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The making of Barad-Dûr

Part four

© Lotrscenerybuilder 2009


We purchased a fresh can of foam and had another try at the foothills.


Between the bastions we cleared some space for the towers to stand on the floor plate. Once they were in position we would add more rockeries in the foreground.


Thus far we had been careful to keep the three main bodies of the fortress apart. There were so many projections on each of them that any sudden movement was likely going to knock off a spike, a battlement or a pinnacle. The less of the tower there was to reckon with, the better. At this stage, however, we had no choice but to glue the middle section onto the lower defences in order to complete the "mighty mountain-throne" whereupon Barad-dûr is seated.
On both sides of the model, sheet piling was installed, together with two 'surface'-tablets.


'Behind it there hung a vast shadow, ominous as a thundercloud,
the veils of Barad-dûr that was reared far away
upon a long spur of the Ashen Mountains thrust down from the North'.

(from: The Return of the King, page 293)


Lastly, the bridge and the towers were glued in place. Small quantities of foam were carefully sprayed to cover the open ground.


Years ago, when we made our 'Playalong-toy'-model of Mount Doom, we'd simply poured red and yellow paint into the cracks of the volcano. From the start of our Barad-dûr II project we had had the intention to use the same 'technique' on the lava stream that circles the fortress. Now, with the miniature nearly finished and not wanting to spend extra money on tubes of acrylic paint, we decided to use our spray cans once more. As we were planning to take only wide-shot photographs of the tower, we didn't expect to catch sight of the bottom of the chasm at all. But neither did we want to rush our work.

In the end we cut out the contours of the lava stream from a newspaper and sprayed the paper streamer with yellow, orange and red paint before gluing it onto the MDF. Next, a small amount of Games Workshop Modelling Sand was sprayed with black paint and mixed with some diluted wood glue. This stuff was spread evenly over the paper and then left to dry. As a result, we got these nice congestions of cooled down rock on the seething surface of the lava.


"Building miniatures is like taking a math exam:
If you do the equations correctly, you'll get a hundred percent.
Get them wrong and you'll fail".

Richard Taylor, in Sibley's 'The Making of the Movie Trilogy', page 67.

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