Have you watched everything on Netflix? Is it raining outside? Is it 85 degrees but the real feel is 105? Have you seen every movie or are you a broke college student like myself, and can't afford a $40 trip to the movies? Do you want to build something but don't have the disposable income to buy Legos or building blocks? Or maybe you've already built a miniature house out of everything practical and crave a challenge like the serial builder that you are. Well I have your next project right here, whether you are a bored college kid or a seasoned professional at model building the Ramen House is your next challenge!
These instructions will teach you the basics of ramen modeling, from building the base to the last little design quirks. This task doesn't require any previous building skill, just working hands and a creative imagination. Depending on the intricacy of design this task can take anywhere between 1 hour to 1 day; I built my example in a solid 6 hrs, however that also included breaks. The most important talent required for this task is patience, uncooked ramen is very brittle and hot glue takes a few minutes to dry. There may be a few times when you, the master builder, wants to give up because the ramen didn't break correctly or the design isn't turning out how you planned but you must trek on. Do not be discouraged when you think, "Why didn't I choose to do something simpler?" or "Why am I doing this when I could've just watched reruns of my favorite show?" Ideas like that are metaphorical mud you have to wipe off your master builder boots and keep going. By the end of this instructable you will have refined your master building craft to include ramen as a medium or if this is your first attempt at building, you will have learned how to work with one of the most difficult materials to build with.
Step 1: The Materials
The premise of this instructable is to build a model with things that you can find in every college dorm room, the materials are as follows:
- A Hot Glue Gun
- Glue Sticks
- Ramen (I recommed the square kind)
- Blunt Kitchen Knife
Warning- The hot glue gun is hot and the melted glue coming out of it is hot, it will burn your fingers if you get any melted glue on them, although not a serious burn it will still be unpleasant. Avoid hot glue contact with the eyes as well.
Warning- The hottest part of the glue gun is the metal tip, DO NOT TOUCH! That burn will hurt even more than melted glue.
Warning- Do not eat the glue, keep it away from children.
Step 2: Make a Plan
Like every other master builder project it is important to visualize what you are trying to make before you start making it. How many stories do you think you want? What type of base do you want for your house? How do you want the roof to look? Each house is different and every craftsman has his/her own style. Style is the cornerstone for every project, if we were all the same this would be a boring world. Embrace your inner designer reflect them in your design.
For my house I wanted a wide, rectangular base, I wanted one full story and a tower like roof that could maybe be an attic of some sort. My plan came to life, beautifully in the form of my house.
Step 3: Build the Base
The secret of building any sound structure is the foundation, if you do not have have a solid base to build on then it will fall apart.
First shape your blocks of ramen to your desire shape (the ramen I used was circular shaped and I wanted square-ish shapes). Visualize the desired size and cut with the blunt knife.
Caution- ramen is brittle and will break when you put pressure on it, be selective at where you apply pressure
Depending on your vision for your masterpiece you will have a different shape for the base. My design is for a longer thin house therefore my base will be longer than yours unless you're making a similar design.
After you have carved your blocks to your desired shapes arrange them in the configuration you etched on your plan. As you are shaping the base, plug in the hot glue gun.
If you are satisfied with the way it looks apply hot glue to the the touching edges of the blocks of ramen, apply directly on the edges as well as directly on top of the crevice between the edges. Press blocks together for maximum retention of the glue and continue pressing until glue dries (approx. 2-3 mins.).
As shown in my example I began with one shaped block of ramen, glued it to a second block, waited for the glue to dry then attached the third block to the them.
When breaking ramen for shaping keep a few pieces for minor repairs as well as other parts, do not be afraid to reuse scraps
Step 4: the First Wall
Congratulations! Now that you have built the base you have taken your first step in becoming a Ramen Architect! Also after completing step one you have used all the skills required for the rest of the steps, these instructions are very straight-forward when it comes to skills required. That being said from here on out I will not go into as much detail regarding gluing and shaping the pieces, if there is a specific way to glue or shape the pieces then I will describe that.
Now that you have the base all set the next step is the back wall. The back wall is effectively the base for the other walls. Walls will not be as thick/ deep as the base but they are as long if not longer than the base. Cut/break two blocks of ramen long ways as it is shown in the picture above. If your base is longer than three blocks of ramen you may need more than two.
