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The making of Barad-Dûr

Part one

© Lotrscenerybuilder 2009

II. 'By some great disquiet within'

By the end of 2004 we felt brave enough to give it a try and fabricate a scale model of the Barad-dûr (little did we know at the time that, eventually, this would lead to an extended collection of homemade LOTR miniatures!). If memory serves us well, building this first version, combined with a model of the Black Gate, took barely three weeks time; we 'cunningly' used a few dozens of wooden clothes-pegs to imitate the irregular features of the tower. It wasn't our intention to produce an exact copy of the Weta miniature. We only wanted to surprise our son with an acceptable lookalike (see also: Part I of "The Sawdust of the Past").

Making_Barad-Dur_4

The way in which this very first lotrscenerybuilder model was constructed would act as a blueprint for our future Barad-dûr II. Already there was a cardboard tube at the core, surrounded by vertical pillars of timber to imitate the Brueghelian 'Tower-of-Babel'-structure at the tower's base; individual wall-elements at every level were separately built and finished before getting fixed to the model. Also, the sequence of the various building steps would practically be the same: working top-down, we started with the cutting of the two horns and ended with the modelling of the polyurethane rocks. And somewhere near the topmost pinnacle, almost five years ago now, we glued our maiden-pricker…

Quite a few models followed - including a 'Tower of Orthanc' - before we started to build scenery in a more serious way. It wasn´t before our approach of the advanced versions of the 'Chamber of Mazarbul' that we tried to attain a faithful resemblance to the movie images. With various degrees of success. But the more Middle-earth miniatures we finished - 'Cirith Ungol', 'Sandyman's Mill', 'The Argonath' - the more our Dark Tower looked out of tune.

Eventually, during the DIY-production of 'The Black Gate' in the last months of 2008, the urge to correct our Shoddies from the Past became irresistible. Or, as Steve 'Onyx' put it when we showed off our brand-new Barad-dûr II on TheLastAlliance-site: "It was only a matter of time…"

Barely two weeks after finishing the Morannon Project we found ourselves There and Back Again.

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