Aztec Temple High Throne

At the center of Aztec life was their religion, which drove many of their cultural, military, political, and economic practices. The Aztecs had over 200 deities, of which the chief one was Huitzilopochtli, the patron god of the Mexica and of their capital Tenochtitlan. He was also the Aztec god of war.

In trying to replicate an appropriate Tenochtitlan cityscape for 28mm games of for Feudal Patrol games in Mesoamerica (using my Civilizations Collide supplement), I have been building and painting multiple types of resin and MDF buildings. This plan by necessity would be clearly downsized from the original, but should have the flavor of the era and location. The painting below from LFIllustration is one that I saw recently on my Pinterest feed. It that gives an idea of what I have been going for conceptually in terms of the cityscape, the farms, the causeways, and more if dealing with Tenochtitlan and its environs circa 1519-1521.

I really like this picture – note the war canoes by the causeway. This appears to be a depiction of Cortes’ arrival at Tenochtitlan and his meeting Montezuma II for the first time. Of course, the causeways would later play a major part in Cortes’ forces escape from and later return to (and conquest of) Tenochtitlan.

In order to motivate myself to get through my terrain building as efficaciously as possible, In mid-March I devised “Mark’s Aztec Building Challenge Contest”. This was to reward my followers with a guessing contest as to when I would finish all of the terrain in the challenge – as well as to give me impetus to getting through all I was setting out to do. As I wanted like terrain and building pieces to be matching/similar in color and texture, and I needed several paints, I did end up having some materials delays – and others that I have described previously as well. But finally, I have finished all of the pieces in the challenge! I will be posting the winners on a separate and subsequent blog post that will shortly follow this one, so I am adding a bit more suspense to the contestants – but not too much. I just felt I should give this piece its own due, and do a separate contest wrap-up.

So, you ask, what piece is it? Why, it’s “Temple High Throne”. It is another MDF kit. 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. Basically, it is a high raised platform, and as such, Montezuma II would have this platform as his throne overlooking Tenochtitlan in the temple complex. It is adorned with serpent/snake heads and a giant idol image of Huitzilopochtli. Overall, the kit was of good quality and I enjoyed building and painting it. I will have to add some rules about the steepness of the steps with regards to both movement up and down and melee combat.

I built and painted parts of the kit contemporaneously with the Temple Sacrificial Altar for economy of effort. I will go over some WIP and share some eye candy after that. As is my practice, I list the materials I used is at the end of this post for those interested. Also, as Huitzilopochtli is – at least to me – quite monstrous – and physically quite large here as well, I am adding this bad boy/building to the painting challenges being run by Angry Piper over at Dead Dick’s Tavern And Temporary Lodging called “Monster Mayhem 2021” (subject to his assent of course). I found the image below on line and used it as the basis for my painting of the large Huitzilopochtli idol. It’s a bit different than the others I have seen, but I thought it would be a good general guide.

Huitzilopochtli – I can spell this pretty easily now! I liked the charcoal and sky blue-colored face paint.
The kit box.
The model all glued together with the top idols just dry-fitted for planning.
The idols and the serpent heads were then given their chinchilla dust treatment. The idol face on the right is described in my last post.
I started multiple serial dry brushing and tone applications as you see here. I also decided the circle colors on the tower should match those of the Huitzilopochtli image, and that the serpents/snakes should as well. The chinchilla dust gives a great result to the dry brushing and tone applications.
As the chinchilla dust surface of the dusted model is quite rough and porous, I painted in the idols’ lines in the MDF with relatively thick black paint. While this felt like “paint by numbers”, I did find it gave a sufficiently primitive look while making later color choices more effective for me.
The rear view of the model shown above.
A close up view of Huitzilopochtli’s idol face after I lined it. I decided that I would paint the front and sides of the idol, basically treating it like a billboard in terms of color application.
Early painting of the idols and circles but before toning it all down on the sides. I did apply a diluted brush matte varnish to the idols as I wanted them to pop and not be dulled down by the tone. I thought that some poor Aztecs would have been enslaved to keep the idol paints fresh. You can tell me if that worked or not conceptually.
A face only a mother could love, and maybe not even then. The brush on varnish is still moist here.

After all the painting, I glued it together. A challenge was the Huitzilopochtli idol due to its height and its thinness. Both prevented using rubber bands during the gluing process, but I think it worked out ok. Now, I will share some eye candy shots of the completed model.

