Japanese Castle

Made on commission this castle is defifinately the biggest model I have ever built, and one of the most complicated.

Picures are at the bottom of the post in my gallery, so for the eye candy start there…

Dimensionally it covers an area approaching 3ft by 2ft and it took almost 4months to get it built from start to finish.


The base is hollow to save on weight, with a piece of corrugated plastic (the type estate agents boards etc are made from) as the castles floor level. One it was assembled it was painted with a mix of several brown emulsions from tester pots, PVA glue and sand. This makes a hard solid surface. The outside walls are made from the same foamboard as the buildings, useful for this task is the fact a steel tipped pen will nicely indent the surface, do drawing and scribing take place at the same time.

The Gate tower was then built seperately and inserted, if you notice it is inset into the floor level, this was done as a space saving exercise, otherwise the front ramp doubles in length.

This like all the other walls was made from signmakers foam board, a dense but light, cuttable and shapable material. The detailing was made from wooden coffee stirrers. The roof is removable, both for storage and to allow figures to be placed inside it.

The Tower secion is in three parts, all removable again both for storage and for figure placement, again detailed using coffee stirrers.

The roof detail is easier than it looks, I found some cardboard tubing of the right curvature and cut it into lengths, then I glued strips of overlapping thin card for the tiles and then the bamboo verticals were added. These are made from sleeved earth cable. What you do is cut them approximately to length, then every half inch or so you grip the wire and cut through the sleeving but not the core. when you flex it, the gaps open out a little giving the impression of seperate sections. These you then stick on vertically, being flexible they willow the curvature, if there is a problem add another length of the tubing over the top and clamp them together to stop the cable springing away.

Basically the castle was then painted, varnished and shipped.

It sounds reasonably easy and it was, but it was also very time consuming, fiddly and space intensive.


Published on September 9, 2008 at 11:12 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi,

    Really incredible work… your stonework is OUTSTANDING!

    I’ve bookmarked your photo album.

    Thanks for sharing again!


  2. What a fantastic looking castle! I agree on the stonework, and the overall effect is very pleasing.

  3. Well done, what scale is it? it looks about 1/72
    would you mind if I copied it. I have been wanting to do one for years and seeing yours will give me the inspiration to attempt one
    Thank you for sharing it and for the inspiration

  4. Hi Alistair,

    Please feel free to use it for inspiration, its made to 28mm for use with Perry miniatures.

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