Monday, June 30, 2014

Zvezda tower

I've been thinking a lot about terrain and scenery. I'm of course impressed by the cool stuff people do with the likes of Hirst Arts or Dwarven Forge molds, but in addition to being fairly expensive, that sort of thing is too unwieldy and inflexible for what I want. I'm looking for terrain pieces that are either pretty small or useful in a lot of situations. That and cheap, of course!

So let's start our Cheap Fantasy Terrain with aplomb.

Sven vs. the evil red wizard.

This is a Zvezda 1/72 scale tower kit that I got pretty cheap from HobbyLinc. It's great for all sorts of classic fantasy scenarios: wizard's tower, damsel's prison, old ruins, frontier watchpost. I like the model a lot, though the kit is a little harder to assemble than need be. The round walls of the main part of the tower came on the sprue in quarter-sections, and it was tricky to glue these together. You can see that I couldn't quite get them to fit as nicely as one would like. Once assembled, though, it was a breeze to paint up, with nice stone detail that took drybrushing very well.

The kit came with a large conical roof that I didn't glue in place. For some extra detail, I took a trapdoor bit from Games Workshops' Mines of Moria set and added some additional stones made from Milliput. They could have turned out a little better, but overall I like the effect. You can perhaps also see that I based it on a 1.5" washer, which seems to fit perfectly.

The tower with the roof attached. The kit had impossibly tiny little plastic parts that were supposed to go in these small holes and join the roof halves together, which I simply couldn't manage. I wound up using a paperclip, gluing one end into a roof half, trimming it to size, and repeating for the other holes. I must have oversized one of these wire bits, because there was a gap at the tip of the roof which I had to crudely fill with Milliput. Plopping the roof on the model does give it a more refined look, and it's easily removable.

One curiosity, since this kit was intended to expand other Zvezda castle kits, is that there is no door at ground level. I may add one later, but I'm not sure it matters. Despite my grousing, putting together and painting this model didn't take much time at all. It's a solid, compact structure, and it should be useful for a lot of gaming situations.

Defeating the evil red wizard was the least of Sven's problems.

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