Medieval castles were not the brightly lighted domiciles depicted in fairy tales. Most of them were squat, square and formidable, as might be expected of buildings that often served as fortresses for the only forces of law that might exist for scores of miles around. Capture the feel of a genuine medieval castle for a school project by building a model out of Styrofoam bricks.
Things You'll Need:
- Craft Knife
- Water-Based Latex Paint
- White Glue
- Straight Edge
- 20-By-12-By-1-Inch Styrofoam Sheets
- 20-By-10-Inch Cardboard Sheet
Mark the 20-by-12-by-1-inch Styrofoam sheet with the pencil. Using the straight edge, draw 12 rows of 10 2-by-1-inch bricks. Cut out the bricks by using the craft knife and straight edge. Repeat as needed during construction.
Glue the bricks for the castle foundation to the cardboard in an 8-by-4-brick rectangle. Leave a 2-brick gap in the middle of one of the long sides for the gate. Build up the walls by gluing on an additional seven layers of bricks.
Cut seven of the Styrofoam bricks in half so that you have 14 1-inch cubes. Stack seven cubes on each side in front of the gate opening, gluing the cubes to each other and the wall to form the gate posts.
Glue two 2-by-1-inch bricks on top of the gate posts, allowing 1 1/4 inch of each brick to hang over the inside of the gate. Glue one more 2-by-1-inch brick centered on top of the gate. The top of the gate should be higher than the walls.
Cut out six 3-by-3-inch squares from a Styrofoam sheet.
Glue together two stacks of three squares each. Glue 1-inch cubes to the four corners of each stack. These will be your tower roofs.
Glue each roof to a corner of the front wall, the side with the gate. Let each roof overhang the edges of the walls about 1/2 inch.
Paint your castle with water-based latex. Do not use oil-based enamel or regular spray paint because it will melt your castle.
Tad Cronn is a professional journalist living in Los Angeles. His columns have appeared in the "Los Angeles Daily News," the "Seattle Post-Intelligencer," the "Orange County Register" and other publications. He is an award-winning illustrator, author of "The Lynx," and an experienced handyman, model builder and gamer.