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"Show Me Your Castles, or Fortified Manors" Topic

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15 Oct 2020 9:07 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Show Me Your Castles, or Fortified Manners" to "Show Me Your Castles, or Fortified Manors"

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Thresher0115 Oct 2020 2:37 a.m. PST

I've been thinking about building one or two of these, since the commercial stuff is so expensive.

I've been watching a lot of Youtube videos, and it looks like it shouldn't be too difficult to do, even with just basic tools, some materials, and a bit of time. Extruded polystyrene foam looks to be best, but some people are using foam-core board, other styrofoam materials, and yes, even cardboard and paper.

There's one booklet that has a pre-colored, yellowish paper castle that you can cut out and assemble for about 10 quid, or so (or at least that was close to the price back in the day).

I also ran across a kickstarter page where some people shelled out $1,000 USD – almost $4,000 USD each for a "large castle" in 28mm scale, by a well-known terrain minis manufacturer. Crazy! Wish I had that kind of disposable income. It makes those little foam and resin ones I see on-line, and/or sold in pieces pale by comparison, since you can make a reasonable one for a few hundred or so.

I also ran across one sold by Tabletop Workshop out of the UK, as a kickstarter, that was selling a styrene plastic castle in 28mm as a kickstarter, back in 2014 – 2015, for 260 GBP. That is the discounted price, over the almost 400 quid retail price, but it looks like they are now out of business – the website doesn't work, and no postings on Facebook since 2015. The basic castle only came with four towers, but it did include some very nice looking medieval buildings too, to go with it.

A pity, since that one looked very nice too, but was as expensive, if not more so than the ones made of solid resin, but I digress.

I'd love to see any of your castle models (and or fortified manners), whether scratch-built, or commercial products, so here's a chance to showcase your work. Any scale will be fine, but I'm most interested in 15mm – 28mm scales. Of course, seeing some nice 6mm or 10mm – 12mm ones to use as backdrops might be cool too.

While I'm asking, anyone have any photos or drawing of the olde, Village Green castles sold by Stronghold 20 years or so ago?

I looked on-line, using various searches with Google, without success, and would love to see what those look like again. Probably been almost 25 – 30 years since I've seen a photo of those, but IIRC, they did look quite nice. I think they were available in both 15mm and 25mm scales.

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2020 2:44 a.m. PST

My manners are quite good I think, although not fortified.

There are a few fortified manors near where I live though.

Thresher0115 Oct 2020 2:50 a.m. PST

Geeez, I'm getting old, and staying up too late, obviously. Funny and/or scary how the brain works and doesn't catch silly stuff like that when you get older and haven't had enough sleep.


Yes, fortified manors would be far better to view.

I've sent in a correction request to the admins.

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2020 4:22 a.m. PST

Manners maketh man :)

Ultima Thule15 Oct 2020 4:35 a.m. PST

I have built several from scratch. I use the blue or pink foam board as a base then cover it with Acrylic Caulk which is paintable. I mostly just use one of those cheap serrated knife to cut everything.
Here is a link to Fort St Elmo.
My generic Medieval Castle
..and my British Hill fort


Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2020 9:33 a.m. PST

I built mine using Fat Dragon Games cardstock castle set PDF. I print them out on full sheet label paper, then I apply them to 2mm-thick cardboard, from a framing shop. I found the cardboard tends to warp, so I glued square wooden dowels inside, to keep the warping to a minimum.

Here is a setup for a siege of a city: Link1. This was a 2e BattleSystem fantasy game, in 28mm. The Siege Towers, and the Battering Rams were made using the same techniques, bonding label paper printouts to 2mm-thick cardboard. They have plenty of heft, and they are quite sturdy.

Here is the same convention game, from behind the walls: Link2

Here is a closer view of the towers, wall sections, and a siege tower: Link3. These Towers were one label sheet, top to bottom. The merlons were cut out after the label paper was applied -- this creates a much stronger merlon section, as opposed to making the merlons separately, then gluing them on.

They are completely modular. I am scratch building round towers using oatmeal tubes, cladding them with the castle printouts. I am also constructing a large gatehouse, using the same cladding techniques, with an oatmeal box with the corners cut off, by original box design.

