Yesterday, readers would have noticed a couple of pictures of a 25mm-scaled model of the Temple of Vimuhla thrown in the mix of M.A.R. Barker's collection. Model and diorama lover that I am it drew—even in it's slightly time-and mouse-worn state-- a little happy dance from me having only seen very grainy pictures of it previously.
According to Dragon magazine #4, it represents “a replica of the inner core portion of the Temple of Katalal. It was begun by the 13th Seal Emperor in 1223 A.S.”
The four-foot long, four-foot wide replica was originally constructed by Barker and three players in his Empire of the Petal Throne game for GenCon IX back in 1976. It's construction reportedly took over 1,000 man-hours and had working doors, secret passages, pitfalls, painted murals, accurate (if archaic) Classical Tsolyani inscriptions, and more.
The following photos come courtesy of Jeff Berry, the HC's “Man In Tekumel” and one of the people involved with the preservation effort. They come from slides taken in 1987 before the model was displayed at a Twin Cities convention. (The very last photo is a scan from the Dragon article.)
According to Jeff: “What I'm hoping that we'll be able to do is finally shoot pics of the entire model, and then combine them into a virtual tour of the place from the viewpoint of a 25mm tall visitor. Janet had created a web site for my long-departed model railway where one clicked on the plan of the thing to see photos, and one thought she had was to use Ken Fletcher's excellent guides to the Temple as a template for this.”
Click to enlarge each photo.
Look for some follow-up information here on the Barker collection later today. Now you will excuse me as I run out and grab me a stack of foamboard from Home Despot.