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Author Topic: Mini-Duncan's Mini Castle Tower  (Read 13384 times)

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Offline Evie

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Mini-Duncan's Mini Castle Tower
« on: April 15, 2012, 12:50:17 am »
I wasn't originally shopping for a castle tower, but I found it for just under $5 in the birdhouse section of the crafts store, and it sort of followed me home.  Here's Mini-Duncan checking out the view from his new digs.



Poor Mini-Duncan has felt quite neglected ever since I started the Action Figure Project, but getting his new tower seems to have cheered him up.  I finally got around to changing his Lenten purple stole to white as well.  He says it's about time; he was beginning to think he'd converted to the Church of Torenth, with Easter coming late and all!



Here's Mini-Duncan outside the front entrance.  As you can see, the door is just a tad too short for him to fit through easily.  I'll have to see if I can sand it a bit to make the entrance larger.  Fortunately the walls are quite thin.  Eventually I want to cover them with something that resembles cut stone and give the entire thing a coat or two of paint, add some "mortar," and perhaps some moss and/or weathering.  Basswood just isn't a good look for a castle.



Just a quick snap of Duncan's back, since that itteh bitteh tonsure makes me giggle.  I'm not sure who he's peeking at through that window. 



More updates eventually, though probably not all that soon.  I still need to gather the necessary materials for the castle stonework, which will mean deciding how I want to achieve that look first.  And also my folks are coming into town the end of this month, so getting ready for that visit takes top priority over project planning.  In the meantime, the castle tower is making a handy bookend, sitting next to Camber the Heretic, and it's currently under siege by a trio of giant kittehs assaulting a doormat just outside the front entrance.  But worry not, Duncan has somehow managed to acquire a bodyguard.  Alas, I do not have a picture of this scene...yet.   :D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Alkari

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Re: Mini-Duncan's Mini Castle Tower
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2012, 02:32:18 am »
Only YOU would get a birdhouse for a Bishop!   :D

Offline kirienne

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Re: Mini-Duncan's Mini Castle Tower
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2012, 08:57:18 pm »
I love it!! A bird houe castle tower!!! :-)

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Mini-Duncan's Mini Castle Tower
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2012, 09:12:24 pm »
Well, a Bishop does have to look after his flock.   :)
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Offline Evie

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Re: Mini-Duncan's Mini Castle Tower
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2012, 09:20:51 pm »
Let's just hope no Birds of Paradise move in....   ;)
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Evie

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Re: Mini-Duncan's Mini Castle Tower
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2012, 06:40:23 pm »
Bet you thought I'd forgotten about this project, hm?  I simply haven't had materials, opportunity, and a sunny weekend all at the same time before now.



Today I gave the castle tower a base coat of stone textured paint, concentrating more on rooftops and the crenellations than the "stone block" walls, since I have additional plans for those.  I also cut a sample strip from foamcore board, exposing the foam core inside and giving it a rough hewn "stone block" texture before spray painting it.  This was to test if the foam would remain intact when painted or if it's the sort that melts upon contact with spray paints.  Fortunately it seems to be holding up as I'd hoped it would.

My next step, once this dries and I get more time, is to cut the rest of the foam core board into rectangles, splitting each one down the middle to produce "blocks" that have a rough (foam) side and a smooth (posterboard) side.  Using the block outlines on the walls as my guide, I'll glue these posterboard-side-down to the walls to give the appearance of blocks cut out of stone.  Once all these blocks are glued into place, I will probably give the entire tower another coat of the spray paint.  After that's dry, I'll paint the walls with thin washes of gray and brown acrylic paints and then touch up the "mortar" between the blocks.  There might even be hints of green to suggest moss growing on stone.  (It might help if I look at the map to figure out which side of Abbot's Tower faces north.)

So that's the plan, anyway.  The miniature house stone wall directions I'm following actually recommend using the colored washes directly on the foam bricks and then grouting between them, but I've already deviated from those directions in applying the stone-textured paint (I couldn't find the smoother stucco textured paint it recommended), and I rather like how it's looking so far, so I'm playing things by ear.

