The Green Dragon

Materials, Equipment and Paints Used:
Thin Cardboard
Balsa Wood Sheets
Plastic Topped Pins
A4 OHP acetate
PVA Glue
Metal Rule
Sharp Craft Knife
Cutting Board
Abaddon Black
Rhinox Hide
Steel Legion Drab
Karak Stone
Ushabti Bone
Caliban Green
Warpstone Glow
Balor Brown
Zamesi Desert

The conversation in The Green Dragon at Bywater, one evening in the spring of Frodo's fiftieth year, showed that even in the comfortable heart of the Shire rumours had been heard, though most hobbits still laughed at them.


The Green Dragon is a popular inn located at the west end of Bywater, and is frequented by Hobbits from both Bywater itself and the neighbouring settlement of Hobbiton. Old Greenstay, a Harfoot, allegedly named the inn after his late mother.

At the beginning of the Quest of Erebor, Thorin Oakenshield and his company of Dwarves went ahead to the Green Dragon Inn to make preparations and await Bilbo Baggins. Many years later, on the advent of the War of the Ring, the inn was the site of a conversation between Samwise Gamgee and Ted Sandyman about the strange things that had been happening, such as queer folk passing through the Shire and a "Tree-man" seen by Sam's cousin Halfast of Overhill. When Frodo Baggins and the others returned to Bywater from Gondor, they found the inn "lifeless and with broken windows", as it was not maintained under Saruman's men.

This article is going to show you how to make the Green Dragon inn, most of the basic techniques are to be found in the Bree Houses article, so if you haven't already read that I would recommend doing so.


As I wanted to make this as close to the movie as possible I spent a bit of time doing image searches on the internet and gathering pictures. luckily there are more pictures available that show excellent detail than when I did the same for the Bree Houses.

The base

To begin with cut out a base that is roughly 24" by 24". This should be a curved shaped. You can adjust the size later. We will build the inn on this base. For the model I made I used a large cork sheet.

The Walls

The walls are cut from foamcore using the following dimensions:

The diagrams above show where the doors and windows are so cut those out. They also display the layout for the planking which we shall add later.

Make sure your craft knife is sharp when cutting the foamcore to prevent tearing.

Download and print out these Shire Window Templates on over head projector acetate. Cut out the windows and glue them to the front of the walls.

The timber beams are made from balsa wood sheets of quite a thin size. I cut out strips that were just over 1/4” thick. When cutting I used a metal rule to get straight beams. The beams were then glued on the walls using PVA and left to set. Once set, taking a craft knife the edges were nicked and cut to age and weather them. You will also need to cut out circular window and door frames out of the same balsa sheets.

The doors were made from slightly thicker balsa sheets than that which was used for the timber beams. Before cutting out I lightly scored lengths down the door to represent the wooden planks the door was made up from. Two lengths of balsa the length as the door was attached towards the top and bottom and hinges and metalwork (such as the door lock) was cut out of thin card and glues in to place.

Start to assemble the walls as to the plan below.

If you plan on making the interior playable as I have done, you will need to apply balsa timbers inside like you have done to the outside.
You will also have to make a bar and support pillars.

The Floor

NOTE: Note you will only need to worry about this stage if you plan to make the interior playable.

Using a thin sheet of Balsa Wood cut out the floor and using a metal ruler and a ball point pen, score a floor board pattern onto this.

Glue this and the walls onto the base.

The Roof

The roof should be made from thick card. Cut out the pieces and before gluing them together use them as templates to cut out the thatch which was made from teddy bear fur. This can be purchased from most material shops.

Use the following diagrams to get the dimensions needed for the roof parts.

Note: The diagrams above are not to scale or show exact shape but just an idea of the shape and size, you will need to use the walls to get that. The plan below shows how all the parts fit together:

Glue the roof parts together, using masking tape if necessary to hold the pieces in place whilst the glue sets.

You will also need to make the front porch and the central gable roof out of card and stick those into place. The gable roof also has a small wall section that can be cut out of foamcore.

Once the roof has dried the fur is glued in place using PVA glue. Once dried this was soaked down with a thinned mix of 75% PVA and water mix. An old tooth brush was used to get the fur to texture as desired by brushing in downward strokes. This was left to dry and this can take a few days to fully set.

Using the diagram templates above cut individual parts out of foamcore making them slightly smaller than the provided measurements. Glue these to the inside of the roof. This will strengthen the roof structure. You may need to do this a section at a time allowing the glue to dry before moving on to the next piece.

The chimneys were made from bits of foam with a brickwork pattern scored into them. Chimney pots were made from drawing pins with plastic tops.

The pin itself was removed with pliers and then the pots attached to the stack using PVA glue. Once assembled the complete chimneys were glued to the roof.


Before undercoating on the exposed foamcore wall sections I thickly applied a layer of PVA glue to give the walls some texture during the painting stage.

Everything on the house was undercoated in black. If you plan on using spray undercoat one thing to be aware of is that the spray will melt the exposed foam parts of the foamcore. A handy tip is to first cover these parts in a layer of PVA glue and allow to dry, this can be done when applying PVA to the wall parts for texture. Also the windows will need to be covered in masking tape before spraying the undercoat so that no paint will get on the acetate.

The walls were first coated in Steel Legion Drab, then drybrushed with Karak Stone and finally drybrushed with Ushabti Bone.

The beams and wooden areas such as the doors were painted in Rhinox Hide and then using a small decorating paint brush the entire wall was drybrushed using Steel Legion Drab. This weathers and dirties both the wood beams and the walls themselves.

The front door was painted Caliban Green the drybrushed with Warpstone Glow.

The roof was undercoated in black then heavy drybrushed in Rhinox Hide, followed by a drybrush of Balor Brown, Zamesi Desert and a final light drybrush of Ushabti Bone .

The chimneys were drybrushed using Dawnstone then drybrushed with Karak Stone and finally drybrushed with Ushabti Bone.


Glue a tree to the base outside of the inn. Paint the base in PVA glue and cover in grey gravel. Once this has dried shake off any excess.

Apply grass flocks in the same manner as the Simple Gaming Boards applying the flock over the gravel but leaving paths showing.

Glue various clump bushes around the walls and around the porch posts.