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Theo's Castle

THIS IS NOT A BUILD ARTICLE.

I built this castle many years ago for my son. The video is a detailed tour of the project. The article below is mostly just a photo album of the completed castle kit.

I hope you still find something of interest!

 

 

Rather than building a castle for your child, this project will let your child build a castle themselves... again and again, and in ways that you would have never imagined. And stimulating the imagination is what we hope of every toy that we give to a child.

This project is made up of several individual castle "components". You can build as many of each as you like. These can then be combined in many different ways to make many different castles. It is meant to be a "kit".

For the most part, I'm going to let the photos speak for themselves. I hope you find it interesting.

I sized the castle pieces to work with 3" tall Playmobil toys. I purchased an assortment of knight and pirate pieces for my son when I made this castle kit for him.

I built this kit for my son's third birthday. He is the "Theo" that this was named for.

I made four different sized of towers. Three a pictured here. The fourth is just a stretched out taller version of the smallest one. You could vary any of the dimension to suit your whims.

Mine were sized so that they could nicely stack on top of each other, to allow you to make taller pieces.

 

 

The parts are made from 3/8" Baltic Birch Plywood. Actually, that isn't quite true. Baltic Birch is sold in metric thicknesses, so it actually 9mm thick, which is just a bit more than 3/8".

For a finish I used Tried and True original wood finish from Lee Valley. That is basically just a mixture of Boiled Linseed Oil and Beeswax. this gives it a slight amber colour, which warms up the pale baltic birch plywood, but still leaves it with a fairly natural look. It also will not show scratches the way a painted piece would.

Even more importantly, they also nest together for storage.
There are also wall modules. The base is cut back so that they can be positioned at many angles.
The most complicated piece in the kit is the gate house. It is basically two towers and a wall, but it is built a bit differently.
Rear view of the gate.
My set will pack away into a "standard" plastic storage tote. (It's not shown, but we also just dump all the Playmobil toys in also, and they fit into all the nooks and crannies, which leaves you with just ONE box to put away.)
And here is a view of it with a bunch of toys in play. You can tell that this was set up by an adult (me) rather than a child, since it has no dinosaurs or fire trucks, let alone how neatly it is arranged...
If you think that this project looks a touch familiar, you might be right.

I designed and built this project in 2006, and wrote an article about it which was published in the November 2006 Canadian Home Workshop magazine.

I also produced a very brief web page at the time, so as not to compete with the magazine. Enough time has passed that I felt I could now revisit this project with more photos and details.

 

 

Finally, here below are a few more older photos of the project.

 

Thanks for reading!