Sunday, July 31, 2011

Norman keep update

Construction continues on this most ambitious project and I've reached the point where measurement mistakes made at the beginning can have a catastrophic result. I'm currently working on level 4 and I've already made several changes to the original design in order to make the model work. This is totally cool though, as solving the problems along the way is a good proportion of the fun in scratch building models.

Curiously, one of the biggest problems I've found has been the buttresses and once the levels are all completed, I think I shall have to have a good carving session with my scalpel to harmonise a few edges. I had expected the buttresses to be relatively easy as they are made from pre-cut wood and consequently all have the same measurements, but even though the card walls align, often the buttresses do not. The buttress on one corner in particular, on the second level, is at least 3mm out of line with the first and third levels.

Level 2 inner walls, with deep arrow slots for archers.

Level 3 outer walls; I made a massive mistake and put these walls in upside down. This meant I had to adjust most of the windows. Level 3 is meant to be a 'great hall', so the level is 10mm taller than the other layers and will be dominated by one large room. I have already revised my design for this level three times since I drew it up and I'm still not sure how I'm going to do the internal walls. The problem lies in balancing between a realistic model and a model which can be used for playing skirmish war games. Some compromises are necessary and its always fun to work around the requirements of the games.

Level 4 outer walls. The story so far. Level 4 is the Lord of the Castle's apartment and will feature two toilets! It is the last internal level of the main tower, whilst the turret will have one more level to form a higher vantage point for the guards as well as a means of accessing the battelements. I also have an idea of building attachable hoardings to sit above the entrance.


Grimsby Mariner said...

That is shaping up to be one terrific model. I realy like your work. Of course all the little adjustments you are making are probably not that dissimilar to the needs to compromse during the building of a real keep.

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

It really looking great so far!


moif said...

Paul. I love the idea that I'm a miniature Norman Baron building my own little castle. It appeals to the inner fantasy where my ego lives.

Thanks Chris. More pics soon I hope, though the holiday period ends tonight and my building time will be curtailed there after. I shall endeavour to finish this model however because its annoying how many projects languish when I lose interest in them.

Oleg said...

I am really impressed.
No really, this is a much larger project than my watchtower (feel free to post pictures of it), so I know how much more effort the keep will require.

My criticism is minor, but for what it's worth:

I think that you should have kept to the 50-55 mm vertical spacing between levels we have sort of adopted. At least for the lower levels, and possibly with double heights.
The reason is that it would fit in with 'standard' wall and gate modules.

The great hall (say no more).

Remember that the cork makes the walls thicker anyway, and we have to adjust the horizontal scales to fit figures.

White balance (ahem)

moif said...

All the levels are 55mm except the 'Great hall' level which is 65mm. As far as I can calculate, this model fits with all the other models in height, until you reach the fourth level which is 10mm out of synch due to the slightly taller 'great hall'.

With regards to the Great hall, I couldn't make it double height as that would have meant the loss of one of the other levels and the whole structure with four internal levels (basement/kitchen/great hall/solar) is already so tall as to have reached the point where it looks right. Making the great hall twice as tall as an ordinary level (which was never the case with Norman keeps anyway - see Rochester in my forth coming blog post on my references) would turn the building into something that looked like a skyscraper. The only way to get around that problem, would have been to have a bigger base (30x30cm for example) which in turn would make the greater castle project too big to fit on a regular table top.