Hopefully LEGO Duncan will enjoy his new tower once it's completed.   :D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Mini-Duncan's Mini Castle Tower
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2012, 03:35:19 pm »
Mini Duncan is looking through the window at Mini Helena (unseen at the moment) to make sure she is OK!!
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Offline Evie

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Re: Mini-Duncan's Mini Castle Tower
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2012, 05:45:35 pm »
The bishop is a Peeping Tom?     :o Good thing Helena and Therese both have box beds!
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
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Offline Alkari

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Re: Mini-Duncan's Mini Castle Tower
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2012, 08:55:42 pm »
Duncan as Peeping Tom?  LOL - he can leave his body and do an astral projection visit, so who needs to worry about 'protection' through box beds  ;)

Offline Evie

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Re: Mini-Duncan's Mini Castle Tower
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2012, 09:07:30 pm »
LOL!  Yeah, though now that he's figured out what happened in that instance, the next time he tries that trick, he'll be very careful to project himself in some other location besides simply straight down to the chamber directly below his.   :D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
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Offline Evie

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Re: Mini-Duncan's Mini Castle Tower
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2012, 09:42:18 pm »
Unexpected breaking news!   I went to Michael's to buy glass beads today and ended up buying an entire castle!  :D



The kitteh invaders on the doormat are kitten-sized for 1:6 scale, full grown sized for 1:12 (regular dollhouse) scale, but they're pretty big cats for this dollhouse.  If you were to stand LEGO Duncan next to them, they'd come up to almost his shoulder, I think.  This is probably roughly 1:48 scale (just a tiny smidge smaller than LEGOs scale), though not really sized for accuracy, so it's a bit hard to say.  There are crafters who actually make and sell medieval furnishings for 1:48 scale dollhouses, but they're crazy expensive for tiny pieces of furniture small enough to fit in one's palm--or in the case of stools and chairs, to balance on one's thumbnail and arrange in a tiny room with tweezers--so I'll be making my own furnishings.  Now all I have to do is figure out how to do that!   ;)



As soon as the castle was opened up, the building inspectors arrived.  Duncan and his guard keep a wary eye out as the furry invaders inspect the place.



..and inspect...



...and inspect even more....



Two storage boxes with convenient arch-window shaped "handles" came with the play castle.  They fit into any of the two small rooms on the left side of each castle wall and can be removed for play.  They'll make convenient storage drawers for furnishings and mini-figures.



Here is the inside of the castle, now that kittehs are mostly out of the way.  Only one side has the drawbridge door.  The other large central room has two arched windows instead.



Above the door is a shield shaped piece of wood that has a magnet embedded in it to help keep the door closed when the drawbridge is raised.  It could also be painted with a coat of arms.



The mini-people hid out in the storage closet in hopes that the building inspectors would be done soon.



This is what the castle looks like when closed and latched.



Top view of closed castle showing glimpses down the stairwells.



The two windows on the right are blocked by the storage boxes inside.  I eventually want to put plastic windowpanes in these windows with diamond-shaped "lead" patterns and perhaps a "stained glass" window or two in whichever room becomes the chapel.



I eventually want to paint the door to look like it's made of dark wood planks (possibly braced with iron if I glue a couple of popsicle sticks across the "planks" and paint them dark metallic gray), and give the exterior a "stone walls" treatment similar to what I plan to do with the original mini-tower.  Actually, both of those projects will probably get done around the same time, though now I think I'll use the original mini-tower as my practice piece.



Eventually these pieces will be textured and painted to match.  Maybe this will end up being a guard tower.



