Sunday, October 8, 2023

Project Log: Skaven Warp-Skryre Tower, Part 8

The celestial orrery was the main inspiration for this piece, and it's finally finished:


I've been looking forward to building the orrery for a long time, as it was the main inspiration for this terrain build. The solar system from the Celestial Hurricanum kit has a ton of parts that I can incorporate into it, not just the solar system parts, but the emblems and telescope bits, too. My goal was to take what was mainly s flat ring with planets on it, and turn it into a more elaborate, three-dimensional display. 



The first thing I needed to do was address the mount. The hole in the base that I built last time is a lot wider than the peg on the bottom of the orrery.



To tighten it up, I used a length of 4mm styrene tube.



The tube fit in the hole very snugly, but the inner width of the tube was just a bit too narrow to accommodate the peg.



I shaved the peg down a little, and drilled it out, inserting a paper clip pin, running up into the thicker portion, to reinforce the strength and prevent the peg from snapping off.



That gave it a perfect fit, and it doesn't need any glue, so I can rotate it for different "poses" if I like.



The cage that covers the sun was a little too enclosed, so I cut away the vertical ring and the the smaller reinforcements. (I didn't get a "before" photo, so here's the finished part compared with it's original shape in the instruction book.) With this modification, the rings of the cage looked more like celestial orbits around the sun, and I could attach planets to it later. 



To get more volume out of the simple ring, I built a few "add-on" bits. As I was looking around for elements that could serve as gears, I noticed the cable couplings on the Land Raider lascannon. I carefully sliced these off, and they look like a large and small pair of gears.



Perfect to build another set of planets off of the main ring. The two planets were trimmed from the top of the tiny telescope, and these were combined with a thick paperclip, the "gear" bit from the lascannon, and a piece of styrene card.



The parts were pinned together below the main ring. 



I built another extension with part of a Skaven shock prod (from the Island of Blood box– the Warhammer starter set that keeps on giving!) and used a left-over ball of Aves putty.



This component was attached the other end of the ring, with a bit of styrene rod to extend the post. 



Another ball of Aves putty was attached with a piece of brass rod. The small white rings were made from segments of thin styrene tube.



Here's how things were shaping up so far. I also attached some of the more celestial-looking Empire wizard staff tops to the ring. The Celestial Hurricanum included two planets with sawblade-shaped rings. I trimmed off their vertical posts, and oriented them horizontally on the ring.



I mixed up another batch of Aves Apoxie Sculpt putty and made a handful of planets for the small cage.



The planets were drilled out, and U cut sections of styrene rod and tube to build the support posts for them. The rods were sanded round on one end so they would fit into the holes on the cage.



The planets were attached, with a small section of tube creating a ring on each end of the post.



I also had some cables left over from my Doom Wheels and Warp Lightning Cannons. I combined one of them with a piece of a Land Raider heavy bolter to build a power coil below the ring.



The other cables were attached to the central cage, replacing a section of the ring. I was planning to connect them to the motor from a chainsword.



There was no way to glue the cage in place and be able to paint the sun in the center, but I didn't want too many separate pieces. If the two halves of the cage were glued together, it wouldn't fit over the sun. So, I ended up cutting the bottom off of one half and gluing it to the main stand. The cage halves were then glued together. With that opening at the bottom, the cage fit over the sun and could be glued in place after painting. 



The cable on top wasn't lining up very well with the chainsword motor, so I trimmed back the cables and substituted the motor for a bit of tech from the Space Marine Land Speeder.



The final bit was to replace the twin-tailed comet on the orrery's decorative top. I cut it away and affixed the prongs from a Skaven shock prod. 



In the end, I was able to organize everything into two components– The main ring and the central cage.



The result is a complex (to the point of becoming incomprehensible) celestial orrery that Aughra herself would be proud of!



'Til next time!


  1. Anything I could say would be such an understatement! This is awesome at so many levels. Keep it up!

  2. Awesome work! Your attention to detail really elevates the kits you use to the next level.

    1. Thank you! I love combining kits to create something new and unique. :)


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