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28mm MoTM: Wizard's Tower

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28mm Model-of-the-Month for September is the Wizard's Tower.

This model will be available from Sept 1st to Sept 30th 2017 - then it'll be "retired" and no longer for sale.

Wizard's towers seem to be crazy structures - owing more to barely controlled madness than to design.

Perhaps this one belongs to the villages local magician, making a modest living from mending-spells and low-grade curses.

But if it's hidden in the depths of a dark forest - there lives some high level Wizard who's hiding from Daemons he'd rather not meet again, keeping the lowest profile his insane ego and uncontrolled paranoia allows.  Perhaps it seems abandoned yet is still so terrifying that nobody but our intrepid adventurers will visit it.

Worst case:  Both of the above.

Part castle, part hovel - this one has a perilous spiral stairway winding around the tower - a small, easily defended "front door" - a balcony from which to launch a broomstick or flying carpet - or to mount a summoned hippogryph.  It also sports a watch tower from which to cast fireballs and magic missiles on anyone with the nerve to approach without permission.

The model is an unpainted kit - about 11" tall.



The model consists of three sheets of parts:

It's MUCH easier to paint the parts of this kit BEFORE you clue them together.  The stone parts look good if painted in a light grey - then dry-brushed with black and then a little white.

The stair treads look good in bronze with dabs of orange to make them look like rusty iron.

Running a bead of glue over the finished building and shaking model railroad "grass" dust produces an impressive array of ivy plants climbing over the tower and adding to the appearance of abandonment and dis-use.  I also glued some small gravel "rocks" around the base of the building to break up the hard lines where the building meets the ground.

First locate all of the stone wall sections (there are 12 of them) and the base plate:

Before going any further, arrange the 12 wall sections in order - as shown here:

Take the left-most part (which has a cutout at the very bottom - and two holes at the top.  Glue that into the base plate at the center of the widest part:

Continue to glue consecutive wall parts in a counter-clockwise direction:

Until you have all 12 parts glued into the base plate:

Next, find the four quadrant parts that top off the walls:

Glue these to the tops of the walls to keep everything straight:

Put that aside for the glue to set - then find the 13 staircase treads - two of them are broken - and one is much larger than the others.  There are also eleven identical support parts - plus one smaller one and one L-shaped bracket:

Glue the L-shaped support and the smaller support into two of the regular sized stair tread:

Then glue a standard sized support into all of the remaining stair treads:

Glue the step with the L-shaped support into the bottom-most pair of holes in the tower, and the step with the smaller support into the next one around:

Push them firmly into place:

Then procede around with the remaining steps.  I like to put the two broken steps next to each other and high enough up the tower to look "precarious".  The longest step should be at the very top:

Next, locate the floor and walls for the building itself:

Glue the four walls into the floor as shown:

Then locate the outer wall sections:

It's easiest to glue the end sections on first, then do the two side pieces:

Next locate the parts for the balcony railings:

Glue the front and sides into the holes around the balcony - you may need to use a piece of tape to hold it together as the glue sets:

Then glue the two roof parts together - you may want to NOT glue them to the tops of the railings so you can remove it during play:

I imagine this to be a place where the Wizard lands his various flying carpets/broomsticks/steeds - but several people wanted a door to be available...you choose whether you want to glue it in place or not:

Next, find the two main roof parts and the two internal braces:

Glue the two roof sections together, then add the braces in roughly the positions shown here:

Place it on top of the walls (don't glue it down!) - and set aside for the glue to set.

Locate the dormer window parts:

Glue these together as shown:

Locate the five chimney/lookout-tower parts:

Assemble as shown:

Glue the dormer window and the chimney onto the roof:

Locate the shortest ladder section:

Glue into the holes in the topmost step:

Glue the building onto the top of the tower such that the ladder reaches to the small entry door:

Locate the two balcony braces:

Glue into the two holes under the balcony - and against the tower wall:

Glue the the four handrail parts to the lookout tower floor - then glue that assembly to the top of the chimney:

Glue the medium-lenght ladder to the side of the chimney:

Note that you could also remove the trapdoor part and use the long ladder to reach from inside the building up to the roof.

All Done!



Reader Forum: 28mm MoTM: Wizard's Tower

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From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-09-18 14:23:37  

Yeah - I understand. We're always learning...and making "multi-use" kits is clearly a good idea where we can.

