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Welcome to my blog. Please feel free to leave a comment. I assure you I always read and appreciate everything you have to say. Unfortunately, thanks to Blogger being, well . . . Blogger, I can not respond to comments nor leave any on your blogs. They simply disappear into the ether. Occasionally I will remember to respond in the next blog post I put up, but usually these good intentions slip my mind. So if you want to ask a question or get a response to any comments you may have please leave an email address or other contact method in your comment and I will get back to you.

I have also added a separate page to the blog for the Tower of Magic with a brief summary of all the rooms of the ToM in the one spot. The link is just below this and above the main body of the blog, or you can just click here.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Welcome to Castle Starcaster

Many months ago I had a plan; finish the Dancing Dragon Inn and then start work on a new project called the Tower of Magic (or ToM for short). The basic concept of the ToM was inspired by Heather's Wizard Lair which you can see here on her blog http://thislittledollhouse.blogspot.com/2010/06/wizards-lair-finally-furnished.html.  The original idea was to be simple, a series of roomboxes stacked one ontop of the other, each fractionally smaller than the last.  As for what the ToM would contain, I had half a dozen different ideas all going in different directions.

Then Fairy Meadow Miniatures added a Cumberland Castle kit to their website.

Cumberland is a kit I'd always wanted and the moment I saw it on their site, I knew it would be perfect to house the ToM.  I had just bought two other kits, but on the basis that I knew what to do with the Castle, had always wanted one and might never get the chance to buy one again I forged ahead and bought the castle kit.

It arrived early on Friday morning, so the weekend was spent assembling the kit.  First of all I unpacked the four boxes and checked that all the parts were present and undamaged, then it was time to do a dry build.  Despite it's size, the castle is pretty simple and was easy to assemble.  With the castle put together I pulled out some of the furniture I'd been collecting for the ToM (most of it made by Angela Downton and bought from her on ebay.  No, I'm not sharing her username as I can't afford the competition) and arranged it in the castle to see how it looked and how it fitted in the spaces.  Next I got out some lego blocks and made a very rough chimney breast to see how the furniture looked with a fireplace in the rooms.  Normally, I end up deciding to skip the fireplace because there just isn't room for it.  This time I am making sure to include all the fireplaces a draughty old castle needs.

One thing that disappoints me about Cumberland Castle is that the kit has no stairs.  One thing that came as a total surprise is that the East Wing extension comes complete with fake doors to make it look like there is access to this optional extension to the castle.  I spent some time considering different placements of the fake doors and where to add stairs while the castle was dry built and when I had a final decision, I marked the places I needed to cut holes for stairs and one extra "real" doorway before disassembling the castle.  I then made the appropriate cuts and looking at the piles of MDF parts scattered everywhere decided to permanently assemble the castle, then decorate.  I I tried to work the other way around, something would have ended up being damaged by falling, crushing or being stepped on.  So I assembled the castle yet again, this time with glue and then gave the whole thing a coat of sealer.

Now I had just one problem.  I could no longer refer to this project as the ToM as it was a castle and not a Tower, so just what did I call it?  I had no idea until the name popped into my head while driving home yesterday.  Castle Starcaster.  Many years ago when I was in high school and thus had absolutely nothing to do all day, everyday, except keep an eye out for stray spitballs and listen to the boys in the back row and their perpetual argument which consisted of two words (one side said "Ford", the other responed with "Holden" all day, everyday for four years) I passed the time by creating stories.  In one Zoran Starcaster was a magician, which is where the name for the castle originally comes from.  Unfortunately, Zoran never had a castle of his own and worse was one of the bad guys which makes me a little heasitant to name a castle after him. 

But once the name popped in, it wouldn't go away and I like it.  So Castle Starcaster it is, whatever it's connotations.

1 comment:

  1. Love Angela's work, I have quite a few of her pieces, sorry! It is beautifully made.