This is the part where I give the disclaimer that I have not actually watched Game of Thrones, and then defend my decision, but also explain that I’m not going to pass up an awesome model just because I haven’t seen the associated show. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, check out this EPIC model! So many layers and towers and everything.

I have to admit that I was thoroughly intimidated by this model, at the same time as excited about building it. That’s a whole lot of cylindricalish things to try to get to line up with each other. Unfortunately, I was not entirely successful at that. Nonetheless, it’s a gorgeous model to look at, with lots of details to draw the eyes away from the little goofups. Also, it’s really tall. I don’t know how that fits in with the rest of this paragraph, but I felt like calling it out.

So… how do I rate this on difficulty? Well, it’s actually been a really freaking long time since I built this. Before I took my unplanned depression sabbatical, effectively. But I do remember that there were definitely some parts that I would classify as fairly challenging, and a lot of stuff that was pretty straight forward. It’s definitely not a model for a new builder to start on, but not one that you are going to need to wait to start until you’ve perfected the art.

The challenges in this model, as I recall, fell into three main categories: (1) folding the really long psuedo-cylinders; (B) the buttresses; and finally trying to attach all the stacked cylindrical assemblies in alignment with each other.

I’m going to speak to the psuedo-cylinders first. There are a lot of them, in lots of sizes, and with a large variety in number of sides (including some that have seven sides. Seven. I want to know who the sadistic person was that decided to do that to us. kidding. but seriously. The one with five sides was bad enough, but seven? Part 56, I’m looking at you), and many of them don’t go all the way around. When you have polygonal columns like this that are long and thin, it get’s kinda hard to get all the folds evenly folded, much less evenly/consistently folded along the full length of the column.

Thankfully, I figured out a trick for this in a previous build: treat them like regular cylinders. Find a drill bit (or something similar) that’s about the right size and roll the part around it. It’s generally a good idea to start with a drill bit that’s too big, and then work your way down. This won’t lead to perfect results, but if you leave the drill bit inside, you can use pliers, tweezers, and your fingers to work the folds into a distribution that you like, without worrying about accidentally crushing the cylinder flat.

Skipping over the buttresses for now, I’m going to speak a minute to attaching all of these cylinders. And I’m going to use a four-letter-word, so brace yourself. My best advice for getting things straight(ish) and aligned(ish) is this: glue. Yeah, I used a lot of 5-second fix when building this one. Every time I assembled a stacked cylinder, I put a little bit of glue on each internal twisted tab. No matter how tightly I attach stacked cylinders together, if I have to handle them much, they will get loose and wobbly. So I glue them. Same goes for attaching the cylinders to things. Theoretically it is possible to build a model like this without glue, but if I didn’t use glue, it would be wobbly and crooked and just plain fragile.

Which brings us full circle to the buttresses. Okay, I guess that’s not really a circle. More like a there and back again (whoops, wrong fantasy epic!). Anyways, one of the big challenges of the buttresses is that they are lined up, small, thin, include a bunch of 90 degree folds, and so very easy to misalign, accidentally bend, twist, or knock out of alignment.

My solution? First, an assembly line of building them. Slow and steady and as exacting as possible. Laying them out together, making sure they match as closely as possible. The attach, apply glue, cure, repeat. Once I got them all attached, then I spent more time working on tweaking them into alignment. The glue was extremely important for this part, as it’s almost impossible to tweak alignments and bends like this when the part can wiggle back and forth.

Okay, that’s it for what I can remember off-hand from the build. I’m going to save this post now, and then try to find my copy of the build instructions to see if I wrote any notes that I can make sense of. And then update this post with them, if I’m lucky.

Alright, I’m back! I know, it hasn’t been any time at all your for, but for me it’s been another month or so. Such is life! But I did find some notes and trigger some memories, so it was totally worth it. Or, well, worth it for a total of two notes.

First off, I wrote a note about part 55 (the railing around the top of the central structure of the tall section), calling out that the fold lines are not super clear. So play close attention to the diagram and the fact that there are two folds very close together that isn’t even super clear in the instructions (look closely at the blue fold-line shape indicator).

Secondly, I turned to the last page and was reminded of yet another case of a step suggesting you do the impossible. I’m talking about the final step, where you join the tall section and the lower section. The lower section happens to have one of the walls of the taller section already attached to it – which is how you are supposed to attach it to the taller section. Makes sense, except for the fact that a tower that crosses between the shorter part of the castle and the upper part is attached to taller section. This tower abuts the wall of the lower section (on the outside). So… the wall needs to be behind the tower, but the slots on the outside of this wall need to pass over the tabs sticking out from adjacent walls.

This makes for a fun effort of slipping the wall up behind the tower, and then bending the walls outwards to slip over the tabs, but without permanently bending them, because they need to sit flush against their adjacent walls. And to make it super helpful, there are also tabs at the top of the wall that slot through the floor of the upper section, which also resist bending those walls out to slip over those side tabs (or prevent the side slots from lining up with the side tabs if you haven’t slotted the top tabs through the top slots yet). It’s a bit of a magic trick, mixed with breaking the laws of physics. But it is actually possible. Just… a bit frustrating.

And that about wraps it up. Video recording time totals about 7 hours and 12 minutes, so this was a pretty long build. I was a bit obsessive on those buttresses and cylindricalish shapes, though. Videos available in complete silence, as usual: