to cut, but fun to design and draw out:

Cheers, JR!


That’s beautiful!


Wow, Just awesome


This is one of my favorite threads currently on cdo!


I was about to say exactly this.


Thank you very much, Gentlemen! I’m glad the project draws interest. This is my favorite project to work on currently as well (taking time away from painting and other endeavors).

Alot of fun and challenge to measure, design, and craft everything to fit, and come up with creative solutions. I tend to design more in my head than on paper, and it can be difficult to describe to others until it translates to the actual build.

What did you see in the window lines? There’s a semi-abstract phoenix rising in the window if you look for it.