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Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Privateer Press had commissioned me to build some Grymkin-themed terrain to go with their Iron Gauntlet table. If you attended their Lock and Load convention this year, you may have seen it, or even played a game on the board. Here's a look at some of pieces I made.
The concept was for the city to be overgrown with creepy trees, bursting out of the street and buildings. I made two smaller trees to function as objective markers. They were sculpted out of Aves Apoxie Sculpt® with Woodland Scenic plastic tree armatures for the branches. Each one has a wooden dowel at the core, with the Aves putty over top. The branches were pinned onto the trunk and the attachment points and the joins sculped over with more putty.
The trunks were sculpted to look as though the bark was stripped away and symbols were cut into the trunk. Each tree was mounted on a 50mm base which was cut and painted to look like a cracked stone curb. Some nooses made from twisted floral wire were the finishing touch.
I also made a bunch of "scarecrow" markers. These were made from a mix of guitar wire, bamboo skewers, and dowels– The vertical log is a dowel, the "X" pieces are skewers, and the cross beam is guitar wire. The branch hands were pinned onto the guitar wire, and then it was puttied over. Thin wire was wrapped around it all to create the ties.
Privateer had sent some molds of windows and stone texture so I could match their table's aesthetic. I made the large base out of a resin casting with some extra bits of loose stone. The effect matches the cobblestone street seamlessly.
Some of the trees are growing out of water towers. The water tower was made with popsicle sticks and basswood, and I used a variety of styrene pieces for the metal banding and framework. The tree was made over a wire armature, with branches added similar to the other trees.
The centerpiece of it all is a huge pair of trees framing a glowing portal. Because they were so large, I cut their shapes out of pink insulation foam which was then wrapped with braided wire. Segmented dowels were added at the top to build the curved trunk.
The surface of the bark was sculpted over the armature with Aves, and the portal was made by putting a thin roll of putty in a spiral pattern on a piece of foam board. The putty was then smoothed out to look like ripples.
The tree was mounted on an MDF base, using a tracing of the ground to make sure the footprint of the piece would fit in its spot on the table.
The base was covered with sand and resin-cast bricks to create the cracked and broken street.
The final step was to paint it all and add some resin lanterns hanging from the branches.
Coming up, I'll talk about the buildings in the set.