We are starting to get a lot of questions about Mission Reports and building the models. Its not easy to find information on the Internet, but here are some basic tips to help you get started.
Some of the most common materials used to build the models are: sugar cubes, cardboard, plywood, Styrofoam, clay, and salt dough. If you go to a craft store you will discover that some companies sell mission building kits. Canyon Foam Designs Mission Model Kits are sold at many Michaels and JoAnn Fabric Stores.
For decorating or detailing the model once it is built, anything goes. Kids have used everything from dried pasta to frosting to toothpaste! Be creative!
Here are a few basic tips on constructing the project:
- Start with a base (22″ x 24″) of either plywood or cardboard. Cardboard works well for complete cardboard missions, but use the plywood if your models will be made with dough, clay, or sugar cubes.
- On the base, draw placement lines for the church walls, courtyard walls, bell tower walls, fountains, and walkways.
- Regardless of the material, walls should be constructed to be about 3 inches tall.
- You may want to leave the roof off, or only make a half-roof so that you can add desired features inside the buildings (i.e. padre’s quarters, baptism fountain, candle making area).
- If you choose to add a roof, roof tiles can be made by gluing elbow macaroni, rigatoni, or lasagna to cardboard and then painting them a brownish red.
- If you choose to use a salt dough, this is something that can be made at home for very little cost. Below is a recipe that is very easy to make. Once the desired shape is made, the dough can be baked for a very sturdy material. If there are any rough edges, a piece of fine grade sandpaper can be used to smooth out the spots.
Ingredients For Salt Dough Building Material
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1-1/2 cups hot water (from tap)
- *Food coloring, powdered drink mix, or tempera paint (optional)
Directions for Making Salt Dough
The dough can be air dried, but it will take approximately 36-48 hours. You can also bake your pieces at 300 degrees for about 1 to 2 hours. Baking times will vary depending on the size and thickness of the object, but make sure the structure is firm. If the dough starts to darken before cooking is complete, cover it with aluminum foil.
There are also two good books to use to help you build your Mission.