Saturday 18 January 2014

Castle - Progress report

I haven't been modelling a lot these last 2 weeks, but little by little the castle pieces are taking shape.

Many parts are uniform, but can have optional parts removed to make windows, doors, or different kinds of wall sections. This means a lot of cutting is required. While this can be done with a simple hobbyknife, I am extremely happy to recently have bought a motor tool. It's a bit pricey as an initial investment in a new tool, but definitely worth it when you're cutting pieces in half in a few seconds.

Below a picture of all the wall sections that make up the keep. Some careful planning is needed to find which windows go where (see previous post). This parts also have battlements on top, that needed to be removed.

I intend to make the top of the tower removable, so some extra attention to the interior is required. I removed all locators on the inside walls, some of which I have no idea what they were intended for, and filled up all the holes. The dining room table is filling up nicely.

Meanwhile, 3 wall sections were put together. It required a lot of pressure to keep them flush, but I didn't feel like holding them in my lap for half an hour, so I picked up some of my heavier books to do the work for me.

Below is a picture of the main keep starting to take form.

The kit provides 3 watchtowers, with 6 or 7 different ways of placing them. The towers have no interior and if the light is positioned correctly, you can see inside. Maybe I should have removed that part of the wall, so looking through the arrow slits wouldn't show the battlements inside.

Having the option to model these watchtowers in different ways, leaves you with some spare parts. I used my trusty motortool to remove a door from one of these parts and glued it inside a corner of the tower. This will provide passage to the watchtower that will be fixed to the outside of it.

I spoke earlier of the issue with the obvious seams. The problem is you can't just fill them and sand them flush afterwards because that would remove the stone texture details. The solution was rather simple and looks okay afterwards. I just placed (Vallejo) putty in the biggest gaps and holes and went over it with a (soaking) wet finger. After it's dried (and painted), it looks convincing enough to look like masonry, or at least a lot better than leaving the holes in place.

Don't try to do the same with Tamiya putty. That stuff is of a whole different (chemical?) composition. I wouldn't touch it too often with bare skin. It eats away at the plastic as well. For SOME applications, the Tamiya putty is better though, as it seems to dry harder and faster. The Vallejo putty always remains a little malleable, making it harder to sand flush against any surface.
I mention this because sanding Vallejo putty never seems to get a smooth surface. The sanding stick/paper always hollows out the putty because it's too soft, I think.

I intend to leave the base as a piece of rock, so was looking for a "rocky" kind of grey. My first choice was "Dark Sea Green", which may not seem evident, but in some languages this paint is called "Blueish grey" (translated back to English for your convenience), making it perhaps a little more logical. Anyway, a first layer looks promising. I tried giving it different amounts all over, to let the black primer shine through and not create a uniform colour. I will attack this later with a darker wash.

The next colour choice - the walls - is a little more difficult. I'm trying to achieve a sandy grey kind of look. For my first experiment I chose US Grey and Tank yellow. I mixed it 50/50 and sprayed the bottom section of the walls.

The yellow is hardly noticeable, so I mixed again 80% yellow and 20% grey. I thinned it to make it easier to spray, but ended up overthinning it. On the black primer the effect is okay-ish, but on the grey it's way too yellow. The section above it is without any thinner.

Since I've been priming most of the pieces with black because I just can't seem to get the grey spraying right, I'm leaning towards 60/40 for the next try.

Thanks for reading.


  1. sorry you are not happy with the Bismark looks good from here ;-)
    The work on the castle is amazing. The initial cost of the motor tool will be offset by the amount of work it will do for you over a long time.
    Your solution for weighing down the 3 wall sections looks like a winner. I see in the same shot, your model bench chair is neatly placed against the wall ;-)) .

    1. Yeah, the pink chair ... I noticed it after posting, but decided against cropping it away. It would either go unnoticed or receive a funny comment :-)