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Breaking out of the long period of almost nothing hobby related. Finally decided to work on a castle. Spent some time figuring out what dimensions I wanted for a gate house, towers and walls. I'm planning on doing a fairly detailed gatehouse with at least one portcullis and a gate, maybe two portcullises. Want the gate to be roughly 3"x3" so to have the portcullis work the gatehouse needed to be 6" tall. The tower blocks in the photo are 9" long x 4" wide which was supposed to be my standard wall section (9" long, 4" tall to walkway with 1" battlements on top, 2" wide walkway) but two of them also look right for the gatehouse towers. Corner towers are 6" high and 4" square. Overall liking how it's coming together but the finished size is going to end up about 34" square!:blink: This is bigger than I had intended but I think I'll go with it for now.  If I continue the way it's going it'll look something like Harlech castle. If I decide it's too big I can still use everything except the gatehouse for a smaller castle. That's the reason I want to do it modular.

 

Now that I've figured out what I'm doing it shouldn't take long to finish the rough walls and towers. Hopefully I can keep at it in the evenings.

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Breaking out of the long period of almost nothing hobby related. Finally decided to work on a castle. Spent some time figuring out what dimensions I wanted for a gate house, towers and walls. I'm plan

Thanks for the tip, @malefactus. If we have room in the van tomorrow I'll try to grab some. 3/16" or 1/4" would give me even more options. Right now I'm using 3mm mdf for things about that thickness b

I've watched some of Black Magic Crafts videos. I've done the balled up aluminum on foam core after peeling the paper off. On the insulation foam it doesn't work as well because it's tougher. I have t

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47 minutes ago, malefactus said:

I do the facing on my foam structures with the fan foam boards. They are easier to texture & carve.

It's cheap enough, you might want to give it a try...Lowe's brand is recommended.

Can you expand on what fan foam is? I googled it and got a results list that was mostly filters and things. Really weird.

I saw an interesting video regarding foam terrain - obviously less helpful here since we're discussing man-made structures, but it was about using the expanding foam used to fill in small holes around wires for hills and what not on the cheap. Buy a can, spray it on wax paper, let it harden, it's slightly less dense than insulation foam, and way cheaper, but cuts just as nice apparently. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pm3_9pXRrig

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5 minutes ago, pinkymadigan said:

I saw an interesting video regarding foam terrain - obviously less helpful here since we're discussing man-made structures, but it was about using the expanding foam used to fill in small holes around wires for hills and what not on the cheap. Buy a can, spray it on wax paper, let it harden, it's slightly less dense than insulation foam, and way cheaper, but cuts just as nice apparently. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pm3_9pXRrig

you can do something similar using a bucket/box of sand.  Fill damp sand to top of bucket/box, then dig out an interesting shape.  Fill the hole partially with expanding foam, then put wax paper or plastic on top, and a flat board with a weight on it.  The foam will not only expand to fill the cavity, but will pick up the sand as texture as well. 

Castle looks like it's off to a good start, Zink. 

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1 hour ago, malefactus said:

I do the facing on my foam structures with the fan foam boards. They are easier to texture & carve.

It's cheap enough, you might want to give it a try...Lowe's brand is recommended.

 

Do you mean this stuff?

Image result for fan foam boards

 

I'm going to be in the city tomorrow and might be able to pick up some. Last year I picked up a few sheets of different thicknesses of insulation foam. Used a bit of it so far for hills. I have a couple of different tools I plan to try for the detailing. I found an old engraving tool that might work and I have a wood burner/hot foam tool that I'm hoping can do smaller details. Haven't decided yet what sort of pattern I want for the majority of the stonework.

