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Subject: UPDATED!!!!! 4-4-2013 WOTR - The 3D table version project! rss

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sean lukie
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Hello BGG! This is my first real post on here but I wanted to share a project I'm building with the WOTR community. My name is Sean Lukie and I started playing WOTR for the first time just a few months ago. I've been a LOTR fan since childhood and since now I'm in my early 40's that's been quite awhile. With all the gaming my group of friends does I'm very surprised we hadn't tried this game before. It was without a doubt a pleasant surprise to find out the level of detail involved in the game. My friend Tom purchased the game and we began some play sessions learning the game as we went. While we still don't have many of the strategies down (we have yet to see a real shadow military victory) we look forward to figuring them out.

As we played we talked about how cool it would be to have all painted figures to use. Being a long time Warhammer fantasy miniatures player / painter I decided well heck, I already had the 4 hobbits and strider painted up along with 5 nazgul from the Games Workshop set, so we started using those. That escalated into me buying a gandalf the white, saruman and wormtongue from the same line and painting them up to use. I then started looking and decided I would love to replace all of the minis with the larger scale Games Workhshop line... however there was one problem, the board would have to be quite a bit bigger!

That led me down the path of... what if I re-created the entire middle earth map on a 6' x 4' board complete with grass flocking, 3d terrain, etc. And away I went. I'm fairly sure Tom think I'm crazy still.
This article then is going to be about the creation of the table and pictures of each step along the way and the successful or unsuccessful decisions I made.

Day 1 was a trip to Lowes for what I always create my warhammer tables from... a sheet of 4' x 8' polystyrene insulation. The pink kind. I also decided I would need some paint in four initial colors... green for a base coat for land, blue for water, white primer & a dark grey for a base coat on mountains and mordor. Here I later realized I also needed a brown for the desert sections but found a quart of it from a project I did a year ago. I began the endeavor by having lowes cut the table length to 6' from 8', took it home, set it up in my SUV and put a base coat of white on it. I should mention I live in Wisconsin and at the time I started this the weather outside was in the single digits and therefore my garage wasn't much warmer than that. Not the best conditions but oh well. Once I had the base white coat on I took a pencil and free hand drew the border of Middle Earth by looking at the map from the board game itself. I've done sketching and painting since I was fairly young as well and always had a knack for being able to draw something from another drawing. Once I had it the way I wanted I then took a black sharpie marker and drew over the pencil to have a nice think border. I then threw on the first coat of green paint, rolling it on up to the borders and then using a brush painted in the small parts. Here is the first pic as the green was getting painted:



I let the green dry overnight. The next day I painted on the blue making the water using the same technique, I rolled it on in the large areas and then using a brush painted into the small areas up to the land. Here it is finished with the initial base coats:



After this was done I was pretty happy with the turnout and so it motivated me to keep going. I realized at this time I had some decisions to make, the first of which was... how in the world was I going to put the territory lines on the map after all the flock was down on it. Well, I couldn't come up with a good solution doing it that way so decided to tackle it from a different angle. I would draw on the territories first, paint the divider lines and then flock every single individual territory separately. I realized this would be a long... long process... but would give the best result. So away I went again. Using a pencil I very very lightly drew on all the rivers, territory lines, and moutain range. This started out really well and got VERY difficult as all of the territories started coming together in the middle and the need to line them all up and constantly watch which territories bordered what. This was again done entirely free hand while looking at the game board map. The picture here shows the territories all drawn on in pencil, its very hard to see unless you zoom way in on the picture.



