Thursday, March 19, 2020

Project Log: The Watchtower, Part 2

In this installment, I fill out the gaps in the plastic, and get a little closer to the final configuration of the watchtower:


"This is not even my final form!"

Before I get to this week's post, I want to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Adepticon's cancellation has been a great disappointment for the gaming community, but it was definitely the right call, especially considering that most of the US (and the world) is going on lock down to prevent the spread of the virus. Make sure you follow your local health guidelines, and practice social distancing.

The worst thing about this is that, while 80-percent of people who contract the virus are expected to experience mild symptoms, it can take up to 14 days before symptoms develop at all, and the virus can still be spread during that time. By the time a person's symptoms become serious enough to go to the hospital and get confirmed as positive, they could have been spreading it around for two weeks before that. Recent reporting indicates that 4 out of 5 people were infected by someone who didn't know they had the virus. That's why we see a few cases here and there, and then an explosion of cases as everyone who came in contact with them catches up and starts to develop symptoms. It's imperative that we begin isolating ourselves as soon as possible to prevent a massive spread that overwhelms the hospitals. #FlattenTheCurve

Some of the sources I've been turning to for information are Dr. John Campbell's Youtube channel. He's been posting videos about the outbreak since January, with updates daily. Dr. Campbell provides a lot of valuable information and statistics calmly and rationally.


And the US CDC website has information about symptoms and how to protect yourself (washing hands, avoiding touching your face, frequently cleaning surfaces, staying home if you're sick, etc.)


Having a hobby provides a nice distraction, because watching the news all day can quickly become overwhelming. I have enough materials and supplies to keep my Skull Forge Scenics resin casting up and running. I'm also going to do my best to keep up with this blog to help me stay sane and hopefully provide more entertainment and inspiration for others who are cooped up at home.

Protect yourselves and your families. Stay home and stay safe and healthy!


Watchtower, Part 2

Last time, I was debating how to rearrange the two "houses" that I had cut away from the tower structure. The spots where they had been removed leave gaps that now need to be filled in.



I begin this repair work by using foam core board to fill in the gaps in the tower. I use black foam core so it won't be visible through the windows, and I don't need to worry about spraying the interior black. I trim down the foam where it looks too thick, remembering that I also need to account for the thickness of the putty when the stonework is sculpted over top.


Next, I turn my attention to the small house. I don't want to model anything on the interior like I had done for the Warscryer Citadel, so I need to address the six wide-open windows. I decide to put bars in them to help obscure the view of the interior, and to match the windows of the larger structure. To build the bars, I use some sections of fence from the Sigmarite Mausoleum set.



First, I cut the fence into smaller bits.


Then, I trim them to fit the window frames and glue them into place.



In the end, I decide to make this little house a stand-alone structure instead of butting it up against the base of the tower. So, it gets to keep its own rear wall after all. I cut off the section of the chimney that extends below the bottom of the house, and add it to the top to extend the height. The chimney topper will likely be glued on top of this, but I want to add a little more height first.


The structure for the top is only half of a building, so I frame it out with foam core.


Here's how it fits on top of the tower. I'm not sure if I like it facing to the front or rear, so I have made a clean, (mostly) square attachment point so I can rotate it later.



The rear of the building gets more foam core framing. (The white is too washed out in this image so it's difficult to see, but the roof overhang is framed out to match the opposite end.)


Underneath, I use a sharp sculpting tool to scribe wood grain into the flat boards.


The watchtower needs an overlook balcony with an access door on the upper building. So, I bite the bullet and cut out the mid-level door in the tower.  It is as much of a pain in the neck as I was expecting, but in the end requires less work than building an entire door from scratch.


This door will fit on the back of the building over the balcony. (in this shot, you can see the roof a little better.)


To make the balcony itself, I use the gateway and a curved wall from the Sigmarite Mausoleum set.


I cut apart the gateway walls, and check the fit with the curved wall section. I really like this layout, and the arch and inverted spikes resemble an open mouth with fangs– Perfect for a vampire aesthetic!


I cut away all the flowers and even the skulls, since they would be upside down in the new configuration. The ends of the curved wall are cut down at an angle so they can fit flush with the square corners.


There's a little touch-up work needed on the stones, but I'll tackle that when I sculpt the rest of the stonework on the tower.


So here's where things stand now– I'm not sure if I want the balcony facing toward the rocks at the bottom, or toward the direction shown in the picture. If it's facing this way, maybe I can use the rest of the mausoleum entryway and part of a fence to create the "bottom jaw" of the fanged mouth. We'll see...


'Til next time!

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