Front left side.
Back side.
Front right side.
Aztec Temple High Throne – close up shot of the top.
Montezuma, and an Aztec Captain and his conch blower signal the troops to muster…
And the Jaguar Warriors answer the call!

Thank you for taking a look. I have a few more buildings and some other stuff coming up for this project, as well as a rules update, but I’m pretty happy with the progress. I will share those shots on the next post, and eventually I hope to have a nice shot of all the terrain on the tabletop – I’m just not there yet. But, my gaming club is back LIVE on June 5th, so I’m close!

All my terrain so far.

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.


  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 “Black”
  11. Vallejo “Thinner Medium”
  12. FolkArt “Yellow Ochre”
  13. Vallejo Game Air “Desert Yellow”
  14. Vallejo Model Color “White”
  15. Vallejo Mecha Color “Sky Blue”
  16. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Warp Lightning”
  17. Vallejo Model Air “Base Grey”
  18. Vallejo Model Color “Red”
  19. Martha Stewart Crafts “Pale Bronze”
  20. Citadel “Yriel Yellow”
  21. Vallejo Model Color “Clear Orange”
  22. Secret Weapon Washes “Sunshine” (ink)
  23. P3 “Red” (ink)
  24. Vallejo Game Color “Bloody Red”
  25. Vallejo Mecha Color “Sand Yellow”
  26. Vallejo Mecha Color “SZ Red”
  27. Vallejo Game Air “Moon Yellow”
  28. Vallejo Mecha Color “Turquoise”
  29. Vallejo Model Air “Silver”
  30. Army Painter “Light Tone” (wash)
  31. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  32. Army Painter “Mid Brown” (wash)

Mark’s Aztec Building Challenge Contest

Welcome to Mark’s Building Challenge Contest – a FREE chance for you (with no work at all except to follow my blog and guess correctly) to join me on the next leg of my Spanish Conquest journey for my 16th Century game supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” . Actually, as my supplement covers pre-Spanish contact, it really is a focus on Mesoamerica and South America.

The upside for you? Well, besides getting to be a follower of my blog – which I (somewhat humbly) hope is a bonus in and of itself – you will have a chance to win – yes WIN – some free stuff (miniatures or a game – see below)! This is my second giveaway contest – the first was well-received and you can see the winners here. As before, followers of this blog (either email OR WordPress) are eligible).

The upside for me is that I will get a bit more motivation to get these buildings done – and hopefully done well for the tabletop and to pass your scrutiny. Plus it will be fun. I’m hoping that I will (and many others) be able to soon get what the Brits are calling “the jab” and return to more gaming. Having these buildings done would be the icing on the cake. I also would be able to find new homes for the prizes, which are indeed nice (ask last contests’ winners Pete, Mike, and Leif).

As for this contest – read on!

Just like before, I thought this would be another way to get you involved on this project other than just reading this blog. You get to compete and guess the date that I’ll actually finish the buildings!

I am writing this on March 23rd, 2021. I have not done ANYTHING with this stuff except to take the photos of them. I’ll need to wash and assemble and paint and base and anything else I feel is needed for this stuff. My experience working with resin is ok – see here, here, and here. My experience with MDF is much less – see here. I expect to start work TODAY, March 23rd, 2021 .

How long will this take – YOU get to guess.

My goal is to have some fun, and reward my followers and share some stuff that I enjoy. Secondly, it’s to get more followers and to grow the community. Thirdly, it’s to have fun (yes that’s fun twice). I do not currently monetize my blog, and I’m not looking to anytime soon by the way. Here are the rules – please note the underlined parts:

Rules of Mark’s Aztec Building Challenge Contest:


  1. You must be an email or WordPress follower of my blog.
  2. You must pick a date (day, month, and year) that I will finish all of the Aztec Buildings shown here in this post.  Finishing means, to me, that I am ready for the figures to be shown on my blog and used in a game.  That is my call!
  3. You must let me know that you want in on the contest by midnight EDT (US East Coast time) on April 10th, 2021.  You do this by posting a comment that “you are in” here on this blog post in the comments section with the date information requested above in (2).
  4. Only one entry allowed per follower except as described in (5) below.
  5. If you get another person to follow my blog, you can earn another entry!  For each new follower that credits you as a referrer, you can get another entry.  All that person needs to do is comment on this post as in (3) above stating that he or she is “in” and who the referrer is.  The referrer can then reply to that comment with an additional entry date.
  6. Winners will be whoever is closest to the date I announce as the “completion date”.  That can be earlier or later – for example picking a date that is one day before is as good as if it’s one day after.  As there are multiple prizes, 1st place gets first choice, then 2nd, then third – and this time there is a 4th place! (Yes, I’m generous, eh?)   If two people pick the same date, which is possible and allowed, ties will be broken by who submitted the date first.  I reserve the right to add more prizes! 
  7. I also reserve the right to be the final judge on the contest – somebody’s gotta do that. When I finish, I will announce the winners.

