Brilthor Keep – An elven stronghold in the Blue mountains – Part 6Creatief, Gastblog, Nieuws

Gastblog door Jeroen Mies / Guest blog by Jeroen Mies

Brilthor 6

The Brilthor Keep story continues and after working on all detailing of the lower area of the mountain castle, I decided to return to the upper level.

The two main construction elements in this phase are still built separately, but I knew it would not be for long I would have to start to assemble the whole again and work on the project as a whole. My main concern was becoming the fact that it would be difficult to create a consistent colour scheme and keep both parts of the project blend well.

In this part of the build I will show you the remaining lighting elements I added and closing up the remaining parts of all the buildings of the top level.

After hiding all wiring I first started painting and washing the underneath wood elements of each of the bridges. Even though it was clear it would be hardly noticeable, I didn’t want to leave anything incomplete or unpainted.




And then the moment was there to finally, and for the last time, reassemble the two elements and tighten the main bolt. This marked the start of the last stage of the build.

But… a lot of work lies still ahead.



This shows the visual check to see if the concept of the floating rocks would indeed look as planned, and I am quite happy with the result.



I have always liked to add lighting to my builds (like inserting over 1000 fibers in my Enterprise-D build), so for this project I knew I wanted a lot of bright LED’s and be able to aim them where ever needed. So I ordered these lights with matching cones and diffusors.

I soldered them in sets of two and tested the result before starting to insert them in each of the buildings.

Anyone interested in the component specifics, just email me.



Everything is soldered and isolated and finally using a hot glue gun, mounted in place and then some additional tape. I know it is most likely I will move the diorama to some places and I must make sure everything keeps located where I intended it.


Each of the buildings has two levels, 1 underneath the master plate and 1 on top. Both parts need their own 2 lights and a large hole in the middle serves as the connection between the two area’s, and makes the entire structure lighter as well. And unfortunately also more flexible…


Time for a test to see if every light is working, before I start to seal all area’s and I wont be able to ever reach inside…



When my daughter was visiting we decided to add a ladder that can be raised and lower by the elves to reach the upper levels. So we built two versions but ended up with the smallest size that seemed to fit the scale of the overall buildings and figures as a whole.





More details I intend to add are two tombstones I found during a fantasyfair. I am quite sure they will add a nice detail in the endresult.




In the past year I have decided to do more modelmaking and building so I decided to use this project to further experiment with ways to sculpt the buildings and rocks. As can be seen in the following images I used two types of plaster, polystyreen and hardfoam. All four materials have their own special characteristics, but each have their pro’s and cons. One of the two types of plaster is very light, but the weird thing is that after about 5-10 minutes (depending on the amount of water added I believe) it suddenly thickens very fast and becomes almost impossible to mold. So you  must be very quick in sculpting the desired form.

The polystyreen has a very different texture, so I ended up pouring a small amount of plaster on top once the shape was to my liking.





In the next section I used a combination of hardfoam and plaster. The XPS hardfoam was given a structure before using the hot wire to cut it into the desired shape. The hardfoam building method I had learned a few months earlier in a workshop by Gerard Boom. If you have not seen his techniques you should definitely check out his website and check the Tabletop Kickstarter.









And that last layer of plaster sealed of the access to the connection between the lower and upper structure for good…

Here are the links to other parts of the series on building Brilthor Keep…

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