Castle Diorama V: Cliffs and Arrow Slits


The construction of the Castle Diorama continues.


I decided to postpone the construction of the half-timbered house in the courtyard till later, but since I wanted the roof of the building to lean against the castle wall, it was necessary to prepare the timbers so I could see how high it would be.

The timbers are not glued on, for I have yet to decide on a way to fill the spaces between the timbers. Any suggestions? Perhaps more plaster?


To give the room on the upper floor of the half-timbered building a view of the countryside, I decided to add an arrow slit. Since the wall is so thick, 45 mm or almost two inches, it was necessary to build what seemed like a small room around it.


Slowly the illusion of thick walls is created. Just like when making props for a stage play, it doesn’t matter how the model is made, as long as it looks right. 🙂


It took a lot of filing the Hirst Arts casts to make the arrow slit, and the plaster dust is now everywhere in my small modelling room.


But in the end, I think it payed off. The arrow slit is now deeply embedded in the wall, and I can almost imagine a soldier with a crossbow leaning towards it to fire at attacking enemies.


I also placed three arrow slits in the corner tower, but since this level will be closed off from view, it went much faster.


At the same time, I came up with a name for the tower. As you can see above, it its obviously the Lion Tower, or Löwenturm in German. It seems like another Löwenturm is standing at the old city wall of Munich in Bavaria, Germany, so someone else got the idea first. 🙂

The plaster lion is a cast from the incredibly useful Hirst Arts mold #85.


Then it was time to work on the castle cliff. I begun by placing sheets of styrofoam at an angle to provide a base for gluing on rock cast from my Noch molds.


I intended to cover the styrofoam with thick plaster, so the shape of the cliffside was not too important at this point. Basically I just glued bits and pieces whereever they would fit until the shape was about right.


Then came the layer of plaster. It is quite a messy job, but works like a charm. All the styrofoam is now covered, creating nice and soft irregular shapes to build the next layer of landscape on.


I couldn’t help myself trying out the diorama as a backdrop for models already. Here my tiny narrow gauge steamer from Fleischmann Magic Train is acting as the supermodel. I think this will be a nice angle when the rocks are painted and the track ballasted.


After reaching what appeared to be the right height for the castle wall, I began making consoles to support the crenellations. It was quite a pleasure constructing that after gluing literally hundreds of various pieces of fieldstones together to form the wall.


Here’s the whole castle seen from above. Notice the box in the wall containing the arrow slit.

One of most pressing tasks now is painting the insides of the Löwenturm, finish the door and glue it in place, so the lower level of the tower can be sealed off.


And here is the whole thing seen from the track side. The completion of the cliff makes the castle seem both lower and sturdier. The rock casts look rather silly now, but I intend to cover the cliff with lots of vegetation, so hopefully it will look good when it is done.

Any ideas or suggestions so far? 🙂


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