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Grimm's Build: The Tower

For these build pages, you can read comments about the picture and then click the picture to enlarge it. An easier way to work your way through all the pictures would be to click on the first one, which will launch the viewer.  You can view the picture, read the comments and then just hit the NEXT arrow on the right side to go through all the rest of the pictures.  At the bottom of each of these build pages, there's a link to go back to the "Building Grimm's" main page, or you can click the "On to the next step" button to continue going through the build process.

Either way - enjoy!!~MCG

One of the big changes I wanted to make to the whole structure was to curve the mansard roof instead of have all the angles be straight. I've seen a lot of curved rooves and they just add more character. As Randy's rooves were solid plaster, I ended up doing the rough carving with a rounded wood rasp and then hitting them with a well supported piece of sandpaper.

Here is the top part way through. As you can see, the thing wanted to bow, so I had to do a lot of sanding with a block to get the sides straight. It was a lot of sanding and then looking at it from all angles - then repeat the whole process.

The kit came with little triangular window boxes that were meant to be glued to the straight roof sides. Since I curved the roof I ended up cutting these pieces short and then sanding the backs to match the curve of the roof. The main window section was made from the metal part shown above. If you haven't been to a jewelry store - go! The metal pieces had four pegs on the back, so I cut out places for those pegs in the plaster part (the boxes marked on the part above).

These little window boxes needed to actually sit back into the roof a little to get the look right, so I had to carve spots out for them. I used a carving tool that looks like a cycle, then sanded it down.

Here's the window front after it was painted and glued onto the plaster back. The metal piece had a cardboard back, so I removed them, inserted a piece of clear acetate, and then painted the drapes on a piece of black construction paper and inserted that. The metal was painted Pullman Green and then glued into the plaster part which was already painted with black acrylic paint.

Here is the roof after the windows have been glued on. You can see that I carved a flat place on the bottom as well. On the left is the main roof, which I already started carving the curve into.

Next up was framing the sides of the window boxes with strip wood and adding the wood base to the roof. The roof was a little small for the tower after all that sanding, so I needed the wood on the bottom to make it wider again - otherwise the proportions just looked wrong. I usually don't seal plaster castings when I paint them, but I sealed both rooves with dullcoat to make sure the glue would stick okay. (Allthough epoxy would probably stick to Crisco.)

Here are the cornices for the top of the windows. I cut them with an Xacto knife to look like the pattern in yellow. (This one isn't done yet.) I ended up painting them gray like concrete and using a bit of plaster dust in the paint to give a bit of texture.

What a difference shingles make! Lots of strips of black construction paper cut with pinking shears. You start at the bottom and go up, leaving extra overhanging the sides. When dry, you can come back and cut the sides to the roof contour (which was a little more tricky with the curved roof.)

Here's the roof from the front. It's hard to tell because of the lighting, but I've already painted the shingles Dark Gray. The roof looks much better with the strip wood on the bottom

Oh, what a deal the cornice was! Because of the weird shape of the molding, you can't just make a miter cut. No, you have to mess around a bunch to get things to line up. Here are the four sides.

I added some square stock to make the gluing/squaring process easier. For all my wood parts (and most everything else I used Quick Dry tacky glue.) I pour a bit out on a piece of scrap paper and then apply a fine bead with a toothpick. Or I go high tech and use my fingers.

Here's the deal from the top. i tried using extra glue as a filler for some small gaps - bad idea!!! The assembly held well, but sanding the glue down and matching the texture of the wood for painting was a lot of extra work. I suppose I'll buy some green putty or something and try that next time.

Almost done!!! This project alone took several nights (2-4 hours a night). Here I've added capping/flashing (made from paper again) and added pitch (tar stuff) around the windows a la George Sellios. The pitch is epoxy mixed with a little grimy black paint. It comes out glossy though, so I had to paint it with some clear flat (and then it got chalk weathering). The top cornice is painted and on and the railing is included in the kit (it's Grandt Line I think).

The final tower outside. The sides of the window boxes had skulls molded into them. I painted them grey, but in retrospect I think I should have cut them off. The shingles were dry brushed with white acrylic paint and then dusted with chalks. The railing was spray painted with black and rust paints and then dry brushed white - then chalked. The last detail was the lighting rod which I got from Dr. Ben and painted rust.