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John

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Sonntag, 18. Januar 2009, 00:33

Belem Tower: Portugal / Canon [FERTIG]

Model: Belem Tower, Portugal
Designer/Artist: Kouichi Kaji
Publisher: Canon / Free Downloadable Model
Printer Setting: 65% of original
Layout: 20 US letter sheets
Medium: 199g/m2 Photo Matte Paper
Dimensions: 10 cm x 17 cm x 17 cm high (at 65%)
Parts: 84

This landmark is known as "our lady of the River Tagus" in Lisbon, Portugal. It is a World Heritage Site.

This is the first time that I have attempted to build an architectural model downloaded from the Internet. The graphics are very elementary, but the visual impact of the castle is appealing.
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Sonntag, 18. Januar 2009, 00:38

RE: Belem Tower: Portugal / Canon

I have chosen to begin construction with the main fighting platform. There is a rectangular depression in its center.
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Sonntag, 18. Januar 2009, 02:17

RE: Belem Tower: Portugal / Canon

"Things i dont understand" © Coldplay

P.S. If you know what i mean!

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Sonntag, 18. Januar 2009, 03:18

Hello John, I was wondering when you would try a Canon Building. I built two castles...and survived. I think your usual reinforcement techniques will come in very handy! :D

Still shivering in sunny Windsor.... :(
best regards
mit herzlichen grussen

Fred

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Sonntag, 18. Januar 2009, 09:44

RE: Belem Tower: Portugal / Canon

Hi John,

You are one productive modeller; years of experience and a steady hand resulting in a steady flow of quality models. Whenever I visit the forum I look into your threads; they are an inspiration to all architecture fans I guess.

Cheers,

Bruno
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Sonntag, 18. Januar 2009, 11:10

a fantasic landmark!!!!!! and i think this will be another "john" model :) which means - a perfect build!

waltair
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Sonntag, 18. Januar 2009, 15:44

Tabs

Thanks Bruno.

Hi Fred,
Yes. I see that this Canon model has been fashioned with the belief that tabs are necessary for everything. More on this below.

Hello Waltair,
Thanks for the compliment, but in my mind, there is never that 'perfect' model. There is some imperfection in every build. (more than one in my case) I guess the strive for perfection, although unattainable, keeps us reaching for it with every new model. Because card modelling is so infectious, this process goes on and on...

Thanks again for the kind words.

Now to the tab issue. I have often ranted about the unnecessary use of tabs. I guess it's a leap of faith to cut them off, but the trick is to know when to get rid of them. I thought I'd try them in any case on the merlons of this castle. Big mistake.

In the garbage is the first attempt to glue seven little tabs to form a block of stone 5 mm x 4 mm. The third picture shows that reason has prevailed.

Now I firmly understand why Micromodels uses tabs with discretion.
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Sonntag, 18. Januar 2009, 20:26

The Merlons

Now the task is to give the little walls and top of each merlon something to bear against until applied glue has set. A square strip of balsa wood 3/16" x 3/16" is being used. The merlons are not square, but rectangular in cross section, so a strip of card has been glued to one face of the square balsa to achieve the required shape.

The four sides of each merlon are wrapped around this built up stick. Then the stick is cut off. The resulting merlon is rather delicate. Each one reminds me of a loose tooth ready to be pulled out. It dangles. Unfortunately, until they are all done, there is nothing to support them. Things would be different if there was a wall to support their back edges. Each one will have to be glued down independently to a raised embrasure. I hope I don't rip one off while working with the others.

One down and sixty to go...
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Dienstag, 20. Januar 2009, 10:12

Hi John,
Needless to say, this model is particularly interesting to me :)
I know the kit for some time (thanks to Tino) and you will need all your skills to get the best from it. Removing many tabs is just a fraction of the extra work needed...
Good luck with it ;)

John

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Dienstag, 20. Januar 2009, 12:02

A Challenge

Hi Ricardo,
You are so right. This model has stopped me in my tracks. I won't say that it is beyond my skill level, but I will say that I am having problems with the design of some of its parts. Perhaps a little head scratching will get me moving forward.

I am not happy with what I have produced so far.

I can't let this one go Ricardo. It has meaning for exactly the reason you mentioned. As well,I have an acquaintance who lives walking distance from the castle.