I found I had to write in names of certain territories just to keep track of where the heck I was. This proved to be bar far the most difficult portion of the project and took quite a bit of time. After several mistakes, and re-alignments I finally got it down. I then decided there was no way I would be able to use a brush and paint the territory lines on, it would take forever and wouldn't come out that well. So... after some thought I decided on using a paint pen from the hobby store. You can get these in varying colors but I just needed white. Using the pen I painted / drew on white over all of the penciling of the territory dividers. I then used a black sharpie and made jagged lines for where all of the mountains would end up and finally, painted the blue onto all of the rivers. This then gave me the following result which I was extremely happy with:



I had reached I milestone at this point I felt. Up until this point I wasn't quite sure I could get this all to work and now was feeling pretty confident. Thinking thru all of the tasks I had to do yet, I needed to set an order in which they needed to be performed so that everything looked right. I realized that next had to be the moutain ranges. Since these would be 3d and would need to be painted, I had to create them before I could put flocking down. Now... while I may paint and sketch, I don't sculpt. This then proved to be a stopping point for me until I could figure out what the heck I was going to use and how I would make them. I looked on the internet for miniature mountains etc, but found nothing for what I wanted. So after much thought and procrastination for fear of failure, I decided it had to be clay and I'd just wing it. I went to the hobby store and found fifty different kinds of clay of course and had no clue what the heck to use. There were type that needed water added, types that needed to be baked in the oven, etc. etc. I stood confused. Finally, as I stood reading all the brands, I found Marblex Clay. A fairly big box of wrapped in plastic ready to be molded clay. Mold and let air dry and that was it! A no-brainer I decided as less complex the better for me! I grabbed the box and took it home. And there it sat. While I procrastinated some more for fear of opening the box and having no clue what to do. Three days passed until I finally just grabbed a fist full of clay and started molding it. After a couple of tries of what I felt would look right I had come up with a pretty good look for the two smallest mountain ranges in the west. I then put it on the board and molded the edges down to the board. Looking at it I decided I needed to rough the tops up a bit and so thought about what I could use for a pointed tool of some kind. For no reason other than lack of anything else useful, I decided on a very small phillips head screwdriver. Using the pointed end I started making grooves in the tops of the moutains and couldn't believe it but thought it looked great! Finally feeling like things were possible again I made more moutain ranges! Here is where it got me to! (also notice the lonely moutain





Once these were in place I realized... mordor had to be different. The walls of mordor I remember weren't just moutains, but instead shear rock cliffs of rugged definition. I wanted something more squarish, thicker, a little bigger than the other mountains and full of definition. So... I again just through together the basic shape then used the screwdriver to make hundreds of grooves all thru it. It came out just as I had pictured and so was very pleased with the look:



I then completed all of Mordor and the table's 3d mountains had all been sculpted. Two things I want to mention: The first is that air drying clay shrinks. Ugh. Luckily not so much that anything was ruined, but enough that some of the moutain edges to not extend far enough to make up the borders of the correct territories! So I did have to go in and add extensions onto several of the mountain ranges and let them dry again. The second thing is that I made a decision to only put moutain ranges on that were actual impassable terrain moutains. The game board has a few others pictured but I didn't want to make it confusing for when playing on the table. This way all moutains can assume to be black impassible borders. This was about 3 days of work to complete the moutains:



Now I was getting somewhere. I knew painting the moutains was next so I did a couple of test runs and came up with a good scheme I liked. Around 5 different shades of grey with white snow caps. The picture below sort of shows it but the coloring of the picture is fairly bad and it hard to tell what the color actually came out like.



I proceeded to base coat all of the mountain ranges in dark grey, including mordor and then decided I couldn't wait to attempt flocking one territory. I at this point was hoping that painting the glue on and leaving just enough space for the territory lines would look as I hoped... instead of one I ended up doing several This picture was with the flock dumped on the glue and during drying so the excess had not been shaken off yet.



