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About this mod

Ever notice how the upper and lower sections of the Western Watchtower outside of Whiterun use different textures? This mod fixes the vexing problem of mismatched textures displayed on the meshes comprising the upper and lower portions of the watchtower, thereby increasing your immersion 999%!

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Author: 8hooves


Requirements: Skyrim

Installation | Uninstallation: Standard procedure using your preferred mod manager or manually


This mod fixes the mismatched textures that are displayed on the upper and lower sections of the Western Watchtower between Whiterun and Fort Greymoor. This mismatch is caused by the vanilla game's use of a mesh which displays Imperial fort "ice" textures on the topmost section of the tower, while the lower sections of the fort use meshes which display the standard "no-ice" versions of these Imperial fort textures.

This mod uses only modded vanilla assets and does NOT contain any custom textures created by other authors. Skyland - Imperial Forts and Dungeons Textures was used in several of the screenshots in the Images section to illustrate the fix this mod provides, but no Skyland assets are included herein. This mod will work with any and all textures you choose to use for Imperial forts in your game.

The texture fix effectuated by this mod is very specific and applies only to the Western Watchtower, so you don't have to be concerned that it will cause texture mismatches on any other forts in the game, if they weren't there already.

Western Watchtower Texture Mismatch Fix utilizes no scripts. It is free of errors and has been cleaned with TES5Edit.


The degree to which you notice mismatched textures on the Western Watchtower will depend on which textures you are using in your game. In vanilla Skyrim, the texture inconsistency is very slight, but still apparent if you look closely. With custom texture mods, the difference can range from non-existent to extremely noticeable. With regard to the following mods:

Skyland - Imperial Forts and Dungeons Textures: The variance is high between the standard and ice versions of the Imperial fort textures, which is resolved by this mod.

NobleSkyrimMod HD-2K - Forts: Noble Skyrim uses identical textures for both Imperial fort variants, so there will be no visual difference with this mod enabled.

Langleys Textures Workshop - Dungeons: There's a slight difference in the ice and non-ice versions of the decals that are applied to the fort walls. YMMV.

aMidianBorn Imperial Forts: Slight but noticeable difference in color tone, which is remedied with the fix enabled.


Because distant object LOD meshes all share a single composite texture file containing miniaturized versions of all LOD textures used to render objects when viewed in-game from far away, you may still notice texture discrepancies during "pop-in" as you approach the Western Watchtower from further distances. This will be influenced to a greater or lesser extent by the textures you use for Imperial forts. The more closely your Imperial fort textures resemble vanilla textures, the less apparent this texture pop-in will be. This is unavoidable when using custom textures due to the way in which the Skyrim engine applies its pre-determined miniaturized texture grid to distant object LOD meshes. This minor issue can be fixed, but it requires the creation of custom LOD textures based on the specific Imperial fort textures you use in your game. Due to the permission requirements on this site and the necessity of creating individualized LOD textures for the myriad of texture combinations that may be used in each individual player's game, optimizing consistency between distant object LOD textures and static texture sets is outside of the purview of this mod.

Please refer to the following section and the Readme posted in the DOCS tab for further information on this issue.

DETAILED TECHNICAL EXPLANATION(You can skip this section if you just want to use the mod!)

The Western Watchtower outside of Whiterun uses a model for the upper section of the tower that displays different textures than those displayed on the models comprising the lower portion. Whether this is intentional or was an oversight by Bethesda is open for debate. This mismatch is subtle in vanilla Skyrim, yet can become very pronounced depending on which texture mods you use in your game. Basically, Skyrim uses two types of Imperial Fort models and textures - a standard version and an "Ice" version - which are used to place forts in different areas of the game world. The standard fort models display the standard fort textures, while the "ice" fort models are coded to display the "Ice" versions of the fort textures. In vanilla Skyrim, the standard and ice variants of fort textures differ only slightly, with the standard "no-ice" fort textures showing a more greenish tint, as if moss or lichen were growing on the fort walls, while the "ice" fort variants are more uniformly gray in tone, as if constantly scoured by freezing boreal winds. When using modded textures for the imperial forts, the standard and ice versions of these textures can vary to a greater degree, drawing attention to any resultant mismatch in an un-immersive manner when displayed side by side in-game, as they are on the Western Watchtower.

This mod fixes the problem by creating a new static in the .esp, using impexticetowershellstairs03.nif (the same mesh used for the upper portion of the fort by the vanilla game) as the base model and then retexturing this new static with new texture sets so it matches the no-ice imperial fort textures used by the .nifs comprising the lower half of the tower. The vanilla upper tower static is disabled and the new modded static replaces it. The mod folder also contains a custom LOD mesh for the upper tower, created by copying the vanilla LOD mesh (meshes\LOD\ImperialIce\ImpExtIceTowerShellStairs02_LOD.nif), renaming it as "watchtowerlod.nif", and changing this new LOD mesh's texture paths in NifSkope to utilize the standard, no-ice imperial fort textures. Watchtowerlod.nif is assigned as the LOD for the new static which replaces the upper section of the Western Watchtower.

This mod also contains a replacer mesh created from a copy of the vanilla mesh found in "meshes\terrain\tamriel\objects\ tamriel.4.0.-4.bto". "Tamriel.4.0.-4.bto" is the mesh that is used to render the Western Watchtower from extreme distances in the game world. The vanilla version of this mesh uses one texture for the entire mesh, namely "Textures\Terrain\Tamriel\Objects\Tamriel.Objects.DDS". For the "tamriel.4.0.-4.bto" replacer, however, because of the watchtower texture mismatch in the original game, a custom texture was created that replaces ImperialFortIceLOD with ImperialFortLOD on the texture grid of Tamriel.Objects.DDS. This custom texture was renamed as "" and assigned to the "Tamriel.4.0.-4.bto" replacer mesh using NifSkope. This texture will display ONLY on the modded replacer mesh in this one specific location of the game world, and uses only vanilla texture assets for the purposes of this mod. To create complete texture unity between the distant LOD object for the Western Watchtower and the watchtower as seen at closer proximity for every possible custom texture combination is beyond the scope of this mod, as it would require permission from every author whose custom Imperial fort textures are used in a player's individual mod setup to include their textures in custom-made and textures. The .bto replacer is included in this mod mainly so that interested modders can review the mod structure and create their own LODs with the textures they use in their game, if desired.

For further details on creating custom LOD textures to use in conjunction with this mod and with your game in general, please see the complete Readme posted in the DOCS tab above. A full version of the Readme is also included with the mod download.