Friday, 7 September 2012

Great Round Tower WIP - It seemed like a good idea at the time..

A.K.A "You're gonna need a bigger boat...apartment"

I'm currently enduring a massive hit of what I can only assume is the equivalent of writer's block (painter's/artist's block?). For weeks figures nearly finished are still littering my desk, but I still can't motivate myself to even pick up a paintbrush (literally ). Hence the distinct lack of posts of recently completed figures. It is during these periods I normally resort back to modelling until the painting muse returns.
As I'm sure what is a common trait amongst my fellow modellers/gamers I'm always on the lookout for items I can use to enhance the gaming table, be it coir doormats (they make ideal wheat fields), coarse green scouring pads (hedges), complementary hotel shampoo bottles (chimneys) or even coffee stirrers (wooden planking) etc.
It was in this mindset that I found myself lingering around the prototype area at work with real intent. Working in R&D I get access to some quite random material, one of which is sample rolls of vinyl foil, but it's not the foil that interests me, it's the packaging. Recently one of these samples arrived in a large (160mm dia. x 1500mm long or approx. 6" dia x 4'11" long) protective cardboard tube. Immediately I saw this the cogs in my brain slowly started to tick over because of a recent daytrip I enjoyed with my brother. One of the places we visited was one of my favourite spots in the country. The more I looked at the proportions of the tube the more I convinced myself that I could make a model of the same great round tower of the castle.
No prizes for guessing the name of the castle but you will get massive kudos from me if you do. The real castle features a combination of several design characteristics that are only seen on a very small number of castles in the UK and all of these are located around one particular region; the inspiration for these castles is thought to have come from the owner/builder's experience of campaigns and sieges in France. It forms a well known group with two other nearby castles. Another clue, and more significantly for this blog is that it was actually the real life inspiration for the castle map from the game Siege, which I always suspected but was only recently confirmed (Gawd bless the internet) when I read an online interview with the game's designer. Or you can wait until next week when I will post photos of the real thing.
The only problem is its size. The more I look at it, and work on it, I repeatedly stop and think to myself, "Oh blimey, I may have bitten off more I can chew with this big bugger." I still have a number of decisions regarding the piece, such as: 
  • Do I make the roof removable?
  • Do I make the internal floors removable?
  • If not, do I fix the whole model to a textured base?
  • Do I go the whole hog and make a wooden fighting platform to run round the top of the tower?
  • Do I try and make matching curtain walls and domestic buildings? (If so I may have to move house to make room).