Cheers...John

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Dienstag, 20. Januar 2009, 16:43

Hello John,

only this :super: :respekt:

cheers
Ernst
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Sonntag, 25. Januar 2009, 00:08

Back to Square One

The individual merlons did not work out for me. You can see here that I scraped the design and decided to start over.
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Sonntag, 25. Januar 2009, 00:18

RE: Back to Square One

The walls are now being built up with solid cores. A strip of 3/16 in. basswood is being wrapped with printed card and paper stock; card on the outside as seen here and paper on the inside.
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Sonntag, 25. Januar 2009, 00:27

RE: Back to Square One

A table saw was used to cut out the gaps (crenels) between the merlons. Then the crenellations were covered with a paper strip. You can see the green cutting mat showing through where a strip has been cut out of an extra printed piece of wall.
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Sonntag, 25. Januar 2009, 00:37

A card was used to cover the exterior wall surface. To thin the card so it blended well with the crenellations, it was skived down. An light incision was made along the back of the wall so that a layer of paper could be peeled off. An emery board is seen here cleaning things up.
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Sonntag, 25. Januar 2009, 00:39

Sorry Ernst,
I did not thank your for post above. You are very kind.

The inside of the wall is now covered with a paper skin.
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Sonntag, 25. Januar 2009, 00:50

A long strip of thick, gray card is seen in these photos. It will be used to make the shelf that will run around the interior of the walls. I prefer this type of shelf as opposed to a hanging shelf. If the shelf runs right down to the base of the wall, you are ensured that the shelf will be parallel to the base and run around all the walls at the same height. (That's why a long strip is cut to start with - it makes all the shelf pieces.)
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Sonntag, 25. Januar 2009, 00:56

And so we arrive at a point reached almost two weeks ago.
I am pleased with the rework.

Bruno, I applaud your work with the piers and arches of your bridge!
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Sonntag, 25. Januar 2009, 09:58

Hi John,

You really brought out the big guns to make the troops fall in line this time; and it worked. The results speak for themselves. Very clean build.
And thank you for your appreciation of my work.

It's also very sportsmanlike of you to show the ruins of the first attempt. Did you really have to tear it apart? :D

Image 7944 tells me that the 199 g. card really is too thick for parts of this size and construction. Every score and fold adds an offset to the dimensions making it near impossible to turn the part into a perfect cube.
I expect to run into similar difficulties once I get to building the tiny chimneys. I'm considering using thinner card (paper I guess) for these parts. I have good experience with Canon HR-101N (106 g.)
What weight of paper did you use to cover the crenellations?

On the strip of wood I see another row of merlons on the bottom side (that do not look as nice as the ones on top). A first attempt? ;)
Did you change technique or was it a matter of getting the hang of it?

That is part of the fun of modelling I guess: finding solutions to the problems that the model throws up and afterwards presenting the results.

I'm looking forward to seeing the complete tower.

Cheers,

Bruno
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Sonntag, 25. Januar 2009, 12:46

RE: Belem Tower: Portugal / Canon

John,

While re-reading the thread I learned this is your first download model.
I have to say you really gave yourself a challenge working with a scaled down model in combination with paper this heavy.

From the techniques you apply I get the impression that only with butt-joining each individual strip of paper you get the build quality you desire.

Most printed models come with a paper weight ranging between 140 - 160 g. I've been looking for inkjet paper in this weight range. The closest I have found is Canon paper of 170 g (especially designed for card modelling as the pictures on the cover suggest).
It will not come as a surprise that this paper is recommended by Canon for their download models.

I too can really recommend this paper for your next model, the other type for the smaller parts.

One word of caution: unlike the paper and ink used in offset printing it is unforgiving with respect to glue spills. The porous upper layer, designed to absorb the ink, has an equally large appetite for glue. I found out the hard way that it doesn't rub off....

Cheers,

Bruno
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Sonntag, 25. Januar 2009, 13:06

Hi John,

At first I thought "what is John talking about, the individual merlons look fine" - but at a second glance it became evident that they did not meet your usual level of quality (which is far above the average, or mine at least).

And again you teach us a skillful solution, using wood! The result speaks for itself.

Your report, as all the reports before, add much to the fun and satisfaction that comes from participating in this forum. Many thanks John!

Cheers .... Wolfgang

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Sonntag, 25. Januar 2009, 13:49

RE: Belem Tower: Portugal / Canon

Good Morning Bruno,

Thank you for your comprehensive advice about paper and card stock. Very much appreciated. You are right. This is my first architectural download. It could very well be my last for a while.

I smiled when I read your observation about the heavy card. I'm often the one commenting in my builds about the paper weight of some published models. I will seek out the Canon stock you kindly show. The paper used for the crenellations was 75 g/m2.

You are very observant. The double row of crenellations on the basswood strip came about exactly as you surmised. The first attempt was made with an 8" planer blade that had quite a bit of rake on the teeth. The bottoms of the crenels were not flat. The correct blade, a 10" carbide, fine crosscut produced a nice, flat bottom.

