Saturday, August 18, 2012

My new current project - The Neuschwanstein Castle with a Bavarian Village

     Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th century Romanesque Revival Palace and is one of the most famous castles in the world because of it's fairy tale appearance and gets over 1.3 million visitors a year.  Neuschwanstein castle was built over the remains of two previous castles and the foundation was started in 1869. The palace was commissioned out of the private fortune of King Ludwig II and with extensive borrowing. Ludwig II accumulated up to 14 million marks in debt by 1886 and was denied more funds to complete the castle, on June 13 1886, Ludwig II died in a shallow lake under mysterious circumstances. Bavaria opened the palace to paying visitors just six weeks after Ludwig II death. Neuschwanstein Castle was completed in a simpler form by 1888 and to this day is still not fully finished. If it had been completed, it would have had over 200 rooms, ultimately, there are no more than 15 rooms.
     For two decades, the Castle was the principle employer of the region containing about 200 craftsmen. At times when the king insisted on close deadlines and urgent changes, reportedly 300 workers were there at a time and working through the night under lamp oil. Statistics from the years estimate an immense amount of building materials. Approximately 465 tons of Salzburg Marble, 1,550 tons of Sandstone, over 400,000 bricks and this is not including the intricate wood work carvings, the detailed paintings and the incredible mosaic work.
     Neuschwanstein Castle has been filmed in many movies and was Walt Disney's inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle  and Cinderellas Castle in Disney World.

Some quick sketches of some modular pieces to get started on. Will eventually turn them to a digital format.
The beginning of a lot of work.
Gatehouse almost finished, will be continuing on back into the courtyard and then on to the main structure. I would love to also build the inside of the entire structure but that will take a lot more time and I should probably finish the exterior first. One step at a time.
Blocked out the foundation for the main structure today being that the rest of the castle is elevated above the gatehouse. Also established a baseline for the road leading up to the castle, and for the record, I am doing my best ability to build this castle to scale. 
The hallway structure below the Knights Building has been blocked out for both the first and second floor. The Knights Building will stand above that hallway and then continuing towards the main palace area. 
The beginning of the landscape that I created today. This screenshot is from UDK editor using the landscape tool. The angle is from the south end of the farm land and the lake, the yellow box is the lightmass area surrounding where the castle will be. The sculpting of the landscape is taking some time but I am trying to recreate the area that actually surrounds the castle itself. It will be perfect, hopefully I'll finish it up by this coming weekend. 
Here are three screen shots from the UDK Editor and they are next to there real world references. The top photo and screen shot is from the south, with the real world reference having the shot taken from in front of the castle. The second shot is from the gorge on the west side of the castle where the waterfall drops into the stream and under the castle which is then pumped up for running water. The third shot is from the North side of the castle. The landscape still needs some fine tuning but for the most part I have my major landmarks blocked out and I'm ready to move on.
Have the main Palace structure blocked out and have been adding in the windows. The windows vary with five different designs surrounding the palace. So it has taken a bit of time to figure out which windows go where, it has been a lot of referencing. 
A little bit more progress. I added some more windows to the roof of the palace and have started the top of the square guard tower. I also added some of the chimneys that are on the roof, but I am noticing that their are seven variations of chimneys, so to get it correct, it has slowed me down a little bit. However, I am really enjoying this project and work on it everyday. I'm excited to get to painting in Photoshop. 
Worked on the entrance ramp today, the support beams for the ramp, the drainage pipe and the sections of short walls that surround the outer edge. I also constructed the gatehouse door as well. 
Finally have had the chance to get back to work on this castle. I have been working on the square tower and the inner courtyard. 
The beginning of the inner courtyard. Have placed the staircases and have the wall decor and the doors marked out for continuing forward.