This week, I tackled the platforms around the midsection of the tower...
The engine platform for the warp-accumulator is kept separate for painting, so I rubber-banded it in place so I could build around it and make sure all the parts fit.
I started with the top platform. These sipport rails are from the Screaming Bell kit, and with a little trimming, they fit perfectly to the contour of the rock spire. I drilled holes and inserted a bit of paper clip to pin them in place. (Essentially, every element of this build needs to be removable so I can paint them all separately and reach all the deep areas.)
Once I was satisfied with the positioning of the supports, I fit the walkway from the Warscryer Citadel into place.
The planks of the walkway don't have any wood grain in their underside, so I added some by inscribing lines in with a hooked clay sculpting tool. I also used the citadel's stairs, attached with a bit of 3/16-inch square styrene rod to add stability.
I glues the walkway onto the supports, and then moved onto the second level...
I built this in proper Skaven fashion– Seeing what parts I had, and then adding them bit by bit. The other citadel walkway seemed to fit over the large skull carving in the rock, and this piece of old Warhammer Siege ladder was just the right length to reach the upper level.
I used more of the 3/16-inch rod to build supports for the platform. To get a quick wood grain, I scraped a saw blade along the length of the rod, creating grooves in the surface.
Then, I went in with the hook and etched some deeper lines to get a little variety.
I trimmed three support beams to fit against the contour of the skull.
Then, I added some cross beams with different sizes of styrene rod, and even used a bit of sprue to extend the plank supports. This component was also pinned into place on the rocks.
I filled in the gap on the upper level with styrene strips, etched with wood grain. To match the nails in the planks, I cut little bits of round rod and carefully glued them in place with the tip of a hobby knife.
The large bolts in the support beam were made with bits of hex-shaped rod for the "nut" and a bit of smaller round rod on top of it for the "bolt" protruding out. I also used a beam from the Skaven Gnawhole set to support the upper platform.
The wooden support beams on the Warscryer Citadel have metal plates and bolst sculpted as part of the plastic kit. The ones on the front had the mold line running through them, ruining some of the detail, so I scraped them off and replaced them with more styrene bolts.
The orrery from the Celestial Hurricanum is goiong to be on the top level, so I needed to extend the platform with more styrene planks.
Here's a shot of the detail on the underside– I added a few more bolts and extended some of the support beams.
After all the nails had been added, I went over them with a fine standing stick to smooth out the sharp edges where the styrene rod was cut. This will keep things from snagging on them later, and ensure that they are glued securely– Any bits that come loose during the sanding wouldn't have held up during vigorous drybrushing. Better to find out and re-glue them now, rather than in the painting stage!
Those stairs have to lead somewhere, so I built a lower platform around the tall support beams. First, I cut a template out of a scrap of foam core so I could more easily reference the fit of everything.
Next, I selected some of the longer beams from the Gnawhole kit and arranged them on the template.
I made a few support bits from styrene and smaller beams from the Gnawhole, and secured them with styrene panels stamped with rivets from my rotary hand sewing punch.
The beams were pinned in place on the rock...
...and then I added the planks. That round bit sticking up is the mount for a smoking brazier (The Gnawhole comes with a few, so I'll have some scattered about the terrain).
The stairs didn't quite reach, so I made a few extra steps, cut from the thicker Gnawhole beams, and extended with some Aves Apoxie Sculpt.
The extra steps were glued together and really did the job of propping up and leveling out the staircase.
Then it was just a matter of adding the nails, and I could call this level finished. I'll add support beams below it and a few under the stairs, but those will come as I work out the rocky base below.