I realized it was going to work well... it would take forever, but work! So I kept going! I then added some foilage for fangorn and oh yes, I also finished painting all of the moutain ranges (except for mordor). One quick note is that areas of the map have forests in just some parts of territories, I will be adding these on top of the flock where needed. However, that being said, I cannot do that in areas where troops would normally move to as putting the minis on those higher foilage trees like I did for fangorn would not be feasible. So I will be using a flater deep green to represent those sections (ie. the woodland realms)



I then decided since Orthanc had been stripped of its greenery in favor of its growing industry I would mix green with some of my desert to make it look more barren. Most of you probably know this but Tolkien's Lord of the Rings was written about the theme of the industrial age and how the green of England was being replaced by cold grey machines. Tolkien had a love of things that grew like his beloved hobbits... so I wanted this represented specifically. Here is a view from the south:



Now that brings up almost up to speed... I had to travel this week and so couldn't do any more work on the table but had gotten a bit further. A view from the west looking east:



Here is a picture of a few of my Games Workshop LOTR figures:



Now, there is a bit more to go... I will be following this up with posts on finishing the table to a playable state so look for these things to come in the next few weeks:

1. What I decided to do for the Angmar Region!
2. How I finish off Mordor!
3. How the deserts of the Southrons and Easterlings turn out!
4. How will handle territory names!
5. What will I use for 3d strongholds!
6. Mount Doom!
7. How will I Identify strongholds, cities & settlements!
8. Game board spaces for cards, army boxes, stronghold boxes, etc!
9. The games workshop miniatures as I complete each faction!
10. A video of Tom and I doing our first playthru on the board playing a full game!

UPDATE!!!! 3-14-2013!

Alright here it is! I apologize for the length of the delay before I gave some updates but I went on a family vacation and then was traveling for work. I have some exciting stuff to show so here we go!

First off as I was about to do some reddish brown color for angmar my eldest son reminded me... "Dad, Angmar is represented in everything as snow and rocky". And so, it was decided I would repaint those sections with a grey and cover it with dustings of snow. Here is where it stands though I am still adding layers of snow:



Next I went on to cover remaining territories. This included the southron and easterling sections. I decided on desert for each of those and also did some work on transition spots. For instance between the desert and greenlands i did a mix of green and desert to show that the land was drying out etc. I also did this up by Erabor and then near mordor I did this but mixed green with black to show the land dying as you get closer to Mordor:





Now... after this was done I had all of my territories flocked and ready and it was time for something big and new. I really wasn't sure I would even make a Mt. Doom and then finally decided. I'm going all out! So I sat forever thinking of ways to do it, trying to figure out what I wanted and hoping to do something I haven't seen before. So... back to the Marblex clay I go and I decided lets start with the 5 steps of doom from the game board. I knew I wanted the round spots with the runes in them. And then I decided, I needed to actually CUT the runes out of the clay and not just indent them. The reason for this will come in a bit

Here are the steps after I got them done:



Once I saw the steps I was pretty happy. But then I went into the same mode where I just sat and stared at them wondering how in the heck to make a mountain around them. I seriously did that for an entire evening and let them dry overnight thinking about it. Finally the next day I dove in, starting and outer wall and attaching the steps only to the outer portion. Luckily the clay was strong enough to hold the steps in place like this and then I continued the walls. I needed the inside of Mt Doom to be hollow however so could not wall off the interior wall. So the clay literally stopped at the bottom of each of the stairs so that the entire mountain was hollow. Here it is after finishing the mountain but didn't have the steps filled in yet:



Also, at the top of the stairs I decided to make the actual crack of doom where they enter:



Finally I put on the finishing touches by filling in the steps and grooving out the inside. (by the way, I grooved the outside and inside of Mt Doom just like I did for the cliff walls of Mordor to make a consistent look. This was done with the same phillips screwdriver)



Ok... NOW things get interesting. I've always wanted to do this with one of my Warhammer tables but I finally took the initiative to do this next part. Just today I got up, looked at my finished Mt Doom and decided I had become a sculpter lol. I like to do it! I headed off to several stores and bought items to try different options for... LIGHTING.

I tried and LED covered in red, didn't seem to do it for me, then I tried a colored bulb in the smaller socket size, and put it in the socket of a work light that I took the metal hood off of. I primed Mt Doom with black primer in preparation for painting then put it into place on the actual game table downstairs for the first time.