I think one of the strengths of this Forum is the sharing atmosphere that prevails. Your posts add much to the thread.

Cheers...John

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Sonntag, 25. Januar 2009, 13:54

RE: Belem Tower: Portugal / Canon

Hi Wolfgang,

Thank you so much for your compliments.

I agree with you 100%. This is an outstanding Forum. Participating in it has meant a great deal to me over the past four years. The administrators are to be commended for keeping the wheels turning.

Cheers...John

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Sonntag, 25. Januar 2009, 16:06

Paper Protection

Thank you ToKro!

Actual pictures of the site add so much to the build. I am pleased that the project brings back pleasant memories for you. Thank you also for the explanation of the courtyard and gun platform.

When I first saw the angular front of the castle, I immediately thought of Phatsenstein Castle on the island in the middle of the Rhine in Germany. There are quite a few similarities historically as well aren't there? I knew that Phatz was designed to collect river tax, but I did not know that Belem guarded the entrance to the river Tagus. Good stuff ToKro. Thanks.

Here is a progress shot showing the front of the castle. The template pattern was taken from the footprint drawn on the pieces that will represent the water.

Bruno has wisely cautioned anyone building a model downloaded and printed to porous ink-jet paper to take care. I am very conscious of water damage as well as glue smears. I am trying a spray product called 'Preserve it!' to protect the model. It is advertised as a digital photo and paper proectant. It offers UV protection against fading and is acid-free and archival-safe.
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Sonntag, 25. Januar 2009, 19:09

RE: Paper Protection

Hi John,

Interesting stuff, this Preserve it! It is not clear to me whether you spray the assembled model or the individual parts before assembly.

Does it seal the paper against penetrating glue?

Could you do a test with removing glue smears (the transparent solvent based type of glue) on treated and untreated paper and publish the results?

Thanks,

Bruno
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Sonntag, 25. Januar 2009, 20:15

RE: Paper Protection

Hi John,
once again a nice new poject. I think it´s a fantastic idea to protect the modell. Perhaps I will do it to.

Tom

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Sonntag, 25. Januar 2009, 22:32

RE: Paper Protection

Hi Bruno, Tom,

I have done a simple little experiment with the Preserve-it!

Bruno, I was not able to test solvent based glue. I don't use it.

It is quite surprising how this product protected the ink-jet coated paper. In the photo, I am holding a little test card folded in half. The left side was sprayed only once with Preserve-it! No coating covered the right hand side. Have a look at the right side of the card in the photo. You can see where a drop of water has bled through the ink, removing it. Beside it on the left is a smear where ordinary white glue was applied. It did not dissolve the ink, but it did intensify the colour.

I am happy to report that the left side of the card repelled the water and the glue. I'm really surprised myself. You often read claims about products, but remain skeptical. This stuff works!

It dries to a clear, satin finish. You can feel the tiny droplets of the product on the surface, but I do not see that as a problem.

So there you go...Protect-it! ; a product to protect computer generated images. It's made by Krylon.

John
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28

Dienstag, 27. Januar 2009, 17:20

The Tower Base

The tower base is on. Now for the entrance stairs and the ramp across the gap. The only comment I can make about the little merlons is: "You've got to be kidding!"
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Dienstag, 27. Januar 2009, 19:30

Hi John funtastic work you are doing.

I am glad that someone with your experience are building this "special model".

Kidding or not I have build the entire model without alterations to the original.

But predditing the extra work with the merlons I have used 120Gr paper.

See here:

Torre de Belém; Canon Papercraft

the constrution:
http://forum.modelismo-na.net/viewtopic.php?t=7872
Regards,

Diamantino

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Dienstag, 27. Januar 2009, 20:03

Hi John, cold enough for you?:D I ahave been using Preserve It for a while, and while it helps, my experience is that it does not fully protect the ink (maybe it's that HP ink!). Also beware of wetness (like glue) on the untreated side of the paper. I think that when I start working on downloaded models again, I will spray both sides.

The tower is looking very nice, and it is in a nice, warm climate... :D
best regards
mit herzlichen grussen

Fred

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31

Mittwoch, 28. Januar 2009, 00:05

Hello Diamantino,
I knew you would find this thread, but I was not aware that you had written a construction report. Thank you very much for the sites of the finished model and the report.

You are to be commended on the construction of your fine full sized version of this landmark. I admire your perseverance with those tricky merlons. With my model being 35% smaller, they just became something beyond my skill level.

As you can see, in choosing to go with solid walls I gave up the green portions of the battlements. I really wonder why they were green in the first place. Perhaps the designer felt that the model was so white, a little contrast with a green colour was in order. From looking at the actual photos of the castle, I don't see the green colour scheme. Would they really paint white, stone merlon backs green?

Thanks for the links. You have given me a marvellous point of reference.

Hi ToKro,
These three last photos are great. They show so much of the stone carving. I was not aware that the shields on the outside faces of the merlons were fully sculptured. They are wonderful. I also see very nice rope stone carvings around the bottoms of the fighting towers. (oriels?)

Thank you. These pictures add much to the thread.

Good Evening Fred,
Yes, it has been a bit chilly in old Southern Ontario the past few weeks. But looking at last pictures that ToKro has kindly added to the thread, I don't know that I would want to be one of the tourists in the photos braving the winds whipping up whitecaps in the background. They look cold!

Thanks for the heads-up on spraying both sides of the meduim.

Cheers...John

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32

Mittwoch, 28. Januar 2009, 22:23

The Entrance

Very small pointed merlons adorn the top of the walls of the castle's stair landing. I find them just too small at a 35% reduction to shape as printed. I wrapped them around a 1/16" square stick. Fortunately, there was a shelf in front of the merlons. This allowed me to glue the merlons at spaced intervals along a piece of card. In the last photo you can see the shelf being dry fitted in the gaps (crenels).
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33

Donnerstag, 29. Januar 2009, 09:17

Hi John, I found this tread because I always come to see your treads the are a joy to read and watch.

About the model, I can what you alredy know, this model isnt easy.

About the green, I don't know. They should be white like yours I think, I also don't see nothing green.
Regards,

Diamantino

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Donnerstag, 29. Januar 2009, 22:16

The Landing

The landing to the castle took quite a bit of time to build. Here are two shots of the completed assembly. I cut off the drawbridge that was attached so that it could be a separate part.

Diamantino, do you notice that the green wall at the edge of the stairs is gone? I used a skin of paper that had the rope moulding running through it to match the outer white wall.

I assume that in the 1500's, access to the castle was by water? I can see in my mind's eye a boat mooring at the base of the stairs. (Don't see any mooring rings though...)
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Donnerstag, 29. Januar 2009, 22:17

The Entrance

And here we have the completed entrance to the castle. From the photographs in this thread, the drawbridge would be raised with chains.
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Donnerstag, 29. Januar 2009, 23:47

RE: The Entrance

Hi John,

These tiny merlons look good, clean build.
On the pictures of "the real thing" I see more rows of the same type on the higher wall of the tower.
I guess the model has these as well. How many more are you going to build?

The posts on the preserve it! are highly appreciated. Very useful.

Cheers,

Bruno
Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations

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Freitag, 30. Januar 2009, 14:58

Those merlons look so small 8o I noticed that you are building at 65% scale to the original kit and that makes things much trickier!
I wonder why Canon choose this layout for the parts, instead of the more expectable joined rectangle faces with pointed tips ?(
If it was to defeat your skill, they failed miserably ;)

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Samstag, 31. Januar 2009, 19:40

Hello Ricardo,

Thanks for the compliment. I like your writing style.

This model has indeed been a bit of a time consuming challenge. The merlons are indeed tricky. The first shot shows how they were wrapped with paper strips cut from a supplementary piece of printed wall. (printed at 100% to provide more material.)

The fortified tower upper floor is ready to install.
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Samstag, 31. Januar 2009, 20:51

The Machicolations

The battlement assembly slid over the tower like a collar and slid down until it came to rest with its floor resting on the top of the tower. But the assembly was a little too large. It projected out a bit too far. The gaps between the machicolations and the tower walls had to be filled with additional printed material.

That's quite a word... machicolations. I learned it many years ago when teaching about castle construction. I explained how they came about in the Pierrefonds construction report in July of 2006. If you're interested, you can find the explanation eleven posts down on page two of the build. Here:

Chateau de Pierrefonds - France - / L´Instant Durable / 1:250 [Fertig]

Couldn't resist. Must be the teacher in me.
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Sonntag, 1. Februar 2009, 17:34

The Upper Tower

The merlons on the top of the upper tower are going to be quite labour intensive to construct. The intent of the original design was to have the merlons cut out of a joined strip. (see photo below) The joining piece between each merlon was intended to be glued under the bottom of each crenel. A very ambitious and demanding plan. Ricardo, you were wondering why the merlons were not designed in the conventional way - four rectangular segments side by side with pointed tips above each segment. This is why.

I have chosen to build the merlons individually as shown earlier on the landing of the drawbridge.

In this photo, you can see the gaps for the merlons on the roof of the tower.
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