Saturday, May 16, 2020

Scale Model - The Villein's Byre House - Part 1

A few months ago, I posted an image series of my Dad's work on a Crusader era castle. It's all done. I wanted to start building my own castles and models. Dad sent me a great stryrofoam cutter and I started practicing.

Before we get to my model, check out the video of my dad's castle. You can follow him over on Facebook. Skill-wise, I have a long way to go. 


One of the battles I am having with myself is "what is this for?" My dad's castles are large and impressive so he can fight sieges and battles with whole armies of figures. I'm not much of a historical gamer, I prefer D&D type games. Skirmishes over battles. 

To that end, I decided to work in 25 mm scale or roughly 1 inch per 6 feet. I also decided that my base can't be bigger than 18 inches on a side. I wanted to be more historical and natural world than fantasy, so this is a rather plain-jane build. 

I started on the base, which will hold a variety of structures depending on need. I used 3 sheets of 3/4 inch styrofoam and the whole base stands 2 1/4 inches high. In scale, that's a rise of 13 and a half feet. Smaller mounds on the top will be another 3/4 of an inch high, or another 4 and a half feet. So, 18 feet in scale.  

Front view Reverse view
This base needs to hold a large byre house, which I marked out with some sticks. This structure will be 18 feet tall, 45 feet long and 20 feet wide. In scale, that works out to 3 inches by 7.5 inches by 3 1/3rd inches. I picked this size because it's consistent with the historical record and is amendable being used as a playing field.

The byre house is orientated on the road cut into the hillside. This is family's home, not a fortification, so a straight line is fine. This land was probably the former site of a wooden tower house, which explains the contours of the site. I think there will be a wall around the top level, but for this model, they will be ramshackle owing to the fact that one family is working this site. They probably can't spend too much energy on this.

From the outset, I decided that I needed one side to fit or face something so it will not be seen when on display. The backside simply drops off, which is not accurate to the structure, but works for display purposes.

My next step is to clean up the base and apply some paint. I'll probably have another update for #MinatureMonday.

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