Lower class samurai house

This is going to be a work in progress post as I'm taking my time with this one. You might have seen it on LAF a while back but I've only just thought of blogging it.

It's a house for a lower class samurai with a 'value' of 40-60 koku (the samurai, not the house).

A koku was the amount of rice it would take to feed one man for a year and generally wasn't taken literally in the later periods in Japan but was used as a bench mark system to calculate a mans worth.

The house has a very simple, small footprint which is actually be smaller than the real thing would have been as it's always easier to downscale wargaming terrain (otherwise it would never all fit on the table!).

There is an entrance hall that comes in at ground level and then raises up a bit to the rest of the house (for taking your shoes off basically, a habit which is still prevalent in most Japanese houses today). The next room is the main room and is a tatami room. Tatami are Japanese mats made from rice stalks and they smell quite nice.

Most of the house's daily activities would go on in this room including sleeping. The next room is just a general usage room, probably used for preparing food, storage etc.

The building is raised to help prevent flooding and also to give a slight sense of superiority (even lower class samurai have pride).

The house is made from mounting card and I'm going for a full detailed interior with a lift off roof and shoji for the doors and windows.

The timber work and shoji frames are done but they don't slide ;-)

The house will be surrounded by a bamboo which I am still working on to get it looking right, it's an absolute b**** and I haven't really seen anyone who's got it right on a model apart from in Japan. I'm nearly there though.

The main roof will be thatch with hipped ends and the gabled extension will be out of wood, the two will be joined together and might contain LEDs.

There will also be a small outhouse and a vegetable patch.

As I mentioned before, this will be a long term project and I'll have sporadic updates as and when I work on it. The idea is to get this one just right and work out the best way to make it so I can make more, easier. Increasing the size and layout accordingly.

That's about it for now, the groundwork has been started but it's not worth a picture yet.



  1. It's already looking great James!


  2. Really love your work

  3. Thanks chaps.

    I'll hopefully have some more in the next week or two on this project.