Glue your wall pieces on the short edge (as shown in the picture) and let them dry before proceeding.
Once the glue has dried and the pieces are securely together even out the top and the bottom of the wall, this is accomplished by gently breaking off pieces or gently shaving off the top of the wall with the knife
Caution- Be gentle, but firm when breaking off the pieces, concentrate where you're applying the pressure or the whole block could break
After everything is smoothed out apply hot glue to the bottom of the wall, then place it on your base.
Hold the wall in place so the glue can stick, after the wall is held in place by the base glue, glue the crevice between the bottom of the wall and the base, this will give the wall some extra hold.
Step 5: The Other Walls
Now that the back wall is up it is time to build the other walls using the back wall as the anchor.
Start by assembling the L-shaped walls before gluing on the base. Shape your bricks of ramen accordingly. Make your latitudinal walls (the walls that would be coming towards you if you looked at it from the front) smaller pieces than the longitudinal walls (the walls parallel with the back wall). Ramen is a cumbersome building material, it occasionally takes up more space than you'd expect.
As you can see in the images my latitudinal walls are much smaller that longitudinal walls, this is partially because my design is rather long, however even a more square base will not have equal walls. Once you have assembled the walls in an L-shape glue in the crevice and between the two blocks, hold them together as shown in the first image.
When the glue dries apply to the bottom of the L-shaped block and place the wall on the base. Hold it firmly so the wall dries in the proper place. After that glue dries apply glue in between the space between the back wall and the L-shaped wall. Let the glue dry before proceeding.
With one wall up your house should resemble the second picture above. Repeat the above step for the other half of the wall as depicted in the above images. Let the glue dry and proceed to the next step.
Step 6: the Roof Base
Now that your wall is secure its time to start building up! The most important part of this step is that the roof is that it is the length of the building. Before gluing anything carve the blocks so they match the length of the current structure.
After the blocks are carved to their desired shape and length glue them together similar to how you assembled the base; 1 block glued to a second one followed by a third block that is attached after the other two are securely together. When all of the blocks of ramen are fascinated securely together with hot glue then proceed to placing the roof on top of the structure as shown above.
Step 7: The Steeple
This was my own personal addition to the ramen house. Remember a builders personality is what adds the creative flair to any work of art. What you've got here is a work of art, make no mistake. I wanted my ramen house to have a little more personality therefore I included this specific piece and I will illustrate how to create this feature for your very own house!
Start by carving two triangle shape blocks out of bricks of ramen, similar to the first picture. Glue the first to the on top followed by the second as shown in pictures 3 and 4. Then carve two trapezoidal shapes, like the fifth picture, these will be the sides of the steeple. Glue the sides of the steeple first onto the existing triangle pieces by applying glue on the trapezoidal pieces where they will be touching the triangle pieces. Hold them securely on while the glue dries.
Caution- Press too hard on the steeple structure (or any other 2nd level structure) and the roof will collapse
There will be a hole in the top, use a larger piece from your break pile as the cornerstone of the steeple as shown in the last two pictures. Now let the glue dry.
Step 8: Minor Repairs
Throughout your pursuit of the perfect ramen house you will probably have noticed a few holes in your design, this is wear the scraps come into play. Plug holes with scrap pieces of ramen and subsequently use hot glue to hold them into place. The images are a few examples of patched holes with ramen scraps.
Step 9: Finished Product
Congratulations! You have now taken your first step into the intricate world of ramen sculpturing. You can now add "Master Ramen Sculptor" to your resume. Although I simply showed you a house, this is the merely the gateway to more intensive models you may want to attempt. As you can see the beautiful 3D masterpiece in front of you is your final product. So next time you're bored give another popular ramen model a shot, may I suggest the ramen tower or the elusive ramen raptor.
If you ran into any snags along the way please consult the safety warnings provided in the specific steps or try a different type of ramen. Above all if you ran into problems next time you try to build remember patience is rule #1 when working with ramen and hot glue. Thank you for reading these instructions and I hope I have taught you a valuable skill to help you survive college or enhance your artistic, sculpting skills.