Friday, April 25, 2008

Poggis Castle

A fellow dreamer has produced a website with ambitious castle plans. His Ideal Castle. Best of luck.

EDIT: It appears that this is part of an "imaginary castles" webring. Take a look at the bottom of the page here. Lots of "plans", but I don't know how serious any of it is.

Halfway Castle Sketchup Model

I decided to keep working on different versions of castles as now the large castle is getting too "heavy" to continue to model in Sketchup and far too large to upload to 3D Warehouse. There are too many textures and faces, and it's really slowing down the program. I suppose if I removed the textures, it might be a lot easier to work with, but after spending a lot of time lining some of them up properly I'd hate to have to do it again. At any rate, in this building I took some of the half-timber look and mashed it together with the stone just to see what it would look like. Not too bad, except the tower is much too large. Overall square footage on the first floor is 2600 sq. ft., and there is room in some of the areas for 2nd floors bringing an estimated total of 4000 sq. ft. with no walls or structures inside.

UK Homebuilt Castle

I'm sure several of you have seen the news bites about the castle built behind haybales by a UK farmer. Here's another castle built by the owner for around £330,000 during the 1990s (that's around $500K US at the time) that has attracted a lot less attention, probably because he did it legally. At any rate, Braylsham castle is a really neat castle that was built by an individual with the help of his family on a time budget of around 3 days a week. Many of the building's interesting parts are architectural salvage and some of them were created by hand in modern times. Many might think that a towering, turreted brick of a building is the only castle that they would want to build, I think this building's design as a family home and castle is fantastic. While it isn't an owner built castle here in the US, it's such a well done piece I figure folks might be interested.

Braylsham Castle

Saturday, April 19, 2008

In the storybook style...

I took a break from detailing the big castle to work on a different style. I tried to head in the direction of the "storybook style" popular during the early part of the 1900s. I've generally stayed away from it because it winds up looking a little to "Disney" and tacky. The previous building posted tends to look a bit more serious, this idea was to head more towards cozy and English Cottage-like rather than impressive. Anyway, there are several good sites to find out about storybook homes on the web, Storybookers comes to mind off the top of my head, and a really good book to look at the style is "Storybook Style: America's Whimsical Homes of the Twenties" by Arrol Genner and Douglas Keister.

If you download this one, ignore the square footage. I didn't get the scale right and the first floor alone is way more square footage than the entire large castle below.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Medieval World

I got this information from a viewer (Thanks Gary!) who brought it to my attention. It looks to be a rather lage scale project that hopes to be built in Colorado as part of, or as the main element of a Renaissance Festival. It's a huge project, containing a castle keep and a small Medieval village surrounding it. It seems to be along the same lines as the "Realms of Legend", except with a serious dash of sensibility thrown in. This one looks to have a serious shot at actually being built. While it isn't necessarily an "owner built castle", I'm sure plenty of folks here will find it interesting. Besst of luck to them, and if I can get any additional information from the builders/project dreamers, I'll post it here.

Visit Medieval World.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Interior Views

More views of the front and interior. Some of it just doesn't look right to me, I haven't figured out what looks best. The exterior steps need a wall or railing, the interior steps seem a little too wide (I designed them that way, but it doesn't look right; anyone who has tried moving furnishings up a narrow stars will understand why the extra width!) and the space under the stairs seems wasted. I'll probably enclose the stairs at some point and put a closet under there, or even stairs to the basement (most likely).

The view looking in the door is rather plain, I haven't yet decided how to include the half-timber/stone/stucco-plaster-ish look that seems to be working in the great hall. Plus all of the normal things you expect to see in a house are absent from these models such as lights, some trim, baseboards and electrical outlets. Not to mention that some of the textures/paints are rather monotonous, but I'm no GIMP/Photoshop expert so it isn't easy for me to make these things unless I find something online that I can use with minimal tweaking (like the flagstone floor, it was a rubber door mat that I edited to work)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Main hall, view #2

I figured out why Sketchup was overwriting previously uploaded files. It appears that the 3Dwarehouse assigns a file # to each upload that is saved in association with your original file on your computer. It does this so that when you modify or update the file on your computer and upload it again 3Dwarehouse simply updates the original on the server rather than having a host of the same files stored, each with some minor changes. Good for 3DWarehouse, but bad if you accidentally overwrite a file you needed. The fix (in case anyone else has this trouble) in Sketchup is to go to:

EDIT > Select All,
EDIT > Copy,
go to
FILE > New, and when the empty workspace appears,
EDIT > Paste.

You've basically copied everything in the old file and pasted it into a new file that 3Dwarehouse hasn't seen yet. You can then FILE > Save As and overwrite the same file you've been trying to save it as. Upload, and you're good to go!

On that note, I've fixed the links on this site to match the proper models on 3Dwarehouse, and added this model which shows the inside of the main hall again except looking the other way. You can click on the picture and it will take you to the 3Dwarehouse model. Again, this is only a chopped up section of the overall model just arranged and finished to provide a visualization what the real thing might look like.

Main hall

Designed for the building posted below. I "cut" the segment free and started working with it. I shortly found several problems; it was only 15' wide, you could over the space in 3 good paces which means there was barely enough room for a couch with a decent coffee table which would leave you staring at a wall; there was a lot of wasted vertical space (some height is needed to make the cathedral style, though) and the window placement and height didn't work.

The modifications needed: Add more, smaller windows, widen the building, raise the eaves and lower the roof's peak. Now it measures 22' wide x 28' long, including the rounded end, usable floorspace without the fireplace and hearth, which will knock 2-4' off the length. The fireplace sits roughly where the camera is but inside the model's boundaries. There are some modeling errors, but nothing I can't live with seeing as this is only for visualization. The only other change I might make is to simplify the windows and make them one large pane instead of 3 panes apiece.

Again, I'm trying to make it look complicated and interesting without going overboard. The hammerbeam structures won't be solid, but will be layups of 1/4" or thicker ply or solid wood. The stone will be veneer, and the walls will be dry-board with plaster. If you download the model, you'll be able to see the 6" thick walls, the exterior with "buttresses", the basement below (you'll have to imagine the total height of 9') and see where the building rests on the ground plane. It's designed to have only 4' or so of the basement below grade in order to give the building a sense of greater height.