Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Building A Memory - Schreiber-Bogen's "Pfalz im Rhein bei Kaub"

We're going to start a new series today. For a few weeks it may run on Tuesday or Wednesday but will probably migrate over to Thursday's in time. This series is called "Building A Memory". I was fortunate enough to have been stationed in Germany nearly ten years. I met my wife there (she's German) and my kids were born there. I used to tell my wife, "Stick with me and I'll show you Germany!" It's a funny thing, but residents of popular areas or countries often times don't either appreciate what they have in their own 'backyard' or are simply too wrapped up with other things to care. There is sooooo many things to do and see in Germany and yet most of the German's I knew, never really got out and played tourist - at least to the extent we did.

OK, that being said, we ended up going to visit a fair amount of castles and landmarks. And, to our great good fortune, the German firm of Schreiber-Bogen, producer of fine paper models, has a whole series of landmarks which, fortunately, I've visited. Today's project is "Pfalz im Rhein bei Kaub". Translated that means, Castle Pfalz, in the Rhine River, by the town of Kaub. Known as Burg Pfalzgrafenstein, it was built around 1326 specifically to collect tolls from the merchant shipping along the Rhine river and sits on a rock in the middle of the river. It was never a residence like many other castles and was really quite small.

Memories: It seems I don't have many photos of this visit and it could be that it was a spur-of-the-moment decision to visit it and I may not have brought my camera, but for us it has one of the funniest memories we have of our castle-hopping in Good Old Deutschland. I took the Frau and kids of course, but on this particular trip we also had my mother-in-law Ria. She was not the typical mother-in-law that comics and sitcoms make so much fun of but rather a great woman who accepted me in the family with open arms and was always welcoming. If you notice in many castle photos, you'll see these real small rooms protruding from the walls. These are, quite frankly, loos, toilets, potties. Remember, castles were built long before indoor plumbing and trying to run from a top floor to some out house in the back lot would have been impractical, sooooo, they built these little rooms that stuck out from the castle walls, and one would simply go in there to do their 'business'! Good Lord, just don't walk underneath at the wrong moment!!

To continue. Me, my wife, kids, and mother-in-law were visiting the castle - which by the way is pretty small and quite plain inside - when my mother-in-law simply HAD to heed the call of nature. It was 1987 and she had been gaining in years by then. Understand , there were no convenient restrooms and she had to go, soooo she simply lagged a little behind the group, used 'the little room', and caught up with us later. Now, we will always remember Pfalz bei Kaub as the castle "Wo Oma in die Rhein gepinkelt hatte.' (where Grandma tinkled in the Rhine) ! LOL.

Here are the only photos I could find (I'm still lookin' though).. There is a car ferry in the area and these pictures were taken from the ferry, but not on the same day we visited the castle.

The Model
A couple of things before we begin. A couple of weeks ago I blogged a quick and dirty beginners tutorial on paper modeling and listed some of the tools I use.  Howard Lamey of 'Little Glitter Houses' has added a few of his favorites for building with paper:

"1. 4" x 4" quilting square ruler...has1/8" grid plus a 45 and a 30/60 printed on it...
2. reverse clothes pin clamp...leftover from my musical instrument making hobby days...
the clear plastic ruler and the small carpenter's square are obvious...they're just 2 of my favorites...i also use a small 6" steel ruler "

Here's a couple of items not shown in the previous post:

1. A place to glob your glue. You DO NOT want to squirt glue directly on the kitchen table. Scrap cardboard works wonders.

2. A cuticle scissors. The scissors shown in the photo are sold by Fiskars for scrap booking, but they're nothing more than small curved cuticle scissors. They work wonders getting in to tight places and for cutting small curves.

3. 6" steel ruler - just like Howard says. Theses are simply less klutzier than large rulers."

The model consists of a cover sheet and 4 sheets with parts printed on them. The level of difficulty, as described by Schreiber-Bogen, is 'Difficult'


1. Some websites recommend scoring fold lines very lightly using a hobby knife, while others simply recommend using a 'spent' (no ink) ball point pen and simply drawing it over the fold line. In any case, the result is to break the fibers of the paper just at the surface, allowing for an easier bend.

2. There are two basic folds:
   - 'Hill' folds. These are the most common wherein the paper is folded over, like most tabs you will encounter
   - 'Valley' folds: Where the paper is folded up unto itself as in the photo below

'Valley' folds are normally demarcated using an 'X' on either side of the intended fold line. One pushes a stick pin into the middle of the 'X' as shown (I use foam core underneath my work for these).

Next, turn the sheet over and, using the pin holes as a guide, score the line.

There are no written instructions. The model is built using the exploded drawing as a reference and assembling each part in numerical sequence. TAKE YOUR TIME. If you're getting antsy, force yourself to slow down.

 It's best to glue the side to one another before trying to wrap them around the base

Separate each part from the surround as you need it. Don't rush.
There are three basic forms in paper models: the box, the tube, and the cone. This model uses all three and it's just a matter of assembling the box (or cone or tube) and attaching it to the castle base.

After 10 hours of work

More to come. Enjoy!