Castle Diorama II – The Dungeon


Continued from Castle Diorama I – The Base

The first area of my Castle Diorama to receive serious attention was the dungeon below the castle in the corner.


After adding an additional layer of styrofoam to the floor of the dungeon, I began building it with casts from Hirst Arts and Noch. My basic idea for the dungeon was, that an already existing cave in the rock had been exploited by the castle builders. Therefore I made the walls partially of human-made fieldstone and partially of natural rock.


I wanted some sort of access to the cave from above, but was unsure of how it should be. Just when I had given up fitting a staircase into the narrow room and having settled on building a ladder instead, I came up with making a staircase that was straight at first, and then started turning to the right, following the rocks in the cave.

Above is one of my first attempts to make it fit.


And here is the finished staircase. The walls are almost complete as well, with just a few more single fieldstones needed to complete the transition between rock and fieldstone wall.


After that I cut an opening in the top of the cliff, that will be the courtyard of the castle.

Here another of my new figures in 1:45 scale are looking down the stairs into the dark dungeon. This figure and the one in the first image comes from the French company MK35, which have a small, but excellent line of O scale figures.

When the top is finally glued on, I will make a couple of hatches, enabling the dungeon to be closed off from above.


6Then it was painting time! When using larger quantities of paint, I usually mix my own blend from cheap acrylics. I wanted the blend for the walls and rock to be basically grey, but with a hint of brownish and greenish tones. After mixing the colours above, I added a lot of water for a nice flowing blend.

7While building the wall, I wondered how the roof of the dungeon would be supported. I would have preferred an vaulted ceiling, but was a bit unsure of how to do it, so instead I bought some balsa wood to make large pillars and supports for the ceiling.


The scale timber was further strengthend with cross-beams and were cut to adjust to the walls. After that they were painted chocolate brown, representing old wood.


Then it was time to make some ground cover. I took some dried dirt, some flock, some finely crushed rock of a similar colour to the walls and fianlly a bit of brown sawdust to make a blend that would give a bit of variation to the otherwise very grey dungeon.


Here it has been spread out over a layer of glue. I decided to add some to the stairs as well to show how visitors to the dungeon would be dragging dirt up and down.


After drybrushing the wall with increasing lighter greys, I test-fitted the two timber supports, and they still fit nicely. Now I just need to wait for the new molds from Hirst Arts to arrive, so I can fill the dungeon with stores, crates and supplies as a background for the scary scene I intend to make down there. In the meantime, the timbers need some drybrushing and some fungus should be added to the walls.

Any ideas or comments so far? 🙂


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