Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Building a Portalglyph

The Warhammer 40k Daemons of Chaos book has a unique item that you can take from the Exalted Rewards section called a portalglyph. Basically, once dropped on the board it allows the daemon player the potential to "summon" in new daemonic troop choices (i.e., bloodletters, daemonettes, plague bearers, or pink horrors) to the battle field. I liked the idea of using this piece of war gear but GW never made a model or issued a template for users to represent the portalglyph. Instead the codex/army book simply states to use a small blast template or something similarly sized. Well, I for one saw this as a challenge to make my own portalglyph instead of tossing a blast template on the table. So let's take a look at how I built my portalglyph.

 Items used for this project:

White Styrene (or plasticard): .118 thickness
Cork Board
GW dead grass
GW skulls
Battery powered tea light candle 

The first thing I did was create a chaos star template in photoshop and I made sure to keep the dimensions the same as a small blast template.

You can download a copy of this template by visiting our forum.

Once I printed the chaos star I cut out the shape and traced it onto a sheet of plasticard. Then with an exacto knife I carefully cut out the star. Once that was done I filed down the edges with an emery board and then carved cracks and chips into the plasticard star with my exacto knife to give it a used and ancient look.

At this point you can simply paint the star up and use it in a game but I wanted to build mine up on a base and add lighting to it so that it gives the effect that something is trying to come in from the warp via the portalglyph.

The base is made up of layers of cork board glued to a squared 50 x 50 base. I carved out a hole at the bottom of the base and then made sure that each layer of the cork board could fit in the insides of a battery powered tea candle light. Once I had the cork layers aligned properly I glued them into place.

Here is a model for scale reference.

Here is how the light will look beneath the star.
 Once the glue dried I painted the cork to resemble rocks and I added sand, flock and some skulls to give it an eerie look. Afterwards I drilled in three small holes to the bottom of the star and glued magnets into the holes. Then I drilled three corresponding holes into the top layer of the cork board to accommodate three more magnets. I did this so that I have the option of using the portalglyph with the display piece or I can simply use the star as is on a table.

 Here's how the final piece looks with models around it. 

In all, this project took about 2 days to complete. The first day was spent cutting out the star and adding in the chips and cracks. Then I shaped and glued the cork layers to the base. The next day I painted the star and cork layers and once the paint dried I added the sand, skulls and flock. Not a bad representation of a portalglyph and it sure beats using a small blast template, especially if you are going for a cinematic gaming experience. I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did building it.