Let’s make a miniature castle set. When we are done, we can photograph it and use it as a film set.
First I looked at every single image on the internet, until I found a great fantasy castle. This image is from the new Dragon Age game. Sorry, but I do not know the artist. It is very inspiring though.
I will create the castle, and the bridge and some of the rock work, and will probably fake the sky and the far away mountains.
When you begin something like this, break it down into smaller basic shapes. Try to find the most basic elements. Squint your eyes and you will only see the basic shapes, not the distracting details. For this, I see some towers. So, I started with four basic small towers.
I did a lot of this in wood, but you could also use styrofoam. I began with a basic wood block, then I added cardboard for some of the details. Then I began the fancy top. Start with the basic shape then add details last. So, I made the bottom first, then I worried about the top piece.
I thought I might sculpt one in clay, then mold it and cast it in plastic resin. But when I went to the wood shop and made the first one, I realized with just a few more minutes I could have all the tops completed out of wood. The trick is look at all your available resources and figure out which one works best. In my case, I had several things available to me. I had wood, cardboard, paper, paper mache, styrofoam, and plastic resin. Wood won out for the tops.
A lot of times I clean up all my photos for the blog posts to make them nice and neat for you. This project I am going to leave them untouched so you can see the parts and debris laying around. You can see some of the creative chaos that I work in.
The magic of all this is black paint. It doesn’t matter what you make your shapes from. Once that first coat of black paint hits, it all blends together. This is a huge tip. Look at basic shapes everywhere. Glue them together, then coat with paint.
This work bench is where I am going to build the set. It is about 7 feet long. I will build the set right on top of this bench, mostly because it is the only free space I have.
I want the castle to be off the ground so we can make a huge dramatic bridge and high steep cliffs. So, I built a wooden structure that sits on the bench to raise it up. You can see the first three towers glued in place. The more sturdy you can make this under structure,the better things will be later. It can be super ugly, but must be sturdy.
So, there is the first pieces in place. More later.
Go ahead, build your own castle, have some fun.