My inspiration comes from the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. I was always facinated by the Greyjoy stronghold of Iron Islands. This is not intended to be a replication of what is described in the book, it simply served as my personal inspiration.
I have been working on adding Realflow waves and breakers. This has taken up a lot of my time that could have been better spent. The scale is the biggest problem. I know how to do it, just not on the scale that is shown. To give an idea of scale, there is a 2 story house on the island that you can see in the shot taken from the mainland and the shot towards the mainland with the castle island on the left. It is but the merest speck.
I am using mostly VUE 6 xStream. Fantastic software for landscapes. A little XSI, a little Animation:Master, and maybe some realflow. At some point I will have to do some particle effects, it is a toss up where those will come from.
The castle model is a proxy of sorts. I intend to use parts scrounged together from several different castles to make the castle take up most of the top of that particular formation. I am also working on a bridge to connect to the mainland.
I will also be adding a forest and some sort of town/village. If I have time I will also add some form of dock system to the small bay you can see i nthe shots below.
As you can see it is still very much a WIP.