Monday, August 27, 2018

Castle Tower Roof Supports....

Not Much To See.....

It was one of Those weekends, Dear Readers, when it seemed that I could not get organized and very little got accomplished in my Mini Worlds. I am reluctant to let myself drift away from my current Castle Obsession before I actually complete the basic structure, especially when there is so little still to be done to reach that goal. The top of each Tower needs the roof supports attached to the top of each wall, and once that is done I will be able to declare the "shell" complete! (Mind you, there are lengthy lists of trims, walls, stairs, windows and doors, not to mention floors fireplaces lights and so on still to be done.... but those can all come later.) So I decided to simply cut and attach one support beam at a time and see how far I got! I forgot to take a good shot of the Top Tower room before I had added the support beam along the right hand wall... so what you see above is after it was drilled glued and screwed in place.

Once again, I had to separate the Tower
 from the Great Hall portion of the Castle
 in order to be able to drill and screw the supports.

The exterior view with the screws in place....

The entire room.... with only the beam on the right hand wall.
This would have been easier to do right at the beginning
 of construction of the Castle.... but I somehow skipped this step!

It was a slow but not too challenging process.... 
the hardest part was getting my drill angles right
 while working on the back (this Tower Top is as tall as I am!)

Here you can see they have all been added!

And the interior stairwell wall has had a notch cut out to fit around the beam...

And you can almost see where those stairs come up inside the wall....
 (sorry it is so dark....!)

And the Lord's Council Chamber....
 ready to add the wires for torches and the fireplace fire!

But that was as far as I got, Dear Readers.
I ran out of the right size wood for the beams
 so the Lady's Chamber is still waiting.

 And then I remembered that the floor support beam
 where the stairs will come up on this Tower
 will also need to be cut away....
 just like with the Lord's Tower!

This is where the stairs go from the Solar up to the Lady's Chamber.... 
the stairs have not yet been built... 
I tried to shine a light in there but the beam is barely visible and
the floor has not even been cut away where the stairs will pass!
So I guess I will be doing some undoing to get this done!

But I did get the weekly lilac blossom done!

Number Twenty-three!

Wow! Even I am starting to be impressed with this collection!
So you can See, Dear Readers,
There isn't much to see...
But a couple of Castle Tower roof supports....
And a blossom!

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Chapel Undone...........

You Might Not Remember....

I had to do a lot more Undoing, Dear Readers, in order to access the Chapel Ceiling which needed to be trimmed an eighth of an inch shorter in order for the Proscenium to attach flush with the walls. I had not noticed this discrepancy all those years ago when I was actively constructing the Chapel... it would have been easier to correct then! But fortunately, most of the Chapel is not yet glued in place, because the ceiling is not yet finished being painted....(by those suspiciously absent mini artists...) so I was not destroying anything. But it was hard to remember exactly how to access the ceiling after all those years!

Once I had removed all the furnishings 
and sent Father Alban on a Dream Vacation, 
I could begin to explore and reacquaint myself with
 the structure of this very complex part of the Castle.
The ornate pillars are all still loose so the ceiling can be worked on.
Once again, I cannot attach the ceiling until I have completed the paintings....

Here I have shined a light in so you can see the partly done work....
The empty quadrant on the left will show the Creation scenes...
The right quadrant is a partly finished Last Judgement scene.
Above the altar is God in Magesty
and at the front is Archangel Michael defeating the Devil and his demons....
(The Medieval models I am painting from were shown long ago
 in This post if you care to know them.)
Perhaps someone else knows why I have not yet completed these paintings...
 why I started on the Great Hall Ceiling before I finished this one....
But I have forgotten!
 The entire vaulted framework of the ceiling slides straight out...
 in order to pass the supports without snagging.

The arched vaulting pieces are notched on the ends to pass the floor support beam.....

 Here you can see it a couple of inches out...

The arched pieces of the ceiling are made from
 ordinary corrugated cardboard, curved to shape
 and covered with a thick watercolor paper for the painted surface.
They are fitted to cover the entire ceiling when in place,
 so they have to slide perfectly along the edges of the walls 
and not catch on the framework of the monk's cell in the corner.

