Friday, 22 April 2016

Yagura - the Watchtower WIP

Hi all

I'm still producing terrain for my Bushido project, thinking about the types of terrain I needed I decided to build a watchtower - Yagara in Japanese.  It was going to be part of a river and bridge project but those parts have been put on hold until i can figure out how i want my river to be built.  Instead it will stand alone until I work out the other parts. Yagara means "tower", "turret" or "castle" in Japanese but can also mean watchtower.

I wanted my watchtower to be a focus of village life, a bit like a town hall as well as the focus of military power in the region.  I built the tower in pieces so that it would be completely playable as always. The first part that i built was the lowest part of the tower and i wanted it to reflect the civic part, therefore i made it into a "Gaol" 
the basic structure, the base is a bit deeper than i would normally make it so i could raise the floor in case i mounted it on another piece of terrain later

walls and floors going in

matchstick bars

As with all of my recent scratch built efforts, the buildings have to be fully playable as well as having some little details to bring the piece together, so steps are wide and the buildings aren't as cluttered as most normal buildings would be.

The majority of Japanese buildings are wooden or paper, however certain buildings had stone as part of the structure.  i decided that the base of the tower would be stone, with that in mind i used foam board to form the walls.  In order to represent the stone effect I covered the exterior walls in soft foam and carved a "crazy paving" type pattern into it.  I used coffee stirrers to line the interior walls and the floor and built a staircase, the stair risers were very wide in order to take a model and be more playable.  The bars were made of matchsticks and a section of stirrer as a lock plate.


the steps were made in the same way as the base with foamboard and soft foam, i decided on wooden risers, i'm not sure why now, probably to break up all that monotony.  Looking back i wish I had made them so that they were sideways onto the building rather than face on.

the straw piled onto the floor is from an old dog toy!



The wooden colouring is a 50/50 mix of Vallejo khaki and saddle brown and simply dry brushed over the black undercoat.

The next level is the entrance to the tower and the living space for the guardsmen.  For some reason i haven't really taken that many pics and so its hard to describe the process I used. basically much of this floor is coffee stirrer, with four balsa wood posts in each corner to add some strength and stability.  the floor is on foamboard and was laid under a heavy book for over 24 hours but still managed to warp and bend at the slightest sniff of paint !?!



The weapons rack in the corner by the door has bows from GW's Lothern Sea Guard from the Isle of blood box set and the Yari (spears) are from the same set. The bed is the same straw effect but as they are guards and not prisoners they get a blanket...

the gables were added for the roof 

a miiniature added for scale - Matsu Takashi


the finished piece just one more layer to go
that's it so far, one more layer to go!

hope you enjoy
dGG


18 comments:

  1. Once again, Andy, you've smashed this right out of the park. Just incredible and your attention to detail makes you a man after my own heart. Roll on part two!

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    1. Thanks Bryan, enjoyable build as always. I have another level to build yet and I've already started so hopefully not too long to wait I hope

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  2. That really is fantastic. Japanese buildings do look great and yours are great

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    1. Thanks Martin, I love the architecture of fuedal Japan and hope to do it some justice

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  3. That looks excellent fella. Nice to see the build steps it makes a great tutorial as well brill post!

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    1. Thanks Brum, it's an enjoyable project

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  4. Good looking addition to your set-up
    I'm not a big fan if the huge steps in many wargame starcases, I prefer to have more realistic looking staircases with a landing, where possible, for figures to stand on.

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    1. Thanks Joe, I'm aware of your preference and had you in mind when I was deciding whether to make a realistic staircase or to make it more model friendly and I went with all of my terrain pieces needing to be playable. I must admit I do like the idea of multiple landings though

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  5. Another excellent terrain piece, Andy. And the fact that most coffee shops and service stations have chosen to go the route of wooden stirrers is a boon to us gamers. Although the plastic ones do.have their uses too.

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    1. Thanks Jez, I have my family scouting for extras every time they use a coffee shop etc....lol

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  6. You are really flying at the moment with the terrain building - this is superb!

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    1. Thanks, I'm really enjoying the build, still a way to go but going well

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  7. Its an absolute pleasure seeing just how enthused you currently are with this project, Andy. A genuine honour, as its great seeing fellow bloggers thoroughly enjoying their hobby and producing such tip-top projects as a result. This is looking awesome, my friend, so please do keep up the very good work :-)

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    1. That's very kind of you to say so Simon, don't worry there will be more :-)

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  8. Excellent build Andy!
    Coffee stirrers are the future dude! Love the gaol. It's a shame there's only one more floor to go.

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    1. They are great! The beauty of building it the way that I am is that I can fit another floor in at a later date if I can find time...

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