Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Knock, knock, Who's there?, Battering Ram, Pt.1

Here is a project I started last Spring, at the time I was working on the Mile Fort. As you recall, I was doing the preliminary work on the Long Walls that would radiate from the fort, and was planning a large gatehouse. At that same time, Terragenesis was conducting an 'In Motion Competition,' and I thought a battering ram might be nice. (I had just received GW's   Beast of Gorgoroth, and had visions of Grond.) That competition, and my posts to it, have now been deleted, so I will try my best to reconstruct it.

I started by considering the head of the ram. I would have liked to have Grond, as it appeared in Jackson's RotK, but I'm no sculptor. I thought about going to a toy store and looking at their plastic animals, particularly for a ram, but my health at the time precluded that. So I settled on a giant fist.

I started by rolling out a quarter inch slab of Fimo clay, then cutting a basic hand shape out of it.
I managed to form it into this crude fist.
That plastic ring is the ONE RING that came with the original GW Fellowship of the Ring package. Remember it.
After baking in the toaster oven. It got a little burned. It was an OK attempt, but it wasn't what I was looking for.
Next I tried making it out of wood. I cut individual knuckle/fingers, and a thumb, then glued them together. Naaaah, not it either.
Here you can see my third attempt. I cut the Fimo like I cut the wood pieces above, then molded them together. I had also picked out a stick from some shrubs outside my garage, and attached the fist with a wrist band. (OK, you want to know about the troll. This model comes with three interchangeable heads, and I thought one might be suitable for the ram head. Unfortunately, they were all too small. But I decided to have the ram pushed by the troll, rather than pulled by the Beast.)
The above fist was still rather crude, so I kept sanding and filing until I came up with this profile. A more rounded and concentrated mass.
 Time to start on the..........What the Hell!!! That's not plastic!!! What are you doing, Don, have you lost your pea-pickin' mind?

So many of the other members on Terragenesis were making marvelous models with wood, I thought I'd try it once. And while I could have made it faster, and more to scale, out of my usual plastic, I have to admit I really enjoyed working in wood. (I am not anti-wood, it is my material of choice in full-scale projects.) But I decided if I was going to use wood, I would do it right, with real wood joinery. Here I have notched the various pieces, glued them, then drilled holes for toothpick pegs. I should point out this is, I believe, bass wood, not balsa. (It came from my wife's dollhouse stash.) The disks are scribed sheet for the wheels.
Comparing the ram itself to the chassis.
Brass tubes to be the bearings for the wheels. The wooden blocks position them, and CA holds them in place.
I still wasn't fully satisfied with the fist. To beef it up even more, I attached the ONE RING over the wrist. Next I took some of the thin lead sheet I use to weigh down my railroad cars, and hammered it thinner. This was then wrapped around the wood shaft and held in place by little nails/giant studs. (Depends on your perspective.)

Trying to decide on the wheels. I started with three pieces of quarter inch balsa, glued together, then cut into circles. Some more of the lead, cut into strips, and nailed across the strips. A hardwood dowel for the axle, held together with a steel washer and a brass pin.
I will return shortly with Part 2.  Don

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