The making of Barad-Dûr
© Lotrscenerybuilder 2009
As you can see we assumed that the alignment of these bastions radiated from a certain central point; at the same time, however, we had to bring their positions into agreement with the movie images. The juggling with distances and angles became a delicate process which kept us busy for a while.
We took our time to get it right. By now we had assembled the western gate which enabled us to make a start with the gangways on top. Also, we had devised a way to connect the bastions with the wall sections. As it turned out, we had to shorten these bastions at the backside as they were protruding too much forward.
Harmonica parapets along both sides of the stepped gangways and a simple cornice at the top of the wall finished off the western gate. The outer ramparts didn't have any blind spots anymore.
There were left and right-sided bastions, depending on the orientation of the harmonica segment. By cutting away a few millimetres from the back and gluing vertical girders onto both sides of the wall we made them fit into the structure. The 6mm MDF 'upper floor' of the first level was going to rest upon the topped pillars at the back.
In the centre of the picture there's a distinct wall element crowned with a kind of horned extension. Its position was going to be directly right of the front gate; in time, the extension would become part of a free-standing belvedere that we still had to build. It was one of the surprises that popped up on closer inspection of the movie stills: this tower looms up in the darkness when the camera rakes the lower defences of Barad-dûr in the FOTR "Shire! - Baggins!"-shot. Since there's no reference to this structure in the sketches of John Howe it must have been an addition of the Weta builders - probably to break the monotony of the ramparts of the second level.