Dana’s Year 7 Castle Assignment – Lütjenburg Castle in 1:150th scale

My older daughter (Dana) is in Year 7 and in January she came home with some home work that got me excited … she had to make a castle. And Dana wanted to do a Motte and Bailey Castle. Oh, wow, modeller heaven. We only had two weeks so we got stuck in.


The end result

We ended up doing a reconstruction of Lütjenburg castle in Germany. We chose Lütjenburg for the simple reason that googling images for “Motte and Bailey” bring it up very quickly and it has a moat. Moats are cool and the result would be more interesting.

Year 7 Castle 3328 Lütjenburg Castle in 1:150th scale

Year 7 Castle 3328 Lütjenburg Castle in 1:150th scale

The model is roughly 1:150th scale. Perhaps more like 1:125th scale in places. And the palisade is probably a bit high. But hey. More or less 1:150th scale.


Step by step construction

The pictures tell the story. We captured most steps. I think we forgot to photograph gluing the sand on. Otherwise everything is below.

Year 7 Castle 2336 MDF and Blue Foam Base Board

Year 7 Castle 2336 MDF and Blue Foam Base Board

Year 7 Castle 2337 Research

Year 7 Castle 2337 Research

Year 7 Castle 2338 Find plan of Castle

Year 7 Castle 2338 Find plan of Castle

Year 7 Castle 2340 Drawing out the plan

Year 7 Castle 2340 Drawing out the plan

Year 7 Castle 2341 Cut out next layer of foam

Year 7 Castle 2341 Cut out next layer of foam

Year 7 Castle 2342 Cut out next layer of foam

Year 7 Castle 2342 Cut out next layer of foam

Year 7 Castle 2344 Three layers of foam for the motte

Year 7 Castle 2344 Three layers of foam for the motte

Year 7 Castle 2345 Draw top of motte

Year 7 Castle 2345 Draw top of motte

Year 7 Castle 2347 Cut motte to shape

Year 7 Castle 2347 Cut motte to shape

Year 7 Castle 2348 Glue on top layer of foam

Year 7 Castle 2348 Glue on top layer of foam

Year 7 Castle 2349 Glue on foam for bank

Year 7 Castle 2349 Glue on foam for bank

Year 7 Castle 2350 Bank follows the ditch

Year 7 Castle 2350 Bank follows the ditch

Year 7 Castle 2352 First wall of the keep

Year 7 Castle 2352 First wall of the keep

Year 7 Castle 2353 Fill the gaps

Year 7 Castle 2353 Fill the gaps

Year 7 Castle 2354 The start of the palisade

Year 7 Castle 2354 The start of the palisade

Year 7 Castle 2355 Holes for the palisade

Year 7 Castle 2355 Holes for the palisade

Year 7 Castle 2357 Considerable confusion about where the paths should be

Year 7 Castle 2357 Considerable confusion about where the paths should be

Year 7 Castle 2358 Trial house of paper

Year 7 Castle 2358 Trial house of paper

Year 7 Castle 2359 River defences

Year 7 Castle 2359 River defences

Year 7 Castle 2360 Moat now has a bridge

Year 7 Castle 2360 Moat now has a bridge

Year 7 Castle 2361 Finally the palisade is done

Year 7 Castle 2361 Finally the palisade is done

Year 7 Castle 2362 Bridge gets supporting posts

Year 7 Castle 2362 Bridge gets supporting posts

Year 7 Castle 2365 Undercoat in black

Year 7 Castle 2365 Undercoat in black

Year 7 Castle 2372 Paint everything flat earth

Year 7 Castle 2372 Paint everything flat earth

Year 7 Castle 2373 Everything - sand, paths, palisade, bridge, water

Year 7 Castle 2373 Everything – sand, paths, palisade, bridge, water

Year 7 Castle 2375 No sand where the buildings will go

Year 7 Castle 2375 No sand where the buildings will go

Year 7 Castle 2376 Keep comes together

Year 7 Castle 2376 Keep comes together

Year 7 Castle 2378 Keep undercoated in black

Year 7 Castle 2378 Keep undercoated in black

Year 7 Castle 2379 Dry brush sand areas with dark sand paint

Year 7 Castle 2379 Dry brush sand areas with dark sand paint

Year 7 Castle 2380 Dry brush the wooden bits with khaki grey paint

Year 7 Castle 2380 Dry brush the wooden bits with khaki grey paint

Year 7 Castle 2381 Make a gate

Year 7 Castle 2381 Make a gate

Year 7 Castle 2383 Motte and keep starting to look the part

Year 7 Castle 2383 Motte and keep starting to look the part

Year 7 Castle 2384 Dry brush nearly everything with a pale sand paint

Year 7 Castle 2384 Dry brush nearly everything with a pale sand paint

Year 7 Castle 2386 Looking good

Year 7 Castle 2386 Looking good

Year 7 Castle 2387 Paint the water blue

Year 7 Castle 2387 Paint the water blue

Year 7 Castle 3311 Dana painting the stream

Year 7 Castle 3311 Dana painting the stream

Year 7 Castle 2389 Add some houses

Year 7 Castle 2389 Add some houses

Year 7 Castle 2392 Put the roofs on the houses

Year 7 Castle 2392 Put the roofs on the houses