After several attempts with the lighting I realized the light needed to come from further underneath the mountain to light up the way i wanted and so that the light came thru the runes I cut out! I cut away the foam board underneath the mountain and then using a hole cutter bit I drilled a hole down thru the table top. I then attached my purchased socket up into the hole and secured it turned it on, and put the mountain back into place... and was SO HAPPY with the way it turned out I could believe it:



Seriously the effect was so good I was shocked myself lol. Could not have been happier. However, I had done all this with ONE more effect in mind that would work the same way wow SMOKE.

I should tell you that my two boys and my wife and I have run this really big graveyard in front of our house every halloween for years, with fog machines, etc. And so I knew once I had decided to make Mt Doom that it was going to use a fogger! Using the tube for one of our gravestones that a fog machine hooks into to shoot fog I cut another hole that fit it exactly. I secured the tube in the hole in the table, hooked up the fog machine and then CHECK THIS OUT:



!!!!!

THIS IS THE COOLEST THING I'VE EVER MADE lol. I was so happy with the turn out I can't even tell you. I have a video of this in action I will upload and add the link on here so look back. Also, here is a funny picture of Mt Doom when I first turned on the fog machine and didn't have it turned down. It was more like Mt St. Helens! LOL



Finally here is a picture of the full table with Mt Doom going:



Ok!!! I hope that was enough updates! Please ask any questions! I can't tell you how excited I am to play on this and its almost there! I will be updating again with things I'll be doing for cities and settlements, temporary strongholds (I really want to get Sickdave's strongholds but I'm number 200 still waiting) Also I have to finish painting mordor and Mt Doom and then flocking it with the black gravel and painting that.

So please check back!!!

http://youtu.be/EhvKtir8Uw0

UPDATE!!!! 4-4-2013!

So some more time has passed. I haven't gotten nearly as much done as I should have but I do have some nice updates.

First I decided that I wanted a solution for the three elven rings. In my attempt to get rid of basically all token and turn them into something 3D I decided I would sculpt a free peoples and shadow pedestals that would hold each of the rings. I wanted the design of the pedestals to be a little different to distinguish the two. I also went to the hobby store to find materials to make the three rings themselves. I even went so far as to match the band color and gemstones from the tokens to make them the exact same!



As you can see the shadow one is rough and grooved like that of the walls of mordor while the free peoples is smooth. I went further then to paint the shadow one dark like mordor and the free peoples one light like the mountain ranges with moss growing up the sides to give it that free peoples look.





Next I needed a solution for cities and settlements. Having already had the Warhammer Mighty Empires box set, I used the different pieces from the set to make these. I used the cities with flags to represent my cities, I used the smaller settlement pieces as my settlements. I then put blue or red paint on them in certain areas to mark them as shadow or free peoples. I then hot glued these to the table in the correct territories.



Moving on to some miniature work I wanted to start with the Sauron faction. So I obtained a Mordor troll and mordor orcs and one of my already painted nazgul to make the Barad-Dur setup force. So here it is assembled but not painted yet:



Next I painted the troll first and thought it came out really well. Keeping in mind a figure like this if I were painting for competition or a Warhammer army would have taken me 3 days just to complete the one troll. I did this in an hour lol. My decision on these are to paint them nicely and that will be enough. I used what we call the dipping method on him. I do several shades of each color and then brush on a very dark stain. Its quick but gives the model some depth. Here he is:





Here then is a picture of my first complete setup, 4 regular, 1 elite and 1 nazgul... Barad-Dur! (Note also I finally put the black gravel down in all of mordor. All I have left to do with it is drybrush some greys onto it)



FINALLY it was time. I was dying to try a game on the board. A few things I had to do quickly for this to work was put strongholds out. So I primed some of the Warhammer Mighty Empire hexes to use them as the strongholds until I build one for each and placed them in their proper places. My friend Eric came over and it was GAME ON. Right away I noticed the very next thing I make is the war track. We had to keep moving the nation markers on the original board on the floor and it was annoying lol. I plan to make this out of clay and use a miniature from each faction for the markers instead of tokens. The second thing was the fellowship movement tracker. That will go on immediately after. I will be making this out of clay as well and using the one ring as the marker. These will be in my next update! I found what I will be using for the shadow scoring however! SAURON himself from the lord of the rings HEX minautre game. Not only does he look awesome, but he has a dial on the left side of him that goes from 0-9! How perfect can it get Here he is:



To finish this update here are some pictures of the game itself!

