The making of Barad-Dûr
© Lotrscenerybuilder 2009
V. 'The vast shades amid which it stood' (May 11 - 16)
… tall piers and jagged pinnacles of stone on either side, between which were great crevices and fissures blacker than the night, where forgotten winters had gnawed and carved the sunless stone.
(from: The Two Towers, page 400)
The crags and cliffs whereupon Barad-dûr was founded were undoubtedly brought forth by "… some great violence of Sauron in the torment of Gorgoroth beyond" (TTT, page 400). We in our turn would unchain mighty eruptions of polyurethane foam to upheave the great spur of the Ered Lithui… as if we were the Dark Lord himself.
Preparatory to these outbursts we installed some sheet piling in the back which had to guide our hobby-knife during the modelling of the foam. The internet pictures were there all the time to check up our mountain silhouette with the images of the movie tower.
In contrast to the delicate fumbling with cardboard & sticks, squirting foam onto your precious miniature is a brutal and nerve-racking act, making you pray for its survival. We have learned by bitter experience to protect the no-go areas from this gluey stuff with bits of paper.
But when the foam has cured after a couple of hours without damaging any vital parts, it suddenly looks a lot friendlier. After all, it only takes a knife to reduce a bloating E cup bulge to a tiny blob: just cut it fat.
With the movie stills in front of us we started to model the foam. We're not overly endowed with rock-carving skills (although we're quite charmed with our version of the 'Stairs of Cirith Ungol'). What we do is: we make shallow incisions in the foam with a hobby knife and then tear away small quantities. As a result you get by turns these rough and smooth surfaces which resemble the look of natural stone…