A few years ago, I picked up an inexpensive model castle. It didn’t look too involved, the price was cheap, and I thought, “Hey, I can make it look good.”
Guess what. I got what I paid for. Cheap, plastic junk. It took less than an hour to throw together, and the finished castle looked like nothing more than a toy.
What a disappointment. It was a learning experience though.
Skip the junk, and get something that will provide at least somewhat of a challenge and give you a realistic-looking result that you can be proud of.
Need a model castle in a hurry? Here are my top two picks.
For high-quality parts, beautiful results, and amazing attention to small details, go with The Loarre Castle Model Kit.
With 8,600 pieces and intricate details, this one will keep you engaged and challenged, and the completed castle looks incredibly like the real thing.
If you need clear instructions with photos for clarity, and prefer your models to have fewer peices and a splash of color, I’d say go with The Rocca Guaita Model Kit.
Fantastic scenery, red tile roofs, and realistic details, all with less than 4,000 pieces. What more could you ask for?
Realistic Model Castles to Build
If you’re new to model castle building, know that model castles are made of a material that imitates stone.
This material, typically ceramic, can be difficult to manipulate; some castle models are as much a technical puzzle as they are an exercise in patience.
For most though, the extra challenge just adds to the fun.
This Loarre Castle Model will have you thinking of the warm Spanish coast as you build this large model of the famous castle in Loarre, Spain.
I highly recommend this kit, whose ceramic pieces nicely simulate natural stone and lend the whole kit a high-quality feeling.
This kit comes with all the pieces necessary to build the complete castle, including the grass and bushes, and the speed of delivery is excellent.
I would, however, advise building it on a wood board rather than the included cardboard base.
This model is built at a 1/200 scale, and its final dimensions measure out at 20.9 inches tall by 25.6 inches long by 11.8 inches tall.
This castle, modeled after the original built in the 11th century, is an awe-inspiring addition to any model castle collection.
Its size also makes it an excellent standalone piece.
- A large model with small pieces that will occupy your interest for a long time.
- The castle itself is picturesque, with its parts protruding from a realistic-looking rockface.
- Speedy delivery.
- This is one of the pricier model castles on the list.
- Some reviewers have reported the delivered model missing pieces, but this was not my experience.
- It may be very challenging for first-time model builders.
I love the look of this Bellver Castle Model Kit, a stunning reproduction of the original located in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
The Bellver Castle itself is unique. Its very unusual central planning made it easy to defend from all sides.
As such, the Bellver Castle model looks good from all angles. This model, smaller than others, measures 13 x 13 x 6.5 inches. The scale is at 1/350.
- Gorgeous and unusual look.
- This model has an excellent price for those builders on a budget.
- Smaller size model perfect for residences with limited space.
- If you’re looking for a large model castle, this one isn’t that.
- The instructions are sparse; not good for first-time castle model builders.
- If you don’t have Amazon Prime, delivery can be quite expensive. With free delivery, this product is extremely affordable.
The Guaita Fortress, overlooking San Marino, is a foreboding tower that once acted as a prison.
Springing from the natural-looking rock base, this model is an excellent medium-size addition to your model kit collection.
This could be a pro or a con, depending on your outlook, but the build can be slow-going.
The Rocca Guaita (Prima Torre) Model requires true patience!
The model kit has almost 4,000 pieces and has final measurements of 19.7 x 9.8 x 11.4 inches, at a 1/250 scale.
One thing I especially love about the Guaita Fortress is its red-clay roofs, which nicely simulate the spicy, Mediterannean feel of San Marino itself.
It is the perfect model for a relaxing building experience that will provide a beautiful fortress in the end.
- Speedy delivery.
- Reasonable price for the size.
- Easy to assemble for the whole family.
- Many pieces mean a lot of fun ahead.
- Though the look is good, the final product isn’t as breathtaking as some of the items on the list.
The Bujaco Tower Model immediately strikes the eye with its simplicity of design and its almost villa-like appearance.
Located in Spain, the Bujaco Tower was built between the 15th and 18th centuries and is the youngest tower on this list.
That said, the Bujaco Tower, though relatively young, still conveys the beautiful feeling of an age gone by, a feeling imparted by the best model towers.
Though it is made at a scale of 1/125, this model only measures about 11.8 x 9.4 x 7.9 inches.
I love the compact, self-contained world created by the piece. The Bujaco Tower Model Kit is one of my favorites on this list.
- Though it is small, this project will consume a lot of time!
- This model has over 4,300 pieces that make its construction highly intricate and detailed.
- Excellent price for the level of detail.
- The whole piece accomplishes the feeling of a self-contained world that few model castles ever attain.
- Very little to complain about here. If you want a fast project, the Bujaco Tower Model Kit is not that project.
This 12th-century tower will wow the eyes.
Centrally planned around a courtyard that looks up into the heavens, the Del Monte Castle simulates a wheel in movement, its spires like spokes.
This is a medium-sized castle (15.7 inches wide and long, 8.3 inches tall) but has over 9,000 pieces.
Thus, its design is very compact, and its build is intricate.
The Del Monte Castle is probably the most time-consuming build on this list but probably not the most difficult.
With diligence, anyone can complete the Del Monte Castle Model Kit.
- Beautiful model.
- Intricate and detailed.
- Many pieces mean fun, fun, fun!
- Extremely time-consuming.
How Big Are Model Castles?
Model Castles range in size from under 10 cubic inches to well over 20. Model castles are generally built at a scale between 1/200 to 1/400.
If the real-life castle is especially large, the model may be especially large as well.
Wrapping It Up
While all of the above castle model kits are challenging, interesting, and give you a realistic replica of the original, if this will be your first castle build, I’d say to start with The Rocca Guaita.
You’ll be working with comparatively fewer pieces, but you’ll still get very impressive results. Just challenging enough without being overwhelming.
For those with a bit of experience, go for The Loarre Kit.
It’s the perfect size for display, the finished castle is sturdy, and you won’t be disappointed with the quality, challenge, or degree of realism.