Pringles Tower: Part 5

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Had a few questions about the previous steps tossed at me. Thought I’d address them here.

Q: Why didn’t you cut out the windows? Looks like you simply painted the openings black.

A: That’s exactly right. Originally I wanted to open those windows up and maybe even put some LED lights in side. Would be easy to do in fact. However just as I was about to do that, I realized I had 16 windows/slits in all – and fairly good sized ones. I was afraid openign them up would let too much light in, revealing just an empty can inside. 😉 I didn’t want to risk it and to be honest, I felt the tower was taking on some character and thought the dark ‘openings’ were more suited to the piece. I’ve already decided however, should I build another one of these that I will try opening the windows. I’m thinking in I stretched some black panty hose inside the can afterwards it would sort of screen the light and let the light from the LEDS in side show through “just so”. This is new territory for me so no idea if it will work. If someone else tries it first I’d love to see pics.

Q: I don’t have a feel for how you are getting your textures on the stone work. Any chance you could post some video showing exactly how you are doing it? Same for your wood textures. I love the effect you are getting on your ships.

A: Sure — but it will probably be down the road some. Truth is I only have about an hour each day during writing breaks to work on terrain (if that) and the occasional Sunday afternoon. It may be awhile before I start working on a piece that I’m able to video tape. That and I’ve never video taped my own work so that will be new ground as well. It’s on my list of things to do though.

Q: I noticed your wife’s Etsy shop is named in honor of your daughter. Just curious, if I buy one of her items is the money going to some sort of charity? Not that it matters, but if I’m helping a good cause it’d be nice to know which one. Thanks.

A: The answer is no, Kurt. Not specifically. The money goes to a ‘fun fund’ for the most part. To buy more terrain bulding materials, occasionally go to a move or add to the game library. That sort of thing. I do sell KODT sketches occasionally however with proceeds going to Easter Seals. Also for charities at various cons I’m attending when asked.

Q: A friend of mine swears Sculpey cannot be baked multiple times as you suggested. Can you clear that up?

A: Your friend is wrong — point blank. Sculpey’s own website points out you can rebuke Sculpey ‘multiple times’. Perhaps you friend is thinking of another brand of polymer. Which brings me to somethign I wanted to touch upon again. This blog documents my OWN personal journey bulding tabletop pieces. Often, I’m flying blind on my projects and learning as, I go. I like to share work-in-progress photos to inspire others, encourage discussion and possbily LEARN from other more experienced builders on how to do things differently or even better. So take everything you read here as just that – me learning as I go. 😉 I’m never going to be offended if someone shows me a better way. That said, sometimes, I DO like going my own way. Simply because it provides an opportunity for happy discoveries. 😉

Q: How do you decide which projects you are going to work on?

A: I almost ALWAYS decide based on need, Brian. For example I’ve been working on an island hopping campaign and I found a lot of the available boats/ships out there were either too expensive or looked too similar to each other. Same for beds. All the beds in my collection were cookie-cutters of each other. I just wanted more variety to mix things up. Sometimes I decide on a piece simply because it’s a challenge (like the tower) and I want to learn a new skill  (like doing stone work). And, occasionally, someone will request an item. For example a friend has asked me to build a voyager canoe that will hold 8 miniatures. I might tackle that some snowy afternoon later this winter. One thing I’ve learned is that I’m not so good at doing organic things (like monsters). Sometimes I can pull it off (like the Flail Snail I did a while back) but I’m  learning it’s not my forte. I do better with ‘items’ like ships, buildings, wells, etc.

Putting a Roof on the Tower

Okay, so last entry, the tower was nearly completed but I decided to add a roof.

I wanted to make the roof removeable for obvious reasons and done in such a way I could decide if I wanted to use it at all or just put it to the side. I looked at a lot of 28mm towers on line. Most of them had a simple conical roof which looked fine but I had somethign different in mind. During our travels in Germany, I was very found of this sort of look.

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That little flare at the bottom with the slope increasingly sharply as the roof rises.

Now I struggled with my first few attempts at capturing this look. I won’t post pics – too embarassing.

But eventually I figured out it had to be done by making TWO cones and stacking them.

Here was my Eureka moment when I got the basic look I was going for.

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The roof was made by making a circle out of foam core, sized to be about a 1/4 wider than the top of my tower. Then I cut a circule out of cereal box material about an inch larger then the first circle. This circle was split and wrapped to become a shallow cone. Then I cut a circle about an inch smaller in diameter and did the same thing – only wrapped it to form a taller, narrower cone. These were stacked and glued in place. Now at this point, as someone pointed out when I shared the WIP pic, it looks a little like a mage’s cap. 😉 That will change dramatically once it’s shingled.

Shingling the Roof

Here again I struggled. I actually tried several approaches putting shingles on this darn roof. Twice I ended up peeling off what I had applied and started over from scratch. Originally I wanted to apply Sculptey and attempt to do clay tiles (baking the entire thing). I quickly learned I don’t have the mad skills to pull such a thing off – I couldn’t do the tile uniformly and it just looked a mess. I was going for this look.

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Small fish scale terra cota tiles

Finally, I retreated to the traditional method – cutting shingles out of cereal box material and gluing them into place.

However, once again I found it wasn’t working and looking a mess. Because I was dealing with a curved surface, as I moved up the roof the shingles were buckling and getting squeezed. So  came up with this approach (which isn’t nothing new, I’m sure — I just had to discover it on my own).

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Using 1/4 inch strips of material from a Soda 12 pack carton, I cut slits every 1/4 inch for my tiles. Then I gently bent each tile along one edge so that the strip curled. A few snips to make them look more like fish scales (I got a bit sloppy on this point as you can see).

I then glued these strips on the roof as I worked my way up to the peak. This was my “by Jove, I think I’ve got it” moment when I realized I was now on the right track.

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And here it is completed and painted. The roof peak was capped with green stuff/miliput. The wind vane is a clock hand I modified. (I’ve decided since the wind vane is too large and will be replacing it at some point before painting it copper). I will add a flag or pennant at some point as well.

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And finally, here is our tower.

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I realize I sort of blazed through the roof/shingling portion of the project. There are some great websites and youtube videos that explain the task far better than I can. But if you have specific questions, I’ll be happy to answer them.

NEXT UP

Next project we’ll look at…

This fellow.

 

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