How to Build a Medieval Doorway
January 4, 2012 1 Comment
Like with any design, the concept starts with a sketch and a 3-D model to work out the details and get the proportions right. Solving design problems at this stage will make the construction process much easier.
Choosing the right materials and creating a parts list from the model saves time and money. Some of the techniques shown here are similar to theme park and movie set applications. Stuart Craig, production designer on the Harry Potter films, refers to himself as “an architect in plywood”. The sets are typically simple construction and finished in a heavy coat of faux paint and texture. Sculptural elements are usually carved in foam and, if need be, coated in fiberglass.
Careful layout and planning is key to a successful finish. Templates for all the varying shapes can be made directly from the Sketch-Up model.
Automotive filler, or Bondo, is used to add three dimensional texture, grout lines and cracks.
The Bondo and primer process is on-going throughout the construction. Other moldings and dimensional elements are then added and matched in texture. A router table with a panel raising bit will shape the curved cove moldings, while a lathe is great for turning the corbels on the top and bottom of the columns.
Faux painting and a bit of carving is next. Thin washes of varying tones and colors provide the look of stone, dirt and age. Splattering, sponging and dry brushing are techniques that add to the look.
The easy part is the door. Simple plank construction, stain and aging.
Finally, sculptural details are added and painted to look like iron. This is the same technique used in “How to Make a Pirate Cannon”,.
And there it is. From a pile of plywood and lumber to a finished sculptural piece ready for your next Harry Potter or Murder Mystery Party.