Aztec Temple Sacrificial Altar

Historically, the Aztecs and their Empire were well known for dominating Mesoamerica prior to the arrival of the Spanish. One of the more gruesome aspects of their way of making warfare involved the priority of capturing their enemies for both slavery and human sacrifice. A lowly commoner’s only way to ascend the social hierarchy in Aztec society was be a warrior who captured many enemy of perceived value (in other words not easy marks).

So, it became obvious that a suitable sacrificial altar-type building to drag these poor souls to their sad end would be necessary for games based in a city like Tenochtitlan. Obviously, in 28mm scale, I can only try to approximate the elements of a cityscape on a 6′ by 4′ tabletop, but the Aztecs would have had a place for ritual sacrifice as part of one.

In this post I will share my latest – and largest to date – MDF kit build for Feudal Patrol™ games in Mesoamerica (using my Civilizations Collide supplement). It is called Temple Sacrificial Altar and is scaled for 28mm figures. It has a large idol overlooking a small altar on a raised platform This one, like my previous Aztec MDF, also came from from Things From the Basement via 4Ground via Badger Games – you can see it here.

The kit in its box.

This is part of “Mark’s Aztec Building Challenge Contest” (which you will read more about shortly in this blog post), as well as being part of not one but two painting challenges being kindly run by a couple of great bloggers. The first is “The Summer Solstice Painting Challenge” from Ann’s Immaterium. Its supposed to be an entry that you consider your “best”, and as I think you’ll see I think this building is one I feel qualifies – and this is my entry. The second is from Angry Piper over at Dead Dick’s Tavern And Temporary Lodging called “Monster Mayhem 2021”. As the idol on the building is pretty monstrous, and Angry Piper concurred – it’s my entry here too!

On to the project – the kit was an enjoyable build but much more detailed than previous attempts – so it took longer. Plus, as you’ll see, I had to do some circling back on the paint job. It happens. I did also dust this baby up with chinchilla dust again – and thanks again to The Imperfect Modeler (TIM) for introducing me to Chinchilla dust. There are a few WIP shots this time as well.

I started by wiping down the kit with a moist microfiber cloth.
Assembly was pretty easy. After earlier using rubber bands to secure the walls and stairs while they were being glued together, I used large washers to secure the top while it was being glued.
Next I dusted up the idol here (the dragon heads are for the next project) and the base.
Using my airbrush, I base coated everything.
I added the stairs and began painting. The model pieces are dry-fitted here and not glued yet. Here you see my initial – yes INITIAL – color choices for the idol. That would change.

Thanks to Pinterest, I got an image on my feed – of course on the day after I painted it – that would, well, make me somewhat aggravated but also allow me to take a new direction. The idol face apparently comes from an Aztec calendar – and the reddish image I saw on my feed fit my concept much better than what I originally chose.

I found that lining the recesses with black paint helped greatly. As the chinchilla dust is very absorptive (especially on MDF), I mostly used somewhat thicker paints – even craft paints with the brush. Otherwise, you can get some capillary effects. My list of the materials I used is at the end of the post.

More or less a repeat photo with the new idol shot – plus the little sacrificial altar dry fitted to the base.
I ended up using the white and red and black scheme you see here on the model. You also can see the highlighting of the chinchilla dust. I did find that I needed to go over the highlighting again with Army Painter Light Tone (the initial highlighting was over a toned-down base coat) – but I liked the final outcome.

It took me from the end of April to complete this model. I had some needed supplies finally arrive, allowing me to proceed. And I think now I’ve single-handedly bought the world’s supply of Army Painter “Light Tone”.

An aside as it affects how the contest challenge is proceeding. I had several delays beyond the supplies and repainting that I described, such as, well, golf, and mundane medical issues. Not that my game has been any good mind you! As for medical stuff, count my final COVID-19 jab that knocked me down a bit the next day (AND it was also at a golf tournament – bad call to schedule that on my part), plus a series of allergy/sinus issues, and a nearly broken toe (got a bit lucky with a bad bruise) – all causing me to slow down a bit. Oh yeah, multiple meetings and a town hearing to get (hopefully) approval to tear down and build a garage. And I still need another hearing! I hope to post on that IF AND WHEN I get approved.

The contest rolls on though.

A reminder on the contest!

Without further ado, let’s look at the final completed model and some Warrior Priests checking out the new digs.

Front view.
Top view. Note the bloody altar with a little BFTBG.
Detail of the front and the altar. There were two golden eagles and two faces on each side of the model. I also stuck with the red and white symbols on each corner.
Right side.
Rear of model.
Left side.
This Wargames Foundry warrior priest has the heart of a poor Conquistador – who was apparently already dragged away.
All my Warrior Priests (and a Priestess) checking out the new building. All are from Wargames Foundry, and you can see their stories here, here, and here.

All that I have left in the contest challenge is this model below. FYI, some work has been started.

Thanks for looking and I hope that you found this post enjoyable to read and check out. As always, please do let me know your thoughts in the comments section !

For all of my previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” – please see this page.

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THIS MODEL

  1. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  2. Poster tack
  3. Plastic Plates
  4. All Living Things Dry Dust Bath (chinchilla dust)
  5. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  6. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  7. Vallejo Model Air “Sand (Ivory)”
  8. Citadel “Ushabti Bone”
  9. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Sand”
  10. Vallejo Model Color “White”
  11. Vallejo Model Color “Red”
  12. Vallejo Model Color “Black”
  13. Vallejo “Thinner Medium”
  14. Vallejo Game Color “Bloody Red”
  15. Vallejo Game Color “Livery Green” (REPAINTED)
  16. Citadel “Waywatcher Green” (glaze) (REPAINTED)
  17. Citadel “Bloodletter” (glaze)
  18. Vallejo Game Air “Sun Yellow”
  19. Citadel “Lamenters Yellow” (glaze)
  20. DecoArt “Light Buttermilk”
  21. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Blue” (REPAINTED)
  22. Vallejo Mecha Color “Turquoise”
  23. Vallejo Model Air “Fluorescent Red”
  24. Vallejo Model Air “White”
  25. Vallejo Model Air “Silver”
  26. Martha Stewart Crafts “Pale Bronze”
  27. Citadel “Carroburg Crimson” (glaze)
  28. Citadel “Yriel Yellow”
  29. Vallejo Game Air “Beastly Brown”
  30. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Warp Lightning”
  31. Army Painter “Light Tone” (wash)
  32. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  33. Citadel “Blood for the Blood God”

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Author: Mark Morin

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