Fantasy Windmill

I've got a game on my phone called Dragonvale which has lost it's appeal but it does have some pretty neat buidings in it. The hibernation cave was the inspiration for this windmill.
I basically took the shape & added blades
For the building structure, I took 5 pieces of scrap foam, stacked them, and smoothed them into one shape with a hot wire cutter. The door & window area were cut with a hobby knife.
 For the roof shape, I cut three different sized circles and cut wedges out of each to create cones. Then I attached them together cock-eyed for a goofy effect.
I added a dormer face using some foam core, shingled the whole roof & spackled the sides of the building. The spackle was smoothed using a wet paper towel.
I used some skinny craft sticks and toothpick-sized dowels to make the windmill blades.
I cut the rest of my wood pieces right away as well so I could stain them together to get a similar color. I use the good ol' Minwax wood stain, but your typical washes or inks would work as well.

To bring some texture back to the building, I mixed some sand with glue & brushed it on.
A little bit of paint and a couple of bricks made out of foam core that shaved in half with a hobby knife bring us to this:
 The wood planks were cut to a point & before I pushed them into the foam building, I added Titebond glue to the ends. The strengthening additive in the glue is more than enough to hold the wood plus plenty of weight.
I had intentions of making metal frames for the window & door, but the curve of the building made that look stupid, so I covered it in ivy instead. Using my glue I drew on the ivy lines & sprinkled it with parsley.

I painted my shingles using a slate blue, a 'true' blue, then used blister pack foam & stippled on a green color, and finally a mix of a light blue & light green stippled with a sponge as well.
After attaching the roof I added more parsley and patches of fine turf.

The blades were a bit tricky.  I found this neat nut that had a spinning attachment on it. I don't know what it's called or what it was for but it worked out nicely for this. I glued the blades to the normal flat front of the nut. Then I needed something hollow to fit on the part that rotated without touching that inner ring that held the spinny part on. Lucky I had a wooden dowel the right size.
(Hindsight Note: I used 3M Gel Super glue to join the wood & the metal thinking it could handle the different substances; at first it worked great. The blades spun like a champ. About a week after I glued them together the wood part snapped off, though. I used a replacement piece & different glue the second time, but the glue was much runnier & got in between the nut and the spinning ring. So, it still spins, but not without being pushed all the way around... I don't know what the proper lesson is here, but I'm sure there is one.)

Ok, so for some extra support, I drilled a hole into the end of the dowel with a pin vice and attached a small dowel.

I did the same with the building before adding gobs of glue on the end & shoving the rod through the hole.

For the ground cover, I covered the base board with spackle & sprinkled it with gravel & sand

I painted the spackle with a grassy color & lightly sponged the rocks with white.

Using a mixture of random ground stuff I have, mostly static grass & fine turf, I covered the green areas. Then added patches of grass tufts.

Lastly, for the fabric on the blades, I used Viva brand paper towel, cut it to shape, soaked it in water,  ripped some holes in them, then dabbed on random spots of a sepia wash. I also did a coat of white PVA after it was dry to help make them durable.

I think that's it. If you have any questions, let me know. Otherwise enjoy these photos of the finished product! Thanks guys!


This windmill was donated to the fine folks at Coulee Carnage to raise proceeds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. You can see more about their tournament on their website.


  1. Your work is awesome! Thanks for all the pics, I may get around to trying thi. I started an Ogre hut, but never finished. I like making terrain more than buildings. Great stuff, keep up the fantastic work.

    1. Thanks Mark! I think the hardest part of any build is actually finishing it :-P

  2. Hi Melanie , I just wanted to say thank you so very much for the amazing donation and support for Coulee Carnage. The person that wins it via the raffle will be very very happy. Your work is even more amazing in person and anyone that requires your services should do so in a heart beat.

    1. lol, thank you for the nice endorsement. I hope everything goes well for your tournament. It sounds like you've got a lot of nice stuff - I'm excited to hear the final numbers on how much you raised at the end of it all!

  3. Holy smokes that windmill is awesome! I came here from http://somuchleftundone.blogspot.com/ where I am a subscriber.

    1. Thanks Robert :-) I haven't updated here in a while; but it's nice to know people are still checking it out.

  4. Excellent craft. Looks incredible. What did you use for shingles?

    1. Thank you! They were cut from a cereal box (or similar).