Monday, September 9, 2013

The Blackout has Lifted- FUBAD

GW's Minas Tirith with my "scaled up" recreation in background
 Having not updated the blog in 6 weeks, (a first for me in the blogs lifespan) I now know how alot of you feel when you go long periods without an update. In my case, I am sure for many of you. It hasnt been because there is nothing going on, but because I havent had the time to put together two coherent thoughts every couple days saying I'll update tomorrow, or this weekend...then distractions abound and boom nothing happens. Today I'd made sure I had the camera downstairs as I spent some time getting things moving for Bilbos Birthday Bash coming in November.

Original. my almost complete left wall and the right wall from in the background I used an MDF shim cut at a 5 degree pitch to mirror the wall angle of the original piece.
 For this years BBB several of other local players and I talked about the event at Adepticon loosing agreeing to be team FUBAD, which stands for "Freaking Unbelievable Big Ass Displays" If I recall correctly. Considering I am continuing my 2013 theme of "The Battle of Pelennor Fields" for all LotR projects. I thought rebuilding the walls of Minas Tirith in a much better scale then the rather average sized set GW came out with years ago would be in order.  According to Professor Tolkien- The walls of Minas Tirith are seven stacked levels each 100 feet higher the preceding level with the 7th level   being 300 feet high making the pinnacle ( that Denethor swan dives off ablaze in film version of Return of the King)  "1000 feet above the plain" that being said in 28mm the set GW released has walls about 25 feet high, I bumped it up to around 50 feet for my scaled up version, with the main gate having additional towers that will go up to 15 inches while still not quite 100 feet its alot closer and the size more impressive when compared with the miniatures.

Gluing up the back side its still WIP .

 The biggest obstacle here is the casting of course. It's alot of plaster  a ton of individul casts of the castle wall slab and the 4 inch tower mold, I also hacked up my resin GW set because I'm getting a silicon mold made of the crenellations so my final product will feature those as well.  I still have considerable work to do on this and its display table which is well underway and I'll elaborate on in a future post.

This whole setup is on the scale of something you'd see at the 40K TT at Adepticon and not something I could manage if this tourney was at it former home of the Chicago Battle Bunker. Being BBB is a hotel this year free up some of the space limitations.
The Witch Kings ride with custom Minas Tirith style base...increasing his already impressive scale.
 As for my two Armies it my Rohan again that you've  seen last spring, I added  the super version of Eomer and Merry as an cheap aside with my the extra point allowance, giving me a whole bunch of powerful heros giving my Good army a whopping 14 Might.  On the evil side I'm not exactly sure whats showing up, the only model I am sure of is the Witch King...anything else is a time original plan was to do a decked out Mumak but I dont think time is going to allow that. So we may end up with Gothmog and rabble of Orcs and Warg Riders supported by the Witch King...if thats the case I really only have to paint the mounted Witch King and Gothmog, I'd love to get the Mumak done especially for the Rohan tie in..but time is not my friend here..I've got about 8 weeks to the event, I'm going to have to start working every night if I want to crank out all the bells and whistles..

This is most likely my last big LotR build for sometime, the attrition of the game nationally has finally caught up with once robust community it burn out, the game and rule changes, or GW killing itself with overpriced models that dont really merge well with the old game that has deeper fan support versus the current "The Hobbit". The sagging interest is pretty apparent, its looks like Adepticon is only going to feature one event  a Team Tournament in side by side format in 2014...which is really only appealing to handful of older veterans and you'll be seeing less than 10 teams for sure.We will probably see LotR drop to "Big Game" status in the future. That being a large scenario event that is not a traditional tournament, a fun get out for us old timers but also a sign that the game has boarded the last ship to Valinor.

Its not all lost though when it comes to good skirmish games...I've been spending some quality time with Warlord Games' "Bolt Action" and it looks like that and Gripping Beast's - "SAGA" have the most legs as far as tournament style skirmish games in the near future. I'm not sure when I'll get around to Saga but I surely already have the figures for it. I do have some cool stuff in works for my Fantasy Skirmish gaming and my Empire of Dead Kickstarter stuff is shipping soon. So I'll be a busy boy this fall down in the basement. First order of  business however is get back to bringing out the big guns for the 5th year of Bilbos Birthday Bash.


Xi said...

Its amazing work there, but I have one question; why not in resin? The end product would be loads lighter.

John@Plastic.Legions said...

Hi Xi,

Thanks. From what I am told using the Hirst molds with resin deteriorates the molds alot quicker which is something I wasnt interested in experimenting with considering the amount of casting. In the end the side pieces you see arent all that heavy as the interiors are pink foam, the gate section I imagine will be but as you will see in a upcoming post this display will not and doesn't need to be very mobile.

Sean said...

Very cool work you have done there. Too bad about the decline in popularity. Many people have used Saga to game fantasy or LotR games so it should work.

Carl Woodrow said...

Good to see you back John. The Minas Tirith sections look superb. Regarding Xi's point one other thing you can do to avoid mold deterioration from the dehydrating effect of resin is to make your masters in plaster and then cut new silicon molds from these purely for the purpose of casting in resin.
That way you keep your Hirst molds in prime condition. it's something Bruce actually recommends himself where you need multiples of certain bricks and don't want to repeatedly cast an entire of partial mold multiple times.

Not really required here though as you say because your core is extruded foam. Loving the crenelations as well.


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