Sometimes everything goes wrong. That`s how it was this time!
Some of you probably remember my first post about the new medieval project in 1/72 scale – here you can check THIS post. I had a goal to build a huge diorama with castle and two XIV century armies for Hail Caesar system. Today I see how many mistakes I made at the very beginning… I wasted a lot of time and materials but the experience I have gained is priceless. Let`s return to the beginning.
My first step – shopping! I purchased three big MiniArt kits – 2 x Medieval Castle and 1 x Medieval Fortress. It was my first serious mistake. I didn`t make a good research (not so many reviews in web to be honest…) and was very disappointed by the quality of both kits. Bad casts, lack of details, terrible system of assembling – a lot of green stuff is NECESSARY to make anything with this plastic. I decided that I can deal with it. It will just take me more time.
Another step and another shopping cart – two big cans of PVA glue, styrofoam, two cans of brown paint and OSB baseplate 75 x 120 cm. And yes – more fuckups. Instead of cheap styrofoam I should buy XPS which is much better to work with. OSB baseplate is cheap too but absolutely terrible if you want to have clean, flat board. Even two thick layers of PVA glue didn`t fix it and texture of wooden chips was still visible. Today I see some other ways to fix it (plaster putty), but in the future I`ll use MDF or plywood.
Third and probably the biggest mistake – lack of plan. Don`t get me wrong – I`ve sketched everything in my notebook. It was definitely not enough! Protip for me and you – without solid, accurate plan, do not start any big project. Never ever. Location of walls, buildings, gates, stairs, measurement, style of architecture…
This time I created “something” and decided to start work.
To create terrain I used styrofoam and paper towels with PVA glue. In my opinion it`s a good technique. With a little practice, it may be a good base for further work.
Above you can see the whole castle plan. At the beginning it was ok – impressive look etc. But the more I worked on construction, the less I liked it as a whole diorama. Without initial hurray-optimism I discovered accumulation of small mistakes I made at each stage of the construction. It was necessary to spent another hours on fixing it…
I didn`t give up. I fixed almost all miscasts and holes in walls/towers with green stuff/plastic putty (it was not easy!). I assembled and tested barbican. As you may see I tried to make small part of green.
Later I painted water – imo colours are good enough and in the future I`ll try to do the same.
At that moment I was also sure that I have a bad castle. I wanted something from medieval England, and my buildings fit rather into the architecture of the Italian strongholds. In addition the repetitiveness and small number of details of walls/buildings pissed me off.
I spent a lot of hours working on the diorama, but I decided to stop the project. I got to the point where I saw that the final effect would not satisfy me and every next step would cost me a lot of effort. The most intensive work was just beginning, let alone the cost of specialized chemistry, varnishes, greens.
The amount of mistakes made by ignorance and the excessive enthusiasm of the novice, desire to speed up the work, have made me reach a border point. I decided that it is better to start again, with pack of new experiences. I dismantled what I could and threw the entire board into the garbage bin 🙂
I’m preparing and planning a second castle. I am one hundred percent sure that it will be much better and I will be able to reach the end of the project! If you survived up to this point, it’s a sign that the topic probably interested you. I would read your opinions, advices and comments. Such exchange of experiences is an invaluable source of help and inspiration.
See you soon! 🙂
PS. I am still working on Hail Caesar armies – soon I`ll share some info about it!