Making Minas Tirith - Design

mtAutoCAD01.jpgThe Challenge

One of the most spectacular parts of Peter Jackson's film "Return of the King" is the white city of Gondor: Minas Tirith. The Lord of the Rings book describes the city of Minas Tirith is being built as seven levels.

See how the challenge was taken up and all seven levels of this magnificent city were build for NWA's open day in August 2005. Six months was required to construct this huge model.


Right. Image of Minas Tirith from "Return of the King". The central rock and tiers of the city can be seen along with the mountain range that it is carved out of. Image is copyright of New Line Productions, Inc.

After seeing the film I decided it would be a challenge to create my own Minas Tirith to be used as a display for Games 2004. This is the open day for NWA Inc. this year to be held on Saturday 14th August at the Mitcham venue. The open day each year is where the club shows off its wares to the public and always includes plenty of public participation games.

A "bigature" (so called because they were larger than usual miniatures) was made of Minas Tirith for the film. The complete city was made in 1/72nd scale (the correct scale for the Lord of the Rings miniatures from Games Workshop).

Above left.I drew the plans for my model in 3D in AutoCAD. This way I could check sizes and compare that it would still look okay versus the model used for the film despite the reduction in size. This is a rendered version of the AutoCAD drawing. I did not have time to make a pointy tower or add the fancy buildings on the walls but check the similarity with the picture of the model used in the film (above right).

Above right. The model of Minas Tirith made for "Return of the King". The great level of detail can be seen. My model was not going to be as detailed since it was a solo project and I would not have the time. Image is copyright of New Line Productions, Inc.