Once again I was contacted by Wiz Kids to build a contract piece- this time, a table for their Mage Knight game, with a "ruined temple" theme. Inspired by the images of Rivendell in the Lord of the Rings movie (a model shot of course!), I set about designing terrain that could feature dizzying waterfalls flowing under ancient bridges.
Unlike the Mechwarrior gaming table, which was meant to be played on at conventions, this piece is smaller and higher detail. It is designed to be photographed, along with the finest Mage Knight miniatures, for publication and promotional use. I'm told it will also be on display in the Wiz Kids lobby, so if you're ever in Seattle, you might drop by their office and check it out!
Originally the piece was to be quite small- around 20" square- but somehow grew into a whopping 37" x 34" table, towering nearly 47" high at the back! The multiple levels and ever-rising cliff faces and waterfalls are designed to form a scenic backgrop for pictures from a variety of angles. To test this theory out, I took a bunch of pictures myself, with some of my Amazon warrior miniatures for scale. A quick tip: when photographing water, try to shoot outdoors. Reflections of a real sky do wonders for making your water look realistic!
Click on the links below for more pictures!
(use your BACK button to return here after viewing)
|I edited the upper left corner but otherwise this amazing shot is untouched!|
|A great shot of the sea gate, shore line, and some charismatic Cypress trees. I made the twisted tree trunks out of cotton rope! The sea gate opens too, revealing a dark, wet cave...|
|A nice top-down shot of the cliff path as it runs above the sea gate and around the corner.|
|After plunging down 2 levels of waterfalls, the stream meanders past broken support columns and under a bridge before finally passing out to sea. In the foreground (left side) you can see steps up from the bridge that appear to be cut right out of the rock face.|
|I love this shot- the lighting and reflections just came out perfect. The cliff path at the top of the picture actually runs through a short tunnel in the rock face!|
|Even the flat areas are broken up by jutting rock formations and towering ruins.|
|The largest waterfall plunges out from under a sanctuary. A narrow canyon to the right of the main falls contributes a smaller flow of water to the midlevel pool, before finally dropping down another falls.|
|The third and forth levels are connected by numerous walkways, soaring overhead like ancient aqueducts. One walkway even extends out to the upper levels of the ruined dome temple!|
|You can see most of the table in this shot.|
|A nice view of the waterfalls and the narrow slot canyon (on the right side).|
|The foreground ruins are a heavily weathered Mage Knight Keep. Foliage helps break up the rocks and add some color (real stone ruins and rocks are surprisingly similar in color...).|
HOW WAS THIS TABLE BUILT? You'll just have to wait for the in-depth how-to pages, coming soon...
But a couple quick hints for now. The rocks were made entirely of layers of "sound deadening board" (essentially low density fiber board), torn along the edges, glued into place, and coated with lots of white (PVA) glue for durability. The ruins are made from Mage Knight castle pieces, wedding cake columns, and Christmas village display pieces. The water was poured in layers after the table had been painted. It's mostly Woodland Scenics brand Realistic Water- I believe it's an acrylic gloss medium, as it requires no mixing and cleans up with water. I mixed in a bit of acrylic paint to give it some color. You'll just have to wait for the How-to pages to find out more...
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