Tuesday, November 22, 2011

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

Update 23 Nov 2011

I made a video of the diorama which can be seen on YouTube:

Please note: because I had put the video to the music from James Last, it is blocked in Germany.
Es tut mir leid Freunde!

Today, I'm glad to say the Schreiber-Bogen "Pfalz bei Kaub" project is finished! Let's do a short re-cap. Building the castle was a challenge as it was the most complicated paper model I had attempted to-date and took approximately 18 hours to complete. Up until this project I had only built fairly simple four-walls-and-a-roof paper models. There were some frustrating moments in the construction. Many small components were a challenge for old fingers and eyes and the model itself has a couple of design flaws. The walkway from the tower to the wall does not line up with the registration marks on the wall. Even though the tower sits exactly where it's supposed to on the courtyard floor, the registration marks on the castle walls are too far forward. However, unless you're right on top of the castle and it's been deliberately pointed out, you'll never see it.  One thing you can see is the mis-aligned course of bricks at the 'prow' of the ship-like castle.

Schreiber-Bogen's own photo shows the mis-aligned brick courses.

Now look at my model.. This is built exactly as the model is designed.

This is how the castle front is supposed to look. All brick courses parallel to each other.

There's nothing that I could have done to correct this and so I built the model as it was designed. It's still an attractive and unique structure. But the castle is so small and looks so puny sitting all by itself on a shelf, that I thought it needed something more. The Pfalz bei Kaub is also unique in that it sits in the middle of a river versus on a hilltop like most castles, and this cried out for a display diorama. The hoped for diorama was meant to be a simple affair using as many on-hand materials as possible. I found a scrap piece of MDF shelving that was already in a size suitable for the base therefore no cutting or sawing. I used Styrofoam and scenery materials for the rock base, all of which I already have. Then it struck me that the base needed some kind of frame. I bought a pre-finished, plastic-like moulding, cut it and glued it to the base. This was my undoing! Not being very good at wood working I really screwed up the miter cuts ending up with gaps at the corners which then had to be filled with epoxy. Yet another purchase.

Which brings us to the end of the project. One last purchase to make - a can of spray paint. I bought a can of  'Rustoleum Specialty Plastic' spray paint in gloss black. I bought this because the can said it needed no primer. But first I had to protect the scenery base:

Painter's masking tape was placed inside the framework and newspaper attached to the exposed tape, then folded over and taped to itself.

All painting was done outside. The frame was given three coats of paint allowing approximately 15 minutes between coats. It's hard to tell looking at this photo but the diorama is sitting on a box and is actually raised above the plastic. This was a great paint to work with and was dry enough to handle within 30 minutes.

A little touch-up painting was done inside the framework, the trees were stuck into the Styrofoam, and the castle simply placed on the base - not glued down.  Overall I'm satisfied with the way the diorama turned out. I like the gloss black paint on the frame much more than the wood-grain effect of the original moulding and it gives a real nice contrast to the blue of the 'water' on the diorama. Showing the castle sitting on exposed rock in the middle of the river has a dramatic effect and the overall size of the diorama is just fine for placing on shelf. Hope you've liked our 'Building A  Memory - Schreiber-Bogen's "Pfalz im Rhein bei Kaub" ' series. Now let's look at the finished diorama. Enjoy!

The finished project!

The framework looks bowed but that is actually camera lens distortion. In order for me to get the side to look straight I would have had to back up from the work so far  that many of these shots would have been impossible to make. I use a Canon PowerShot A590 for my photos and while it does a fine job it does have considerable distortion. Perhaps one of these decades I'll be able to afford a better camera. Until then....