Aztec Temple

Aztec Temple

The idea was to create a little temple using Aztec/Mayan architecture and I’m very happy with the result, but also a little sad to part with it. The temple was donated to a school and I received much praise. While working on this project between April and June, I recording my progress on Twitter.

I’m hoping to create a YouTube video in the future ->

Style 01 Style 02
One of the first things I did was Google for Aztec and Mayan architecture and used elements in this project.
This is the picture I used for the colour scheme. I really loved the blue and yellow(gold).

Design 01 Design 02
I skipping pre-sketches and went right to designing the layout in Adobe Illustrator. This program makes it easy to calculate all the measurements. Even so I still made quite a few mistakes.
Adobe Illustrator was especially useful for the side views.

Base 01 Base 02
Most of the wood is 7mm plywood but I also used some 3mm and bamboo pieces. All of it cut to size with a fretsaw.
This type of wood is very soft and by using a black ballpen I created random stone patterns which stay visible even after painting.

Base 03 Base 04
I covered parts of the wall with clay and using a thin piece of plastic to press a cat-face pattern.
The measurements were never a 100% accurate and I often used clay to patch up mistakes. This meant I could not paint anything before putting the project together which would have been much easier.

Base 05 Base 06
The inside of the temple I did paint beforehand. I really liked the look and it’s a shame you don’t see more of it.
Most of the temple has been put together, mistakes patched up with clay. Had some issues with the stairs which open with a small hinge, to a room which hold the batteries for the LEDs. The hinges had to be half glued, half nailed down. One opened up fine but the other ended up much too tight.

Base 07 Base 08
Added the toothed edge on top, an element very much characteristic of the Aztec architecture and started painting the outside.
The base is covered with a black wood-paint that I often use in my projects. Later I added the name of my website on the bottom.
Statue 01 Statue 02
A sketch of the statues.
Detailing with Adobe Illustrator.

Statue 03 Statue 04
All six statues are pieces of wood covered with a thin layer of clay.
I loved painting the statues, it really made them come alive.
Edge 01 Edge 02
The blue edge at the top of the temples inside yard felt too empty, so I created several cat-faces. They are all slightly different but that just adds character to the project.
I used six different paints to create all of the golden elements in this project.
Water 01 Water 02
I thought it would be nice to add a water spring. For water I used Noch “Water-drops”. You heat it up in the oven for an hour and pour it into the area where it hardens within minutes. Later I found that this material become soft using heat (blow-dryer) and reacts with metals & plastic.
Unfortunately I wasn’t paying attention while pouring and it spilled over. Once dried I pried off the resin-type material and patched it up as best I could.

Water 03 Water 04
For the waterfall I tried different materials like paint thickener and glue but neither was what I was looking for. Eventually I tried repair gel which was almost perfect.
I’m really happy about the end result.
Tech 01 Tech 02
To make the project even more special I wanted to add LEDs. Two red for the eyes and blue for the mouth. I decided to split the LEDs up which sadly ended up being a mistake.
I borrowed a soldering gun and connected the wires to a switch. To make sure the three wires stayed in place I wrapped a small piece of conductive metal around them.

Tech 03 Tech 04
Once the roof was on the project I would never be able to reconnect wires or replace LEDs. The blue LED later overloaded but luckily the red ones survived.
Using a plastic bottle cap, an electric tea-light lid, I created a battery holder. Very low-tech but functional.

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