The Croc Blog » Category: Scenery
Continuing in our series of inspirational scenery ideas for your WarGods games, we present the Monument of Khanum, by Herb Gundt, of HG Walls.
This is a simple scenery piece that looks great on the gaming table. It is basically a monolithic statue mounted on a stone plinth, with an access door in the rear. This sort of construction would be found in temple sites dedicated to Khanum, Amun, and Ra, typically 'standing guard' at the entrance to the complex.
The statue itself was a collectible from the YTC Summit company, and is still available here and there online (its call the Large Criosphinx, and the original is black). It was mounted on a base cut from thin plywood, and textured with the Sandstorm Technique. The hieroglyphics on the rear around the door are from the taken from an Usborne Cut-out Models book called "Make This Egyptian Temple", which is now out of print. The Croc's Temple Door from the "Icons & Artifacts" range could easily be used instead. The whole thing was painted and weathered, and based on a 1/8" thick hardboard base.
Here is an impressive piece of scenery which we think you'll find inspirational: the Great Temple of Amun, by H.G.Walls.
The temple complex was based on a typical Egyptian design, using surviving historical examples as a template. The temple was designed with a central courtyard that is open to the sky -- a detail that is both historically accurate, as well as game-friendly, allowing miniatures to move and maneuver within the temple interior (see thumbnail images below.)
The entire complex is mounted on 1/4" thick particle board, which provides a stable foundation and allows the building to moved safely.
The forward statues were produced by Jimmy Flintstone.
The colonnade of sphinxes is typical of ancient Egyptian temples, and they were produced by Monolith Designs, UK.
The hieroglyphic engravings on the temple walls are actually cut from a paper-model kit, called the USBORNE CUT-OUT MODELS series of books called "Build This Egyptian Temple" (ISBN 0-7460-0461-3). Usborne publishes a number of accurate paper kits of ancient buildings, which are great for reference, but somewhat small for the game table.
This desert outpost is an example of the types of buildings made by the Heru to guard caravan routes through the deserts of AEgyptus. The building's simple and straightforward design reflects the Heru's spartan sensibility. It is built with thick walls of sturdy mud-brick, providing a safe place for travelers to rest and strong base from which the Heru guards can mount their patrols. A walled yard provides a place where horses and beasts of burden can be safely corralled. Cells on the second floor provide a secure place for prisoners. When off-duty, the guardsmen can relax under the shade of an open awning on the rooftop, and occasionally enjoy a cool breeze.
The Heru Outpost was created by Herb Gundt, of H G Walls. The basic shape of the building was primarily made of foam-core, and the tower portion was liberated from a "Hudson & Allen" French Foreign Legion fort set. To get the rough stone texture, the entire finished structure was painted with a cheap latex paint, and handfuls of sand were thrown vigorously against it while the paint is still wet (we affectionately call this Herb's "Sandstorm Technique.") This also helped to blend in the surface texture of the tower with the scratch-built section. Once this has dried, the actual painting began. Note the small details that Herb has included in the structure: a water-pot, rug, and ladder upon the roof, streams of corrosion beneath the rear windows, and small clumps of vegetation around the walls. These odd little details give a terrain piece a "lived in" look, and make it seem more realistic.
The Embalmer's Workshop is the place where the servants of Anubis carry out their sacred task -- preparing the dead for the afterlife. This scenery piece was designed by Herb Gundt as a 'home base' for his Anubi warband, and gives a fascinating insight into the complexity of their Embalmer's labors.
The buildings of the Embalmer's Workshop were designed to have several playable levels, so that Characters can climb up the stairs and onto the roof. This allows some fun strategic possibilities, making the terrain piece a real feature and not just an objective or obstacle. Also, a gaming table that has multiple levels is much more visually interesting, and helps to keep your set-up from looking like a flat tabletop!
The entire workyard is filled with intricate details. Notice the bundles of linen, barrels of natron salt, cluttered worktables, and tools lying all about. A finished sarcophagus stands in a corner, and others can be glimpsed within the open doorways or protruding from the tents. A guardian statue of the god Anubis dominates the work-ward, as if watching over the work of his Children. These multiple layers of little details that give the workshop a lived in look, and are help make a terrain piece look real. It is easy to imagine the Embalmers, solemnly moving about the yard and attending to their funerary tasks.
The building was constructed as two separate units and glued together after painting the two halves. The door, window & building trim was made from card and added to the model before the 'sandstorm' finishing technique was applied. The various detail bits were purchased from many different manufacturers, which include Armorcast, Grendel, Ral Partha, Connoisseur, Hovels and Reaper Miniatures. In other words, Herb searched for Egyptian pieces from every source that he could find, even adding bandage rolls hand-made from paper to increase the detail. The palm trees were 'liberated' from a toy Dinosaur set that purchased from a discount store.
Chapel & Reflection Pool
This is a small chapel devoted to the worship of Isis, the goddess of the Asar. It is the sort of shrine that would be located in the secluded places of Aegyptus, where the Priesthood can carry out their duties in the quiet of the night, and ponder the mysteries of the Cult of Isis by the tranquil waters of the Reflection Pool. It is a place of frequent visitors, the Asar Dispossessed coming from the surrounding lands, bringing modest offerings and seeking the guidance of the Priestesses of Isis.
Building the Chapel
The Chapel is a nice intermediate model to build, requiring skills only modestly more difficult than a simple rectangular homestead and yet less difficult than a small temple. The Chapel has only one doorway and no windows, so constructing the walls is a very straightforward procedure. The central column will determine the finished height of the walls.
Use the Usborne Cut-Out Egyptian temple for the hieroglyphics, black and white checked ribbon for the border and gold ribbon for the roof edging. Apply the "Sandstorm" to the model and paint as desired. Make the entry floor tiles from card cut into 1/2" square pieces and paint to suit. Install a suitable Summit Statue, available through Crocodile Games, in the entry.
The Reflection Pool
The Reflection Pool is an extremely simple model to make. Cut the base from 1/8" thick Masonite and carefully scribe the 1/2" grid pattern with a knife or awl. Using 3/8" x 3/8" bass or balsa wood, attach the pool perimeter to the base. At this stage, the model is "Sand stormed" and painted, with flocking applied after the model is thoroughly dried.
Create the water in the Refection Pool with EnviroTex Lite "Pour-On" High Gloss Finish. Simply follow the instructions provided in the "Pour-On" box for professional results. Alternatively, create the water effect by applying several coats of clear high gloss paint.
EnviroTex Lite "Pour-On" High Gloss Finish
Environmental Technology, Inc.
Fields Landing, CA 95537 USA