|Not by the hair on your chinny chin chin!|
Skullvane Manse was a big terrain kit that came out in 2013 or so, a few years after the Empire Fortified Manor kit. In terms of design, it's somewhere between the earlier kits, with their Grimm's Tales/medieval look, and the later kits, which are a big pile of enormous skulls. Quite what use it would be on a Warhammer battlefield, I don't know, as it's really tall and I doubt units could really interact with it.
There's some cool stuff going on here, and some nice design - and it's all horribly undercut by those awful cheesy skulls. OK, a huge castle called Skullvane Manse (what is a manse, anyhow?) is probably not going to look like a 2-bed flat in Chelsea (and would probably cost a quarter of the price), but still, it looks silly.
Anyhow, ages ago I bought part of this kit for £20 on ebay. The bit I got was the main body of the model, minus the octagonal tower and the bridge at the bottom. I had a go at finishing it off a few years back, but it was a bit half-hearted, and this Christmas I tried to make it look properly good. I acquired a huge amount of coffee stirrers and, crazed on caffeine, got to work with sharp implements.
First up was making a ramp to the upper door, along with props to hold it up convincingly. Then I used green stuff to sculpt some bricks to fill in gaps around the stairs. After that, I built a wonky bridge, a handrail (which, in retrospect, looks a bit too solid) and a platform at the end. All of this was done with coffee stirrers. I made some metal strips to hold it together out of blister pack plastic, a trick which I stole off the Gardens of Hecate blog.
It's decently sculpted, but the casting feels a little bit primitive, and it's clearly made to take a certain amount of battering.
|It's a long way down!|
(Warning: pretentious arty talk ahead)
When converting a model, there is often a sense of movement to the miniature, which leads the eye of the observer from one point to another. In this case, the eye naturally follows the ramp up to the door, along the curve of the rocks sticking out from the side of the model and towards whatever's on top of the wooden supports. Basically, the platform just didn't look sufficiently interesting.
And here's a view from the other side. I didn't fancy removing the skull, so I tried to minimise it with grass, to suggest that it was overgrown.
It certainly towers over the landscape!