Building a Chaos Dwarf-themed Arcane Fulcrum

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Building a Chaos Dwarf-themed Arcane Fulcrum

Post  Nicodemus on Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:05 am

Here's the summary of the creation of my contest entry for the Chaos Dwarfs Online Artisan's Contest XI

Chaos Dwarf-themed Arcane Fulcrum

I had no ideas for this until 4-5 days after the contest was announced. Then I had a brainwave to create some kind of cross-section of a Chaos Dwarf mine or forge that would have multiple layers. Thinking this would be a cinch to create I set about hacking away at some foamcore.

Contest Day 6
By the end of day 6 I had decided it would be the underparts of a Daemonsmith's Forge - building on top, cross-sections below, and it would be something that tore itself out of the ground, leaving a crater behind. The top level as well as the crater were cut to the maximum dimension (6" in any direction).

The basic idea was there, but I realized that I hadn't planned it carefully enough and really didn't leave enough space for things to go inside. I had also started to hollow-out all of the central areas to make stairways that connected all the interior levels and quickly realized that the stairs took up a lot of real estate. Displeased I decided to scratch that idea and shelve the foam parts.

Day 8
Inspiration visits me once more. The entrance to a Daemonsmith's Forge and its bowels torn loose from the earth was still a good idea. A more detailed and careful plan was all that was needed to I made some rough concept sketches:

The overall concept - Daemonsmith's Forge

The idea behind it is that a mad Chaos Dwarf Daemonsmith-Sorcerer has chosen to build his forge atop an intersection of arcane magical leylines - a place that would otherwise have given rise to an Arcane Fulcrum. The naturally occurring coal deposits have become naturally infused with magical power and is therefore a source of the very rare ensorcelled coal. Through channeling their powers the Daemonsmith uses the power of the converging leylines to aid in the creation of weapons and armour. Unfortunately all that power can go awry if control over the channeling is lost - and in such an event (i.e. a Miscast in-game) the otherwise peaceful building and its surroundings tear loose from the earth as the magical energies rip free from the diabolic structure.
... at least that's the idea Wink

Upper level and exterior plus elevator sketch (to save on the space needed for stairs)

Lv 1 - the Daemonsmith's Forge

Lv 2 - Mining level

Lv 3 - Oubliette, where prisoners are tortured and forgotten (and where slaves can find the loo),

Day 9
Time to take a bunch of my various bitz and lay them out to see if how things will fit within the floor area for the forge level (and to test to see if my careful planning and sketches will translate into something I can make!!).

I also made some vector images of the Chaos Dwarf face from the hull of the Dreadfleet's Black Kraken, which will be etched into the floor of the forge (above).

Day 10
After lots of cutting of 2" thick foam I had all of my various 6" diameter sections as well as the left over building for the surface-level entrance. I then went to work based on my sketches cutting the bottom out of the pieces so that it matched where the walls were supposed to be for the level below... and of course I did a quick check of the height to make sure I wasn't over the height limit for the contest.

Day 11
With idle hands I decide to up the ante. A forge needs to look the part, and certainly one that's gone through the traumatic event of having been torn from the ground is going to have some structural problems. I decided what it needed was a glowing forge and that the level below should have cracks in the wall with glowing rock showing through, as though the heat from the forge was heating the surrounding rock and it could spill out into the lower slave levels soon Wink

I used a holiday decoration light source to illuminate red textured cardstock for both the forge as well as the wall section. Once painted I was confident that the foam would not let as much light bleed through. Threading the wire through the levels was a pain in the @$$.

Day 12
Checking placement of bitz for the forge level/mining level elevator

And some of the other bitz, like the mine cart that's about to run off the track and the forge-level slave that's freaking out at the carnage and devastation at what's happened to the forge!!

Day 13
More bitz work. Toilets don't get enough consideration IMHO. What's more natural than slavery and slaughtering? Doing toilet, that's what. Just ask this guy.

A weapon in the midst of being forged

Some slaves doing their thing with the ensorcelled coal that they mine for the forge. The Goblin is converted from a HeroQuest Goblin for brownie points.

For more brownie points, a HeroQuest Chaos Warrior that serves as a model suit of armour for the Daemonsmith Forgemaster to reference and work from Wink

Day 14
More work on the reference suit of armour for the forge level.

The parchment paper is made from two layers of toothpaste tube (plastic and aluminum) and then bent and shaped. It gives a nice flow.

Slave Orc for the mining level. He's in charge of operating the lever for the elevator to the forge level (hey - they need some way of getting the ensorcelled coal up there). I figured the forge level needed its own control lever as well. They made from plsticard on the base, a old style shield cut in half and the handle from what I believe is equipment from a Dwarf cannon.

Day 15
Work on the exterior as well as putting a lot of the various pieces together to check that they'll all fit.

Surface entrance to the Daemonsmith's Forge

The whole thing so far

Checking placement of the levels with respect to the channels made for running the wires (they run through plastic tubing inside the structure). The green stuff is heat shrinkable tubing used to cover over solder and bare wires.

