My Dumb Projects
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
  Balrog Stand
Last year NECA Toys came out with a fantastic Balrog (from Lord Of The Rings) that I couldn't resist. He stands 24" tall and has a wings span of 42"! Unfortunately he is so top heavy, within a few days his legs would bend and he would fall over. The Balrog spent the next 9 months face down on the living room floor until I could devise a solution.

I decided to make a stand with a support to take all that weight off his legs. The cool dwarvish columns holding up the ceiling of the Mines of Moria seemed like a good solution.

I did my 3D prototyping in Strata3D, basing the details on the info I could get from screen captures. The column is smaller than it should be in relation to the toy but it looks better at this size.

The base was cut out of 3/4" MDF with steps carved using a router.

I laminated sections of MDF together to make the sections of the column.

I cut off the upper corners using the table saw and cut a piece of 1/4" MDF for the top.

I used various thickness of basswood to make the panels on the base. The thick, darker panels on the bottom are 1/4" MDF.

The final primered base.

I used the same materials and technique to flesh out the next sections.

This section of the column would actually ascend to the ceiling but I wanted mine to stop at Balrog waist level.

The completed column.

To make the Moria pattern on the base, I first printed it out to size on a laser printer (reversed). I put it face down on the platform, wet the back with lacquer thinner and then burnished the paper. The lacquer transfers the design on to the board...not perfect but good enough!

I then used a small router bit in my Dremel to engrave the pattern into the MDF. The white spots are wood putty where I messed up or slipped!

I then made a Silicone mold (with plaster bandage mother mold) of my wood column.

I cut a threaded steel rod to fit inside the length of the column and attached a length of wire at the top. The wire will eventually tie around the Balrog's waist seam and hold all the weight.

A piece of plywood holds the rod in the center allowing the wire to hang outside the mold.

I mixed up some concrete and poured it into the mold. The first result had some nice detail as well as some nice crumbly, damaged-looking areas. Unfortunately my mix was bad and the concrete wasn't very strong.

The second attempt had a good concrete mixture but I lost too much detail.

The third attempt worked just fine. I got some cool cracks at the base and interesting pits. While the concrete was still drying, I roughed up the top to look like the top had broken off. The upper part looks deformed but it must be the angle that I shot looks better in person.

I secured the column to the base by putting exposed threaded rod through a hole in the base and attaching a nut. I then took Aves epoxy putty and covered the seam at the bottom and filled any cracks that I didn't like.

I then brushed on some acrylic paint to bring out the pattern.

I gave it a light sanding afterward to age the paint.

Everything got a grey overcoat to pull it all together and knock back the color.

I applied an india ink wash to bring out details and weather the piece.

The Balrog now has a new home and SO FAR the hasn't fallen over.

wouuuw...fucking great...i was really impressed about your pshh machinegun project,
i was think if you can send this plastics parts of the machinegun to metalurgic and ask for a carboned iron copy of each one...reasembly and fire wiht real bullets
im making a thompson-m1a1 metal, but not working replica at the moment and i became very influenced by your work...

welll.... just to say: congratulations

ps: and sorry for my bad english
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These are all the dumb things I find myself obsessed with building when I SHOULD be doing something more productive.

As a kid I built lots of plastic model kits, never knowing that one day those skills would actually be of use.

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Location: Phoenix, Arizona, United States
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