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Scenery Workshop:

Constructing "Durin's Causeway"

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Scenery Workshop

CONSTRUCTING   "DURIN'S CAUSEWAY"

© LOTRSceneryBuilder 2007

We hope you are pretty much dumbfounded by now after visiting these wonderful places in Middle-earth. However, we will gladly reveal some of our secrets in case you want to build some scenery yourself. Since our Games Workshop version of 'Durin's Causeway' is a very straight forward model, we trust that you're able to build this particular piece 'from screen'. Just follow the instructions on this page. You also can download the Contructing manual on the downloads page and make a printout of it. All you need are the skills of a Dwarf and the sharp eye of an Elf (although the Hobbit's love of creating things becomes handy during the process).
Anyway, good luck to you and lot's of fun!

  1. Overview of the parts of Durin's Causeway



  2. Start collecting all the stuff you need for constructing:
    • A fret-saw with some saws (We use Skandia saws nr. 6);
    • Sandpaper (fine);
    • A file;
    • A hobby-knife;
    • Timber-glue;
    • Paint (for us: Color Works High Temp 'Black' and High Temp 'Anthracite';
    • A sufficient amount of medium-density fibreboard (MDF), 6 mm and 12 mm.



  3. Obtain all the drawings of the different elements from this website on the downloads page.

  4. Copy our drawings of the different parts of the 'Causeway' on to the right MDF panels (Ø 6 mm for the steps, Ø 12 mm for the walls). You can do this for instance by using carbon paper. You can do the outlines first and gather the basic elements from the panel by sawing before you add the stone-work. By thinking smart you can link the different elements together to reduce sawing. See the HELP document at the downloads page.

  5. Start sawing: start with only the basic elements (we leave the details for later). If you are not used to work with a fret-saw, don't worry: you learn fast. You can turn around a corner - well, change in any direction - by turning the blade little by little while continuing sawing. When finished, polish all the edges, but just a little.



    In this picture, most of the basic elements are visible. From the left to the right, you can see the greater panels of"Aragorn","Boromir", and "Gandalf".Also, you will recognise the panels of "Legolas", "Gimli" and "Frodo". As for the steps, you will need 31 squares, 4 double-squares, a '6-square' and an 'L-square' (not included in this picture).

  6. If not already done, copy the stonework and other details on each of the basic elements.

  7. Cut the stonework (all the red lines in our drawings): this you do by making a V-incision into the MDF: a \ cut, followed by a / cut. You might have to use some strength. With a steady hand you'll find that even cutting long stretches without a ruler doesn't give any problems. Start with the horizontal lines. Then add the vertical lines. Make the incisions not too deep, nor too broad. Use the sharp edge of the file to make the 'joints' on the sides of the wall-elements.



    As you can see in the picture above, we did the 'modelling' of the walls after finishing the stone-cutting. We think it works easier this way, as most of the fissures follow the joints of the stonework. Since our drawings do not give you the stone-work lines for all the faces, you have to use your imagination.

  8. Only when all the stone-cutting is done, we remove the holes and cracks by sawing. You get the fissures in the stonework by following the thick grey lines with your fret-saw. With the file, we roughen up the edges of the walls in a way we think fit. By sawing askew we can even remove parts of some of the cornerstones. Again, use your imagination!



  9. Polish the whole lot again, surface and sides alike. Blow away the dust.

  10. By now you have gained, apart from a lame hand, al the lose elements you can see in our pictures. Notice that some of the the wall-elements have fallen apart into two or more different pieces. Now it is time to start with the proper construction-work.



    Notice that the "Boromir" wall element is broken up into 4 different parts.

  11. By studying the pictures you can guess yourself what we're up to. Nevertheless, we will give you some specific instructions.

    Glue the four parts of element "Boromir" together. Make a little 'leap' between the different parts as we want to make to look this wall particularly ramshackle (study the picture carefully).



    Notice that the leaps are about 2 mm big on the left side and that there is no leap at all on the right side; the different parts "turn a bit to the inside…"

  12. Glue the three support-elements to the backside of "Boromir". Again, you can see on the picture where to place them: we don't want them to be visible when looking from aside.



    Notice that the 3 support-elements are all on the 'main-body' of this wall: it is this main-body which will be placed parallel against the "Aragorn"-element.

  13. If you want to add the steps to the wall elements, this is the moment. Study our drawings and pictures for the right place of each step.

  14. In the same manner, glue the "Gandalf"- and the "Legolas"-elements together.



  15. By now we're able to put the whole structure together. On one of the pictures below you see 'DURIN'S CAUSEWAY' standing on its ground-plate, about which we're going to tell you in a minute. Be aware that we have yet glued only some of the wall-elements together: half of "Gandalf" to "Boromir", half of "Gandalf" and "Gimli" to "Legolas". This, for making the painting job easier.



  16. Now we first paint all the wall-elements before the final construction. We use the anthracite paint (metal-dark grey) to spray all the faces. We leave the black paint for the final stage.



  17. s for the ground-plate you may have an idea of your own. As you can see, we used two layers of MDF, sawed in a 'rocky' way.



    The slightly smaller upper-plate is 6 mm, the under-plate is 12 mm. We did create a 'rocky surface' on the upper-plate by wrinkling a newspaper and painting it black, then cutting it into the shape of the plate before gluing both together.



    Notice that we glue only the edges, to preserve the wrinkles in the middle. Again,we roughen the edges with a file.



    Wrinkling and painting another newspaper, we create a volcanic underground.



  18. You have to know where to place the different wall-elements on the ground-plate. As soon as you have determined the place for the combined "Boromir-Gandalf"-element, you can glue a little top-rock-element in place.

  19. We use the anthracite paint to complete and/or improve our paint-work on the wall-elements (still separate from each other). Then we take the black paint and add some commando-style streaks and spots (no subtle micro-painting for us…). To finish it off, we glue all the elements in their proper place.



  20. Now we sit down at last and admire our work. But not before we have placed the Fellowship on the steps, with lots of Moria Goblin Archers on their tail. And we muse: "We have reached Durin's causeway, but at a great loss! Pippin fell by an Orc arrow at the Westgate. The cave-troll has killed Sam in the Chamber of Mazarbul. Now we must flee over these treacherous stairs. And the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, with all its horrors, is yet to come…! FLY, YOU FOOLS!"