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Designing the shrine set

2022-08-10 by David

Whoa! This new shrine set is turning out to be a biggie!! There's so much stuffed into the set that it could pretty easily cover an entire smaller gaming table, so let's take a look....




▲ First of all, let's show you the real-life shrine that this model is based on - Kokuzo Shrine, near the Aso volcano in Kumamoto Prefecture (happily, only a few minutes drive from the new studio!).


As you can see from the photo, it's a very old traditional wooden shrine complex, thought to have been originally created around 100BC. It was built to honour a truly massive cedar pine tree, that was finally toppled in a typhoon in 1991. The remains and roots of the tree have been preserved on site, and are well worth a visit if you're in the area - they are gargantuan!


▲ This shrine set is based around the large front building of the actual shrine, pictured at the rear of this CG render. The model features much of the wooden sculptures of the original, with carved sections and some awesome details.



Of course a shrine set wouldn't be complete without a whole bunch of extra structures, so let's take a look at a few of those now....

▲ This is an ema board. The ema are those little wooden plaques that visitors decorate with written wishes (good health, success in jobs or studies etc), and then hang on pegs on this rack, which is usually found near the main shrine building.


On the right we have a new lantern design! This one is specifically found on the approach roads/paths at shrines, and of course this version is designed to be fitted with an LED bulb and small battery!

▲ Near the entrance to every shrine there is a stone washbasin, where you briefly wash your hands to cleanse yourself before entering the shrine proper. This one is based on a real structure, and features quite elaborate wooden columns leading up to an even fancier version of the copper panelled roof.

▲ This minishrine is actually an auxiliary shrine called a sessha, and you'll often find one or two of these on the grounds of any decent-sized shrine complex. These make great little game objectives too, and I've included two versions of the front piece - one version with the fancy rope and paper tassles, and one version without.

▲ A variety of stone lanterns are often found on the approach path to a shrine, so there are a bunch of multipart ones included in this set. You've got round ones, square ones, hexagonal ones and curved ones, with three different heights of base too. Each shape version has a plain version and an engraved version, all gently textured with stone patterns.



▲ To make life easier for you, in addition to all the separate lantern section files, I've included this ready-prepared STL file of enough components to make 10 stone lanterns. It will fit on a standard 125mm print bed, and you can then mix and match to your heart's content!


▲ The path to a Japanese shrine is usually made from natural materials such as smooth paving stones or just dirt, so there is a 12cm x 8cm section of stone path included in the set. This is a one-piece print, only about 3mm high, and can be used in any orientation for paths, junctions and slopes.

▲ Along the sides of a shrine path you might also find a low fence, and this one is a waist-high 12cm straight section of bamboo and twine. The green bits in the pic above are built-in supports, and can be snipped out after printing. A non-supported version is also included.



▲ As a nod to the real Kokuzo Shrine, there is also a small sacred tree stump in the set, encircled with a thick rope and paper tassles. The actual cedar pine at Kokuzo Shrine is a massive 11 metres around, but this one is just a little baby by comparison! The base is 60mm in diameter.


▲ One of the smaller sacred trees at Kokuzo Shrine was raised up on a stone-edged base, and that inspired me to create this piece to fit the 60mm tree stump.


You could also use it to fit the 60mm base for cherry blossom trees, which is also included in the set.


▲ There's one other 60mm diameter base included in the shrine set - this bamboo forest base! Hidden amongst the rocks and bamboo are 14 small holes, into which you can glue those green plastic bamboo trees you can buy from online stockists - the trees themselves are not included in this set, because they're not very 3D printable, I'm afraid.


I'll be showing off just how to make the bamboo forests in a future blog article, which will hopefully make much more sense!



Watch this space for photos of the fully printed models (in just a few more days), when we can really show off all of the cool little details!


Tags: samurai  design 


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