Here is Eric (his first game of WOTR btw!) and the game is in its early stages. I had a failed early first turn attempt on the Fords of Isen (mostly to show eric how combat worked and also because I only rolled a single muster die.) You can also see Mordor forces running DEW north.



Much later in the game you can see Mt Doom has begun to erupt as the fellowship closes to with 1 space of Mordor. The shadow forces have taken Erebor, Dale and Pelargir and are now poised to siege both the Woodland Realms and Lorien. This was a crucial part of the game a big mistake on my part. Eric moved his mustered Gondor forces from Osgiliath to one spot away from my empty mordor SH's. This forced me to move my Ithilien force back into Minas Morgul and the bigger mistake was moving the Southrens into Osgiliath. Had I instead left a little of the force in Pelargir and went after Dol Amroth.







Finally at the end of the game strider makes his way up Mt Doom with the fellowship in tow.



The shadow wins both sieges on the Woodland Realms and Lorien and need just one more Strong hold. There was only one choice, siege Minas Tirith but the ring was inching too close to the cracks of doom.



As strider dies from corruption Boromir leads the fellowship to the crack of doom and DUNKS THE RING! Mt Doom erupts with the destruction of the ring!



Well that's it for today's update. Hope you enjoyed it. It really was so much fun playing on the table for the first time. Here is a list of my next projects for the next updates:

1. Create the nations at war track
2. Create the fellowship movement and corruption tracker
3. flock and paint the temporary strongholds (i plan to have them match the terrain they are in and paint their walls blue or red appropriately)
4. Purchase, assemble and paint the Orcs and trolls to complete the Sauron faction of minis
5. Purchase assemble and paint my true Witch King figure, on felbeast. (can't wait for this one!)
6. Create location trays for each card stack and the hunt for the ring box
7. Create a unique box to pull the hunt tiles from that will attach to the table and look like stone!
8. Start the other faction minis
9. Begin creation of the strongholds!

So as you can see, there is still a TON of work and a lot more updates to come! Please stop back and thanks so much for reading!
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Re: WOTR - The 3D table version project!
WOW......surprisewords can't express how cool that is!!! JOB WELL DONE!!!


*Now all you have to do is find a way to Mass Produce those and you could make a FORTUNE!!!! sauron
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Jim Hansen
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Re: WOTR - The 3D table version project!
That is absolutely stunning! Great job so far!

Before you get too crazy with strongholds, I want to make sure you've seen some of the other strongholds that people have made (and you can buy). They were made to fit the collector's edition board, so they may be a little small for your board. But, it could still work.

For example:
http://boardgamegeek.com/image/1011117/war-of-the-ring
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John Jersey
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Re: WOTR - The 3D table version project!
Unreal, this is unbelievable! You were blessed with quite a talent there my friend.
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J. Emmett
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Re: WOTR - The 3D table version project!
That is incredible. wow Fantastic job, and looking forward to seeing the rest of the progression!
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kevin long
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Re: WOTR - The 3D table version project!
Very fun! My fantasy is that Ares will someday take orders for any size map printed on canvas or vinyl banner material. We would hand over the money in a heart beat!

And then i would take inspiration from your mountains and place those on the roll up map
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David Boeren
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How about they team up with Zuzzy and offer a textured rubber roll-up mat?

Actually, I think I'm fine with the cloth version though, and much easier to come pre-colored. Yeah, I'd buy that.
 
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sean lukie
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Re: WOTR - The 3D table version project!
Thanks for the kind words guys!

@timjimby: I have looked at both sets of strongholds and have inquired about both. It seems sickdave is probably very back ordered for about 9 months I think fubar also has quite a few orders and is away on a boat. So I'm thinking unless I can convince one of them to rush an order, I may have to into making my own.
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Tom Vander Velden
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Yes, I do think you are crazy! But can't wait to play on this table, the pictures don't do it justice. Now if I can just figure out how to get shadow to win?
 
