Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Castle Great Hall Revisited....



Where To Begin......

Believe It or Not, Dear Readers, I had thought I might get to finishing the Painting of the Great Hall Ceiling now that so much of the already completed rooms of the Castle had been "strengthened" and I could finally turn my attention to The Great Hall. The ceiling is still removable so that the access to the Hall is easier while building is happening, and also so that I can paint the ceiling. I have been working on this very sporadically for years! (Those Patient Saints!) I have been planning to add a row of "strengthening stones" to the wall where the ceiling meets it for additional support and for realistic visual effect. The problem is that the ceiling is not uniform in its shape and doesn't meet the wall in a neat line. (More of those gaps and cracks as well as too tight places!) This needs to be fixed one way or another! And once the ceiling was removed and I could begin to plan how it meets the walls, it became clear that how it met the Front wall was not well planned at all. This would be because it really was not planned at all. I have been realizing as I strengthen the other rooms, that the front corners where the opening wall attaches have never had the corner posts that should have been part of the original framework. I hadn't planned how the fronts would attach, and did a poor job of it as I went room by room. The smaller rooms can maybe do without a corner post, structurally, but the Great Hall needs those posts! 

 Here is a view of the Great Hall ceiling removed....

(it is propped on my painting chair...)

The painted sections are just corrugated cardboard

 curved to resemble an arched ceiling

 and glued between "stone" ribs.

You can see that the curved sections do not match at their ends.

I will have to fix this.

But more importantly, the "ribs" are supposed to sit on stone corbels

which should attach firmly to the walls.... 

but on one side the open wall prevents that.

Without this support, the ceiling has warped and sagged a bit.

Add to that the fact that the side walls are too skinny...

 and have no corner support... this is the right wall....

And this is the left wall... 

and the walls are not tied together across the front in any way....

Yikes! What was I thinking?!

Strengthening is needed desperately!

Starting with a "tie" between the two end walls at the top.
This will also provide support to the ends of the ceiling "ribs".

Which you can see here.
I have screwed into the cross tie 
from both ends to give it strength!

Here is the view from beneath.... 
the added piece will be painted to look like stone.

This is the ceiling using the flash on the camera....
way too bright.... but it shows the frame work better.
And once I had added the cross tie,
 I needed to strengthen the front wall corners. 

This was going to require some extra carving on the corner pieces
 because I left no room on the wall when I added 
the door surround "stones" all those years ago.

And on the other corner I had to carve away some of the "stone" texture
 that I added to the walls of the Great Hall,
 so the new corner piece could be flush to the wall.
And the corner piece on this side would also need 
to fit around the stone door surround in the Gallery too!

Here you can see the new corner post has been added in the Gallery.

And beneath the Gallery too. 

Here is the new corner post on the left side, 
fitted over the door surround stones.
 These corner posts will hardly be visible once the front wall is in place,
 but will provide much needed strength to the corner of the room!

And that is as far as I got, Dear Readers,
 on my Castle Great Hall revisit.
The ceiling still awaits the painting... 
the corbels and ceiling supports still need to be added...
But I feel as though I made a good beginning...
And I might even know where I am going!


  1. Eres valiente! Has sabido afrontar con decisión y certeza los fallos de asentamiento que tenías y ahora todo se ve reforzado y en buen camino!

  2. Oh my... I agree, the support beam across the front of the hall was desperately needed. I think your solution is going to look wonderful and the great hall will look a lot more 'finished' with the supports.

  3. The new additions are perfect for your beautiful castle.

  4. It's wonderful that you found a solution you feel comfortable with. The result is worth all the hard work. Maintenance on the dollhouses is as hard as maintenance on a real life size house.

  5. This is an excellent set of solutions, Betsy, and I am so glad that the answers came to you exactly when they were meant to. The retrofit will look perfect when you apply all your magic to it and those saints will say they knew you could do it all along! Great work!

  6. Well, you first built the castle when you were still quite new to the task of dollshousing. No wonder you made a few mistakes. (The other reason is that you are determined to have everything perfect, including parts that will never be visible once the construction is finished!) However, I can see that the corrections you need to make now will keep the finished product from warping & eventually falling down. Carry on! (That ceiling looks finished to me...)
    Love, Mom

  7. Oh my, you had so much extra work at your Castle Great Hall, Betsy, it really demanded axtra supports, but now it looks great again. The ceiling now has good posts to support them, I'm glad you could revised it this way.
    Stay safe, take care, dear betsy.
    Hugs, Ilona

  8. Your fantastic pictures showed well why the Great Hall needed to be revisited - and you did a fantastic job. All the work you put into this additional construction for the posts and for holding the ceiling will pay off. And don't be too critical with yourself because you did not think of a more sturdy construction years ago - this is something about our hobby I really like: We all are developing! And you developed a lot over the years becoming a true miniature artist - your way to heal what you did not foresee back then is proof enough. ;O)

    And I must say that depart from following how you fixed your problem I was really enjoying the views into the Great Hall and to see the ceiling again. Yes, the Saints are still as patient as they always used to be, well, they're Saints, aren't they? (Btw seeing St. Nicholas reminded me of something... *gulp* Do you also get the feeling that he's muttering "Better get started,you two... it's not much time left until you-know-what... aaaaahhhhhrrrrgggghhhhhhh... eh... where was I...) I really need to point out how much I enjoyed the good sights of the floor. We always need to have in mind that you painted every single tile - so much work which also paid off, it's spectacular. But I must say one thing was irritating to me... the empty gallery. A very unfamiliar sight... Usually it would comfort me that the gallery will be crowed by my favourite band soon again as "H" is not far away anymore. But now in times of corona... who knows if The Deadly Nightshades will be able to rock the Hall as they always do... *gulp*

    Keep on working miracles - and stay safe!