Sunday, August 22, 2010

How to Build a Samurai Gate w/Tower

Just a quick update of this project - which I will see through! Finished enough wall sections for the majority of the Taira camp. I ended up redoing the original two sections to have the vertical boards closer together - actually touching. This looked better - confirmed by my wife who's my best critic - totally (brutally?) honest. I'm almost done with the main gate - just need to add a roof. The gates themselves open and close - using dowels to turn on. The larger blocks of wood are balsa, so very easy to work with.
Added lateral supports for the roof. The top beam is a chopstick. I have some super thin balsa (the type for airplanes) that I'll try to cut as roofing tile - using the method from the old WAB book "how to" for Roman buildings.
Well the balsa wood idea didn't pan out - should've expected the thing to split when I cut the "V's" out. Switched to strips from a Manila folder - much better & easier. Here there are on one side of the roof.
I also slapped some acrylic caulk onto the base for the Taira ship. I needed to do this to make sure the area where the ship sits into the cut-out base was not left too apparent. The caulking was put on similar to how a cake maker would do frosting - I suppose. It supposed to represent the wake from the vessel moving and also the oars splashing into the water. Looks pretty good - just need to paint the water and seal it with a gloss coat.
The ship can be removed from the base. A sheet of plasticard was glued to the bottom of the foamcore to not only "catch" the ship, but also to help stiffen the foamcore in case it might warp with the silicon and painting.


  1. I like your project, it seems very interesting.

    There is a basic principle in art when you are priming or preparing a board to paint - give the same treatment in both sides. I have tried the same with the bases and if it is a large base I give it a PVA coat on the side which isn't texturized. This stops the card from warping. If you try this do it first on a spare piece of card to make sure you like the results.


  2. It looking very cool,I'm looking forward to the finished product.


  3. Really smart work. Looking forward to it all coming together.

  4. The ship's base is very interesting. Can't wait to see you paint it.

  5. Thanks for the encouragement, Gentlemen. The walls and gate have been stained, and I'm working on the coloring of the ship's base. Regards, Dean