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sean lukie
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Re: UPDATED!!!!! 3-14-2013 WOTR - The 3D table version project!
Hope you all like the new updates!!! I've added them to the original post!!
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Scott Anderson
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Re: UPDATED!!!!! 3-14-2013 WOTR - The 3D table version project!
Nicely done.
 
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Re: UPDATED!!!!! 3-14-2013 WOTR - The 3D table version project!
Amazing! Nice job!
 
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Re: UPDATED!!!!! 3-14-2013 WOTR - The 3D table version project!
ellindar wrote:
Please ask any questions!


Yes - how soon can you make one for me?!

My hat is off to you Sean - that is an awesome piece of work. Many thanks for sharing it with us. Brilliant stuff.
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Re: UPDATED!!!!! 3-14-2013 WOTR - The 3D table version project!
Awesomeness!
 
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Jim Hansen
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Re: UPDATED!!!!! 3-14-2013 WOTR - The 3D table version project!
Wow, that Mount Doom is phenomenal!
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Eric Stephani
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Re: UPDATED!!!!! 3-14-2013 WOTR - The 3D table version project!
Very cool dude. Can't wait to play on it.
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Re: UPDATED!!!!! 3-14-2013 WOTR - The 3D table version project!
glow coming through the numbers - very cool
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Rafael Fuentes
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Re: UPDATED!!!!! 3-14-2013 WOTR - The 3D table version project!
Super cool! wow
 
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Luis Fernandez
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Re: UPDATED!!!!! 3-14-2013 WOTR - The 3D table version project!
Ok... you scare me for a bit

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AWSOME JOB!

this is amazing!
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sean lukie
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Re: UPDATED!!!!! 3-14-2013 WOTR - The 3D table version project!
Thanks for the responses so far guys, it really keeps me motivated! I appreciate it. I've done a lot just since the last update already and plan to give another one on Friday is my hope.

@Seghillian: Thanks and as soon as I hit the lottery and don't have to work anymore for a living I'll make ya one (unless of course you'd like to donate me a million so I can retire lol)

Seghillian wrote:
ellindar wrote:
Please ask any questions!


Yes - how soon can you make one for me?!

My hat is off to you Sean - that is an awesome piece of work. Many thanks for sharing it with us. Brilliant stuff.
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Re: UPDATED!!!!! 3-14-2013 WOTR - The 3D table version project!
My remake of WOTR will of course be much greater than yours
 
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Re: UPDATED!!!!! 3-14-2013 WOTR - The 3D table version project!
Unbe-freakin-lievable!!! Your Mount Doom is stupendous! Playing on a board like that will add so much to the theme. Orodruin come to life. What's your plans for Barad-dûr?
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Re: UPDATED!!!!! 3-14-2013 WOTR - The 3D table version project!
treece keenes wrote:
My remake of WOTR will of course be much greater than yours

Ha! Good luck with that. If there ain't pictures, it didn't happen
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sean lukie
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Re: UPDATED!!!!! 3-14-2013 WOTR - The 3D table version project!
@treece keenes: LOL I have NO DOUBT that yours will blow mine away!

@zillgod: Thanks! I'm not certain yet what I will do for the strongholds, my plan is to save them for last and I've just started getting all the minis together and will be painting them up. When I do strongholds, I will make orthanc first and see how I do, if it comes out well I will do Barad-Dur and Moria next


treece keenes wrote:
My remake of WOTR will of course be much greater than yours
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Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
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My video channel has a Facebook page - Find it by searching "Josh Yaks page" on Facebook
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Find my video channel on YouTube as "Josh Yaks"!
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Re: UPDATED!!!!! 3-14-2013 WOTR - The 3D table version project!
ellindar wrote:
Hope you all like the new updates!!! I've added them to the original post!!


If anyone could locate my jaw, it was last seen in the vicinity of the floor... surprise
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