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Recently I started playing Frostgrave Ghost Archipelago so my need for terrain has increased. One particular scenario in the rulebook caught my creative attention. It calls for a watchtower, so I figured I'd try my hand at building one. For the record this will be my first piece of terrain.

 

I wasn't sure how I was going to build this piece and what exactly I was going to use. I remembered I had a leftover square "dowel" from when I built measurement sticks for Song of Blades and Heroes and I figured they would make pretty good supports for my tower. After deciding to use the dowel it didn't take much thought to realize I was going to make this piece out of toothpicks and popsicle sticks.

 

Now I had to make a decision, would I build a ladder or a series of ramps? If I understand the rules of the game carrying a treasure halves your movement, climbing also halves your movement, and they stack. So if there is a treasure at the top of the tower (which the scenario calls for) it'll take a couple turns to climb down. With this in mind I opted for a series of ramps and platforms instead (my failed attempt at making a siege ladder also reinforced this idea).

 

My watchtower so far.

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My failed attempt at a ladder.

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The platforms I decided to go with.

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The first ramp.20180302_185020.thumb.jpg.8d04543a0bcd6bf9c95fb4ada98bbc0c.jpg

 

I originally lumped this project in with my regular painting thread but I thought it deserved it's own thread (it is terrain after all), so here it is.

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Looking good!

  When faced with treasure atop a tower, a common tactic we use is to have the figure with the treasure at the top of the tower drop the treasure to the bottom, and then have somebody waiting at the bottom to pick it up.  Saves the problem of taking the time to lug the treasure all the way down manually. ::):

Edited by Chris Palmer
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Today I worked on getting my first platform in place. I started by testing it out at different heights with my first ramp and eventually decided to keep it fairly low. 

 

Once the height was decided I made a small square cut in the platform. The idea was simple enough, I was going to apply a little glue before putting the support and platform together. Unfortunately my cut was just a little too big so I wasn't going to get that tight fit.

 

I knew the platform would need supports even if the fit of the platform and main support had been better. So I cut a couple of small supports from my dowel and glued them to the platform.

 

I glued the platform and the main support together as best as I could but knew I would need more. So I used a few of my smaller popsicle sticks to glue the platform's supports to the main support.20180315_132201.thumb.jpg.e09fa0d2dc10d2c9d87293af46c38c6b.jpg20180315_132207.thumb.jpg.cd144f535b764148e9da2879ae8d7aa8.jpg20180315_132217.thumb.jpg.57ad90826d338627448a7a666359b0b2.jpg

 

I also began work on the main platform's railings. They won't be needed for awhile but I wanted to try some different designs before I committed. These use pieces of toothpick to separate the top and bottom rails but I think small pieces of the dowel or popsicle sticks may look better.20180315_132304.thumb.jpg.ec1feefba398ae0a3583ca31e97fe2cc.jpg

 

So far it looks a little weird but it's not terrible. Besides I can always say that's the look I was going for.

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On 3/15/2018 at 12:55 AM, Chris Palmer said:

Looking good!

  When faced with treasure atop a tower, a common tactic we use is to have the figure with the treasure at the top of the tower drop the treasure to the bottom, and then have somebody waiting at the bottom to pick it up.  Saves the problem of taking the time to lug the treasure all the way down manually. ::):

 

*** She looked in horror when the robbers dropped the chest, the sound of shattering priceless China made her cringe****

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It took a little Frankensteining but my first ramp is in place. I can admit even when I think I know what I'm doing the build proves me wrong. I thought the ramp had enough contact points to easily attach to the first platform. As you can see I was wrong.

 

I built-up the bottom of the platform so I could add an additional piece of popsicle stick to better anchor the ramp in place. It doesn't look great, but it does work. If nothing else I have hopefully learned from this first ramp; which I sincerely hope because I have many more to go.20180316_100442.thumb.jpg.67602e308f9a370dd601ac123391eb53.jpg20180316_100455.thumb.jpg.839a33a70f9610f9de78a126b4c14d9a.jpg20180316_100523.thumb.jpg.a272d6286015833daa8d1ce362404345.jpg

 

I also cut out the small portion of my second platform that will attach to the main support. This time I was able to get a much tighter fit, so hopefully it'll attach better than the first platform. After testing the fit I glued the platform's supports on. I also glued together my second ramp, I may end up shortening this ramp but I'll have a better idea once the second platform is attached.20180316_143024.thumb.jpg.fa9440f44167f4930a2775260f22e621.jpg

20180316_100504.jpg

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Yesterday I picked up some new glue. After the problems I've been having with Testors I think I'm going to switch over to Loctite entirely (even though I just bought a new tube of Testors). My first tube of Testors worked great until the tube was almost empty whereas I have no trouble with Loctite from start to finish.20180404_112453.thumb.jpg.c450741fcf3da615844e37183e2cf050.jpg

 

Today I attached the third platform and the second ramp. The third platform still needs a couple of anchors to the main stilt but I'm done for today.20180404_115042.thumb.jpg.68bb0f4590eea0964eb768f57792cdc7.jpg

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I can tell you why the Testors wasn't working well: that is a plastic cement.  It is intended to melt plastic together.  That it is holding at all is a miracle to the hobby gods.

