Building castles is a hobby that both adults and children can enjoy. You can make castles as simple or as complex as you want, it just takes a little creative thinking, some filo clay and liquid latex. To start you will want to make moulds for your castle blocks. You can make one mould but probably want 3 to 5 block moulds, so you can make more plaster blocks at a time. Once you build your castle you can make moulds of other castle accessories to add to your model.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Filo clay
- Spray release agent
- Set of moulding tools
- plywood or cardboard work surface
- Liquid latex
- Plaster of Paris
- Acrylic paints
Make 3 to 5 1 ½-inch by 1-inch castle blocks from filo clay. Roll short fat coils of clay out and shape the rounded side into square edges with your fingers, use your clay tools to help. Some artists shape the block wall solely with their fingers, while others use a clay knife and the straight edge of a ruler to cut the roundness off and shape the straight edges. Once your block is formed, make indentations and scratches in the block using a stick pin or small wooden clay tool to make the castle block look more realistic.
Place your castle blocks on a flat wood or cardboard work surface and spray mould release agent on them, so they can be removed easily from the latex mould you make. Brush on a coat of liquid latex mould on the three exposed sides and two ends of each castle block leaving the side against the work surface free of latex mould. Brush the liquid latex approximately 1/4 inch out from each block side and end onto your wood or cardboard work surface. This will give your mould a slight lip which will allow you to handle the mould without damaging the plaster when it is setting. Follow the package mixing instructions for the liquid latex as these will vary depending on the manufacturer. Wait for the liquid latex to dry for about an hour and brush another coat of liquid latex on the block. Wait for this coat to dry before adding another coat. Allow the castle block mould to dry overnight and remove the filo block from the mould.
Place sand in a plastic storage container. Make small holes where the moulds can sit without being misshapen. place the moulds in the sand holes with all the closed ends sitting down in the sand hole. The mould lips should sit on top of the sand with the block opening clear so the plaster can be poured in. The purpose of the sand is to support the mould and keep it from losing its shape when you pour the plaster in.
Mix Plaster of Paris according to the package instructions. Spray mould release agent in the moulds and pour the plaster into each mould until it reaches the top of the mould. Allow the Plaster of Paris to set for 30 minutes. Pull the mould from the sand and remove the plaster block. Continue making plaster blocks until you have approximately 25 to 50 blocks.
Stack the blocks in the castle shape you want, as if they were Lego blocks. Glue each block in place using wood glue when you have the castle shape you want.
Paint the castle with acrylic paints. Brush on undiluted grey, brown, or tan acrylic colour. Allow the paint to dry for a couple of hours and add another coat of paint. Add a third coat of paint if the castle needs it.
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