A look in the kitchen, a look by the TV, but no source could be found for this mysterious clamor. A creak of the door, and a look in my room, where a dull glow shown through the gloom. A slab of black lay on the desk, menacing and brooding, hummed the muffled voice.
A lift of the lid, and that dark palantir opened. A dark burning eye that grabbed my innards. I saw a tower of white, with a dead white sign, it read Westin; erupt with red flame. And from that thick smoke, the Dark Lord Jamie Welling did spoke, “Build me a tower, worthy of AdeptiCon...”
That brings us at to the project at hand; the great construction of our time. With Jamie’s words echoing in stone, I warmed up my foam cutter and set to creating a tone with that great big blue foam; and the forging of the two towers.
Build me a tower, worthy of AdeptiCon...
This being the first of a series of terrain articles that will feature this dark tower and its hard journey to the brutal table tops of AdeptiCon’s Lord of the Rings tournaments. So whether you are a Rings player, first time attendee, or AdeptiCon veteran, I hope you enjoy the photos and stop by that weekend to see the tower in action.
|A beautiful model of Orthanc.||Orthanc - Games Workshop Style.|
I quickly realized that I had two options with this project; 1) Buy a new car to fit a 5 foot tall model, or 2) make the model smaller. So with amateur Microsoft paint skills I went about shrinking Orthanc to a more manageable level.
I knew that this had to stay big in eye appeal yet still be playable for a tournament setting. So I set on a nice round number of 3 feet for the central core and side towers. The hardest part by far was achieving the tapered obelisk design. Having only a classic woodlands scenic foam cutter, I built wooden frame panels that I could then make crisp, even cuts.
I have built many terrain items over the years and have developed my own concept on the future of skirmish terrain, height. This third area of design is often sacrificed for better storage, playability, etc on the table. I believe that to keep taking terrain farther and better, this frontier of making the realism grander and larger is required. Think Warhammer 40K tables with 10 storied, half-ruined buildings or the mines of Moria with so 3-4 cave/tunnel height variations and levels for battling. Not being the biggest Star Trek fan in the world, but that awesome chess board they play on sums up my inspiration.
|The tower takes shape.||Another view of the tower structure.|
With the core built, the next step was the most iconic part of this tower, the spires. I knew they had to be one piece each and razor sharp, no bumps or divots. Thankfully I got these squared away on a table jig saw before moving to Chicago; as well as sanding them down to nice points.
|The top of Orthanc as depicted in the movie.||The top of Orthanc as depicted at AdeptiCon!|
|The base of the tower.||The entrance to Orthanc!|
If you can’t wait, check out my blog, Chef of War for lots of other terrain projects.
- Jeremy Williams
Lord of the Rings Championships Tournament Organizer