It appears that the universe has given us yet another new and innovative way to completely geek out over Game of Thrones. It has been said that the Great Ice Wall of Westeros was made some eight millennia ago, using magic and mundane means, according to the GOT wiki. So, what about styrofoam? Shanks FX, the PBS Digital Studios’-repping DIY special effects squad that taught us how to create our own OG lightsaber, just released a step-by-step instructional video on how to build your own miniature Game of Thrones Wall.
Before we had CGI, all the moving parts of a movie set were made by hand. Think Helms Deep, Escape From New York, even most of Hogwarts: it's all about perspective. Miniature-scale models, combined with high speed photography, or matte shots, can manipulate the viewer’s sense of gravity, height, and depth. These traditional filmmaking techniques have been superseded by CGI technology in recent years, but sometimes Shanks FX prefers to get their hands dirty.
Using a heated wire sculpting tool, Joey Shanks shaves off multiple sections of two-inch EPE styrofoam panels, replicating the ‘staggered hard edges’ on the faces of real glacial ice walls. The indiscriminate patterns scraped into the surface of these styrofoam sheets play with your sense of depth, giving the model definition and generating the illusion of scale. Shanks constructs the gate into Castle Black using a section of a styrofoam cooler and an miniature infinity mirror, he then uses a floor air vent as the portcullis of the fortified entrance. He stages the cold blue tint of the Northern border using LED lights and birthday candles as torches. As for the arduous snowy climate, Shanks fans out, using white stone granules for snow and wind machines to create a similar effect to Shank FX’s 4K Sand Paintings.
Check out the video below:
Personally, I think it would look great in front of your fireplace or on the mantle.
Head over to Shanks FX's website to check out more of their work.