Sunday, 29 July 2018

Roman turret

My summer holiday this year was a walk on Hadrian's Wall. I won't tell the whole story (can just say that it was wonderful), but at one point we were reading a sign explaining how Roman turrets were built and used, and on the sign was this picture:

Oh my, I thought. this looks like a miniature. (It probably was, unless it was a computer simulation). I can make one like this, I thought.

So here we go.

As usual, I went about for a while deciding what to use, and a shoe box felt the most natural choice. Just think portrait rather than landscape.

But of course the walls of a turret would be much more massive so I glued thick cardboard on the outside. And I glued a piece of cardboard to the bottom because I may add a bit of wall on both sides and a bit of road in front.

I have never done it myself, but of course the best miniature stone masonry is done with egg cartons. My husband knows that for the next couple of weeks he must save egg cartons for me. Fortunately, he is used to my crazy requests.

Stones must be cut one at a time, and the edges must be distressed for natural look. They also must be painted one at a time, because no two stones are exactly the same colour. I miscalculated the brown ones - they turned out far too conspicuous and had to be repainted. 


Now the building can begin.


Not really, I will need about ten times as much stones, but we had only one egg carton at home, and running to a supermarket on Sunday to get eggs entirely for the sake of the carton felt overdoing it. But I wanted to test what it would look like.

People always ask what kind of glue and paint and so on, so I used simple watercolors and all-purpose PVA.

Gluing one by one, at random. but on the whole I think it looks too light, I should probably paint it over again, a bit darker. When the glue had set, I added "mortar" (filler) for proper look.

It looks more natural this way, but I believe I will paint the mortar greyish as well. And of course I will sand it when it is dry.

I had almost run out of egg carton, so I didn't do the other wall, but instead glued some stones on the front edges - again, just to test.  I had about enough material to test flagstone floors. I once made flagstone floors from air-drying clay, and it looked great, but this time I will make it simpler. I also lined the interior walls with lining paper.

The next stage is inserting the horizontal divider, with proper beams etc and with an opening for the stairs. This is quite a demanding bit of engineering so I need to think more about it and decide whether I need extra supplies.

However, I really wanted to move on with the project, so I made a roof. I have used this technology before:


You can glue tile by tile, but in this case it doesn't matter, and this method is quicker. Typically I don't necessarily use quicker methods, because I enjoy making things slowly, but anyway, this is what I did.

I may paint it or leave it as it is, because it has a suitable, worn-out look.

So here is my Roman turret-to-be, not in the order it would have been built in real world, and I am not using slaves. But as with all miniature projects, you cannot help thinking about how they made it, how much time and labour it took, and how much knowledge and imagination.

To be continued.

1 comment:

  1. Such a promising beginning! I'm glad you enjoyed your vacation.