The view from above as it slides out......

The ceiling removed.... the edge along the front
 will need to be trimmed by one eighth of an inch!

And with the ceiling out of the way 
you can see the structure of the interior walls.
 The stairs in the wall to the right lead from the Great Hall
 to the Lady's Solar on the next floor up.... 
and they pass over the Chapel entrance from the Great Hall.
 In the back corner is the Monk's Cell....

The Monk's Cell from above.... 
showing the structure of the piece of ceiling 
which does not slide out... is glued in place!

Here you can see the front wall to the Monk's Cell is still removable..... 
and the ceiling is not grand but is the unadorned brick
 (painted on the corrugated cardboard...)
and the furnishings are quite simple.

Here is a closer look... 
the cot with the woolen blankets, the candle on the ledge,
 a simple cross on the wall, a shuttered window with no glass...
 and a brass ring in the floor...?

Which opens a trap door....?

And if you shine a light in you will see stairs descending......!
Where do they go..... I hear you ask?

Well, Dear Readers, all good Castles must have
 a Postern Gate Somewhere!
This door leads out onto the cliffs above the Sea... 
and if the need arose, anyone trapped inside the Castle 
could escape this way!

You can imagine how reassuring it is to know this!
But for now we are more concerned with
 the completion of the Chapel structure....

The floor support beam also needed to be trimmed by a "whisker"... 
and you will be glad to know I did not have to
 remove the beam to accomplish this!
My goal at this point is to attach all the "Prosceniums"
 and the exterior doors to ensure that the basic
 Castle Structure is solidly assembled.

I managed to trim the ceiling section with my coping saw
 without doing the artwork any harm 
(although the edge of the painting also needed to be trimmed a tiny bit).
Then I screwed the proscenium and the doors in place!

Oh, I do Love it when the doors swing open!

As before, nothing is glued in place.... 
waiting for me to complete the paintings first!
But for now we are moving on to the Solar....

There were nowhere near as many adjustments needed here.... 
since the room is essentially unfinished.

The stairwell wall had been painted and needed a little trimming...
 but is still unattached.
(I apologize for the dark shots... no excuse!)
I really wanted to get the fronts all finished... 
so I pulled out my big saw and cut the
 final proscenium and doors for the Lady's Bed Chamber,
 the top room on this side of the Castle.
And again, this is where I encountered the warping of the plywood.

Both sides were fairly bent...

But they pulled back into shape with the screws and a little pressure!

 As you can see here!

More trimming needed to be done before the doors would fit...

It was getting late.... 
I chiseled away at that annoying "bump"
 in the top edge of the proscenium.... 
my sawing was clearly not very precise!

And I attached the doors!

The only part still to attach is the top roofs on both towers!
(And the crenelations.... and the exterior stairs.....)

It is actually starting to look like a Castle!

And before you ask.... 
yes, I completed lilac blossom number twenty-two!

 Count them if you don't believe me!

Well, Dear Readers, if you are like me, 
you might not even remember where we started....
 with the Chapel all Undone...!
So much still to do!

Monday, August 13, 2018


It Had To Be Done.....

I was Only part way through Constructing the Lord's Council Chamber, Dear Readers, when I stopped working on the Castle Tower all those years ago, and I truly couldn't remember how much of what was in the room had been glued in! I am sure you can remember what the room looked like Before I tore it all apart... the Wizard has been using it for making his Potions for several years now.... but I forgot to take a picture of the deconstruction. As I discovered, the fireplace had not been attached, but the stairs and the inner wall (already removed in the above picture) had been glued in place. So why did I feel it necessary to undo that work, I hear you wondering? Well, there was a problem with the stairs that was bothering me too much to let it go. The support beam for the upper floor on the left side had no cut-out for where the stairs would come up... and so it blocked a good part of the stair where it passed the beam! (Of course I have no picture of that!) So I needed to take the inner wall out and remove the stairs and try to cut a space into that beam. I thought maybe I could saw through it with the beam in place... but that was not working at all! There was nothing I could do but try to remove the beam (screwed and glued to the wall!) and replace it with the necessary gap for the stairs.

