When I was about 14-15 years old, I’ve had an idea how to make castle model for German lesson because at that time we were learning about the Middle Ages and castles.
I tried to make everything from cheaper materials or what I had in hands.
I’ve planned project terrain height to be 60 mm (2,4 in) and a diameter – 500 mm (19,7 in). The surface was made by using the sea foam and cardboard boxes from which the bottom was covered with 10 mm (0,4 in) thick sheets of sea foam too. Sheets were cut one by one in layers in such forms that different heights in natural terrain maps are shown.
That surface needed to be smoother, so it’s contours were done in different angles scraps and later I scoured it with sandpaper. Prepared layers were glued to each other at the proper places.
In the pictures you can see that I’ve not only created a land terrain, but the terrain underwater too. Soon you’ll see how I did that.
Terrain was made by using technology that my art teacher showed me while we once were making sham cannon of 19 century and I needed to create a rough surface. For the final, I wanted terrain to look more rough, so I cover it with simple toilet paper using papier mache technology. Toilet paper easily absorbs glue soak and helps to easily form curved surfaces such as glass fiber composite with a brush. When the glue has dried up I made a distinction between land and underwater terrain with knife. I also glued future walls as well. They were created from cardboards. Finally I painted everything.
As I promised, I’ll show you how to make a water simulation. Once upon a time in the history museum I saw the layout of the castle with a huge lake and it’s surroundings. The water of it was presented with help of simple glass and on it’s surface was shown land patches. However, I decided to make part of the buildings visible underwater too, as shown in pictures.
I have bought the thinnest what I found – 2 mm (0,08 in) thick polycarbonate glass sheet 500×500 mm (19,7×19,7 in). Of course, it would be better to work with quartz glass, but I found it hard to cut it and I wasn’t so good with glass-knife at that moment.
Polycarbonate was like wood, soft enough and unbreakable from minor impacts. It is flexible and has good adhesion gluing with hot glue. I was able to cut sheet with small saw blade which unfortunately has broken from the friction of collateral and polycarbonate melts. Then I’ve circled cutouts with a corner sander on a mounted disk in order to cut metal. So cutting polycarbonate was the bigger challenge for me.
Of course, the terrain was depicted like a moat around the castle and was filled with water from a larger construction body of water which does not fit into a 500 mm (19,7 in) diameter area. Therefore one side is open in order to determine a brick building from the side. On the side there is an ordinary PET plastic bent sheet, which is cut from a plastic bottle and glued with super glue.
Finally, all the pieces are glued on top of each other and glued on the glass land surface, exactly where the structures coincide with underwater structures.
Here you can already see how the terrain looks. It is with glass sides of the visible sea foam hid sticking cardboard sheet and is painted in green (in the left picture).
Trees are made in very simple way. They’re cut from the trunks of wooden toothpicks and varnished with little darker green shade. Tree leaves are made from creased toilet paper, rolled into a ball shape, glued to sticks and painted. Toothpick pointy ends are perfectly suited for this job.
Please rate, comment and feel free to ask any questions, suggestions, tips, ideas on how to use this art technique with papier mache. Feel free to share this post and I would be very interested to be linked to others who make similar art.