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Mac's P&M Shenanigans-- 10/25: LoER entry complete (scratch built Battle Sanctum, LED bonfire)  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
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Made in de
Longtime Dakkanaut

Love what you have done with the scraps, but hope all the permits were in order to put that stuff on the castle
Made in us
Preacher of the Emperor

Denver, CO, USA

Wooo... thanks for all the comments and support, y'all. I finally got the thing done! I held off until DJJazzyJeff posted the voting thread, but now I can drop a few details on the final steps.

The concept from early on was a book-burning. LoER's theme "By the Book" sent me digging through the bits box for some old metal books from here and there, and I knew I'd need some more to supplement them. When the Ecclesiarchy rounds up heretical texts for the pyre, they don't stop with just a few. I made my extras out of foamed PVC textured with the edge of a file and sandwiched into a trough of styrene card. Once the glue dried, I sliced them apart with a blade and cleaned them up with sandpaper. The scrap styrene got cut into squares to represent the scattered pages that survived the purge.

With plenty of books in store, I got busy on the bonfire. I had a bunch of flickering amber micro LEDs from Evan Designs, and I imagined that if I built the bonfire out of trimmings from the floors of the Sanctum and locked them together with hot glue, I'd be able to drill holes from the LEDs from the bottom. The hot glue proved to be a little soft and hard to work with, but it all worked out. I cut some inverted bonfire shapes in some scrap foam, arranged the strips upside down in the pits, and slathered on the hot glue. I painted the bonfire first, then ran more hot glue over the top that I used tweezers to work into flame shapes. I tinted the flames with yellow and orange pigment so they'd look somewhat like fire under full light, and got busy on the wiring. The micro LEDs were perfect for the space I was working with, wired up easily through the base of the Sanctum, and even got a switch hidden in the rubble.

Made in us
Perfect Shot Ultramarine Predator Pilot


Wow. That's impressive work. Great job!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/25 05:23:09

Made in us
Preacher of the Emperor

Denver, CO, USA

Thanks! I had a really good time with this build, the foam cutter got a good workout, and the challenges of the scratch built books and the bonfire lighting and wiring turned out as well as I'd hoped. Here's a bit more detail on the final phases of construction and paint.

In summary, this is an Adapta Sororitas Battle Sanctum designed to match the official GW model in scale and dimension. I built it mainly out of XPS foam, supplemented by Styrene card, foamed PVC, and a bit of cork and ballast to dress it up. The bonfire is made of scrap PVC, hot glue, and a half-dozen flickering amber micro LEDs running on a coin cell hidden in the base.

This is probably my favorite photo of the finished product. I found it difficult to light the interior enough to make the details pop while still letting the bonfire stand out against the shadows, but somehow I managed it here.

This one shows the upper floors of foamed PVC (which I won't do again... too hard to carve and texture) and the ground floor of XPS (much easier to work with). I pretty happy with the red and white paint scheme, which I think adds some visual interest without being garish. The switch for the LEDs is the section of broken floorboards on the bottom step of the stair.

Here's the silliest part: the balcony you can't get to. The wall was too narrow for the template I'd built for the windows, but I didn't feel up to carving it freehand. I considered mounting a closed door on the inner and outer surfaces, or maybe adding a statue, banner, or brazier on the outside, but ultimately left it as it was. Maybe someday I'll do something with it. It does make a nice place to park extra Miracle Dice during a game.

This is the best photo of the stone texture and paint... I was frankly surprised at how well it came out. The texture was all done with a steel ruler and sculpting tools, followed by rolling it all with balls of aluminum foil. I laid down a base of black acrylic paint mixed with ModPodge (tip o' the cap to Black Magic Craft), then gray acrylic, drybrushed with titanium (all cheap art store acrylics), and then washed with Nuln Oil thinned with flow aid straight from the bottle. I wouldn't have managed the effect if I hadn't painted the wall panels flat on the table before assembly... gravity did the trick. Another quaint point... the supports for the balcony and the pieces for the rampart are all off-cuts I'd saved from earlier in the project.

This is my best photo of the interior walls, which again came out much better than expected. The stone texture is etched into the same layer as the plaster, with the cracks added with a dental tool. I was wary of the interior being too dark, so I rolled on titanium acrylic with a 2" foam roller (which really aided the texture). I thinned Agrax Earthshade with flow aid for the wash. The crimbling plaster was random, and the fact that this seems to be one big gap on either side of the support post was a happy accident.

This is the best one of the bonfire. Other details are a little muddled, but in such low light it actually throws a glow on the wall behind it.

Here's one with better lighting from the front. The fire is washed out, but the illusion is aided by the yellow and orange inks I added to the clear glue flames.

I think the effort of making all those extra books and pages helped to sell the book-burning theme. Everywhere there is hidden heresy.

I popped a squad of Celestians in for scale. I learned with my cliff/shelf from an earlier LoER themed entry to give ample room for 32mm bases, especially when they're strewn with rubble.

I had some fun messing with lighting conditions, and this was my favorite of the photos staged with models. Obviously these two veteran Battle Sisters are leaving no corner of this ruin untouched in their efforts to root out any who waver in their commitment to the God-Emperor of mankind. While heretical texts burn on the pyre, the Adepta Sororitas scan the shadows for the impure and blasphemous.

Thanks for checking it out!

Made in de
Longtime Dakkanaut

Love the action shots with the Sisters inside their Sanctum Great build, the light effect is gorgeous!
Made in us
Preacher of the Emperor

Denver, CO, USA

Thanks viterbi! I'm imagining a whole series of lighted works as I gain confidence.

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