March 2– Back from vacation, the shop is open!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Project Log: Warscryer Citadel, Part 1

The Skullvane Manse is a scenery kit that I have admired for years. When it was re-released as the Warscryre Citadel, I decided to pick one up. I'm not as interested in it for its Malign Portents rules as I am for the sheer size and grandeur of the kit itself. When assembling it, I decided to customize the details on the kit to better match the aesthetics of my undead legions. I'm documenting the progress in this project log so you can follow along and see how I accomplished everything.


The citadel already has a suitably gothic architecture, complete with spiked rooftops and skulls.



The Sigmarite details like the twin tailed comets all need to be scraped off. On the back window, the flaming orbs are large enough that I can turn them into flaming skulls.


I like the skeleton sculpture on the rocks, but I'll be changing its details.


As I begin cleaning the parts, one thing that needs to be addressed is the flattened edges of the wooden beams. Because of the molding process, the detail is flattened out on the side where the mold line is. I want to add wood grain texture to all sides of the wooden beams.


I'm making a "wood grain scraper" out of an old hobby knife blade. By crimping the blade with a pair of clippers, I'm adding notches that will allow me to scrape row of lines in the wood with a single pass. (I'm using a beat-up pair of clippers for this; if you try this, do not use a good pair of clipers or you could damage their cutting edges.)



This kills two birds with one stone– I can scrape the mold lines on the wood and apply the wood grain all in one go.



Here's a better shot of the edge with the wood grain scraped into it:


Some of the beams on the buildings themselves need wood grain added. It's a painstaking process.


These wooden panels on the side of the building also need some wood grain, but I can't lay the blade flat enough to get a good scrape.


Instead, I'm using the tip of a rounded blade and the point of a sculpting tool to scratch individual lines into the plastic.



As I'm cleaning the mold lines, I notice that the line runs right through these bolts, messing up their detail. Rather than meticulously cleaning the lines, I decide to just replace the bolts.


I slice the bolts off and scrape the metal plate smooth with the flat knife blade (not the notched blade).


These bolts don't have any mold lines, but they are torn a little from being pulled out of the steel mold.


To make some new bolts, I use a piece of 2mm styrene hex rod and 1mm round styrene rod.


I slice little "chads" of the hex rod and round rod...


Then use the tip of my knife to pick them up, dip them in a spot of super glue, and then apply them to the metal plate.


I apply the hexes first, and then add the round rod in the center to give the appearance of a nut and bolt.



I modify the window that I had mentioned above by slicing off and smoothing the orbs, and filling the fire with a little putty. A pair of skulls with their backs cut flat fit perfectly in the spots where the orbs used to be. I also remove the glyph on the large skull.


Over the door, I fill in the arch with putty and then sculpt some bat wings. The skulls each have one side cut flat so they sit flush on the arch to make a pair of winged skulls.


My decision for the large skeleton sculpture is to remove the laurels on the skull and cover the wings with putty to match the surrounding rocks. I want a different weapon, so I'm cutting down the hammer bits, shaping them to resemble the rock, and leaving the weapon pole. I'll add either a scythe blade, spear, or axe head. It will depend on what bits I can scavenge or what I can easily and quickly sculpt. At this point, I'm not sure what to do with the shield, so I'll come back to it later.


That takes care of the clean-up work on the main body of the citadel. Before attaching the two halves, I spray prime the wooden scaffolding to make sure the backs of the wooden beams have enough coverage. It might be difficult to catch everything with the spray once it's assembled. Finally, I glue it all together and tape the parts to hold them in place as while they dry. Enough for one day.


'Til next time!


  1. Picture #6 is why I have two pairs of those remarkable Xuron cutters :D

  2. This is amazing! Looking forward to see what else you change and how you paint the building.

  3. I bought it too. I didn´t make any customization, but I´m about to finish painting it. I´m longing to see your final job.

  4. That knife blade trick is very interesting. I have used a razor saw to do wood grain before (just drag it flat over the surface) but that produces grain that is fairly regular and boring.

  5. Knife wood grain trick is brilliant. Your attention to detail in replacing those bolts is remarkable. Always learn so much from your posts.

  6. Thanks everyone! Glad you're enjoying the progress!

  7. Excellent job! Thank you for the tip to line up
    the wood!!


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