So as for prizes, they will include metal miniatures, plus a brand-new shrink-wrapped unopened game is available that I will never get my wife to play – so it needs a new home. The minis are all vintage lead – and in original packaging. Great stuff I love but may not be able to paint soon – and they also deserve a home. First place gets first choice, and so on. And I will pay to ship them to the winners (including the US, UK, Australia – as long as I don’t need to hit the lottery for shipping)! So here are the current four prizes (and I may add more):

A three blister prize! Ral Partha 42-301 Aztec Generals, 42-305 Aztec Arrow Knights, and 42-309 Aztec Warriors w/Long Thrusting Spears (really tepoztopilli). 18 figures in total. All are unopened from the 1980’s. Works for 25mm or 28mm scale games.
A two blister prize! Ral Partha 42-309 Aztec Warriors w/Long Thrusting Spears (really tepoztopilli) and 42-308 Aztec Warriors w/Darts & Light Spears (really atlatl) . 12 figures total. Both are unopened from the 1980’s. Works for 25mm or 28mm scale games.
A two blister prize! Ral Partha 02-212 Savages: Bowmen (2 blisters – 12 figures total). Both are unopened from the 1990’s or early 2000’s. Works for 25mm or 28mm scale games.

Again, depending on participation and interest – I may add more. Hell, even if you win and don’t have a plan for them, these could be used as trade, or you could just tell me that “victory is enough” for you and to reward the next player or whatever you desire.

Your next questions should be – “what exactly is Mark trying to build and paint here?” and “how fast is he?”. For the second question, just check out my pages that show my previous projects. For example, 2021 is here,  2020 is here, and 2019 is here, but I list all my projects from 2016 onward under the “Miniatures and Projects” dropdown. This menu lets me track all I have done – and how, and can give you an idea.

Back to the contest. Here are the Aztec buildings (with links in the captions) of this next quest and this contest below. They are all scaled for 28mm. The resin buildings are from Acheson Creations, and there are 6 of them plus a group of scatter terrain that Acheson nicely threw in with my order. The MDF structures are creations from Things from the Basement creations via 4Ground via Badger Games. There are 7 kits of MDF.

Aztec peasant/farmers house
Aztec Noble’s house
Maize Storage Structure
Huaxtec House
Aztec Stone House
Cuezcomatl Granary Structure
This group includes several pieces of some scatter terrain that Acheson nicely threw in with my order (thank you!). I will include this as a part of the contest. There is also an African mask that I won’t include, but will likely paint for fun.
Two kits of “4 Temple Columns
Two kits of “Temple Corner Wall
One “Temple Sentinel Tower
One “Temple Sacrificial Altar
One “Temple High Throne

So, for now that’s the contest. I hope that you will enter and wish you the best of luck! Referrers are always welcome – just need to follow the rules and importantly be one of my blog followers – like the rules said!

For full disclosure, I have conferred with TIM on the resin and the MDF – and he gave me a few helpful pointers. He also pointed me in the direction of a nice Sarissa book on MDF that is very helpful. I’m sure he will join in the contest but that might change the dates you pick – or not -it’s up to you!

Stay tuned for updates as I finish pieces of this project – and I really hope that you find this fun. As I have been doing, I’ll leave a synopsis as usual like below. Stay safe and enter in the comments section!!