 

33 minutes ago, pinkymadigan said:

I saw an interesting video regarding foam terrain - obviously less helpful here since we're discussing man-made structures, but it was about using the expanding foam used to fill in small holes around wires for hills and what not on the cheap. Buy a can, spray it on wax paper, let it harden, it's slightly less dense than insulation foam, and way cheaper, but cuts just as nice apparently. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pm3_9pXRrig

 

Hadn't thought of using that for hills. I've watched a lot of his videos in the last year but didn't see that one. One thing I have planned for a long time but never did was make a large patch of forest using the expanding foam as the canopy. Can't find the tutorial right now but it was pretty simple. You use the expanding foam to make a "lid" that sits on sticks or doweling for the tree trunks. When models enter the woods you just lift off the lid and it's open space inside.

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1 hour ago, Zink said:

 

Do you mean this stuff?

 

I'm going to be in the city tomorrow and might be able to pick up some. Last year I picked up a few sheets of different thicknesses of insulation foam. Used a bit of it so far for hills. I have a couple of different tools I plan to try for the detailing. I found an old engraving tool that might work and I have a wood burner/hot foam tool that I'm hoping can do smaller details. Haven't decided yet what sort of pattern I want for the majority of the stonework.

 

Hadn't thought of using that for hills. I've watched a lot of his videos in the last year but didn't see that one. One thing I have planned for a long time but never did was make a large patch of forest using the expanding foam as the canopy. Can't find the tutorial right now but it was pretty simple. You use the expanding foam to make a "lid" that sits on sticks or doweling for the tree trunks. When models enter the woods you just lift off the lid and it's open space inside.

 

That is it. The new stuff is connected at the ends by the coating rather than folded like the old version I used on LI. I got 3/16" thick here in TX. The stuff I got on LI was from Home Depot; it was 1/4".

Once you peel off the coating, it makes a fine & more usable substitute for balsa wood. I use if for buildings, ruins (Mordheim style), bases, all sorts of things.

 

2 hours ago, pinkymadigan said:

Can you expand on what fan foam is? I googled it and got a results list that was mostly filters and things. Really weird.

I saw an interesting video regarding foam terrain - obviously less helpful here since we're discussing man-made structures, but it was about using the expanding foam used to fill in small holes around wires for hills and what not on the cheap. Buy a can, spray it on wax paper, let it harden, it's slightly less dense than insulation foam, and way cheaper, but cuts just as nice apparently. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pm3_9pXRrig

 

It is called fan foam because it opens up like a fan.

DSCN3255.jpg

 

DSCN3254.jpg

 

You just slit it down the seams for individual 2' X 4' sheets.

 

 

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Thanks for the tip, @malefactus. If we have room in the van tomorrow I'll try to grab some. 3/16" or 1/4" would give me even more options. Right now I'm using 3mm mdf for things about that thickness but it's not as handy as foam. Sometimes I want the extra weight or toughness but for most of my buildings foam is good enough.

 

Skipped working this afternoon and did some work on the castle. The first is most of the pieces to make the castle. Just need a lot more battlements for the towers, the half circles for the gatehouse towers and I haven't decided what the back wall will be like.

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Little chunk of wall in front with the scribbles on it was a test piece to help figure what sizes I wanted and an attempt at battlements.

 

Short wall (4" to catwalk, 5" to top of crenellations) and tower. Wall to the right was my final test piece and is just a bit off of what I settled on for final dimension. Threw some different minis on it to show how the battlements turned out. Tall enough to give some cover to men and elves but the runts can still shoot out too.

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My standard wall piece (9" long) next to the short tower with minis from 2 angles. I was worried my tower battlements would interfere with the wall but it just turned out. Considering raising the tower height by an inch but don't know if it matters.

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Did the battlements for one tower and the stonework on one wall. The stone pattern is different on every side but I saved the front for last and did a bit better job on it. Not hard with my walnut hollow creative versa tool but it takes time and a steady had even when using a steel ruler as a guide.

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Happy with how it's coming together and because I'm sticking to standard sizes and shapes I can knock them out fairly fast. Don't know if I'll get time tomorrow to work on it but would like to paint up the finished wall to decide on a colour/paint scheme.

