Minas Morgul: Build Log

In this post we’ll be taking a look at what went into creating my MELO round 6 entry, Minas Morgul: Heroic Rendition. I started off by finding a good source image of the fortress to get an idea of the style of architecture, and what changes I would need to make to clearly show that it was a good location, not an evil one. Initially I was using an almost completely white color-scheme with just a few tan accents, but quickly realized that it looked very plain, and overall quite boring.
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So to spice up the colors, I added light bley on both the top and bottom of the walls. I liked this much better, and progress was quite quick after the change. Since Minas Morgul has a very pointy, angled architecture style, I used buttresses and angled walls to try and keep this effect.

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Here the outer layer of wall and towers is completed. As you can see, many of the battlements are made using curved slopes; while the effect they gave was almost exactly what I wanted, we started to run out of them very quickly, because of how big the walls were. As such, I also used tiles in some locations to help preserve the curved slopes.

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The second layer of wall came together swiftly, and I set them up approximately how they would be once the build was finished to get an idea of how it would look, if anything needed to be changed, etc.

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With the two layers of wall finished, all that remained to be built of the castle was the main tower that is placed centrally in the back. Once I found an effective technique for the round shape, it came together rapidly. The hardest part about it was the crenelations, as by this time I had nearly exhausted our supply of light bley curved slopes and wedge slopes. Wedge plates and cheese slopes made a good brick-built alternative though.

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Alright! The castle is already done and I’m only about 5 days in! Oh yea… I still need to make the entire landscape for it…

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To be honest, I didn’t really think that the landscape would take that long; at least, I didn’t until I saw how big it would have to be to hold the castle. Because it was so large, I split the base into two halves, so it would be easier to work on.

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Because lifting around the big chunks of wall isn’t exactly a great idea (due to them not being the strongest walls I’ve ever made), I made an outline of each of the towers and walls with plates. This allowed me to plan where I could have grass, and what would be covered by buildings, without risking destroying my castle.

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Here I laid out the interior pathway, and a little bit of grass around that.

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And the second layer of wall is in place! Not all of the foliage around it is on just yet, but things are starting to take shape.

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With both halves of the base connected, this build extended about 6-8 inches off the front of our desk. Very glad that I didn’t try to build it as one solid piece.

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And the build is nearly complete! All that needs to be added are a few trees, some animals and figs, and a few other last touches.

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With the trees, figs, flags, and other finishing touches added, it’s done. This is definitely one of my favorite builds I made for MELO, I hope you enjoyed this look at what went into creating it. And finally, here’s one last behind-the-scenes shot showing our photography setup.

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2 Comments:

  1. Awesome! Gives you a new appreciation of the build! Turned out really well in the end. :) Will you be competing in the CCC?

    • Thanks Roanoke, glad you enjoyed it :) Yes, I plan on getting at least a few builds done for the CCC! Probably won’t be trying for Master Builder, but definitely will still enter.

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