A smallish post today as its a small project. A very nice chap on various fora has had several buildings from me in the past and for his next gaming project he wanted (along with other things) something that 'said' Nepal. The first thing that came to mind was a stupa, and if you don't know what one you soon will :-)

A stupa is basically a reliquary holding religious items on the inside or it can be used to signify an event in the life of Buddha and they can be found all over the Indian subcontinent and surrounding countries.

It seems that most of the small ones tend to be built on mountains or hillsides, which could prove difficult without building a mountain for it to go on. The layout to the left shows the way round this that I came up with. A simple oval base with a small cliff on one side and the stupa on the other with a suggestion of a path in between.

The cliff is cork bark and it has been blended in with normal household filler. The platform for the stupa is insulation foam and has been similarly blended in to the base.

The small wall was carved out of the foam and it helps to define the path and give a sense of usage rather than the stupa being completely left alone in the wilderness.

The base of the stupa was simply made from various thicknesses of materials, cut square and stacked on top of one another, it was then given a light coat of textured masonry paint to help bring it together. I unfortunately didn't take a wip picture of the very top but you can see it on the finished item below.

The ground work was done in the normal way to begin with but I didn't  use a lot of 'growies', just a bit that was slightly brown to help convey the feeling of a piece mountain terrain.

The cliff was painted in the same range of colours as the groundwork to help bring it all together. Various washes were implemented over the base as well.

The actual top was made on a lathe out of acrylic rod following the style from the images that I had gained from the internet.

The stupa itself was painted white and dirtied down a bit with some more washes. The top was painted a generic bronze colour and weathered accordingly.

The next part to make was the prayer flags which are a prominent feature in the Nepalese landscape. A dead tree was attached to the cliff and a piece of fine cotton was strung between that and the top of the stupa, it was held in place with thin super glue. The flags were cut out from thin coloured paper and stuck on accordingly representing the blowing wind.

I'll leave you now with the finished photos.



  1. Very very nice - captures the feel and the wind very well.

    I would have been tempted to weather the flags and maybe batter the edges a bit such as these http://lh5.ggpht.com/_rbdddIpLlSc/SxHeejuJtrI/AAAAAAAAAnQ/jScIZTgNDFA/IND02_DSC_5579.jpg but to be fair others seem to be clean and fresh!

    Great addition to any table.

  2. Thanks chaps :-)

    Andy, I thought about making old ones but I actually went down the new route as after looking at photos there are hundreds of the older ones and I didn't fancy making that many ;-)



  3. Nice work James for a unique period. I've learnt something.