Year 7 Castle 2393 Add the label

Year 7 Castle 2393 Add the label

Year 7 Castle 2397 The Keep

Year 7 Castle 2397 The Keep

Year 7 Castle 2398 The Moat

Year 7 Castle 2398 The Moat

Year 7 Castle 2399 The Chapel

Year 7 Castle 2399 The Chapel

Year 7 Castle 2400 The Knights House and Hall

Year 7 Castle 2400 The Knights House and Hall

Year 7 Castle 2401 Blacksmith Barn and Storage

Year 7 Castle 2401 Blacksmith Barn and Storage

Year 7 Castle 2402 River defences

Year 7 Castle 2402 River defences

Year 7 Castle 2403 Ditch and palisade

Year 7 Castle 2403 Ditch and palisade

Year 7 Castle 2404 Label

Year 7 Castle 2404 Label

Year 7 Castle 3323 Keep Motte Moat and bridge

Year 7 Castle 3323 Keep Motte Moat and bridge

Year 7 Castle 3331 Castle from the Keep

Year 7 Castle 3331 Castle from the Keep

Year 7 Castle 3333 Castle from the gate

Year 7 Castle 3333 Castle from the gate

12 comments to Dana’s Year 7 Castle Assignment – Lütjenburg Castle in 1:150th scale

  • M J

    Lovely to read about this on a Saturday morning, great job and I hope she enjoyed the process, who knows you might have a helper on your other projects? The buildings really work well and the whole thing pops out. I bet the school were impressed…

    • Steven Thomas

      thanks M. J. The school were impressed. Dana got a “Head Teacher Commendation” and the model is now displayed in the school’s boardroom.

    • Steven Thomas

      Regarding the buildings …

      We used paper buildings. We got the masters off the internet and scaled them down to fit the castle. I’ve never used paper buildings before. I was concerned about them being a bit fragile which is why we put a lump of blue foam inside each one before putting on the roof – to provide a bit more substance should they get knocked about. But they definitely look the part.

      At the start of the project we agreed we’d use paper buildings if we ran out of time. But really I wanted to scratch build them from balsa wood, foam core, and miliput (Plan A). I was disappointed we had to use the Plan B Paper versions. But needs must.

      We also got feedback from a friend, after the event, that the chapel doesn’t look like a chapel. We just used a house as the chapel because we were running out of time. Personally I have no clue what a early medieval chapel from Germany would look like, and whether it really would look different to a cottage. So, on balance, I think this is a bit of criticism I can live with.

  • Julian Donohoe

    Looks brilliant – better than what I have seen in some actual museums. Well done to both of you.

    • Steven Thomas

      Thanks Julian. The Head Teacher also made the comparison to “museum” quality. We’re very happy with it.

  • Mark

    Fantastic – well done

  • Well done, Dana!! Congratulations for a great looking castle

  • Andrés F.

    The castle looks fantastic! Museum quality. I love it.

    Two concerns though:
    – How much parent participation did they expect at school? This certainly doesn’t look like it was made by a 7 yeard old 😛
    – How much did you spend? Including the static grass.

  • Andrés F.

    (sorry, I misread: “year 7”, not 7 year old!)

    • Steven Thomas

      Hi Andres. Yup “Year 7” = 11 to 12 year olds.

      You’re right, it was a double act, and the parent participation is obvious to everybody. If you boil it down I provided ambition (“Wow, lets make a real castle, to scale”) and technical skills (“I’ve done all of this before, just in bits, and not together in a single a diorama”). I guess it is okay because we got an email from the Head Teacher congratulating Dana and acknowledging my contribution. It was a great father-daughter project.

      In terms of cost, the brief for the homework was “Don’t spend money on it”. We didn’t quite do that as we had to buy two extra boxes of toothpicks for the palisade. There are 700 stakes in the palisade. That is a fair few toothpicks. Total cost, about a pound.

      Of course, in terms of cost of materials, I cheated. Aside from the toothpicks, everything else was in my workshop already. 2mm MDF. Blue insulation foam. Sand. Paint. Balsa wood. Wood glue. Foam glue. Balsa glue. Pins. Gloss varnish. Static grass. Paper. Tools. So we didn’t “buy” anything. We just had it. The advantages of having a geek for a father I guess.

  • David Richard Mesquita

    Nice job, I’m really impressed in the quality of the work!

  • Outstanding skills. What a top dad!

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