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Cut & Assemble a Medieval Castle: A Full-Color Model of Caernarvon Castle in Wales Paperback – June 1, 1984
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For this model you must cut out (I use good paper scissors), fold (use some sort of creasing tool, I use a pointed jeweler's tool, an old ball point pen out of ink works fine too), and then assemble piece by piece. The instructions suggest an x-acto knife for cutting but I only use one in tight areas where scissors are impractical. I use a straightedge, toothpicks for some gluing, small set of titanium scissors, and good light!
I had a good experience the first time and look forward to making it again. I'm on the lookout for more "cut and assemble" books, fast becoming hard to find. They use good quality sturdy paper with nicely engineered designs, not for young children I would say as some designs, like this one, can be complex.
I read other peoples estimates on time and it took me WAY more time than some posted (here and on other sites). Either I'm really slow or my work was too meticulous or a combination of the two! hahaha. I saw some estimates of 10 - 15 hours (which is why I agreed to build this in the first place). IMHO, I don't know how that is possible. The book has approx. 12+ pages in it with many detailed structures to be cut, folded and glued. That means you would have to be able to finish a page an hour and I just don't see how that is possible. I did not make too many mistakes during the cutting process. I agree with other comments made that understanding which way some of the folds go can be tricky and this also slows you down. I also labeled the backs of the pieces as I cut them out on the backs and marked fold lines lightly so I remembered where the pieces got folded when I started to fold and glue the pieces.
I think that all the tools they recommend for constructing the castle are necessary (scissors, x-acto knife, straight edge or ruler, scorer, burnishing tool). IMHO - the scoring tool in particular is necessary. It is very hard to complete straight folds neatly and with accuracy without the assistance of a scorer (approx. $10.00). I started trying to make the folds without one (using a straight edge to assist with getting the folds straight) and purchased one shortly after I started making folds.
Some things that probably added to my time a bit... working with my son definately added time in the scoring and construction phases. But, I had to involve him since it was his project. But, I don't think this added a whole lot of time, because the truth is that I did the hardest parts alone. I also cut out (using the x-acto knife) the notches on tops of the castle walls all the way around to add some authenticity to how a real castle looks. If you don't do this I would estimate you could knock 1-1 1/2 hours off my time estimates for the construction.
Overall the castle looks very, very nice when it is completed. It is a very impressive completed structure. I promise it will not disappoint! However, for my application, if I had known the amount of time this was going to take me with my son to build, I would have selected a different method of completing his project. Thankfully I had started this early (the one time in my life I ever started anything early) and it was completed on-time to turn in for his school project :-)
Cons: You will have some problems fitting the items once you get the model nearly complete as the fitting issues become magnified with so many items together. Use a very thin glue to minimize this problem and be prepared for some custom fitting.
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