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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Project Log: The Tombs of Tithing, Part 9

Building the second one. (Because "TOMBS of Tithing" is plural after all!)



I had earmarked the other half of the Bonetithe Nexus stairs for a second tomb. This one would be decidedly less complex than the first one. 


Because of the cutouts for the barrels and chests, and the missing corners from where I had removed the plinth steps, There was a lot of work required to fill in the gaps. Instead of wasting all my skulls filling in these holes, I trimmed off the lower steps to create a mostly intact bottom for the stairs.



I used those off-cuts, the inserts from the barrels and crates, and the other skeleton bits to fill out the stairs and create the steps for the second tomb and the two plinth bases.



The last of my skulls and skeletal bits were placed around the mausoleums at the rear of the main tomb.



When it came to the plinths themselves, I had initially planned to build them as-is, but as this project grew, the runes and octahedron tops didn't really match the aesthetic. I cut off the little bone supports and smoothed out the sides to create a squared-off top. (Those little bones were further trimmed to scatter among the rest of the tithing bones.)



Then I placed skulls in the recesses on each side. 



I trimmed off the bottoms of each octahedron to make pyramid tops, and puttied over the inscribed runes. The result was an obelisk with skulls that fit right in with the other skull ornaments on the walls of the tomb and around the entrance.



For the second tomb, I was determined to go no higher than two layers of insulation foam (four inches total) in height. Trimming the steps helped. I also shortened the entryway by trimming off the bottom of the frame and moving its gate up.



This gave me plenty of clearance overhead to create a simple (and small!) barrow mound behind the tomb entrance.



I used the left over parts of the other mausoleum to build a decorative frame around the door.



The edges were trimmed and shaped to fit around the steps, and I extended the columns with some half-round styrene rod.



I marked out the position of the entrance and began shaping the hill, cutting in space for a stairway up the back, and adding some large stones.



The stones were made from Aves Apoxie Sculpt. Whenever I had some left over after a sculpting project, I'd stick it on a board and shape it into a stone that I could eventually be able to use on a base or piece of scenery.



Behind the door, I made a small cutout and lined it with black styrene so there would be a dark cavern behind it. I also cut a piece of MDF for the base under the foam.



The stones were attached with Liquid Nails and I shaped the surrounding foam into a rocky slope.



I built a winding stairway up the hillside. Each step is a piece of foam, cut and angled to fit in place. I added some stones for a retaining wall, as well.



At the bottom of the steps, I added a gate from the Sigmarite Mausoleum, and made a connecting fence with a bit of left over fencing and some styrene rod.



Here's a shot of the rest of the steps as they continue up the hill. To create the worn down steps, I simply pressed my finger into the top of the foam to make a depression in the center.



I smoothed over the transition between the foam and the base with wood filler putty. Then, I coated the foam stairs, rocks, and bricks with Mod Podge, and after everything had dried, I applied wood glue and added sand and ballast.



The Nighthaunt Spirit Torment kit comes with some great scenic elements– cages, grates, and locks. I used some of these to embellish the piece.



To build the stone wall around the front entrance, I cut thin slices of insulation foam and attached them with Liquid Nails and a few dots of hot glue. Then, I pressed the steps and entrance in place to make an impression in the foam and trimmed away the excess.



This created a perfect fit for the entryway.



I cut out some spots on the corners and attached individual foam blocks to build up the wall.



I just need to build a roof over the entryway and add some detail to the top of the barrow mound. The end is in sight! (Believe it or not, this is closer in scale and design to my original vision for the first tomb. Ha!)



'Til next time!


  1. Fantastic work! I love a good piece of converted terrain, great to see you using the kits to maximum effect.

    1. Thanks! I'm trying to make an effort to use every part of the buffalo, so to speak– Every bit of grave, skull, and wall segment from the mausoleums I cut up, so nothing goes to waste.

  2. Amazing! Building terrain is one of my new year's goals and your projects are very inspiring :)

    1. Thank you, Enzo! You can never have too much scenery for your battlefield! :)

  3. Wow... a second one!

    The first one was amazing, and this one looks like it will be too. The step where you made the corner blocks is particularly interesting, most people would have just drawn in the blocks, but your replacement blocks really make it so much better.

    1. Thanks! The problem with drawing in the blocks is that you end up with a single vertical seam where the front panel of foam lines up with the side panels of foam. Plus the thickness of the foam panel means that the blocks would appear too thin, more like tiles than blocks of stone.


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