Home made Burmese Pagoda for 14th Army

Adam is keen on the 14th Army in the Burma Campaign. Accounts of the campaign feature pagodas (i.e. temples) in the villages. Luckily you can buy roughly 1/100th scale pagodas from pet stores (or Amazon or eBay). Unfortunately, these are all Chinese or Japanese. And it doesn’t take long on google to discover Burmese pagodas are unique. They feature a golden umbrella in a variety of patterns but basically a spire with wider and narrower bands around the spire. Gold of course. And the base is a white dome. Hmm. I can’t buy one, so I’ll make one.


The result

Here is what the finished product looked like:

Burmese Pagoda 78 Finished including flocking

Burmese Pagoda 78 Finished including flocking


Materials

It took a bit of research but I eventually landed on two main components for the pagoda:

  • Wooden Finial: Turned wood used on curtain rails or wardrobes.
  • 8cm Polystyrene ball

The finial was for the umbrella and the ball for the dome. One ball is enough for two domes so I got two finials.

Burmese Pagoda 20 Materials

Burmese Pagoda 20 Materials


Construction

Firstly, cut the polystyrene ball in half. I have a bread knife reserved this moments like this. Ace at cutting foam. Beware of mess.

Burmese Pagoda 21 Cut ball in half

Burmese Pagoda 21 Cut ball in half

Then I gouged a hole in the top of each dome to fit the finials into. They got glued in with PVA (wood glue).

Burmese Pagoda 22 Stick finial to dome

Burmese Pagoda 22 Stick finial to dome

I normally use 75mm x 75mm (3″ x 3″) building sectors for Crossfire but I made the bases for the pagoda bigger – 120mm x 80mm. This was for a number of reasons including:

  • the pagoda is solid so troops cannot be placed inside. I figured that outside but on the same base was good enough
  • the domes were 80mm in diameter
  • 120mm x 80mm is a standard size for me as it is the size I use for Big Base DBA camps and Big Base HoTT strongholds. So I had some spare

I put the pagoda at the end to allow room for miniatures at the other end.

Burmese Pagoda 23 Glue to a base

Burmese Pagoda 23 Glue to a base

Polystyrene is not super resilient so I covered the first dome in milliput (air drying craft putty). This drys rock hard. But that was a pain because it was slow. So for the second dome I used wood filler. This was much faster but the result is still a bit soft. In hindsight I should have gone with milliput for both.

Burmese Pagoda 24 Cover dome with putty

Burmese Pagoda 24 Cover dome with putty

A pagoda needs a door way. I’ve no idea what they should look like. So I just made an arch with milliput.

Burmese Pagoda 35 Make a door way

Burmese Pagoda 35 Make a door way

Putty and wood filler needs sanding to get out the bumps. So I sanded.

Burmese Pagoda 36 Sand

Burmese Pagoda 36 Sand

Then I undercoated in black. Because I always undercoat in black.

Burmese Pagoda 47 Undercoat black

Burmese Pagoda 47 Undercoat black

The umbrella got painted gold. I used Vallejo (173) 70.878 Old gold.

The dome got painted white. I used a base of Vallejo (007) 70.837 Pale Sand then dry brushed (005) 70.918 Ivory on top. I liked the effect and will use it for my future Spanish style buildings.

Actually I tried two different variations. The other one, shown on the right in the photo, had a grey base coat. I think it was Vallejo (154) 70.989 Sky Grey. But I preferred the sand base and repainted the grey-ish one.

Burmese Pagoda 77 Paint

Burmese Pagoda 77 Paint

Lastly, my normal Flocking Wargaming Figures with Flat Earth and Dry Brushing. Actually not quite normal. I used a bit of wood filler to raise the path above the base. This kept the path on a level with the sand that went everywhere else and makes the path obvious. Then I painted both path and sand in the same way. Then flocked.

Burmese Pagoda 78 Finished including flocking

Burmese Pagoda 78 Finished including flocking

Job done.

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