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Large Castle
Created by Helen Varner

This incredible castle was created by Dr. Helen Varner from Hawaii. I've included a few notes from her e-mail (edited slightly) to explain what she's done. This is one of the most impressive projects I've seen in a long time!

"It has six stories, a circular stairway up the right and a wizard's tower on the left. (The first photo) shows the entire front of the castle including the curtain wall (purchased foam stuff) which I had from another castle so it is not made of your stones, Bruce.

On the main castle, the tops of the circular stair, main roof, and wizard's tower come off. The main castle is lighted with grain-of-wheat bulbs and a 12-volt transformer. Most of the rooms in the wizard's tower and circular stair have one bulb, most of the bedrooms have two, but the dining room has four. I figured they ought to be able to see what they are eating!

(The third photo) is as close as I can get the digital camera to focus. Clockwise from the upper left they are:
The mage and his wife: She's on the balcony looking in at him and he has his back to us with a book in his hands. There is a huge long table loaded with food in the center of the room with six chairs.

The mess hall: has four groaning tables loaded with a feast. The cook is standing in front of the triple oven and there are three waitresses, the one nearest us is curtsying with her dress in her hands.

There are lots of crates and barrels to the left of the ovens and a read fabric rug on the floor. On the chimney over the far right oven is a shield with crossed weapons. Four floors have fireplaces and the chimneys all line up to one on the roof.

The throne room is below the mess hall and features a large fireplace with a roasting deer on the back wall, a tapestry on the left back wall, a huge treasure chest with chains around it on the right wall, a real fabric rug, and nine characters. It is (obviously) not completely furnished yet.

The royal bedchamber is the lower left room in the picture. I wish you could make out the details here. The king is reclining on his side on the double bed and he has two almost nude women dancing on the red fabric carpet. He has a desk, a table with all kinds of stuff on it, and lots of furnishings.

(The fourth photo) is the front door with a wizard knocking on it for perspective. The round hole has a shiny black latticework in it that doesn't show up very well on this digital picture but there is a shiny brass bell behind it that actually rings when you pull the chain.

(The fifth photo) is a close-up of the front door and the statues on the front of the belltower. There are actually eight statues (all 25 mm figures) but there are two on each side of the belltower not visible in this straight-on view. Note the gold leaf elaborate motif on the front door lintel. I actually smudged some of it off deliberately to make it look old."

Dragon's Inn and Garden Wall
Created by Tim Adams

Created by Dennis Bryson

Tower of the Teeth
Created by Bruce Hirst
Castle comes apart in sections to be used for war gaming or role-playing.

Tall spikes were made from calking tube spouts. Statues, doors and other small items can be made from existing miniatures or model kits. Try sculpting other decorative pieces on your own and see what happens!

Castle of William the Great
Created by Bill Parris
This castle was built in sections. Towers and wall sections can be moved individually. Backside of walls hold a rampart to set miniatures for siege battles. Castle designed, assembled and painted by Bill Parris, as well as all of the miniatures!

Buildings by Mark Theurer
Here's a few interesting buildings Mark has made. They come apart so you can place miniatures inside. He's used a variety of pieces in some very creative ways. Good work Mark!

Stone Shack
Created by Craig Hardt
Craig from Seattle built this shack out of left over pieces from his wizard's tower.
I thought the dry brushed stone texture came out extremely well. To the right is a close-up of the door.
Good work Craig!

Ruin of the Paris Chapel
Created by Bill Parris
These ruins are excellent for playing Warhammer 40K.
Bill simply stacked up some wall sections and cracked away the edges with pliers.
Broken pieces were used as rubble.
Most of this was built using blocks left over from other projects.

The Circular Tower
Created by Bruce Hirst

Here is a close-up of the top of the tower and the decorative braces.

Next to it is the bottom of the tower which has a special smooth base trim to finish it off plus decorative brick around the outside of the doorway.

This is a close-up of the arrow slits. They're beveled inside like the real thing.

Next to it is a close-up of the circular staircase.

Dollhouse With Stone Foundation
Created by Gary Jorgensen

Gary has built this large dollhouse using the molds to create his foundation blocks. Gary had cast over 1,100 of these blocks to make the foundation for this dollhouse!
Instead of painting the blocks, Gary has used a cement colorant mixed into the plaster. This is the same colorant you add to concrete when mixing it up and can be found at any lumberyard.

The advantage to using colorant is that you don't have to paint your building when finished. The color goes all the way through the block and if you chip it, you don't see white plaster exposed. Gary also told me that if you get the colorant on your clothing it won't come out!

I still prefer painting because the dry brush method brings more of the highlights and shadows out in the stone. Check out the fireplace - it looks great! Also below is a close detail of the stone texture.

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http://www.hirstarts.com. All photos, articles and plans are copyrighted by Bruce Hirst and may not be used without permission.
"Castlemolds(R)" is a trademark of Hirst Arts Fantasy Architecture Inc.
For more information contact bruce@hirstarts.com.