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That's looking good!  Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about the size, as long as the from/gatehouse wall is separable.  Depending on whether you are fighting UP TO the castle, you can just put the one wall down most of the time, and if you are fighting IN/THROUGH the castle, the fact that it's three feet square will matter less than the fact that you are reaching down into it, bumping into things as you go.

 

What gaming were you thinking of doing?  For all the frequency of sieges in history, they are tough to pull off as a fun game.

 

Here's a shot of our 18th century siege game in progress.  As you can see, along the lines advised, we only have one wall of the fort on the table.  Of course, by the 18th century the complicated outworks (ravelins, etc.) take up a fair depth of table on their own.  

 

For your castle, you might consider building some improvised wooden towers/castles to place on the opposite edge of the table commanding the approaches, and well as the classic wheeled siege towers and rock throwers of various flavors.  

 

I started rereading Latin Siege Warfare in the Twelfth Century (R.Rogers) last year when I was thinking about doing a castle for my 1/72 scale figures.  That's sidelined at the moment, but there was a lot of info about towers and counter castles in the context of the 1st Crusade especially.

 

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3 hours ago, Rob Dean said:

That's looking good!  Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about the size, as long as the from/gatehouse wall is separable.  Depending on whether you are fighting UP TO the castle, you can just put the one wall down most of the time, and if you are fighting IN/THROUGH the castle, the fact that it's three feet square will matter less than the fact that you are reaching down into it, bumping into things as you go.

 

What gaming were you thinking of doing?  For all the frequency of sieges in history, they are tough to pull off as a fun game.

 

 

The gatehouse is going to be the single biggest piece unless I make some sort of inner keep. It'll be 10" wide x 6" deep x10" tall. Part of the reason I'm going modular is that I really have no idea how I'm going to game it. With what I'm doing I can make a small 17" square keep up to what I already mentioned. I plan on making a few extra pieces to give me more options. I have thought of doing something similar to what your photo shows with a wall running the whole width of the table instead of an entire castle in the center. For larger battles I use Armies of Arcana but it doesn't have real developed siege rules so I've been adapting things from several editions of Warhammer Siege and Warhammer Ancients Siege and Conquest as well as other rules I found online. It's been 20 years since we did a proper siege game so I'm waffling about how complex to make them. It will be fantasy rules because other than Wahammer Ancients I haven't being doing any historical stuff.

 

3 hours ago, Rob Dean said:

For your castle, you might consider building some improvised wooden towers/castles to place on the opposite edge of the table commanding the approaches, and well as the classic wheeled siege towers and rock throwers of various flavors.

 

I have plans for a couple different types of rams, a siege tower or 2 and a bunch of other things like mantlets, boiling water/sand, rocks piles and what not. Depending on which of my armies (99% of my playing is using my armies with my kids nowadays) are used they have a bunch of siege weapons already but I would like some generic catapults and cannons for everybody to use in sieges. Been thinking and dreaming about this for many, many years but don't know how it will play out. Once the castle is ready I'll get to try different things.

 

Did a fair bit of work on this the last few days. All of the pieces are rough cut except battlements for 3 D shaped towers. I was cutting notches for crenelations when my power unit for my foam cutter died. Not sure if it overheated and will work after cooling down or if I killed it. I have a home made foam cutter and haven't figured out a good power source yet. A 12 volt battery charger killed my dimmer switch for temp adjustment last winter and without that it's too hot. Cuts well but too sloppy for fine work. I bought a phone charger for this but it barely heats things up enough to cut so is annoyingly slow. I was using the power supply off my handheld woodland scenics foam cutter and it was nearly perfect even without the adjustable temperature.

 

No new photos right now but I plan on taking some once I move the glued wall and tower sections into the basement from the garage. I'll do the brick work where I can sit down. I'm not used to standing working over a counter and my back's starting to complain after a couple hours. Here's a list of what'll make up the castle and it's completeness.