I'm thinking the larger space at bottom might end up being Duncan's study and the smaller one might end up being a chapel.  Upstairs might end up being Duncan's bedchamber.  I also want a ritual chamber somewhere in the building, perhaps in the other wall's ground-floor room, since I'd want it grounded.  I'll use a photo of the Westminster Cathedral's Cosmati pavement for the "floor tiles" of the ritual chamber.  The entry hall might end up with black and white checkered flooring.  Not sure what to do for the other rooms...wood planking, probably, and possibly a mini-carpet or two.  Perhaps marble in the chapel?  The interior walls will also be whitewashed and perhaps stenciled with some brighter colored designs over that, since contrary to popular belief, even early medievals liked bright colors in their interiors, not just stark white or bare stone walls.  (Yes, most of the early period castle ruins that are still standing today have fairly drab looking rooms, but all the color would fade from your home's interior walls too, if your roof fell in a few centuries ago and your house was completely open to the elements!  But there are traces of the original paint left in some of the better preserved buildings of the period.)



Stairwells might double as castle storage space, if I can find or make a few tiny chests and barrels.  Not sure what to do with the upper room on this side, if I make the lower room a ritual chamber.  Perhaps a library?  Or maybe the upper room could be Duncan's bedchamber and the other upper room could be the library, since it's closer to the study?  Obviously, the dollhouse floor plan wouldn't lend itself to either a strict conversion to the Basilica or the Auxiliary Bishop's Tower at the Cathedral of St. George, but perhaps Duncan still keeps a small holiday home somewhere in Cassan, or maybe a short ride out from Rhemuth, that serves as a home away from home when he needs a short break from Court life?  



"Are you all right, little buddy?"  Richenda and Alaric stop by to make sure Mini-Duncan survived the Giant Feline Invasion.   As you can see, there is a huge difference between 1:6 and 1:40-mumble-somethingth scales!  :D



Richenda and Alaric give their approval of Mini-Duncan's new digs.  Duncan smiles cheerfully and waves goodbye as Cousin Alaric and his lady return to their own forum thread.



« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 02:28:38 pm by Evie »
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
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Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Mini-Duncan's Mini Castle Tower
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2012, 03:04:30 pm »
Did the castle pass inspection?
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Offline Evie

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Re: Mini-Duncan's Mini Castle Tower
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2012, 03:06:52 pm »
LOL!  I think so, although the kittehs were so wildly enthusiastic about its unexpected arrival that they spent about an hour or two nasally exploring every single nook and cranny, sticking their heads into every room and peeking through windows and doorways.  I had a great snapshot lined up of Luke peering in the open doorway and staring down Mini-Duncan, but unfortunately he moved before I could take the photo.  (Luke, that is, not Mini-Duncan!)   :D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Mini-Duncan's Mini Castle Tower
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2012, 03:11:01 pm »
What a fantastic find!  But now you need a lego Helena to join Duncan in planning out the furnishings.   :)
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

Offline Evie

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Re: Mini-Duncan's Mini Castle Tower
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2012, 03:18:58 pm »
Fortunately LEGO has come out with their new "LEGO Friends" playsets that have cute little female figures with actual (if only slight) curves rather than the usual LEGO blockiness, so if I beg nicely enough, my friend with the LEGO connections might be able to get his hands on a few of them for me.  And since they're made with the same plastic as regular LEGO minifigs, I should be able to customize them with Sharpie Paint Pens or other paints and sealers if necessary.

Here are the first "LEGO Friends" figures that just came out this past month: http://friends.lego.com/en-us/default.aspx?icmp=COUSFR3Friends.  Granted, the actual plastic minifigs aren't animated....   ;)

Or I could just modify some of the LEGOs from the Kingdoms line (http://kingdoms.lego.com/en-us/Default.aspx) or LEGO Lord of the Rings (http://thelordoftherings.lego.com/en-us/default.aspx?icmp=COUSFR9LOTR) to populate the castle.  There are some medieval and/or fantasy themed minifigs available separately from the boxed sets as well, though I don't think they can be ordered by specific pieces.  They come in series, and I think if you order a Series 7 (for instance) minifig, you get something from that series, but it might not be the specific figure you wanted.  There's probably some workaround for that, though, like searching for a particular figure on eBay or a LEGO collector's forum.  I'll have to ask my friend how that works, or else just wait for DragonCon, since there's a LEGO vendor in the dealers' room who sells customized figures and tends to lean towards fantasy and SF themed figures because...well...he's selling at SF cons.   :D
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 03:32:18 pm by Evie »
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

 


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