Hey Mike! Sounds like a fun project. Here are a couple of things you might want to look into: This thread has been going for a year --lots of great hints in it.http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-604431.html
I use two different recipes and both are successful for gingerbread that does not rise too high, the one I'm posting is a very good recipe. I think because you are using this for display, you could sub out the butter/margarine for shortening only which is what I often do when the piece is for show/competition.
*6 3/4 cups all purpose flour, *1 tablespoon cinnamon, *1 1/2 teaspoons ginger, *1/2 teaspoon salt, *1 1/2 cups light corn syrup, * 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar (I use light brown although dark can be used as well keeping in mind that the dark brown sugar contains more molasses.) *1 stick Imperial Margarine® (it's my favorite when baking with margarine,) *1 stick butter (cut these into pieces for quicker melting.)
NOTE: I have found that using a combo of margarine and butter is ideal. If one uses two sticks of either, it changes the overall texture of the dough. Two of butter, and the dough is soooo crisp that it wants to break. Two sticks of margarine, the dough is soft and takes days to harden after baking.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. In a saucepan, combine the corn syrup, sugar and butter/margarine combo. Cook on medium heat until butter/margarine combo is melted (margarine will melt first so wait until the butter has melted as well.) Pour wet into dry and mix well. Chill dough one hour (or more --I typically chill overnight.) Roll out dough and cut templates. I roll it to about 1/4" thick. It can; however, be rolled a little thinner. I roll quite thin for details such as window frames, etc. --just watch them closer when baking. As well, I roll them on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper so that I do not have to lift the pieces which I think causes a certain amount of distortion and a risk for "crooked walls." I put the cookie sheets into the freezer for about 10 minutes so the gingerbread dough gets chilled one more time. As well, before they go into the oven, I use a pastry brush to lightly coat them with water. This helps them bake flat. Remove the cookie sheet from the freezer and bake pieces at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes (less or more depending on thickness --but usually no more than 18 minutes.)* After they are removed from the oven, allow them to cool on their parchment on a flat surface.