6 - 9" long walls. All assembled, 1 just waiting for paint, 5 needed brickwork.

4 - 7" tall towers. 1 assembled but needs brickwork, 3 partially assembled.

2 - 6" long walls unassembled.

1 - 8" long wall with short D shaped tower unassembled. Finally decided on this as a filler to make the wall opposite the gatehouse the right length to make the castle square.

2 - 10" tall D shaped towers for the gatehouse unassembled.

6 " long x 7" tall gate piece hopefully with a portcullis and 3" wide double gates.

 

Hoping I'll get a chance to paint the finished wall chunk and do some brickwork on the other walls later tonight. All that brickwork could get tedious even though it's not that hard and I'm not trying to be real fancy. Could have done a bunch of it in the time it took me to type this. ::P:

 

Just because I often get carried away with my ideas I also have plans to do a ruined tower,  1 or 2 ruined walls, a seperate drawbridge, smaller simple gate and some 45 degree wall sections. Basically when the 9'x5' pingpong table I game on is totally full I'll quit. Or when my attention wanders to something else :rolleyes:. Want to get as much done as I can while it's holding my attention. At least get what I've already prepped assembled. 

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Wasn't able to get the fan foam while in the city. That Lowe's didn't have any in stock and I didn't feel like driving across town to check out Home Depot. Just as well because I had a flat tire  on the way home and had to stick it in the back of the van. Anyhow got a few more things done. Everything is assembled except the gate house. I figured out how to make ok battlements for a round tower and need to do two pieces of them. Then I need to get the gate pieces shaped and put together.

 

Front and back photos of everything except the gatehouse.

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Close ups with some minis.

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I'm thinking my towers are just a little too short to go with these walls. They were originally intended to go with 3" walls instead of 4" plus battlements. Got 2 possible solutions, cut the walls down or add an inch to the towers. Think I'll add the inch because that's simple enough.

 

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A pic of the smallest castle I can make using what I've got.

 

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A close up of the wall with a D shaped tower. Used this as a test on how to make the gatehouse towers and to make that long plain wall on the back side a little more interesting. Kind of crude but once I do the brick work it should be ok.

 

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Want to make it a greyish tan colour but only have the first chunk partially undercoated. Lots of brickwork to do. Feeling good about what I've done so far. Another couple hours and I'll be able to play with it even if it's still smooth and pink.

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9 minutes ago, Zink said:

Another couple hours and I'll be able to play with it even if it's still smooth and pink.

I'll be honest I'd be more than willing to use an unfinished castle, especially if it looked as good as this one. I can't wait to see the finished product. 

 

I've been stockpiling containers and whatnot with the goal of creating a modular castle too. Your detailed descriptions have been really helpful and I'll definitely return here when I'm finally ready to start building.

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All my life we played with partially finished stuff. It's only the last year or so that I've actually done the whole table and both armies fully painted and even that was only a couple times. Still pretty common that some of the stuff is unpainted but the percentage is shrinking.

 

Here's a test wall chunk to see if my spray paint with eat the foam. Painting it with a brush is a pain. Wouldn't mind having an airbrush for things like this. First is specklestone spray paint. Doesn't eat the foam but takes a long time to dry and can fill in my brick work. Did a quick trace of the bricks with burnt umber craft paints. 

 

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Next is a very careful base coat of Krylon brown paint. It will eat the foam but not if I keep my distance and spray lightly. Then a quick layer of sandstone and wolf grey craft paints.

 

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I like them both but think the specklestone looks better and is easier as long as I don't put it on too heavy. I sprayed it a half an hour ago and it's still tacky so I'm hoping it'll stick properly when dry. I got lots of other stuff to do so I'm ok with a long dry time as long as it works. Need to paint the edges of this test chunk, stick it on a base and use it for scatter terrain. Can never have enough chunks of ruined walls.

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