Castles are wonderful structures -- massive, robust buildings that lend themselves to easy modelling. The thick walls and rectangular footprint of simple castles are quite easy to replicate using insulation foam that you can find at your local home improvement store. This project works best if you use a one inch thick foam board. The foam cuts roughly, resembling stone, and does a good job of holding details scribed into it. Castles came in many shapes and sizes. The model in this project is a small castle from perhaps the 14th Century, with four straight walls surrounding a tall keep.
Use the ruler to measure out four 12" by 6" rectangles for the outer walls on the foam board. Draw their outline with the pencil.
Measure and draw four 3" by 9" rectangles for the walls of the keep, the tall structure in the centre of the castle, on the foam board.
Draw eight 1" by 1" cubes and 48 smaller ½" by ½" cubes on the foam board.
Cut the outer walls from the foam board with the sharp knife. Cut an arched entryway two inches wide by four inches tall into one of the wall panels.
Use the knife to cut the keep walls from the foam board. You can cut a small, rectangular doorway into one of the keep walls, about an inch tall. Cut rectangular or arched windows on the keep walls wherever you wish.
Cut the many cubes from the foam board.
Assemble the four outer walls by gluing them together at right angles to one another with square corners.
Trace the outline of assembled outer walls onto the sheet of cardboard, drawing along the outside of the walls, to make a base for the castle. Remove the castle walls and connect the corners of the base by drawing a line from corner, across the centre of the cardboard, to the opposite corner. Draw another line in the opposite direction, creating an "X" in the middle of the cardboard.
Cut the base out of the cardboard sheet.
Glue the base to the underside of the assembled outer walls so that the "X" can be see from above the walls.
Assemble the walls of the keep in the same manner as the outside walls.
Glue the keep to the base, aligning its corners along the lines of the "X" on the base.
Glue the 1" cubes on the tops of each of the corners of both the main wall and of the keep. Space the ½" cubes evenly along the top of the walls between the 1" cubes to form the castle's crenellations, openings through which archers would shoot arrows.
- Sheperd Paine; How to Build Dioramas, 1980
- Paint your castle with acrylic paints in shades of grey: castles were most often built of stone.
- You can scribe stone lines into your castle walls with the back side of your knife blade. Do this before you assemble the walls. Don't forget to offset one row from the next, as you see with modern brick walls.
- Craft sticks can be used to build walkways and ramps inside your castle. Stick smaller pieces perpendicularly into the wall to act as supports for longer walkways.
- Don't use oil or lacquer based paints or glues, as they will destroy the foam.
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