Saturday, 1 September 2012

Making your own fantasy scenery - Wizard's tower

Despite having a Blue Peter project box that's slowly taking over my entire gaming room, I rarely make scenery from scratch.  There's a lot of companies out there producing excellent stuff at good prices and I also have my Hirst mold that I've covered previously.  However over Easter 2011 my mad scientist friend Steve was visiting and after polishing off a tube of Pringles we came up with a 'make a wizards tower in a weekend' challenge.

The finished article
Well the photo above shows what we managed to make during that weekend.  Pretty pleased with it we were too as it was very much spur of the moment, no planning and frankly Steve is 97% enthusiasm and 3% skill I'm sure he wont mind admitting.  

So after selecting a couple of Pringles tubes as the basis we had to work out what we would do with the general look of the thing.  I have a lot of cardboard lying around so that allowed Steve to get cracking on the shingles for what inevitably had to be a conical roof.  This took a long time to make but looks great now its done.  Each roof is capped with a bit of baking foil.  I liked the idea of some bracing sections to break up the large wall surfaces so some thin card strips were added.

I also have some sheets of plasti-card for occasional conversion and basing jobs on miniatures so this allowed us to come up with the bridge, doors and windows for the double tower construction.  The window and door frames are deliberately wonky and a-symmetric - Steve was in an arty mood!

I had some spare bits from my Hirst molds that were put into use as jutting joists under the roofs and as abutments (I think that's what they are) on the bridge.  We also used a couple of wooden coffee stirrers as braces on the bridge as these are a bit thicker than card and there was no need to bend them.

The towers are mounted on a double layer of packing polystyrene I'd been saving.  Using a hot wire cutter Steve created the rough shapes you see and I then hot glue gunned the two sections together and to a mounting card base.  

My dog photo bombed the original shot, so here he is in full, glorious fluff-o-vision
The hill base also had some slots cut into it to allow some steps to be forced in, leading up to the front door - you'll see them more clearly further down.  Once the main sections were arranged, the entire thing was glued together with a combination of hot glue, PVA and when all else failed cello-tape!  Some loose sand and gravel was added in places to add further variety to the hill.

The hill section was coated in artex to give it texture and hide the polystyrene - this also meant it wouldn't melt when I under-coated it!  Just to be extra sure I also painted this section with my latex primer to give it even more of a sealed coating and further texture.  finally the joins between the tower and the base were hidden using wood filler.  This stuff is great and I have more things I want to show where I've used this in future.

Its black, BLACK!
A quick spray undercoat of black and we are ready to paint.  It could have been white, but black allowed me to be a little slapdash and not worry about every spot.  This is gaming scenery so its going to take knocks  so it only needed to look effective not win any awards.

A front view
So here it is 'completed'.  Well the painting is anyway.  This is going to live in my local gaming store so I am going to let Rob flock it to suit his boards, so some of the brown areas will have a nice green fuzz effect on them shortly.  I'll snap a shot of this once he's sorted that out.

Rear view
As you can see I've picked a slightly strange colour scheme, something Steve and I discussed and agreed on was that this tower belongs to a fairly eccentric mage so purple and light bluey-white it is.

Main door
Here's the front door.  All made out of plasti-card apart from the door knocker which is a spare bit from another kit I'll show at some point in the future.  Wood effect was simply scored into the plastic with a sharp craft knife.

Here's the stairs, I can't actually remember what they are made of, but being quite thick its probably balsa or foam card.  Artex provided some texture but they are a bit slap dash!
Walkway between towers
Last shot, so you can see the bridge section has somewhere to place miniatures and Steve even went to the effort to make a pair of wonky doors too.  The gantry has wood effect scored into it too.

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