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It took all day but I think it was worth it. A wash of black ink was applied to highlight the detail.
Once the basic construction of the causeway was complete it was time to add the paving 'stones' to the walkway. This was done using strips of .010" thick styrene ranging from .020" to .100" wide. Notice that the 'stones' are aligned along a distinct centerline.
The causeway prior to painting.
The terrain around the castle is taking shape. The causeway and castle have not been permanently installed yet.
This view shows how the causeway spans the moat and joins the castle to Main Street. The brass compass point design has been worked into the forecourt.
After the compass point pattern was constructed, the entire area was coated with Bondo auto body filler. Hey, don't panic. After the filler has been sanded the brass compass pattern will be clearly visible and ready to help our miniature guests orient themslves in the park.
A completely new castle forecourt area needs to be built and this area features the compass points directly in front of the castle causeway. The design was drawn onto .040" styrene and I used .010 X .030" brass bar to construct the pattern. The individual brass pieces were carefully cut and trimmed and secured with CA glue.
Here the new "ivy" has grown on our castle. I used commercially available finely ground scenic foam from JTT Tree. A base green foam was appilied by carefully brushing on un-diluted white glue with a fine point brush then sprinkling on the foam. After this was completely dry I then brushed on some Woodland Scenics "Scenic Cement" (diluted acrylic matte medium) and then sprinkled on a sparse coat of a light green. This gives the ivy an appearance of depth and really looks "alive."
This photo shows the area of the castle wall (to the right of the drawbridge) which was 'scarred' when the original landscaping was removed) completely hidden by the new ivy. I'm really happy with the result.
Another shot of the new drawbridge from the opposite side. I really like the appearance of the real chain as it adds greatly to the level of detail.
I painted the areas of the castle walls where the trees have been removed with flat dark green enamel. This will help to hide the "scars" to the castle walls. New "ivy" of finely ground green foam will be applied to cover this area.
At this point I have re-painted the rocks using using white, black and brown flat finish enamels. I finished by dry-brushing them with white.
The drawbridge assembly has been attached to the castle. The lifting arms have been painted brown and the two torches have also been re-painted with a bright yellow-orange color.
Here is the new drawbridge. It was made from wood and the top planks applied individually. Also shown here are the new lifting arms (white styrene) and the lengths of real metal lift-chains. I made tiny eye-bolts in the bridge and arms to secure the chains. Brass wire was used to make the posts that will be connected with the simulated chain railing that keeps guests from joining the swans in the moat.
I used a thin wash of flat black enamel paint and a detail brush to color-in the many small openings, windows and loopholes around the structure.
The finished 'weathered' castle walls.
In this photo the wall to the left of center has been darkened a bit by application of a India ink-alcholol wash and to also help highlight the detail of the stonework.
I removed as much of the landscaping as possible with the bandsaw being extremely careful not to cut into the castle walls or ramparts. You have to be mindful of the tower roofs and any other overhangs to prevent damage. The final removal of the landscaping was done using a Dremel tool with a sanding drum. I left the rocks at the base of the castle wall intact as Robert Olszewski replicated these extremely well. This is a testament to his attention to the smallest details.
Removing the scenery from the front of the castle meant passing the bandsaw blade through the causeway. The causeway is a separate glued-on piece which was easily removed after this cut.
Here the lifting arms and chains for the drawbridge have been removed. New ones will be made later.
To prepare any of the Olszewki pieces for bandsawing all the electronics have to be removed. Also, before I could begin to separate the castle from the surrounding landscaping I needed to clear the path of any usuable details from my bandsaw blade. So, it was time to round up the swans for the time being. The swans are dicast metal and the technique for removing them is to use a #3 hobby knife handle with a 1/2" chissel blade. Place the blade at the base of the swan bevel side down and gently tap on the handle with a small hammer.
Hey, the castle moat area is starting to look like something now!
This view illustrates how the addition of the new 'wings' of the castle and surrounding landscaping -including the Snow White wishing well area- are coming together to fill the north end of our Main Street module.
Here's a close-up of the wedding in progress. Other members of the party will be added shortly along with some other details.
This little landscaped area was a bit of a challenge. The curbing around the rocks, the rocks themselves, and the railing were a tight integrated area to model. The 'rocks' are from Woodland Scenics- "Extra Course Boulders Light Grey" and were selected to closely match those at the Park. I've yet to add a photo 'interior' to the Once Upon A Time Shoppe to give it some depth through the doorway. Finally, my first 'cube' tree was made from balsa wood, piano wire and finely ground scenic foam. It came out pretty good. Several of these cube-shaped trees will be made and planted around the moat banks.
By mixing textures and colors of the commercial model landscaping products a good representation of the park's real landscape can be achieved.
The castle has been permanently installed and the moat water level has been brought up to the final level by an additional pouring of "Magic Water." I reduced the amount of coloring with the final mixture to help add 'depth' to the appearamnce.
The top of the stone wall to the right of the bridge has not had the stone pattern painted. I do this by hand using three basic colors to match the printed paper stone pattern used for the vertical sides of the walls. You can contrast it with the wall to the left which has been painted.
With the festive banners fluttering in the warm southern California breeze, all that's left to do now is add some detailing to the white styrene to suggest the interior of the "Once Upon A Time" shop. I may employ the old photo trick to do this.
Fast-forward here and the new west wing is almost done.
This is the new west wing positioned with the main castle.
Here I've reinforced the corners with 1/8" square styrene strips.
Here I am scratch-building the west wing of the castle. I use Vollmer H:O brick plastic sheet to make the castle walls. The size of the H:O scale bricks is very close to the Olszewski Sleeping Beauty castle stones.
