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Still more farm animals. This one is a pig. But it is waaaaay to big to be livestock. So instead, it is going to become a war machine by getting a big howdah on its back.

The first thing I have to do is form a cutout to go over his back. I line up a pice of paper and get a height and width rough estimate.

I hand draw in a rounded shape that fits inside the height and width, then test fit. It never fits the first time, so I shave little bits off and try again until I have two curves that fit over the shoulder and rump of the pig.

I use the fitted curves to make a template for the front and back of the howdah. I am putting this on thin cardboard, as it will serve as the basic frame of the howdah.

I cut some trapezoidal sides to fit and assemble the thing with scotch tape. Sometimes this requires a little more trimming. Other times, it goes together well.

Once I have the basic shape, I disassemble it and draw on planks with a ball point pen. The color doesn't matter, what matters is to make grooves you can paint over.

Do this on both sides. Don't worry about lining it up. You can't see both sides of one piece at the same time.

Back on the pig, it is put back together and I've glued some stir stick pieces around the outside. These will both give the howdah some rigidity and provide some depth to the look.

The string doesn't really do much other than look like it holds the thing together. Each wrap gets a dot of superglue to hold it in place.

The big pig got some tusks made from plumber's putty, and the litte piggie got a nice razorback from the same.

Here it is primed up, with a couple of test figures in it.

Oh, yeah, I put in a floor, too. Same thing - cardboard with lines for planking, cut to fit.

Here she is painted up. The black wash I ran over it brings out the plank lines (even if my photography doesn't very well).


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