 

I normally suggest using carpenter's glue (think thicker white glue) or a Tacky glue for gluing wood together.  I use super-glue when I am attaching wood to something else with a small area and epoxy to attach wood to something else with a larger area.

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20 hours ago, hosercanadian said:

I can tell you why the Testors wasn't working well: that is a plastic cement.  It is intended to melt plastic together.  That it is holding at all is a miracle to the hobby gods.

I originally bought Testors to build multi-piece miniatures but once I was about halfway through the tube it became useless for such jobs. Instead of throwing out half a tube I decided to try and use it for this project, with mixed results.

 

I intended to leave this piece alone and finish it today, but after dinner last night I realized how close it really was to finished. That proved to be too powerful to resist. I attached the last two platforms and ramps, created a short ladder, and attached the railings to the main platform.20180405_094236.thumb.jpg.9c06f376b3826944df11ef34b691f2f3.jpg20180405_094252.thumb.jpg.01aad5034ea272cae9ba90f1ef49c08b.jpg20180405_094306.thumb.jpg.6430115fd2096d5ae52cd7cbcbcac329.jpg20180405_094320.thumb.jpg.172460bbe3827813e82b2093559c3617.jpg20180405_094331.thumb.jpg.4158e53bc206ae4bc330ac1545e011b1.jpg20180405_094345.thumb.jpg.70928bb6af0cf11960628f559cae7507.jpg

 

To give a better sense of scale and proportions I used my current Ghost Archipelago crew in the pictures.20180405_094438.thumb.jpg.7ebce727435e458c3bfd7648450e3730.jpg20180405_094406.thumb.jpg.e81aee7c3da32597647161db9f69f181.jpg 

Overall I'm fairly satisfied with this piece, there are a few things I could have done better but I think it looks pretty good for a first try.

 

I am a little irritated at building that small ladder, the whole purpose of the ramp system was to eliminate ladders. In the end I just couldn't find a way to connect the platforms in a way that was pleasing to the eye. Plus after spending so long looking at the main platform I didn't want to add more and change its shape.

 

Looking at it I may add in a few criss-cross planks connecting the main struts to give it a little more stability but for now I'm calling this piece "table ready".

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Last night while my wife was watching Next Top Model or Project Runway (it was definitely something fashion related) I got a little work done.

 

Once my watchtower was "finished" I left it sitting on my workstation. After a few days I decided it needed the additional cross sections but I didn't get around to doing it until last night.20180427_074318.thumb.jpg.02a4d942f1f9e04a7589bf7e4e9e04bf.jpg20180427_074325.thumb.jpg.60e1ca97d2a28ea58681a82a4547f1dc.jpg20180427_074332.thumb.jpg.24e2f5c4df369699881f220962e5bf52.jpg20180427_074338.thumb.jpg.e7da9cb165bcb5e79eebbed5f179995f.jpg

 

Not only does this bring a bit more stability to the piece I think it also gives it a more ramshackle appearance. Now I think I'll leave it on my desk while I figure out how to paint it and ultimately decide if I'm going to paint it or not.

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One option for painting the boards might be too use the steel wool and vinegar technique... I learned it from Luke Towan, aka Boulder Creek Railroad. He used it recently on his gold mine build:

 

https://youtu.be/b25H-5BeWvY

 

Skip to 12:11 for that part. He normally does it by dunking the wood in the mixture, I can't remember if it works to just paint it on the boards...

 

Just thought I'd mention it. And yeah, I like it better with the extra cross pieces, it does look more ramshackle. ::): Also more reasonable though! It looked unstable before, now it looks like it would actually stand up to a bit of use.

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6 hours ago, canuckotter said:

One option for painting the boards might be too use the steel wool and vinegar technique... I learned it from Luke Towan, aka Boulder Creek Railroad. He used it recently on his gold mine build:

 

https://youtu.be/b25H-5BeWvY

Thanks for the tip, I watched from 12:11 like you said and ended up watching till the end. I'll definitely be going back later to watch the beginning. 

 

I don't know if that technique will work with a brush, I think it needs the submersion for it to soak into the wood. That being said I'm going to try a few test pieces with a brush, but if I have to do a total submersion I will because the technique makes great weathered wood.

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