Miscellaneous details and references for those interested in that sort of thing:

Previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide”

  1. Mark’s Aztec Building Challenge Contest (this post)
  2. Game Aids and Tools for Feudal Patrol games using the Civilizations Collide Supplement
  3. And the Winners of “Mark’s Conquistador Contest” are…
  4. Conquistador Cavalry. 24 figures total: Outpost Wargame Services #CON5 “Conquistador Cavalry in light armour 1” (4 horses & 4 riders); Outpost Wargame Services #CON6 “Conquistador Cavalry in full armour” (4 horses & 4 riders); Eureka Miniatures “Moving Horses” #100ANM05 (8 horses used as casualty markers).
  5. Conquistador Falconet and Crew (Artillery). 3 figures total: Outpost Wargame Services #CONA1 “Falconet and Crew”.
  6. More Conquistador Sword and Buckler Men. 8 figures total Outpost Wargame Services #CON001 “Sword and Buckler Men”.
  7. Conquistador Sword and Buckler Men (Wargames Foundry). 18 figures total in three blister packs: Wargames Foundry #SB015 “Swaggering Swordsmen”, #SB016 “Brutal Sword and Buckler Men”, and #SB017 “Bold Bladesmen”.
  8. Perro de Guerra (Conquistador War Dogs). 13 figures total: Outpost Wargames Services #CONS6 “War Dogs” (8 war dogs); Eureka #100CON13 “Dog Handler and Dogs” (1 dog handler/pikeman and 4 war dogs)
  9. Conquistador Foot Command, Crossbowmen, and a Couple of Officers. 11 figures total: Outpost Wargames Services #CONC1 “Conquistador Foot Command” (a leader, a banner bearer, a drummer, and a bugler); Eureka #100CON04 “Crossbowmen” (5 crossbowmen); and Eureka CONC1 “Conquistador Officer” and an unknown SKU officer (2 officers)
  10. Merciless Adventurers (this post) – Wargames Foundry #SB014 (6 Conquistadores with arquebuses)
  11. Audacious Arquebusiers! – Wargames Foundry #SB012 (6 Conquistadores with arquebuses)
  12. Mark’s Conquistador Contest – for my loyal blog followers!
  13. Montezuma and Chieftains – Wargames Foundry #AZ011 for Feudal Patrol – 6 Aztec figures (Montezuma, 4 Chieftains, 1 Warrior Priest)
  14. Aztec Shock Troops – Cuachic Warriors aka The Shorn Ones – 8 Aztec cuachicqueh warriors
  15. Tloxtoxl and the Priests of the Great Temple, Wargames Foundry AZ021 – 2 warrior priests, 1 priestess, 1 priest, 1 leader, and 1 signaler
  16. Civilizations Collide – The Wars of the Aztecs, the Inca, the Maya, and the Conquistadores is now available as a FREE Download for Feudal Patrol™ – plus a Feudal Patrol™ review!
  17. 18 Aztec Novice Warriors for Feudal Patrol Walk into a Bar – 18 Novice Warriors
  18. Aztec Warrior Priests (painted as Tlaxcalans), Ral Partha 42-302, circa 1988 (this post) – 6 figures – 6 Tlaxcalan Warrior Priests
  19. Tlaxcalan Novices, Elite Warriors, and Command Group – 18 figures – 8 Novice Tlaxcalan Warriors, 8 Elite Tlaxcalan Warriors, 1 Tlaxcalan Captain, 1 Tlaxcalan Conch Blower
  20. Tlaxcalan Archers – 8 Veteran Tlaxcalan Archers
  21. Aztec Game for Feudal Patrol across thousands of miles – via Zoom!
  22. Aztec Snake Woman and Drummer – 1 Aztec General, 1 Aztec Drummer
  23. A June and July Jaguar Warrior Frenzy (plus some Aztec Veterans and a Warrior Priest to Boot) – 3 Aztec Veteran Warriors, 17 Jaguar Warriors, 1 Aztec Warrior Priest
  24. Doubling Down – Aztec Veteran Warriors – 24 Aztec Veteran Warriors
  25. Aztec Arrow Knights, Ral Partha circa 1988 – 6 Aztec Arrow Knights
  26. Aztec Eagle Warriors from Tin Soldier UK – 6 Aztec Eagle Knights
  27. Aztec Novice Warriors and a few Frinx – 12 Novice Warriors

And for my blog buddy IRO, as it’s still March, here’s another t-shirt shot – well it’s still cold, so he gets a sweatshirt shot. It’s a Massachusetts outline with a Boston Bruins logo in different colors. Normally the Bruins (my favorite hockey team) colors are Black and Gold, but my lovely wife wanted me to have something other than those colors – so Red White and Blue are ok too!!

For IRO!