Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Tower Windows....


Details, Dithering Details...

It took me most of another day, Dear Readers, to finish painting the grout lines on the Tower wall and the crenelations. By the time I was done there was no daylight to see by, so I had to use flash to record the completed wall. It sure gives a hint of what the Castle will look like when it is done! I can't tell you how much I look forward to that eventual day! And I have to stand back so far to catch the whole Tower that you also can see the surrounding "neighborhood" and the mess of my workroom. But never mind.... that is what workrooms are for! And you might be forgiven for thinking this part of the Tower was now done, but alas, I still had to design and build all the trim for those Windows. The only one on this wall that had been completed was the trim around the Guard Room window beside the Main Door. And it was a very simple replication of the trim inside the room. But for the upper Chambers I wanted fancier details on the exterior of the Castle Windows. This Castle is meant to be in the early Norman style, and those Castles were very plain in their design. The only places where ornate stonework was used were on the window and door surrounds and on the main arches of the Great Hall and Hearths.

Here you can see I have begun the decorative frame
 for the window of the Lord's Council Chamber.
 I had already established the basic design for the framing
 on the rear wall window. 
It is simple "braided" columns and a "Sawtooth" arch  on the top.

But the rear wall window does not have an opening section,
while the side wall does.
It makes the resulting window frame
 need to be wider and a bit less graceful....

The window grout lines have not been painted yet.
It took me ages of Dithering to settle on this design.
Because in the old Castles the windows
 increased in ornateness the higher up they were.
The council Chamber is not the highest floor!
Would I be able to make a fancier window on the top floor
 and not exceed the simplicity of the styles at that time?
(I dithered a Lot!)
But one thing I was pretty certain about was
 the need for the Saw toothed arches over the windows.
If there can be said to be a defining "Norman Style", that was it!
But they are not that easy to make!

This is one of those annoying places where I have had to compromise
 my sense of "Realism" for this Dollhouse.... the Walls are not thick!
In the Norman Castles the window trim was recessed into the wall thickness.
Alas, on my Dollhouse Castle, it needs to protrude from the wall.
This is 1/4 inch thick plywood, thinner than the Walls,
 but thick enough to allow for the toothed design.
I sort of have to saw and cut and chip the distinctive diamond notches
 along the inside edge of the curved arch.
The saw doesn't always fit inside the tight curve... (at the right angle!)
 and there is no vise clamp to hold it at the right angle to saw.....
(Yes, it is the Middle Ages in my workroom too!)
But I managed to make a suitable approximation of the design.... 
one notch at a time.

Yes, the notches are not all exactly the same.... 
but that is also true of the originals.... 
(I looked closely at some old door frames.)
And I know some of this is boring,
 but there are no off the shelf windows 
for Dollhouse Castles to be bought anywhere!
 I have to make them myself.
And what of the Top floor Windows, Dear Readers?
Well, I dithered even More on those!

For starters, the back wall windows were highly irregular!
You might recall when I was building the Bedchamber,
 I wanted to add the spiral stairs in the inside corner
 and this required that I re-work the windows
 that had already been cut in the walls.
In order to fit under the stairs, 
the window needed to be much smaller.
 And then I wanted to add another that small size
 on the other back corner where no window had been planned.
I decided to make it look like the castle had been "retrofitted"
 and leave the original arched window frame
 where the first hole had been cut and
 "fill it in" to create the smaller window.
It has the notched Arch, but no decorative columns.

And where the window was cut that now had the spiral stairs climb past it, 
I decided there needed to be an arrow slit rather than a window with glass.
But should it have the same fancier treatment
 as the rest of the windows on this floor would have?
I dithered for ages on this!
But I reasoned that the arrow slit was probably also a "retrofit"
 and the original frame would have been fancier like it's neighbor.
And here I needed to make columns,
 similar but a tiny bit fancier 
than the ones on the lower level.
Since I had used the spiral carving on this room's Hearth details,
 I figured it would be appropriate on the window frames too.
But these more delicate "columns" needed
 a stronger base and "capital" piece.... 
it just looked wrong with out them.
And then I was sure it was too much... too ornate.... too unlikely....
But I had already used a similar Column
 on the windows of the Chapel and the Great Hall....
So I decided to just build them and if I hated them later....
 I could always "retrofit" a new design.

Here is the other Bedchamber window with the fancier trim... 
sorry for the dark picture..... it has been really gloomy!
But you can see the fancier capital here.

And with flash.... and the grout lines painted...

And the Tower Stairs window...
(flash is so brutal!)

The Council Chamber and the Bedchamber...

And the full Tower with flash.
I am sure, Dear Readers,
 I will have to "live" with the window frames
 for a while in order to know for sure
 whether I think they are the right frames.
But for now, I've Dithered enough on these Details!


  1. Betsy these are GREAT photos even with the flash because it makes it easy to see your amazing work on every detail of this incredible castle! It is looking so fabulous! I love all of the details on the window frames and in my humble opinion they all tie together harmoniously whether they open, have arrow slits or fancier capitals. Each thoughtful element supports the next and takes me away to a magical world. My heart leaps when I imagine standing at the top of the stairs in the little alcove created by the buttress. And your magnificent stones come alive with the expertly added detailing. Your talent with a paintbrush continually blows me away! I feel so lucky that you share this journey and it is so much fun to get to watch as it develops!

  2. I agree with Jodi, the flash shows all those incredible stones and windows. Every time I look at this I can't believe that its 'only' paint and not some three dimensional stone or brick method like plaster or egg carton stones.

  3. Realmente maravilloso poder ver tan claros todos los detalles de tu maravilloso trabajo con el castillo! Todo encaja perfectamente y tiene un aspecto absolutamente real!

  4. It's amazing how with simple tools you were able to create this magnificent castle exterior. It only shows what a talented painter you are. Fantastic work!
    Hugs, Drora

  5. Your windows look amazing! And I agree that the flash photography is great! I love seeing all those details. I love seeing it in your work room, as it really gives a feeling for its size.

  6. I completely understand the dithering and then the need to crack on with the job regardless of a decision being made. You can always change things later, but I do think the windows look good. And more progress - yay! That is always motivating.

  7. I can only agree with the others - you shouldn't be too harsh with your flashlight! *grin* It makes all those wonderful details and all the effort, time and work you put into this visible. You really rock this castle - even if it takes one notch at a time. Oh, and I really need to tell you how much I enjoyed the first picture. Seeing the tower in all its glory gave me a good idea / vision how this is going to look some future day. And I loved to see the neighborhood of the castle... and to spot your beautiful lilac tree.


  8. Beautiful towers and perfect windows.