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What I refer to as Shaun's Castle has "temporarily" resided atop a bookcase in our den for almost ten years. Until recently, I have had a real hangup about finishing quarter scale projects, but now that Shaun Crawford is actively doing his workshops again, I was inspired to show the castle I made with him at the late Beth Lane's.

NOTE: Our den has a high peaked ceiling and the very tall angular hand carved Don Quixote on the right was a gift from my husband almost 50 years ago. He went across the International Bridge at Zaragoza, Mexico, with his father to get one for me after I had seen one at the old market and was fascinated by it. Ask me to tell you about that speaker box sometime, too....

Back to the workshop ...

There were six of us taking the workshop, the emphasis for which was finishes. We began with the basic structure that Shaun had already completed from various boxes and cardboard tubes and painted black. We added the doors and windows (cast pieces), making sure to match interior with exterior.

Beginning with a coat of spackle (joint compound), we first dabbed on a grey coat with a foam brush for texture, being sure that we did it sparsely. Then we just kept adding successive layers of color until we were satisfied with the look.

It looked pretty horrible at first and all of us were groaning, Ohno, ohno, but Shaun reassured us it would all come together in the end. What made all the difference in unifying it all was the final dirty water washes we added to suggest the effects of age and weather.

These are the basic paints that were used to achieve two different weathered turret finishes. All I can recall at this point is that the two bottles on the right are copper finishes - GLEAMS brand and what looks like METAls Acrylic Craft Paint. As for the green; I can't tell from the picture and don't remember; it looks to be Melon. I wish I had taken notes, but I was so intensely involved in what we were doing, and I wasn't thinking about long term memory, I suppose.


Here are castles made by three other participants. Notice the variations in structure; these have two turrets each; mine has only one.

I chose the one tower version because I thought the placement of the exterior windows and doors seemed to provide the best room arrangement on the inside.

These two have a more fairy-taleish look to them, and different turret finishes. The one on the left was Beth's; her planned occupant was a fairy with purply-silver hair.

Here are the backs of those two.

This is the back of my castle.

We added the second floor, spackled and painted the interior basic stone grey, then added various colors as we did with the exterior until we were satisfied with the look.

That toothpick sticking out of the side is holding the staircase to the roof in place while the glue dries. We carved the staircase out of brown florist foam and then painted it to match the interior. I have yet to add the bottom floor staircase. I have a casting for the fireplace and some doors and windows to match the exteriors, as well.

Somebody asked why the staircase was on the right wall instead of the left. Shaun said that since most people are right handed, the defenders of a castle had an advantage over enemies trying to climb those stairs. Every time I look at my little castle, I remember the image I had of mean little people trying to fight with their swords and not fall off those open steps as the people above hacked at them with their swords!

One of those castles was made by the late great quarter-scaler Pepper Murray.

I cannot imagine a nicer guy to teach a workshop than Shaun Crawford.

Now, since I had my recent breakthrough and have gained confidence in my ability to finish quarter scale projects, I need to do the furnishings for the interior and get the little castle dwellers moved in!

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