The Plague Tower, Pt. 2

So, with the bulk of the tower done, it was time for details. I’m going to list all these out in order, but the truth is I often jumped from on element to another as different sections and details were drying. So if the pictures look a bit further on at places, don’t worry too much about it.

First thing I did was take a quarter and trace three circles. This gave me a card Nurgle icon that stood about as tall as a Terminator. It’s eye-catching and leaves no doubt how this war machine is aligned.

Next I took my 1/8” hole punch (grab yours there on the right) and made a hundred or so little disks. Once I had a good pile, I used the white glue one drop at a time and covered the two long corner-strips with rivets. I also ran rivets across the tank-straps, which would help sell them as metal, too. Also, if you look close, every here and there is a cluster of three rivets forming another tiny Nurgle icon.

I also cut an interior level and a top platform. Because I’d made the whole thing with simple measurements, it wasn’t hard. Just like on my diagram, the top is 5” x 5” and the interior one is 5” x 6 1/2”. I think the inside one needed a tiny bit of shaving to make it fit, and I glued each of those in with a few long tabs. These’d be holding up metal Death Guard figures so I didn’t want them tearing loose.

The rivets gave me another quick inspiration. I knew I wanted to put lug nuts or some sort of detail on the wheels. So I used the 1/4” hole punch to make some larger disks and made a Nurgle icon on each wheel. It’s hard to tell in this photo but I also stacked a 1/8” inch disk on top of each one, too, for more depth. If there was excess glue, I spread it out to form the “arrows” that go between the three circles of the icon.

At the top of the tower is the plague mortar. Played with this for a bit. First I thought of doing three smaller tubes in a Nuglesque cluster, but having three barrels seemed a bit misleading. I decided on just one big mouth up there, and used another bit of piping from the store (about $.50). The guide rails/ wheels on the side are two quarter-traced discs again, plus one that’s about 1/4” larger. The two quarters (so to speak) got glued together and centered. Once it was dry I marked off 45 degree marks and made a straight cut across the bottom.

Helpful Hint - As I mentioned before, remember that the card is triple-thick on these. If you force it and try to cut through the whole thing at once you’ll wreck your blade. Same goes with foamcore and even plastic. Be patient, go over your cuts two or thee times, and just work your way down. You’ll get a cleaner cut and your blades will last longer.

Once I had that I added more detail with the 1/4” and 1/8” hole punches. I also traced a piece of card for the base of the mortar and added some Nuglesque detail to that as well. I mounted the whole thing on the top of the tower with a blob of green stuff that I molded just enough to give a rough shape to. I didn’t want anything too elaborate.

In retrospect, I would’ve used a slightly smaller piece of tubing. Of course, it does use the 7” blast marker, so it’s not like the barrel’s ridiculously oversized...

Next up, the double demolisher cannons. I toyed with the idea of having them side by side but decided they’d go better with the putty work I was planning like this monstrosity. The demolishers are doubled-up plastic tubing, just like I did with the Malcador a while back. They’re a touch longer to help them stand out against the broad front of the tower. I set the whole thing on its back and superglued both cannons in place.

While the cannons were drying I mixed up a blob of green stuff about half the size of a golf ball. I ran three lines of putty out around the large icon on the front to complete the Nurgle icon. Each of these lines got poked and shaped with my little sculpting tool until they had a very messy, organic feel to them. The bottom, vertical one ran down to the highest demolisher cannon and then continued between the two cannons. Eventually it would go all the way down to the pus cannon, but I wanted to wait until the chassis section was attached to the tower.

I came back to this a bit later, after the superglue had dried, and built up more putty around each cannon. The idea here was for the texture to look (hopefully) a bit like decaying muscle tissue. This made the cannons more stable and solid on the tower, it made them look a bit larger, and it also gave the tower a good visual line. The eye flows easily up and down the tower, hitting all the details.

The top of the tower needed railings-- battlements, if you like. They would give it a clean top, add some more detail, and also keep figures on the platform from plunging almost a foot to the tabletop whenever the tower moved. First I put a 1” piece of card on the inside edge (you can see two of them in the shot with the plague mortar). Then I ran two thinner pieces along the top edge of the tower. These were cut to be flush on the top with that 1” piece. Now I ran a 1” piece on the outside edge to make this are flush with the “metal bands” that ran along the two front edges of the tower. Last but not least, I ran another 1” piece on top of that which ran “around” the tower and clamped the whole thing with a forest of clothespins. So in the end I have a wall around the plague mortar that’s five layers thick.

I topped the little wall off with spikes made from the old plastic Rhino’s cowcatcher. Also added another wave of 1/8” disks as rivets. This project is what really got me thinking about buying the 1/16” hole punch, although I still think the larger ones were the right way to go for this. I think on this scale smaller rivets might vanish, especially with the broad open areas. At this point, I also stuck a Nurgling by the cannon--the Plague Tower is supposed to be infested with them after all.

In the Apocalypse book I loved how the Plaguereaper had body parts floating in its pus tanks. I decided to go a step further and used some old Warhammer Fantasy zombie parts to show whole helpless victims being rendered down into... well, pus. All it took was snipping the parts, filing them flat, and supergluing them in place. I have another idea for these tanks but it’s going to have to wait until the very end of the project...

I also used this time to fill in a few gaps around the tanks. Little scraps of card with a few disks on them look like metal plates riveted in place. Voila. No more gaps.

It was time to fasten the chassis to the tower. I measured off the tower’s exact footprint on the platform, glued it, and actually piled some books in the bottom of the tower. Fortunately, as I mentioned, the platform was built to hold weight. While this was drying I also added a few more Nurglings around the base. You can never have too many.

Once it was dry, I used tinfoil to bulk up the pus cannon against the tower. Then another largish marble of greenstuff covered that and gave the weapon an imposing mass. I tried to keep up the muscley look here, and I also connected it up to the line of “rot” that was centered on the front of the tower.

Next up, more assembly, a few final details, and painting.

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