TERRAIN - Watchtower

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For my next terrain piece, I figured that if I made a piece of terrain tall enough to block LOS of everything, I should be fair and make something that can see over it.

As such, I've started work on a guard tower / observation point. The gist is that it's going to be another AV10 building that's destroyable, like the storage shed. The first part of the construction is just getting the tower's destruction mechanism down. With a design half stolen from Battlefield 1942, half stolen from the U.S. Department of the Interior, I'm now to the point where I have the basic structure (with a platform just shy of 6" above the ground) that is able to break apart.

This is the base of what the tower will look like once the building's been destroyed:

And here is the base of the corresponding top-part:

And here is the tower so far in assembled form:

The power of physics really works, as this truss design is actually surprisingly stable, even though a big chunk of it doesn't permanently connect to the rest of it.

Anyways, there are a few places I need to go from here. The first, of course, is to finish the base. I went and bought some wire from a hardware store today, so I'm going to give barbed wire fencing my first try. As well, I need to build up actual walls on the top of the tower and do some detail work (including adding the ladder to be able to get up there, and a spotlight). Finally, I'm going to make a roof for the structure that can also detach, not so much because the tower has two structure points, so much as you've got to be able to actually put models in the darn thing.

After this, work on the details for the base, and I decided that among the many things I want is some barb wire at the bottom of the tower. There are two basic ways to do barb wire, the swirly way:

or the straight way:

I've always thought that the GW way of doing swirly razor wire looked god-awful, and so I decided to do it the straight way. The process is basically just taking two pieces of wire, and then wrapping little tiny bits of wire around in a manacing way and gluing it down (and removing the excess.

After my first try, this is the result I got:

And here it is glued on to the tower. I'm going to have two more rows of this stuff below it, and the same thing on the non-detachable side:

Now, I've begun to notice that doing things in miniature the way they're done in the real world (more or less) creates a pretty accurate representation. Little did I know that it also replicates the utility of whatever you're copying. Let me tell you, this barb wire actually works.

After a few horrific stabbings (one of which actually got my finger to bleed), I accidentally dropped the wire off the table. It hit my jeans and stuck, rather than bounced off (I could actually feel the jabbities through my pants). Then, because my mind was slower than my eyes, I quick reached down to grab it to stop it falling onto the floor.

Let's just say that I have a nice little row of half-inch-apart red marks on my hand now...

After buying another pair of pair of needlenose pliers, the barb wire process went a little more smoothly. Once I got that done, I put down a few more plasticard trinkets, etc. and got the detail on the bottom part done. Note that you will probably have to do the "view image" thing to get a bigger size.

And, to show the barb wire to scale with a 40k mini:

Now it's just time to start on the upper part!

With a little work, the bottom half of the top was done. Basically, it was just a matter of making the sides and the ladder, along with a couple of details like a search light and a loudspeaker system.

and here's to show that it has a comfortable capacity of 6 (or a single 60mm base) kind of inconvenient given that I've just recently figured out that they're going to make it so that guard weapons teams are going to need to be based on bases of that size. Anyways:

The last step in this piece's construction is to make the detachable roof. I haven't quite figured out what I want for the style yet, but it should be forthcoming soon in any case.

And with this, I finally got the construction done:

I'm pretty satisfied with how it came out. I almost wonder if I shouldn't put a couple of support struts that come out from under the bottom near the edges and have them connect to the tower legs. I'm having a hard time guessing how wobbly this looks.

Anyways, on to the painting stage!

Just as a quick note, I carefully catalogued the creation of this terrain piece, but didn't actually photograph the finished work until years later. Here's what it looks like complete, though

[enter pictures]

And some random details: