Two Stone Castles – Part 1.

Except for a few minor details, I have just completed two Medieval Fortress/Castles produced by MiniArt – Kit No. 72004 and 72005. The models are marked as 1:72 scale, and come as unassembled plastic parts on thick, large sprues. Instructions are through numbered illustrated parts with arrows and symbols.

Instructions are marked: Copyright 2004. MiniArt Ltd P.Box 1432, Simferopol, 95000, Ukraine
Email: Printed in Ukraine

On the cover sheet of the instructions it tells about the kit:

Medieval Castle XII – XV c.

The first castles were founded in the IX (9th) century at the territory of France, Germany and Northern Italy. The X (10th) century was the beginning of stone castles with high towers. The towers were the inhabited places for the nobility, and the defense line. The small castles and towers defended strategically important objects like bridges, and the approaches to their town. A fortified castle became a symbol of the Middle Ages, like its owner knight. This kit gives the opportunity to make a Medieval Castle which was typical to Western Europe in the XII (12th) – XV (15th) century.

Instruction cover sheets for MiniArt Kit No. 72004 and 72005
(click on any photo to enlarge)

A Major Design Change:

Kit No. 72004 is the smaller of the two castles. After assembling all of the basic wall and tower parts, and laying them out in the assembly of each castle, as per the supplied renderings, I noted that I personally did not like the look/design of either castle.

The illustration for 72004 showed two slim rectangular towers. The illustration for 72005 showed two heavy looking square towers (both assembled castles shown above). The two rectangular towers seem to compete against each other in the model 72004 – looking too similar in shape. And the two square towers of 72005 also compete and make the castle layout look extremely heavy. Of course, these observations are my opinions. So, as the dotted directional arrows show, in the above top cover illustrations, I moved a few parts around in building my castles (also shown in the photo below).

Creating my castle – Kit No. 72004:

I began by following the instruction sheet directions and gluing the various castle components together with modeling glue (Testor’s Cement – Red Tube). Wall joints and the castles parapet walls required ‘some body work/filling. I use Acrylic Heavy Body/Hard Molding Paste. I apply it using a metal artist’s Palette Knife and clean up any excess with Q-Tip swabs (I go through a lot of Q-Tips). When dry the paste hardens making the part much stronger. It is also easy to paint over. I also add the paste to the inside of castle seams/joints. The castle tower and wall parts do not come with any bottom pieces, so I cut pieces to fit using Balsa Wood. This gives me a firm surface for gluing to the base.

Painting & Detailing the Castle Parts:

Using acrylics I painted all the stone castle parts using a medium dark grey (60-70% grey). When dry, using a 3/4 inch flat soft brush, I lightly brushed over the medium dark grey with a lighter ‘medium grey (40% grey). This leaves the darker grey showing in the castle stone joints. I also mixed a little Flat Black with Acrylic Medium for darkening the underside of certain castle stonework (this makes the color translucent -like watercolor, letting the bottom/underneath color show through). Separately, various small parts such as doors, hatches, front gate, ladders, flagpole etc. were painted using an Acrylic Burnt Umber. Black, or Grey, with Acrylic Medium to show an older, weathered, or dirty look. Parts were glued when dried. Using some recycled credit card plastic, I also added a stone ground area/patio in front of the back tower (see photo above).

A Base For My Castle:

After temporarily butting all the castle parts together, (shown in the above castle photo) I cut a piece of Styrofoam 9 3/4 inches x 12 inches. I put the castle pieces on the Styrofoam and marked with a pencil lightly the total castle outline. I painted the ground soil, trodden areas, and grass areas. I glued a few stones (using No-More-Nails construction adhesive), and applied a little landscaping using trees, bushes and firs to the surface. The jagged Strofoam edge was cleaned up a little using Acrylic Molding Paste, and when dried painted Flat Black.

Securing the Castle Components to the Base:

Starting with main square castle tower at the front, each castle piece was positioned and glued (using No-More-Nails construction adhesive) onto the Styrofoam base. When dried, Acrylic Molding Paste was palette knifed carefully into the joint corners, and to the bottom edge of the castle where it meets the styrofoam base all around. Each area was cleaned up right away with Q-Tips. When totally dried, the joints were touched up with the stone castle Greys I used previously.

Landscape Details

A Box Frame for the Castle’s Styrofoam Base:

I made a box frame with bottom, using Hardboard, and a wood frame/trim moulding measuring 1 1/2″ x 1/4″ (Found it available in 4 foot lengths at Home Depot). Construction grade Carpenter’s Glue was used to put the pieces together.

For this castle model (shown in photos below) I painted the frame using the Dark Grey that was used for the stone castle (The moulding frame could be finished by painting, staining , or ? …up to you and the design look you want for your particular model).

Notes: I have ordered some figures/people to add later. I also will add the drawbridge chains at the entrance.

For my next blog I will show and share details on the other castle I have built, and mentioned at the beginning of this post, ‘MiniArt’s Medieval Castle Kit No. 72005’.

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