Battle of the Battlements

Today’s agenda was adding the battlement portion, and the inner/outer walls. Just for clarification, here’s a better picture of the castle piece I’m working on now.

It’s that little connector piece suspended between the left (front of the castle) and the right (back of the castle.) As you can see from the sketch, the top doesn’t have the classic battlement jagged edge, but I added it anyway. Then there are two rooms the next level down, and the bottom story will be a walkway with those fun curve-y pillar wall units. Clear as mud? (Yes, I can understand myself. Quite clearly.)

So, after somewhere in the neighborhood of three hours, I have this.

Yes, three hours. First, I had to explain to Gregory what a cereal box was, and that “Cinnamon Chex” wasn’t as scary as it sounded. Then we got into a serious argument about the size of the battlements and the size of the windows.

I wanted to make the battlement to scale so it would be a good defense – tall enough to totally hide a person in the tallest bits, and pretty close to that in the shorter places. I also wanted to make the windows nice and wide so people of my sort could see inside easily.

Gregory didn’t like that all. He felt that if I were making one element siege-worthy, I should make the other just as battle ready, or I would be a ditzy chick of an artist. (He didn’t say that. I’m paraphrasing.) And he really didn’t like the idea of giants wandering around and peering in through his windows.

So. . . we finally compromised. I made the windows in the classic, narrow style (with wider insides so I can angle the window casings for optimal bow-and-arrow aiming in case of an attack), and I made the battlements a little smaller so they’d fit better with the size of the structure. We both were quite happy with the results.

And Gregory is really happy to have three out of four walls in his room. Even though they smell like cinnamon.

I’ll be sealing up in the window frames later on, as well as adding in some rain gutter drainage systems. And, of course, the lowest level walls.

Happily, the narrow windows still allow for a pretty good look inside, so it won’t be too traumatic in future when I have to attach the open ends of the unit to the other castle pieces.

See? Pretty good peek.

Gregory’s room is on the left hand side. (Toward the front of the castle.) The other side is a guard or store room – I’m not sure yet.

But it has a lovely slot for a big double door.

At the rate this is progressing, I’m going to have to seriously weigh whether I want to rough in the entire castle before I go back for detail work, or if I’ll cave and start playing sooner. Tough, tough decision.

Gregory

There’s something about a new project that gets my adrenalin going. Especially when it’s a challenging, detail-oriented project like this one.

I’m going to make a castle. And not just any castle. A highly involved, ridiculously intricate, “put door hinges on the doors and barrels in the store room” caliber castle. (If I can swing it.) And, given the scale I have in mind, it will probably be larger than a twin-sized bed.

Yes, storage will be interesting, but at the current rate of progression I shouldn’t have to seriously worry about it until late this year.

I haven’t made anything quite on this level before. I’ve made doll’s furniture, and I’ve made small structures, but not on the same project. This is the model maker’s dream. Think about it. Complete artistic license, low-cost materials, and a re-adjustable work schedule.

It’ll be a long haul, but I am so looking forward to it.

So, let’s get down to business. The first thing after drawing up some initial sketches, I made my little scale model friend.

This is Gregory. (Not Peck.) He is wandering minstrel who kindly consented to help me in my work – probably for the potential story and song material the process would give him. So far he has been very accommodating, in his three-and-a-half inch tall way, with posing for measurements and arguing over building details. He’s also been very nice about occasionally getting smashed with a falling cardboard beam or accidentally knocked off a two story platform. In short, he’s exactly what I need.

With his help, I’m off and running on the project of the year. We’ve got the first little section of the castle roughed out and ready for interior and exterior walls.

(Here he is, posing in what will eventually be his room.)

It’s a small, suspended portion that will connect two halves of the castle with a pillared walkway below, two rooms the next level up, and a battlement on top. I’ll try to get a decent sketch of the castle plan up another day. At the moment it’s kind of a tangle of hand-drawn lines.

Gregory and I started adding the interior walls today. More on that later.

For those of you who are wondering, I use very basic tools for this sort of thing. A miniature hot glue gun, a rotary cutter with its grid ruler and mat, scissors, Scotch tape, and ink pens.