And one more check to make sure that there's still an electrical contact before I pack everything away:

The top of the entrance was looking borning - after all, in-game a wizard/sorcerer is supposed to stand up there - so I wanted it to look a little more interested. I decided to make a design, once again based off of the Black Kraken head design that is mirrored on the floor of the forge interior. I made various sizes, printed them for later tracing into thin plasticard.

A forge isn't complete without an anvil... and a Daemonsmith's forge isn't complete without a diabolical anvil. For such a creation I needed look no further than one of the Chaos Dwarf Online member's artwork of a daemonsmith working in front of a daemon forge.

I'm not that great with the Green Stuff, but it turned out good enough to get the job done!!

The image of the roof design is here:

Day 16
Several layers of plasticard and very careful cutting produced something that looked about right.

Here's what the process really looked like as I had to tweak print sizing by a few % to get it to fill the space I had...

Plastic pegs are glued to the bottom of all plastic pieces that need to go on top of foam because later I'll ues the hot glue gun to glue the pegs into holes made in the foam.

What it looks like on the top of the building. The building was first covered over in a light layer of plaster and left to dry so it filled in the gaps (the building is two pieces of foam, a 2" piece and a 1" piece). Once dried it was sanded and then undercoated in black acrylic paint.

All the rough interior walls and cielings were covered in plaster and then sanded as well just to tone down the roughness and cut marks in the foam.

What these pieces look like together so far

Day 17
Checking alignment one last time... and fretting that I'm about to ruin the whole things... I've been putting this off for several nights now.

The reason some spots haven't been undercoated yet is because I have them marked with a hatch mark pattern. I knew all along this structure wasn't going to be a straight column, it was going to be irregularly tapered... but there were several spots where I had things inserted in the walls, like the pulleys for the elevator's chains as well as the wires for the forge and wall cracks... and I really didn't want to cut into those openings inside the walls. The hatch marks are spots where I could only do very slight shaves off of the foam but no deeep cuts. Man, I was sure I was going to sceew this up...

After cutting, this is what I was left with for the basic outline:

Day 18
Time to take stock of the models to see where I'm at... so far so good.

Exterior still needs more work - view from the top

...and the side

Because the in-game effect is that a miscast triggers the eruption of the Daemonsmith's Forge from the earth, before the miscast takes place, it's just the surface entrance (made to mirror the crater base of the larger piece).

Day 19
All of the levels glued and each of the foam bits primed/undercoated.

Priming of all of the bitz that go in to this piece (so far)

Exterior bits - veins of ensorcelled coal and pipes and conduits that have been snapped off in the eruption of the forge - check!

Day 20
Idle hands again... and I'm getting bored.
I decide to spend an evening on more bitz as the Daemonsmith's Sorcerer's bench looked rather bare - a book, hour glass and dice. They're all pinned so I can insert them into the table and they won't fall off Razz

It's also about this time that I decide I want to make a scale model version of HeroQuest, with some of these dice as the in-game dice... I spend the rest of the evening cutting out the HeroQuest board. More on that on a later day Wink

Day 21
Busy painting models and bitz for the forge, as well as my Doom Engine and Infernal Guard for an up-coming game... manage to only take one photo of the book and the dice.

Day 22
Finishing up the Doom Engine and painting Daemonsmith Forge/Arcane Fulcrum stuff.

Day 23
Nothing finished yet... but once again checking placements and progress.

Day 24
More painting to do...

Still assembling parts and bitz

The top

Day 25
Parchment for the suit of reference Chaos Warrior armour

Further progress on various bits and pieces

The forge level and the sorcerer's bench, etc.

Day 26
Driven to distraction with the HeroQuest stuff again I take some pics...

Day 27
Time to focus again and check progress... it's getting there.

Day 28
Touching up the toilet, as well as various other models.

Day 29

Day 30-31
Bored... start work on other stuff...

Day 32
Submit finished Artisan's XI piece.

Angle is slightly off as I was holding the tape meaure and the camera at the same time... but the tips of the horns and the top of the smoke stack come to 12".

6" base

No other part extends beyond 6" at any point

The Daemonsmith's Forge before any miscasts Wink

Still within regs

With the power on and the forge illuminated

The hidden compartment for the on/off switch

And finally..
Some close-ups of the various bits and pieces:

Sorcerer's crumbling bench

Reference suit of Chaos Warrior armour and weapons

The daemonsmith's anvil and two of the weapons that are in the forge

The Daemonsmith himself (yes, there are stairs that go up underneath the building at the surface)

Time to go enjoy my new Forge World Tamurkhan book Razz

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Re: Building a Chaos Dwarf-themed Arcane Fulcrum

Post  Carson on Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:37 am

good lord!

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Re: Building a Chaos Dwarf-themed Arcane Fulcrum

Post  squalie on Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:23 pm


Carson, that's exactly what I was going to write as I was scrolling through these pictures! That's all that kept coming to mind was "Good Lord".

Anyways, very impressive and a crazy display of enthusiasm. Keep it up!

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Re: Building a Chaos Dwarf-themed Arcane Fulcrum

Post  ScottRadom on Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:48 pm

Wow man. Crazy!

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