My Workbench

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Mines of Moria Bridge of Khazad Dum

When I presented the Diagon Alley booknook I made to my older daughter for her birthday it was a big hit with both girls. The younger one was jealous and wanted exactly the same one for her birthday! But after thinking about it for a while, she decided she wanted the fight between Gandalf and the balrog on the bridge at Khazad Dum (Moria). So here is what I came up with after a lot of thinking and deliberation and experimentation. I hope you like it. 

Not really knowing what I wanted, I just roughed out a shape using some scrap Styrofoam packing I saved (I never throw anything away, LOL)

A little more shaping and a bit of mud

Adding some detail with card from a cereal box (I never throw anything away, seriously!)

The front door & viewing pane with bridge support

The sculpt is glued to the plywood base

Dwarf head for the front panel is made from a piece of 1/4" foam core 

I added a little dress up to the door frame

Surface is Celluclay

Front panel glued to base and started some painting

The bridge is added. I was going for a forced perspective so the bridge is smaller at the far end

Testing out the view here

Decided to add a little Mithril silver vein here

Initially my daughter wanted to sculpt the balrog. All she has ever worked with is bisque clay. She purchased some Super Sculpey but didn't know how to work with it. I pointed her to some Youtube videos where she learned she needed to make armatures, but she didn't have wire or tools to do it. She tried tinfoil but didn't like how it turned out. She got frustrated and eventually gave up. So I offered to try and find a 3D balrog I could print and she agreed. This balrog took 9 and a half hours to print!

The balrog was hell to clean up. I finally got the lights and started modifying the model to take them

Lighting Gandalf"s staff and sword took some thought and careful placing on the bridge

This shot is taken sandwiched in my bookshelf. The fire and wing reflection on the left and the pattern on the right are from the shiny book covers on either side. I thought the fire reflection looked pretty cool. Almost made me think about trying to add a mirror to this one.

The camera flash added a pretty cool pillar shadow image in this shot

Since I had both flicker and steady circuits, I split the power source to one battery for the flickers and two for the steady lights. I ganged the switches in the front and painted them copper. 

I tried to give a stone texture to the box

As an afterthought I decided to dress up the box a bit more

Both sides

Not that easy to see but the top and back are painted cream with the heavy brush strokes left visible to try and simulate the pages of a book

This was a lot of work but I am surprised at how fast it went. Most of the time was spent waiting for the various LEDs to arrive. I could get into this, but all of those ships are waiting. While waiting for the lights I printed at least a dozen more ships!

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Château du Taureau in 1/700 Scale

(This is an update: I mounted the ordnance on top of the fort. Added two photos at the end of the fort pictures.)

I found this beautiful 3D fort on Thingyverse for free the other day and printed it. It has just taken a day to complete. Here are two shots of the real fort:

This next one is a painting of the fort as it would have looked around the 1793 period.

And now the completed model

I mounted some 32 pounder long guns on top of the fort:

I am still waiting for my daughter to sculpt the balrog for her birthday book nook. So while I'm waiting I am looking for quick things to do. I downloaded another freebie castle/fort so I may do that, or maybe a small ship like Bounty. Here's a sneak peak of the Khazad Dum nook.

That's all for now, until the next thing.....