I had to swing the Tower away from the Great Hall portion of The Castle
 in order to access the screws which are screwed from the exterior
 into the floor supporting beams...
(I apologize for the dark pictures... it was ... still is... 
incredibly dark and gloomy and rainy all weekend!)
Once they were unscrewed I could chisel the beam 
away from the wall in order to cut it shorter.
But before I did that I remembered to drill two additional
 screw holes where the shorter beam sections would be.

Here you can (sort of ) see the beam replaced with a gap for the stairs... 
(the beam has been painted to resemble stone in case you are confused)

And with the upper floor back in place (not attached) 
you can see there is no "beam" in the way of the opening...
 even though the stairs have not been replaced yet.

In this picture you can sort of get a better sense of where the beam used to be!
Meanwhile I am still trying to get the "prosceniums"
 and doors attached to this upper portion of the Tower.
But this is where we encounter some of the warping of the plywood....

You can see how much the outer wall is leaning in the upper two rooms!
This meant that the process of attaching the "prosceniums"
 would be a bit tricky... as it needed to correct the warp if at all possible!

Of course I forgot to take any pictures of the process....
 and this one shot is fairly blurry... 
but I think it shows that we narrowed the gap between the Castle sections.
 And Ta da.... 
the doors are attached for the Council Chamber! 
None of these unpainted prosceniums and doors are glued yet...
 I am simply drilling and attaching with the screws
 which can be removed when the painting needs to be done.

And then I re-glued those stairs.... 
having decided not to rebuild them from scratch.... 
even though they are a bit uneven 
and have gaps where they abut the wall....
because it is a narrow and dark stairwell where you can barely see....
(but the little people can easily scamper up and down the stairs now!)

The process of adding the proscenium to the Top floor 
was a bit more challenging, Dear Readers,
 because it was much more warped at the top,
 and I also discovered that my measurements were a little off!

Because the screws are going into the narrow 3/8ths inch thick plywood, 
I pre-drill the holes in the proscenium edge carefully centered on that width.
 Next I hold it in place and drill one hole at a time into the wall, 
making sure it is centered properly.
 This requires that I force the bent wall into alignment 
and hold it while I drill the screw hole and insert the screw! 
At the top of the Tower
I needed to make sure the proscenium edge also aligned
 with the top floor or ceiling of the Tower...

Which you can see here just propped in place...
(not drilled or screwed or glued)

And with the top aligned correctly... 
it became clear that somewhere along the way
 there had been a net loss of an eighth of an inch
 in the prosceniums' collective height... 
causing a gap at the foot of this proscenium.
But it was more important to have the tops aligned correctly... 
this gap could be filled later.

Here you can see I have only drilled and screwed
 the bottom two holes on the left side,
 and only the bottom one on the right side
 in order to hold it in place while I 
slowly bend the walls back into alignment...

Here you can see a close-up of the warped top wall!
It required considerable coercion!
Both sides did!
Here you can (almost) see the results... screwed in alignment!

And the gap at the bottom of the wall will be filled with this piece... 
which is why we Do NOT throw away the little pieces
 we trim off of the doors to make them fit better...!
I will glue it in later... but first I want to add the doors!

Can you see all those hinges?
Now I can open and close all the doors!
Of course, I will need to take it apart 
as I actually work on the rooms....
but for now the Tower is nearly "built"...!
I just need to add those "beams" to the top of the walls
 where they abut the roof... and drill and screw and glue them in place.

Meanwhile I have re-attached the inner wall in the Lord's Council Chamber.... 
the stairs run behind it up to the Bed Chamber on the top floor.
And even though I had hoped to start in on the prosceniums and doors
 for the Chapel Tower, Dear Readers, I ran out of time. 
And the more I worked on the Guards Tower,
 the more I realized that I will probably need
 to undo a fair amount of the Chapel tower too! 
But that is a task for next week. 
For now I will leave you with a picture 
of lilac blossom number twenty-one!

And the entire collection...!

Sometimes, Dear Readers,
 Undoing Just has to be done!