Sunday, 17 August 2014

"The flame of Udûn" - Designing the showcase

Again this update took its time. I had a busy half year but now I hope for updates more regularly. This is the second part of the review of "The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm" diorama.

As the idea for the showcase took shape in my mind thanks to the inspiration from the movies and artworks, I started with a rough CAD model to visualise my plan. This method provides a great opportunity to try out things before cutting any pieces of foam board. With the given space in the vitrine I experimented with different depth for the chasm using varying heights of foam boards. After getting this right I created the staircase to get an impression if the angles and step sizes would scale properly to the diorama. As the balrog is a centre piece of this showcase which is very large because of its tail and wings I represented him with a few tubes and bars on a base. I chose a position in front of the bridge to threaten Gandalf and turned him a little to face a potential viewer of the showcase. Here is what the CAD model looked like.


The dwarven craftsmanship for stone cutting had never been better represented as in the mighty stone pillars of moria. I had to include these for sure but the original design from the movie felt to "heavy and massive" for the diorama so I sculpted a design myself. (© Dave Townsend; Source: davetownsend.org)
The dwarves would of course have aligned the pillars precisely. As two pillars would block the view on the balrog I decided that one pillar would have crumbled and partly collapsed into the chasm.

The last thing I thought about was creating light using LED circuits. I wanted to incorporated 8 LEDs evenly distributed over the diorama. Four would be positioned on the left side below the balrog's wings. They will be modelled into flames and give the balrog and its wings a fiery glow. The remaining lights will be made torches on the walls of the staircase.
 
Finally I rechecked dimensions and proportions of the model and started by generating templates and printing them on paper. I transferred them onto the foam board and cut out the pieces.
 I am going to release some work-in-progress pictures later.