Histo-Sci Entry #3: Castle Siege
This castle I made recently and just took pictures of it. It is quite large, and there are two pages of pictures, 84 photos in all. The castle is on the left, and the good knights are rather "understaffed" so-to-speak, and they are much too few to provide an efficient garrison for this my largest castle ever, but who cares? The evil Vikings and barbarians (along with two Bull warriors and one Shadow Knight) are laying sudden siege to the castle, using their siege tower to try to mount the walls, and moving their trebuchet across wooden planks/bridges so that they can use it against the walls. This part of the diorama is sub-par--the trebuchet is too close to the castle to "fire" at it. Due to space constraints, I had to place the trebuchet closer to the castle than would be ideal, but I hope that this does not cause the judges to hate my scene! The trebuchet itself is fully working, and has wheels so it can move back and forth after flinging balls/projectiles (one has already been lobbed at the castle walls, only to go too far--see picture 59). I filled the counterbalance bucket with metal ballbearings. I DO NOT recommend this approach, as, when I was dismantling the diorama I found that the ballbearings had left rust marks on the legos--yikes! I was worried, but was able to get them off with some baking soda and elbow grease. Still, don't try this anyone! The water for the river was achieved by blue glossy scrapbooking paper. The stone bridge was made and designed by myself for this particular diorama. A catapult from set #8873 is being manned by a barbarian, with the Shadow Knight close by. In the water on the side of the bridges is a lone Viking rowing across the stream in order to do battle with his foe. Across the bridge, the Viking ballista from set #7017 is about to fire its spikes/spears at busy little unsuspecting knights. Attached to the ballista's front is a rope with a grappling hook at the end, and a barbarian (who I call "Beric" from G.A. Henty's book, Beric the Briton
--see castle book thread) is attempting to mount the castle wall, but who will speedily be cut down by Sir Santis. On the side of the castle is the siege tower (sporting the catapult from set # 7019, the Viking Fortress) adorned with shields and animal horns and manned by Vikings, who are now giving battle to the defenders, who are having a hard time of it (But will undoubtedly prevail!). To the right of the siege tower is a ladder, which is being climbed by a Viking and a hooded pikeman (who is endeavoring to impale Sir Robert the Bruce, but will speedily be brained with Robert the Bruce's axe). To the immediate left of this, a barbarian warrior is being crushed by flaming timbers tossed down by a Dragon Knight (sporting the Rock Raiders character Axle's head). This idea I got from Henty's book The Young Carthaginian
in the part about Hannibal's siege of Saguntum.
The castle itself is a mixture of fictional ideas of my own and historical fact. The front of the castle sports a forecastle, which was a section of a castle put in front of one inner gate with walls around it, and a frontal gate, or drawbridge as is seen here, is what the enemy must confront. If taken by storm or other methods of attack, the forecastle may be abandoned, causing the enemy to have to go back to square one. The knights manning the walls of the forecastle are able to retreat through wooden doors next to the walls (one of which--the left one from the castle's point of view--is open here, a crossbowman issuing forth). The drawbridge itself is not able to open at the moment of battle as the axe cart from set #4806 is propped up against it. One castle defender is pouring red-hot sand down on the fleeing Bull warrior who put the axe cart in its place.
To the left of the siege tower, William Wallace is in the process of throwing a spear at a Viking warrior (who I named "Sweyn", which is again a name from on of Henty's books, The Dragon and the Raven
). In front of Sweyn is a hinged door in the castle wall, which enables the catapults to sally out and assault the foe. The catapults are stored in a sort of alley so-to-speak, and to the left of this little alley is a door that (at least in your imagination) leads to the inner parts of the castle--the banquet hall, the bedchambers, etc. Above this door is King Leo's post, and behind him is a horde of gold and treasure. The wall opposite the door that opens into the alley is made so as to have a removable section, making it look as if invaders somehow battered their way through (which they indeed did in pictures 69-72). Now, in the middle of the castle (just behind the barred gate) is a large catapult, which thankfully does some damage to the enemy in pictures 73-74 utilizing Greek fire. The catapult is surrounded by barrels and crates filled with projectiles and stones for the catapult to lob at the enemy. To the sides of this catapult are the "stable" areas, really just fenced-off horse enclosure areas, and in the sides of the castle wall itself, below the parapets and on both the left and right walls, are apertures sporting cannon poking out. These cannon can swivel, and, to reload, a door is opened on the side of the wall which enables the muzzle to pass back into the castle's walls and be reloaded while still keeping the cannon operator in a safe spot (see picture 65).
The final pictures depict the Viking boatman mentioned earlier, and he places his helmet on his head, fetches his axe, and, as he prepares to step out of the boat onto the shore, he hews down a small tree on the land in a show of ferocity and also to prepare himself for the rigors of battle.
Now, I hope that "summary" (more like thesis) wasn't too long! Hope everyone likes it and I hope everyone else does well in their building (as you all already have been) and in their winnings!
"...my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen." --Martin Luther