I said at the time, "I guess I had better start making something for them to batter."
Well, Secret Santa, I hope this makes you proud of me.
What are those orcs knocking on, you may ask?
Back in November, about the time that Kay went into hospital for her long stay, I was going through some GW rule books for their LOTR Strategy Battle Game rules, and found a simple recipe to build your own castle sections. I duly bought a couple of sheets of foamcore from the local art supply store and started at it. I would do a small piece at a time, usually at night after visiting the hospital, while I was still too wired to go to bed. It was very therapeutic.
With three wall sections and four towers, the pieces measure almost three feet in length when laid out together. I am still waiting for Mordor to agree to pay for it.
I am not the most talented chap when it comes to scratchbuilding. As Ross M put it recently, I find the art of drawing lines using a ruler, cutting, and finding that things line up evenly is nothng short of sorcery. If you look at it up close, the joins are quite rough and the whole thing is rather dodgy, but from a small distance it looks ok. Once the components were glued together, I sprayed them with a gray art paint by Liquitex. It tended to obscure the scoring I had done in some sections to suggest the stonework, so I have to go over everything again with a craft knife to make sure the stonework comes through.
I got enough of this done to provide me with an entry for the "scene from a book or film" contest on this year's Painting Challenge. When I started the project, I thought I would have time to use the wall for a scene from the siege of Gondor in the Return of the King. However, I didn't have enough Gondorians completed for that, so decided that I could call this Helm's Deep and be done with it.
Bad chaps roll up to the wall.
Elves and men desperately defend themselves.
This project amused me and gave me the chance to acquire some lessons learned about scratchbuilding fortifications. Thirty bucks for two sheets of foamcore and a can of gray spray paint was a lot less expensive than buying a resin model from the likes of Hudson and Allen.
When the spirit moves me I may add a few more sections, enough for a game simulating an assault on one portion of a fortress, where the attacker wins by getting up and over in strength. There are siege rules in the GW LOTR rules, and there may be some homebrew siege rules for Dragon Rampant, I shall have to see.
At any rate, Secret Santa, my orcs have something to shoot at and batter down. They are happy, as am I. Thank you for the inspiration.