Isengard was designed in AutoCAD, a computer drafting package, wich allows you to visualise in 3D. This is useful to check what the finished model will look like, before cutting, gluing or even purchasing any materials. Read how this was done.
It is not necessary to go to these lengths, but even a simple sketch is helpful in avoiding a major design mistake at this early stage.
Time was spent drawing the basic layout in the AutoCAD computer drafting program in 3D. This allowed comparison with photos of Isengard from the film to make sure that it looked appropriately proportioned even though it was scaled down. It also ensured that the model would fit on a series of 2′ x 2′ (600mm x 600mm terrain modules).
The drawings are done in the computer at real size. For example, if the wall height is 240mm then you draw the wall in AutoCAD at 240mm high. This allows AutoCAD to calculate measurements for you on other parts of the drawing. This was especially useful to avoid having to calculate the lengths of curved wall sections for cutting out – at the click of a button AutoCAD calculates it for you.
Shown at left and right are rendered images of the AutoCAD drawing. This allows a good idea of what the finished scenery will look like before any physical work has to start.
Above. Plan before you build. Rendered AutoCAD image of Isengard. Compare this with the actual model at right.
Above. The painting of the Isengard scenery is now taking shape. Play testing several scenarios simultaneously at Croydon.
Above. The tower of Orthanc stands tall over the pathways of Isengard. The paths are laid out in the 8 pointed star of the Istarii.
Above. AutoCAD image of Isengard. Compare the similarity with the photo at left.