Monday 16 December 2013

New project - Royal castle (Zvezda)

We all generally model within our favourite branch, be it 1/72 aircraft, 1/35 armour, 28mm phantasy figurines, anything else or all of the above. 

My newest project is the 1/72 "Royal castle" from Zvezda (kit 8519). I hear you ask how THAT came to pass? Well, I will tell you. Gather around and make yourself comfortable, for it is a long and dark story - as befits these Middle-ages - with a lot of blood and gore. It is a story of friendship and betrayal, forsaken gods and dragons!  

... No, wait, that was Game of thrones. MY story is about hope and anticipation. BUT, dragons anyway!

Some background.
Besides the hobby you all know me to have (scale modelling, if you're still wondering), I also play AD&D (Dungeons & Dragons). If you do not know what that is, I can tell you it is a roleplaying game, with dice, in a phantasy setting where magic and monsters run rampant. Go Google it if you want to know more.

I've been playing this for the past nine years and my young thief has evolved into a force to be reckoned with. Recently, I started a second group, where I play the Dungeon Master (the story leader, if you must) for a few colleagues. The first thing they had to do was plough through three dungeons, each containing one (fairly young) dragon. They slaid all three and came into a very handsome sum of money while doing so. So much that they asked me if they could buy or build a castle.

I looked into it and it turned out to be possible, although it would take a long time and cost a lot of money. The task came to me to start thinking about designing an affordable castle.

Now comes the tie-in of this story with my modelling hobby. At my most recent visit to a modelling convention, I saw the kit below in the second-hand corner. It was priced €50 but was also marked -50%. I took a picture of it because it very much resembled the design I had been playing with, but didn't think more of it.

A few days later, I showed the picture to my players and when asked why I hadn't bought it, I couldn't come up with a satisfactory answer.

In short : I tracked down the seller through the organiser of the convention. A few weeks and a lot of emails and phonecalls later, the castle was mine.

I intend to build it in several stages, each time showing the progress to the players during the next AD&D session. It will take 2 years of the game time (and probably 1 in real life) to finish their castle, so we have enough time.

On to the pictures :

The box is big, heavy and LOADED with plastic. The first thing I checked is whether all the parts could be accounted for. The seller could not guarantee it, but so far I see no shortcomings.

The building instructions are fairly straightforward. It'll just take a lot of time because of the sheer amount of modules that need to be created. There's a lot of flexibility in placement of windows and doors, which is  a nice touch. There are even extra modules you can buy, but I don't gather they will be easy to find.

Some flags are provided, but I'll have to make my own for this AD&D setting.

I started construction with the base, because that's where a real castle would start. It's the last step of the building instructions.

The "rock" modules connect easily and without fault. There's just a lot of them and I do not have enough clamps to do them all at once.

The corners are another story. The fit is worrysome, to say the least, and will require some persuasion. I tried putting them together with masking tape, but the stress on the slightly warped pieces pulls them apart. With some regular Scotch tape they were persuaded to sit flush and the superliquid Tamiya cement did the rest.

I hope some of you will be interested to follow this build as well, even though it's a little out of most of our comfort zones. Thanks for reading.


  1. Hi Jeroen,

    interesting ! .. I'm up for building most types of model and kit .. but a medieval castle ?!


  2. I cannot wait to move into this beauty! :D