Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Building a little Lantern

In this short tutorial I describe an easy way of making a lantern using remains from the bits box.

Lamps and lanterns add a lot to the atmosphere of the gaming table. Unfortunately though, while lamp posts are available from a number of producers (e.g. Yeoman Models, Grand Manner, Thomarillion, GeBoom) I could not find a supplier for humble lanterns. So I decided to build one...

After going through my spare materials I went with a round plastic piece for the main body. My simple design idea was to then attach thin round pieces of just a little more width to the ends of the rod. Unfortunately I had no suitable plastic pieces at hand so I just took a hole puncher and made two pieces from cardboard. This is definately not a "best practice" as the cardboard gets heavily damaged by the puncher and the edges turn out somewhat "fringy". For my proof of concept this had to suffice though.

To give the lantern some structure and detail I cut two thin stripes of plastic card with an exacto blade and glued them to the body. I would have liked to do some kind of rhomb pattern - maybe with a piece of fly screen or something. Again, I went with the simple design and just left it as that.

The last touch was a handle made of thin wire. I have this wire left from the dockside crane and it's super useful in many situations. I drilled the wire around a needle to get it into shape, then glued it onto the lantern.

A small stick of balsa wood with a tiny recess will serve as a mounting for the lantern.

The lantern ready to be painted

Painting the lantern was pretty straight forward. First, a drybrush with metal (GW's Boltgun Metal and Tin Bitz), then yellow and mixes with increasing amounts of white to let this light shine brightly.

So now what to do with this little lantern? More soon...


  1. Nice piece of detail work.... depending on its mounting point, I have considered using a mini LED inside the plastic, if hard attached to a thick post or building side, where wiring can be concealed...

  2. Great tutorial I'm going to have to give this a try.

  3. Lovely scratch-built work! In case you're looking for more lanterns and can't be bothered to make more of those, you can always search for beads shops. They make some interesting things suitable for miniatures:


  4. Thanks, Joao!

    I like that idea but at 18mm height those specific lantern are just a bit too big for 28mm scale. If they were a bit smaller I'd purchase them in a heartbeat.


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