The making of Barad-Dûr
© Lotrscenerybuilder 2009
… and for the rest there was nothing new under the Lidless Eye.
Five down, six to go.
In front of the mighty walls of Barad-dûr there's another series of smaller watchtowers, each accessible by way of an elevated, narrow gangway, coming from the fortress. The picture shows the cardboard cut-outs for the octagonal tower shafts. This time, we made them slightly tapering.
It took a few experiments to find the correct dimensions for the tower faces. The black prototype in the picture was our third try. A lot of our 'geometry' is purely guesswork: at this scale, adding a single mm to the width of each face for example will cause an increase of the tower's girth by nearly 20 percent. You have to build one first to see if it's in harmony with the rest of the model. After that, it becomes mass production.
A shoal of crenelles. All hand cut and ready to get hooked.
One might ask himself why John Howe added these extra muros towers to the defences of the Dark Tower (Gary Russell, The Art of The Lord of the Rings, page 138). From the aesthetic point of view there's no doubt that this was Howe's idea of 'extrapolating' his design, "to make it pointier and bigger and huger"…
But being a connoisseur of medieval warfare he wouldn't have included them if they had lacked a serious military value. It's our guess that the battlements of the outer wall were simply too high for the sentries up there to be able to tell an approaching Elf from an Ent. Therefore, additional 'shooting-balconies' were placed nearer to the ground for Sauron's archers to fire at anything that moved in the field - or swam in the moat.
Apart from that they made a fine picture!
(Go to Part 4 )