The view of the entire terrain project, facing from the left-front. You can see that there are three towers along the walls, a gateway at the corner, a light house at the back to the right, buildings behind the walls, and docks behind them. Note that the Haradrim nomads have camped out outside the walls! The Haradrim tents are not part of this piece, they were just added for scale purposes.
Another view of the entire project, this time from the right side. Again you can see the towers, the walls, the lighthouse, the buildings and the docks. You can also see the postern gate. Please note that the line between the green matt and the greay matt is supposed to be where the land stops and the ocean starts.
Umbar has many visitors. Here a servant of Sauron arrives to attend with the lords of of the city. The gate and gatway itself was designed to look like the prow of a ship, although many say that it looks more like a gaping mouth with intent to swallow anyone who enters. This particular gate replaced the original one which had fallen into ruin. It was a gift from Mordor when the city openly claimed allegience to the Dark Lord. Little did the lords of the city realize that although it was strong and filled with magics, it was also controlled by the minions of Sauron...
Tolkien said somewhere along the line that the Numenorean blood within the city eventually faded into and merged with the Haradrim. Many believe however that the city is ruled by two lords, one being the captain of the ships and one being a Haradrim lord of the lands. In any case it is highly likely that in the Third age near the time of the War of the Ring the walls would have been defended by the Haradrim. Here we see them on the walls above the main gate.
A close-up view of one of the tower doors on the wall above the gateway. In total there are 11 of these doors. Three for each tower (there are three towers), and two for the postern gate as seen above and which we will see more of later. All of the painting around the doors is done free-hand.
A view of the gateway from the left. The gateway itself was designed to resemble the prow of a ship. Unfortunately the sons of Castamir were not as knowledgable about wars upon land, and so the gate, because it is on a corner, forms a kind of salient that is difficult to defend from the two flanking towers. This actually worked for the line of Castimir however when the city was retaken from Gondor during the third age, as this is the first gate that fell to the Haradrim attacks.
Lords of men, such as Suladan and his nomadic people often visit Umbar during the wet seasons. Note the ramp leading the gate is also supposed to add to gate's design as the prow of the ship. It is designed to be in the pattern of water breaking against the prow of the ship. Also, Because the ramp can be ascended from both left and right, the error of having a gate on a corner is partly reduced, as attacking the gate is very difficult and the towers, although they cannot defend the gate itself, can defend the ramps.
Suladan and his enoutage are granted access to the city. Certainly he is a lord worthy of entry! But also the lords of the city demand their taxes!
But what is this? As Suladan's entourage enters through the main gate, an old grey traveller seems to be attempting to gain access through the postern gate! Be careful of the patrol on the walls old greybeard! Note how the postern gate is situated up some narrow stairs, and as such would be very difficult to attack, especially if the gate were protected from the wall above.
As Suladan and his entourage enter through the gate, the city opens up infront of them. Even to the eyes of a king such as Suladan, the size and granduer of the city amazes and awes. Note the white stone walkway. This was specially crafted by the sons of Castamir using stones that were raided from the docks at Palargir. They make the shape of a ship whose prow is formed by the gate. The symbol there, made using the whitest stones, is that of the Castamirian line claiming the crown in Umbar (the symbol of Umbar encircled by seven stars and topped with the crown).
An inside view of the entire cityscape. Note that on the bottom left of the image it appears that old greybeard made it through the postern gate just as Suladan entered the castle from the main gate!
Mithrandir enters the back door of the cafe/restaurant to avoid the watchful eyes of the chieftain that ascends the stairs! What a nice cafe it is as well! It even has a roof-top patio!
Inside the cafe (note the roof is removable) Gandalf finds tables with delicious food to eat! Perfect after a long journey from the north! Please see below for more detail of the tables included with the restaurant / cafe.
Suladan excitedly takes in the scene within the city. After living in the desert for the past few months the bright colours and hustle and bustle of the city are a welcome site! There are fruit vendors, sweet shops, and bakeries... So much more abundance than even Suladan the King is used to! See below for more detail of the shops and their accessories.
While strolling through the city streets Suladan contemplates getting a hair cut at the local barber shop while a cat checks him out from the roof (that cat is fixed to the model). Suladan decides to forget the hair cut as it would mean finally taking off that helmet... See below for more detail shots of the buildings in the city.
After strolling through the city, Suladan takes a stroll down the docks. A beautiful day for a stroll along the pier! The corsair ship sits menacingly in the docks, its crew gone into the city to trade their booty for the vices of pirates...
After visiting the dock, Suladan tries to gain entry into one of the towers... As he approaches the door a gigantic hand comes out of nowhere and removes the entire back wall of the tower! All three towers have removable backs to allow players and miniatures to get inside there. I posted pictures of only one as they are all pretty much the same (if you would like to see all of the tower walls removed I can provide images).
Inside the tower we see that there are two floors. The main floor is primarily a storage area for the army. Typically it would house weapons and warmachines, but it has been known to house all kinds of goodies including food and spirits! The second floor is not accessible from the main floor to help the defenders of the tower. If the gate were to fall, a single tower may still hope to hold out until support can arrive. The second floor has two doors that can access the walls (one on either side), a ladder to access the hatch at the top of the tower, and a bench to rest on after a long day defending against a siege!
Time to take a walk along the walls and towers of the city. Here we see the longest wall on the model along with the two towers that protect it. To the right is the city itself and the buildings Suladan just strolled by. Again, note the Haradrim camp outside the city wall. It isn't part of this piece, but there to show scale.
