BUILDING THE BLACK GATE
Supplement: The Land of Shadow
© Lotrscenerybuilder 2009
The Last Departure ... Now for it, Mr Frodo!"
For starters we used a 110cm x 100cm MDF board with a thickness of 6mm. Next we made our drawings as shown on the Morannon template:
- a vertical line at 55cm to divide the board into two identical halves;
- a horizontal guideline at a distance of 8cm measured from the northern rim;
- a 10cm x 30cm rectangle on either side of the board;
- two marks on the northern rim at a distance of 42cm from either side;
- two marks on either side of the board at a distance of 55cm from the northern rim;
We wanted to build a gaming board that could be taken apart in order to make it easy to handle and to stow away. We had but a few options though, as most of the gate elements would become locked in polyurethane rockeries. We decided to create two separate tower units; each one would contain a Tower of the Teeth, a Witch-king wall and a Gatehouse element, all firmly set in foam. Both units would fit into the master-board like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
Now in a natural environment it's very unlikely that you are going to find straight lines; everything seems to be curved, twisted, erratic… That's why we drew these cauliflower ears on either side of the board: to give the joints between the different board segments stealth qualities when put together. Note that we used the D and E marks on the Morannon template to determine the dimension of each 'ear'. Also, we made sure that there was enough space available within the lines to put in place all named gate components, with room to spare for a rock slope.
You won't tell from the photographs but these 'ear'-segments are pretty big. Our fretsaw didn't reach that far into the board so we used a handsaw to cut out the corner plates ...
... to make it possible to fret out the cauliflower shape.
Next, the matching 'waste'-strips were glued back against the master-board ...
...on both sides.