Following on from my last post on additional troops (Regular, Militia and Volunteer) to defend Edinburgh, my current project is making a model of the City and castle, starting with the City. In 1745 it looked like this:
The castle is on the left (west) with the old town running down the ridge (now the Royal Mile) to Holyrood Palace on the right. There were almost no buildings of note north of the city until you reach the Forth.
Here is a plan of the city as it was in 1742. immediately north of the old town was the Nor Loch (North Loch) a fetid stretch of water which was an open sewer and depository for offal from the abattoirs, quite apart from a few bodies of executed criminals. The stretch immediately north of the castle was a swamp. This North Loch is now the very beautiful Princes Street Gardens.
The western half of the old town was walled, so I decided to concentrate on this. Here is a plan of the old walls. The North East corner (top right) is approximately where Waverley Station is today.
For the walls, I used my standard wall sections from my model of an Usborne Medieval Castle. I made a few extra sections, both of long (16cm) and short (8cm) walls.
Some of these 16 cm sections had gun positions which were ideal.
I made some corner towers with walls on only one side to give more flexibility in the layout.
There were a number of gates around the city walls, now all demolished. Most looked like this picture of Cowgate (which was the southern gate on the East wall of the city).
One gate was much more elaborate. This was the Netherbow Port, the main gate half way down the Royal Mile towards Holyrood. It has now been demolished but looked like this when viewed from the east (ie looking from outside to inside the walls).
The clock is actually taken from a photo of the real clock, which survived the demolition of the original gate and was relocated onto another building in Edinburgh.
The inside of the Netherbow Port (ie looking from west to east) looked like this.
I had a number of Scottish houses which I had made already from Paper Terrain models. All my buildings are 15mm, one scale down from my 1:72 (23mm) plastic figures, so as to have a smaller footprint. Some were original Paper Terrain and others had been converted into typical Scottish shops, such as McDougal’s Bakers, Baxter’s Grocers, McSweeney’s Butchers and the Red Lion pub. You can see some of these here. The cobbled road is from Wordsworth Model Railways.
To supplement these I also bought a set of Paper Terrain Town Houses. These are mostly three storey, which is ideal. Here are the corner houses. There were four in the set but one was red brick, so I did not make that model. Some had French features such as awnings or balconies, which I did not use, and French shop names which I obscured.
Paper Terrain models fit over a ruined version and my older sets of Mediterranean and North European Village houses have a pattern to represent the interior of the ruins on the reverse side.
The newer Paper Terrain models, such as the Town Houses and Central European Village packs, no longer have this refinement, but like it so I printed out a sheet on plain paper of such a pattern with some separate black doors and windows shapes. I glued this ruined paper to the reverse of my new Paper Terrain Town Buildings, then cut out and matched up black doors and windows to those on the front of the ruins. You can see the effect on the ruined versions here.
Most of the town houses come with damaged removable upper floors, as shown in the house on the right of the photo. I reinforced these with a piece of stiff card. To support them the kit has card angled brackets, but I used cut off sections of wooden matchsticks, painted in a natural wood colour, as shown in the house on the left of the picture.
There are two larger town houses in the set. Here they are.
I think these are particularly suitable for Edinburgh buildings because they look similar to an old print of the Luckenbooth buildings, which were on the north side of the Royal Mile.
I am going to pause here, and continue in Part 2 with some models of particular buildings in Edinburgh, including the Tolbooth prison and St Giles Cathedral.