This is the tower furthest from the gate. Currently it is being guarded by a Haradrim Mumak Chieftain. Although the chieftain gave up the Mumak reigns, it is still nice to be up high!
Here is a close up of the top of the tower and the hatchway. There are three hatchways (one for each tower), all pretty much identical and all painted free hand.
The gray traveler finishes his meal and heads up to one of the gateway towers for some sight seeing!
Next we head along the wall toward the harbour where we see the light house. This light house is used to help guide ships into the docks. It also serves as a great place to defend the port with flaming missile weapons when the city is attacked.
There is just enough room around the base of the light house for a patrol too keep an eye out on the harbour to make sure no enemies of Sauron attempt to gain access to the city from the sea.
Like the rest of the roofs in the city, the light house roof comes off.
The floor of the lighthouse bears the symbol of Umbar facing out to the sea. Again, this structure is a great place to defend the docks from.
The cafe building as seen above is removable to allow for ease of play. Also, when the third wall of Umbar was first built the sons of Castamir forbid anyone from dwelling there. It wasn't until later, when the Castamirian line was all but swallowed by Haradrim blood that dwellings and shops were built. So, having removable buildings allows the model to span time periods.
The entire building block on this side of the city is actually modelled on one base for ease of use. It also comes out with ease!
The soldiers stand dumbfounded... Where did all the buildings go? The inside of the city with all of the shops and buildings removed.
Often vendors will crowd the entrances to cities with their items for sale. With that in mind I made this fruit stand. It is set up at the gates for weary travellers to be able to get something fresh after a long journey!
This is the cafe that Gandalf entered earlier. The awning betrays the onwer's nomadic Haradrim roots. As cafes are typically small, they often 'spill out' into the street; during busy periods cafe owners will often set up tables on the streets of the city. The tables are all removable, see below for more details on those. Note the top of the building is off in this picture.
The side view of the cafe. It shows that the owner is more worried about making food than keeping the building in good repair.
This is the back door that Gandalf went through to escape the eyes of the Haradrim Chieftain. Note the roof has been put on in this shot.
Here is the detail of the food tables. Clock wise from the top left we have an empty (but dirty) plate and coffee cup (mmm, arabic coffee!), a jumbo falafel sandwich (a pita wrap similar to a donair or shawarma), and a bowl of baba ghanouj or hummous with sliced pita on a plate for dipping! If you don't know what the food is, pelase do a google search and see if my models match up to the real thing! They are all done using greenstuff!
The sweet shop is the next shop in line. This is the first shop we will see that is attached to the large building block. Note the sign detail and the detail of the sweets on platters out infront of the shop. That picture on the sign is of a piece of Pistachio Baklava. The sweets on the platters are also baklava. If you haven't heard of baklava, do a google search and then find an arabic sweet shop and get some, it is delicious!
After the cafe and the sweet shop, Gandalf checks out the bakery. Like all of the buildings in Umbar, the roof comes off. The rack of bread is based on images of bakeries in the old city of Jerusalem (do a google image search on jerusalem bakery to compare my sculpts). On there we have loafs, pita and the large donut shaped bagel-like loafs.
Gandalf loves the smell of baking bread, so he checks out the bakery set up inside. Lo and behold the oven is blazing and bread is baking!
Here is the up-close detail of the bread rack and the oven. They are all on removable bases for ease of play.
Unlike Suladan, Gandalf definitely needs a hair cut. The sign on the barber shop is the (hopefully) universal sign for barbers world wide... Note the cat on the roof too!
While Gandalf is getting his hair and beard trimmed, Suladan goes to the local money lender for a loan... But like all banks nowadays, it is closed for the day already! Its only mid afternoon! Note the sign on the bank is made of brass and is very spiffy! A cut above the wooden signs on the bakery and the sweet shop.
The next day Suladan returns to the money lender... Inside he contemplates signing the loan contract...
The banker's desk is also on a removable base for ease of play. Note that the writing quill, the contract, and the coins and sack are all green stuff and freehand painted.
Now that the loan is all squared away, Suladan heads over to the jewelry shop to spend his newly acquired money. Note that the sign on this shop is nice, but obviously the jeweler isn't quite as rich as the money lender...
Suladan enters and checks out the fine selection of Gondorian jewelry that just came off the pirate ships in the docks!
The jewelry cabinet has a removable glass top. Here is a picture with the top on...
... and here is a picture with the top off. Note that all of those pieces are sculpted from green stuff.
Last but certainly not least is the rat catcher's shop. Surely you didn't think that such a city would be complete without one? Much to the chagrin of the jeweler, the rat catcher didn't bother to get a professional sign made... A dead rat stuck to the wall with a nail was enough I suppose. Note that that dead rat is also sculpted from green stuff.
Suladan is on the lookout for some rat traps to keep his palatial tent free of vermin, and so he moseys inside the shop. What's this? Something alive in a cage in the shop! The desk (including the cage) and stool are modeled on a removable base for ease of play as well.
Of all the things the rat catcher has cought, this one specimen was so unusual that it was kept alive. A sort of mascott for the rat catcher's business... But what could be in there?
Fortunately for us, the top of the cage comes off to reveal a ferret! Many forms of vermin come off the ships at the docks!
Well, that's it. Thanks for visiting Umbar, hope to see you again soon!
Here is some detail of a tower door in Umbar
This jewelry case is certainly a nice addition to any city!
Fresh fruit is abundant in Umbar. Here a haradrim chieftain purchases some pomegranites and bananas
The smell of fresh baked bread wafts through the streets of the ancient city.
Here are some the of extra bits to add detail to the city of umbar. Note that they are crafted using balsa, thin card, miliput, and green stuff.