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The Lightbulb Diorama Part 3 -
Building the Castle outside the diorama

There are two important things to think about when you are building the castle or any structures that are going inside your light bulb. First you have to completely build it outside the bulb so you can see exactly what it will look like. Then you have to make sure it is composed of parts that will all fit easily through the hole of the bulb. See how this castle is a group of towers? Each piece fits through the opening of the bulb. And I have found an arrangement of them that I like.


The miniature castle


How did I make these? All of the round sections are simply rolled paper! And the cones are just paper rolled into cones. The square pieces are tiny pieces of wood. With a little creativity you can come up with all kinds of tower shapes. See how some of the towers I wrapped an extra piece of paper at the top. And then when I painted it I used some nice variations in colors. The blue and purple tower tops are actually just colored paper.

Other Materials:


I also used cork in this diorama. The cork creates a nice mountain base for the castle to sit on. You can see I have painted and applied small terrain elements to the cork. In this picture I am preparing to cut the cork into four sections so they can all fit through the opening in the bulb.


Starting the castle

Once you have completed the diorama on the outside of the bulb it is time to start putting the pieces inside the bulb. You can see here I have placed all four pieces of cork and the first tower piece. You put one piece in, glue it in place and let it dry. Then you do the second piece. It makes sense to do the pieces furthest away from the opening first. Then you work slowly toward you.

To glue a piece in place you use a tool to get it exactly where you want it then you apply a liberal amount of superglue to the end of a coat hanger. Then push the coathanger end into the bulb and right up against where you want the glue to be allowing a drop to fall and wick into the part. It's a slow process but this works real well. Notice that if you hold the coat hanger parallel to the ground you can get a lot of glue along the last inch of it. Then when you tilt the coat hanger all the glue runs to the end and forms a drop. This is the trick to getting the glue where you want it.


The Completed Diorama

Here is a picture of my completed diorama. All of the castle pieces are glued in place and I used cotton balls to get a cloud effect. The dragon (in the upper right) is glued by his wings, right to the glass of the bulb.


Activating the light

This diorama has a little something extra in it. I made a little magnetic reed switch that when you place a magnet near the bulb a light comes on at the top of the large tower.

NextIn the next part we learn how to make this little magnet activated light


Storm The Castle Diorama Part 7: Water Effects, Make the Moat

The next installment of the massive castle siege diorama is done. In this part we add the moat around the castle. Storm The Castle Diorama Part 7



The French Cafe Diorama

Here is a hand made diorama of a street scene in Paris and a neat thing about this diorama is that the street lights actually light up. Check it out here: The French Cafe Diorama