Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Watchtower prototype finished

I (mostly) finished painting up the prototype Benan Watchtower. Sorry about the change in tones between the pictures the real colour is somewhere between the two.

Watchtower without the canopy roof.

The optional die-cast hatch opens and closes and is not yet painted. The recessed magnets to connect the canopy roof can clearly be seen in the deck. In the right hand picture you can see the door modeled into one of the flat wall connecting sections - this is hidden by an attached wall, but can be used as an entrance to the tower if it is used stand alone.

With canopy roof installed
4mm magnets are glued into the base of the tubes that form the pillars for the roof and the whole roof section snaps into place. There is too much of the wood colour and pattern here so I will probably change the pillar colour slightly before I finish the grain on it.

Overall I like the design but there are a couple of changes I want to make.
  1. Don't recess the magnets so far. So when the roof is not installed  the magnets are flush with the surface.
  2. Simplify the underside of the canopy - it currently has beams and trusses cut from styrene sheet. Although this looks good its almost never visible and is a pain to make and paint well, it also doesn't provide a good enough gluing point for the tops of the pillars. I'll replace this with a hexagon with holes cut to accept the pillars. should use less styrene too, hence cheaper
  3. Change the roof on the canopy. Although the planking works I think it is too similar to the rest of the wood. I think I shall offer a shingle kit to go on top of it. (note that a conical roof from the pryn-gul tower or the stables kit will also fit.
As always comments and suggestions are very welcome.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

A little more wall progress...

A little more progress: I am pleased with these.(pics taken on my phone so sorry they aren't quite as sharp as usual)

Finished Wall Section
Finished Wall Assembled to a WIP Tower & Bridge.
The upper sections of these pieces matches the colours of my existing buildings. The lower sections have small stones PVA glued to the sections and painted to resemble flint covered stone built sections. I hope this gives them more of a rugged appearance than the basic buildings but still looks more like a stockade than a stone fortress/castle.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Stockade Prototypes

I'm not intending to give up on my laser cutting venture, so I thought I'd show you some of the stockade prototypes that I've been building (wall, bridge and watchtower). These are laser cut test pieces and there are a few adjustments needed but otherwise are broadly ok. You'll spot some blue and green gap filler!

Watchtower with Bridge/gateway and three wall sections

Each of the wall sections (and the bridge) are 150mm long, and the platform of the watchtower is 115mm high which exactly matches the second floor of the Pryn-Gul Tower model so will be fully compatible with that model in future.

Watchtower with Bridge/gateway and three wall sections
The walls are constructed from foam board which I intend to cut and put in the kits, with laser cut styrene for the shaped, ends decks, handrails, and palisades. As a guid I'm expecting each of the wall sections and bridge to be priced at around the £5 mark and the Watchtower at around £10.

Close up of the watchtower with the canopy in place
This copy of the watchtower is constructed with 2 wall attachment buttresses, the kit will also allow you to construct one with one or none and (by combining 2 kits) 3. There is enough palisade in the watchtower to surround the upper deck - the version I have built has the safety handrail at the back.

Each of the components locates to the others with 4 x 4mm disc magnets recessed into the styrene, allowing any orientation to be achieved. Magnets also position and hold the canopy in place. The magnets are strong enough to snap the components together and you can lift 3 wall sections by simply holding the middle one, but can easily be separated by tilting the models apart. I intend to sell the magnets as an optional extra to the kits.

Canopy removed to show the 12 magnets that snap it into place
The trap door hatch in the watchtower is a 14mm square die-cast gun portal from a ship scale modeling company and will be provided as an optional extra... eventually!

I hope that whets your appetite, and I shall try to keep you up to speed with progress, but it will be a lot more erratic and slower than previously expected.


Sunday, 1 August 2010

I'm OK! and SALE!

Thank you to all those that have sent their best wishes, either via the comments here on this blog, on email, or messages on other forums I frequent. Your kind words have been appreciated even though I have not, until now, taken the time to reply.

Thank You!

I would like to take a couple of minutes of your time to clarify a couple of things though.  The bad news I had was NOT health related. Me and all my nearest and dearest are fit and healthy and battling along, so my apologies to anyone who read my previous blog-post as indicating that there might be serious illness involved. I am simply being forced  to take a break whilst I resolve a few financial issues.

I have also NOT closed the web shop, and I have NOT given up on the laser cut kits. I do however need to recover the cost of the stock I currently have in the shop. So, to that end I have cut up to 25% off the price of all stock, available immediately and only for the small amount of stock I already have.

Think of this as a chance to get a couple of kits at a reduced price and benefit from my misery! When I get things sorted at my end, these kits will be restocked and made available again at the previous full prices. This is NOT a closing down sale.

So, to unimaginatively quote Arnie, "I'll be back!"

I just don't know when. Watch this space.

Brandlin (Alan)