From: Archon Shiva  Date: 2017-09-18 07:47:20  

It's an amazing piece, visually one of your best non-ship designs, if not the best, but I've been trying for nearly a month to find enough of a use to justify the storage space for it, and I'm still failing...
From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-08-29 10:08:41  

Born as Eric Frup, "Efrupimocar the Mighty" was a level 2 (3 at best) Wizard who'd been driven half crazy when he accidentally summoned the Goat Daemon instead of curing a villager's goat of "damp-hoof" as he'd intended (I guess you can't substitute Parsifrage with Parsley after all!).

He survived for at least 50 years after with madness gradually overtaking him - and with such paranoia that he eventually built a stone tower beneath his decaying hovel to hide his demonic perversions.

He obsessed over ways to make it hard for ordinary village people to reach him in with pitchforks and flaming torches - yet still allow him to earn the necessities of life by selling low level curses (and if truth be told, selling "removals" of those same curses soon after so their power need never be tested).

He devised an external staircase - no handrails, just one a small entry door to force people to crawl into his presence on hands and knees in an attitude of supplication before his awesome power (well, "awesome" in his eyes and that of the terrified villagers).

Attacking enemies have no place to hide as they ascend - making it easy to pick them off with magic missiles.

Meanwhile, he came and left on increasingly rare and mysterious errands using a scruffy flying carpet via the ornate iron balcony...iron being the only protection from the Goat daemon's minions.

The villagers believe that stone tower itself might easily be a pit into which those who displease the mad Wizard are tossed. No exit door is ever required for such people! If there is anything as unsafe as door at ground level - it's well-hidden beneath decades of ivy and cloaked in a concealment spell.

Over the decades, fewer people visited the tower and stories of the mad Wizard's power increased in proportion to the number of times the story is re-told. Perhaps the Wizard was finally snatched away and condemned to Goat-hell, but perhaps his power has ultimately grown to match his inflated ego.

From: Bob "Limbolance" Sweeney  Date: 2017-08-29 09:38:55  

---Go up rotating stairs just to climb a ladder at the end?!?

---Like the idea of the house on top of a tower!!! But tower doesn't look wide enough to be usable for anything except an interior staircase leading to a dungeon...

---Would like optional door to place at ground level....

----Gonna be fun to paint this one!!!

For me, models, ships and wagons point to a wharf or dock scene - and since I don't have docks or wharves....

From: Bill Redifer  Date: 2017-08-08 16:03:45  

I really like the shape of the balcony, especially that it isn't "safe" from falling off.
From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-08-06 07:41:40  

Yeah - I like the idea of some rickety support struts. Getting the geometry right with the curved base will be a challenge - but I think you're right. Adding a matching ornate door into the hole in the balcony frame is also a great idea. A telescope would be a tough thing to make in laser-cut plywood...but I'll think about it. You can't see in these photos, but there is another ladder inside to get you up to the roof hatch - and a very fancy engraved pentagram on the floor (saving that for teaser photos later in the month!).

But nothing is "done" until Sept. 1st - so I'm definitely open to suggestions!

Putting together a series of models that directly join together is a bit harder because of the nature of MoTM. If we make a piece that directly "extends" an earlier model, we're going to artificially limit sales to only people who bought the first kit (which would already have been "retired").

Right now, we need to grow our audience - so each new model has to bring in more eyes onto the website - which means that we'll need to stick to kits that work as stand-alone models.

However we'll certainly be making models that work well together as well as independently (as we did with the Gypsy wagon and the Prison wagon - which together can make a Circus parade).

So expect to see more ships that fit with the "look" of the Elven Longboat and more buildings with the run-down Medieval look...but we want to jump around a bit so we don't go for too long without making something that will attract a wider audience.

We may want to do something modern or something sci-fi - things we've never tried before. But we are here to make money and build an audience - so kits that do well will have more things in a similar style and things that bomb will get fewer follow-ups.

We've also been toying with maybe doing a "Model of the Year" thing and making some more extensive sets that way.

Thanks again for the suggestions.

From: Warfaror   Date: 2017-08-06 03:28:48  

Have you ever thought about making kits that add together to make one larger display? I could see this being part of a larger Mage tower diorama. I think the overhang could use some support struts to sell the hovel thrown together feel. I would love to see a way to incorporate an observatory feel with a telescope. Also more options would be great, like extra doors, ladders, steps, you are making an arch so why not turn the blank into a door that the builder can decide to use or not.