The first pouring of the water is complete. The water level will be brought up to the final depth after the castle is installed.
The "Magic Water" is carefully poured into the moat. A wood coffee stirring sick was used to help spread the water under the causeway. The "water" has a viscosity similar to maple syrup.
At this point it was necessary to fill the moat to about two thirds of the final water level. This allowed me to check the contours of the moat banks and to also add the rocks to the waterway between the castle and Frontieland portion. I used a two-part product called "Magic Water" which has all the ideal properties I was looking for: ease of use; no toxic smell; won't yellow with age; won't crack; can be colored with paints; looks like real water when dry. I added a few drops of green and black enamel paint to color the 'water' prior to pouring. The final 'water' will be poured to bring the moat up to the correct level after the castle has been permanently installed.
Here the detail painting has begun.
Here is the new east wing temporarily in position prior to detail painting.
This is the east extension or 'wing' for the castle that I have built. This fits between the castle and the Snow White wishing well area.
These are forms for the hedges which will go behind the benches in the castle forecourt area. Each is unique to its specific location. These are made from bass wood and have been painted with a flat green enamel prior to the application of ground foam.
The topiary swans have been enhanced with an application of green foam and placed in their landscape island. The underlying flowers of blue and white (intended to represent sparkling water) were also enhanced with ground foam.
Some of the "When You Wish Upon A Star, Your Dreams Come True" has been completed using gold letter decals. The compass points, "N" "S" "E" "W," will be added too using decals.
The compass design, main concrete secrions and the earth colored paving stones have all been painted. At this point some touch-up work on the paving stones is needed but, for the most part, the castle forecourt is complete.
The bueish-grey applied. The final two colors (two shades of mauve) will be applied to the outer rings to finish the paintwork.
The next color -blueish grey- is ready to be applied. This photo shows the carefull masking needed to avoid painting the brass borders of the design.
Here I've begun to paint the compass point design. The first of four colors -light blue- has been applied. The areas painted took some time to carefully mask them!
This view shows the pathway to the right of the castle which leads to the Snow White wishing well area. The waterfall and well have been oriented properly which meant the pathways had to be realigned some.
To the right of the forecourt the topiary swns have been located in their lanscape island.
Various small retangular paving stones around the forecourt area and leading from the compass points were all individually cut and applied. .010" white styrene was used for the 'stones.' The two circular planters have also been installed made from 11/32" diameter styrene tubing.
Here, finely ground green foam is carefully applied to the wedding area to represent grass. Woodland Scenics scenic cement was applied with a disposable pipette to secure it.
The pathways were painted with a earth-tone color and then a thin wash of flat-white acrylic was applied to highlight the bricks and tone down the color.
Here, the first layer of landscaping -the texture coat- is applied. I apply a 50/50 mixture of white glue and Woodland Scenics "Scenic Cement" brushed over the landscape form in small (2"sq) patches. Into the wet glue I sprinkle sifted dirt and brown saw dust. This texture will help the final labdscape coverings (grass, flowers, etc.) adhere to the landscape base.
The most ornate of the three bridges that one can cross to enter Carnation Gardens is shown here.
The layout of the pathways and bridges to the left of the castle moat is shown here. Also, note the location of the little area used for weddings just to the right of the path.
There is a area where weddings are held just to the left of the castle forecourt. I used my photos of this area to replicate the stones made from .030" thick styrene sheet.
The Olszewski topiary swans have been removed from the Snow White/Triton Gardens piece.
A lot of the castle trim has been painted in gold tones for the 50th anniversry of the park. I still have more to do at this point!
This is a favorite photo of mine. A Preiser figure of a lady shopping was placed heading out of Fantasyland with a full load of merchandise -probably to "package check" service or the locker facility. I painted the bags to resemble the ones currently used at the park.
The work is beginning to pay off. The new flag poles and pennants, paint work, landscaping, along with the many other new details is making the structures come alive. The units are almost ready to install on the platform. But first, a bit more work to prepare the moat and immediate terrain is needed.
The six pageant banners were re-painted and then enhanced with the triangular shaped bunting. Again, my photograph trick was employed to make these -all twelve of them! Then result was very pleasing.
When at the park I photographed the shields on the drawbride from both sides of the moat. My photographs of the shields were reduced on a color copy machine, cut-out and glued onto .005" styrene. These were then trimmed and glued onto the drawbridge railings. Notice that the shield designs are different from side to side.
A few photos showing the relationship of our new causeway with the Olszewski castle.
The drawbridge needs some railing to keep guests from falling into the moat. At Disneyland, chains are strung through stantions which are removable so the drawbridge can be raised and lowered. After pondering how to replicate this, I decided to 'fake' it by using photo-etched railing and then arching the rails downward to simulate chains.
I used colored Sharpie pens to add color to the pennants.
The tops of some castle turrets were trimmed off and small holes were drilled to allow brass rods to be inserted to extend the flag poles. Pennants were made from paper.
This is the exit of the right side of the castle (viewed from the front) that leads to the Snow White wishing well. The real castle descends sharply though this passageway from the courtyard area and the path is almost level to the wishing well. To help flatten-out our path to the well I carefully ground out and carved the passageway with my Dremel tool and a hobby knife to lower the exit about 3/16".
The Fantasyland side of this roof needed to be re-painted in reddish-brown and tan hues to blend in with the Peter Pan attraction colors. Also, I detail painted the wooden beams and the doors.
It was a bit tricky to install the portcullis. Next time I'll perform this task before I install the drawbridge!
I painted the portcullis a dark brown and then dry-brushed on a bit of rust color.
After the glue has set I trimmed it with a hobby knife.
Here I'm constructing a new portcullis from .015" X .030" styrene strips.
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