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BUILDING THE BLACK GATE

Part three: The Towers of the Teeth

© Lotrscenerybuilder 2009


Step 21:

What remains, is the construction of the pinnacle.

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Glue the Sauron Ring A & B templates onto 4mm MDF. Hammer a nail through the white area of the A-Ring.

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Unlock the saw blade of your fretsaw and stick it through the hole; next, have it locked again.

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Remove the white area.

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Cut out both rings (needless to say there's some delicate saw-handling involved).

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Glue the Sauron Crown template onto 2mm cardboard and cut it out (with all these little spikes & curves you'll be entertained for a while…).

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Bend the Sauron Crown element about a round object, a mug for example…

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… after drawing the next guidelines onto the back of the element:
- at a distance of 1.0cm and 1.4cm, measured from the top (line);
- at a distance of 2.0cm and 2.4cm, measured from the bottom (spikes).

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To improve the curvation it might be necessary to use a smaller cylinder.

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Glue both Sauron Rings simultaneously in place inside the Sauron mantle. Now, as you start closing the mantle in a gentle way it might become a struggle to keep these rings in position. Keep an eye on the guidelines.

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It's a combination of strength and dexterity.

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Use a length of rope to keep all in place while the glue is drying (we had some glue rubbed into the 'weld' between the ends of the mantle as well).

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To dress up the Crown element we do need eight samples of each of the next templates:
(note that all templates come in clusters of eight).
- 1mm cardboard Sauron Fang (large)
- 1mm cardboard Sauron Fang (small)
(note that there is a red incision line on each of the Fang elements; folding both cardboard halves neatly in two isn't going to be as simple as all that).
- 1mm cardboard Sauron Rectangle
- 2mm cardboard Sauron Knife
- 1mm cardboard Sauron Claw

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1. Glue the eight Sauron Knife elements to the inside of the mantle; study the picture for the correct positions.

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2. Glue the eight Sauron Rectangle elements onto the mantle; study the picture for the correct positions: there's a guideline to help you.

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With a hobby-knife, sharpen the tips of the Sauron Knife elements to make them coincide with the mantle-spikes.

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3. Glue the eight Sauron Fang (large) elements onto the mantle; study the picture for the correct positions: there's a guideline to help you.

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Fill up the inside of the Fangs with filler; use your filler knife to obtain a smooth surface.

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4. Glue the eight Sauron Fang (small) elements onto the mantle; study the picture for the correct positions: there's a guideline to help you. No need to fill up the insides.

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Use some filler to mask the incision lines of all Fang elements.

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Glue two 'tower-teeth' spikes onto each of the large fangs: study the picture for their correct positions: one up, one down.

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Add a third spike in between.

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5. Glue the eight Sauron Claw elements onto the mantle; study the picture for the correct position: they are touching the Sauron Rectangles. When in place, cover the Claws with a layer of wood glue to strengthen the cardboard.

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It is better to keep the tower and the pinnacle apart until all the paintwork is done. As for us, we left the final assembling undone to this day: without their crowns, the towers are easier to handle and to stow away. On the other hand, putting them together is done in a trice and you can't see the difference on the pics, nor during battle.

Paint both elements separately with structure paint and then spray them black.

You have just finished a Tower of the Teeth!

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At the end of all things

So here we are, at the end of all things… or rather, halfway through the building process. To construct the right wing of the Black Gate, you can use the same templates once more. Some of them, however, have to be reversed. To make things easier for you we have added these 'Reversals' to the Downloads.

Now we fancy there's a Gateway, a Gatehouse, a hinge-tower, a Witch-king wall and a Tower of the Teeth standing in front of you. Hopefully you do agree with us that they were worth all the trouble AND that our pictures barely do justice to the real thing(s)!

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But a couple of towers and half a dozen of wall elements alone do not make the Black Gate of Mordor. To complete your miniature you will have to construct the stony plain in front of the gate, along with the cliffs on either side. You might have some thoughts of your own about creating a matching Mordor environment for your gate. In case you're short of ideas, you will find some in the supplement to this series:

"The Land of Shadow"

"I am commanded to go to the land of Mordor, and therefore I shall go, " said Frodo. "If there is only one way, then I must take it. What comes after must come." (The Return of the King, page 304)

See you there.

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