So my friend and I thought we'd pool our talents and resources together during the holiday season and also try to make a little cash in doing so. But what sort of engine of war, a harbinger of destruction and vomiter of revulsion could we build?

The answer was so simple yet so full of vileness that we almost caught dysentery just thinking of it: Plague Towers! Handcrafted, grotesquely sculpted, these pustulously marvelous towers of decay would be perfect for mercilessly treading upon your opponent during a friendly game of Apocalypse. So here's where we started:

The Plague Towers will be a mix of balsa wood, plastic card, resin casts, and Nurgly bits over a foam core form. Below is a mock-up to give you an idea of the size and shape:

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The little black thing next to it is the actual Plague Tower from Epic and next to that is my retired Salamander Captain for scale. Overall they will be about 12 inches tall (~30cm) and about 10 inches long (~25 cm). Very apocalyptic indeed.

To aid in our limited mass production I'll be casting a number of pieces in resin using latex molds (we got the supplies from a company called Smooth-on). So right now I've been working on the masters we'll be using to make the molds. Let's just say it's been fun so far.

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First is the wheel and axle that is made of a piece of 2 inch PVC pipe, lots of plastic card and sculpted green stuff. The pockmarked appearance was done using a Dremel tool and a 3/16 inch round bit. You just tap on the surface lightly at medium speed until the desired look is attained.

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Next up are the puss tanks which come in a multitude of sizes and shapes (well, four at least). They are also made from a variety of bits; the large domed one is actually the top of a vitamin bottle and the cone is from a lawnmower blade balancer (yes, you really can use anything in these projects). The ribbed tubing was made from wrapping thin electronics solder around a wire core, which I must say works really well. You end up with a larger scale conduit that is much more flexible than guitar or bass strings. The round bits sticking off the sides or bottoms are sort of universal joints for the piping that leads from the tanks to the various cannons.

The front of the Plague Towers will feature the eerie double stacked faces just like the original model. My friend's mother-in-law is currently sculpting that up so I can cast it in resin (you'll see that soon enough). The other cast pieces will include the engine, exhaust, plague mortar and demolisher cannons. (Note: To avoid potentially getting sued no GW manufactured items will be part of any of these casts).

So there you have it, the first entry of hopefully an entertaining and informative blog. We hope to have the first of the five we're planning to make done sometime in mid-January. I'll keep you posted.

Until then....