For the rounded merlon sections, I apply it to the cardboard tubes cut properly, to form an open curve: this makes the merlons much stronger than paper, or cardstock. I cut cardboard tubes (toilet paper and paper towel tubes), apply the merlon label printouts, cut, and glue to the tubes. This gives the merlons strength, rigidity, and a proper curve. It is work, but not as much as a complete scratch build from foam. And… No painting! I do, however, use a black Sharpie Marker to blacken the edges of the paper, and the cardboard, as it masks a lot, and it is virtually unnoticeable.

Obviously, this approach is completely modular. I can build a castle, or a city, as the need demands. I can make it cover a Ping Pong Table (the table shown in the first photo, Link1, above, has a playing surface of 5-feet by 9-feet, inside the game well). It really is quite versatile. The round towers I am building, and the massive rectangular Gate House, are unnecessary, but they give me more options. Cheers!

EricThe Shed15 Oct 2020 10:57 a.m. PST

My castle – scratch built

link on how here


end result




Charge The Guns15 Oct 2020 12:49 p.m. PST

That, Mr. TheShed, is a stunning bit of castle building! Fabulous looking result.

I was lazy and bought one from Hudson and Allen. They do very nice castle bits, but the shipping and import from USA to UK is eye-watering.

LPGallagher Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2020 12:50 p.m. PST

I've really enjoyed viewing the pics on this thread, very inspiring?

Here are some pics of the castle I built 20+ years ago from foam insulation board.




Malatesta150015 Oct 2020 3:32 p.m. PST

I love seeing all the different fortifications on show in this thread.

At the moment I have a more northern European set up: link

And an Italian Wars set up: link

Both are mainly the old Battleground range from Magister Militum although the northern European set up has had a fair bit of extra work done on it.

All castles are unique so I think a set up that allows flexibility is best.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2020 5:11 p.m. PST

I recently bought a gatehouse & some walls for a walled town from Anyscale.

They complement other structures to make quite a nice, table-edged walled town.

It should appear in my upcoming SYW game of Reichenberg but will also suit as a background to the mighty Covenanters fighting their wily Montrose-led foes.

Thresher0116 Oct 2020 7:45 p.m. PST

Wow, lots of really superb looking stuff there for you all, as I suspected.

Thanks for sharing your photos and links with us.

Keep them coming, if you have more.

Cormac Mac Art16 Oct 2020 8:30 p.m. PST

If you want to build a castle brick by brick, there are molds available here:

I like using paper models because they are cheap, easily produced, and are easy to store. Check out this sight for lots of paper terrain

Thresher0117 Oct 2020 2:39 a.m. PST

Thanks for the suggestion.

I see people doing that, and have seen those, as well as those making their own bricks out of foam. The work does look great, but seems very tedious as well.

I'm thinking more along the lines of doing some hand-scribing, or getting one of those "clay rollers" used for texturing clay to do that with foam. Apparently they work alright on the foam too.

Even better is if you print, or make your own foam cutters, but I don't have the capability or equipment to do the former, and while the latter is also tedious, the time spent doing that will really pay off down the road, if you want to texture more than a few pieces, later.

MajorB17 Oct 2020 10:58 a.m. PST

Castle walls were typically whitewashed, so the stone blocks would not be that obvious.

Anton Ryzbak30 Oct 2020 5:57 p.m. PST

I am a bit of a nut for this sort of thing….


Fort Matanzas, Florida


I built a 1/350 scale start fort and it looked silly all by itself, so I added an island


Then I built a 1/50th scale model of the Castillo de San Marcos, St Augustine FL


And one afternoon I got bored and this happened….


Round towers were easy enough, but hexagonal ones are a pain!


And a friend of mine asked me to build him a model of the Frontier Fort of Kelnore from the old Judges Guild book from the 1970's

You can see al the other crazy stuff I have built out of foamcore and blueboard here; link

Puster Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Nov 2020 2:27 p.m. PST


Thresher0102 Nov 2020 1:28 p.m. PST

Ooooo, I need that 6mm, Germanic style castle/walled city in 15mm.

Maybe not the whole think, since that might be cost-prohibitive, but certainly the main gate, and a few of the different towers and walls.

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