Sunday, March 18, 2018

D&D Arena Board 2

This is the second of the two D&D Arena boards I built for the charity event, this one being my suggestion - somehow the word 'lava' popped into my head and I just had to build a lava board. Unfortunately, it didn't see any use in the event as they ran short on time, but it ended up as a prize for one of the winners, so hopefully it will see some use still.

The design considerations were the same as with the previous board, so I ended up with a design that is geometrical and symmetrical. the paths linking the corner islands to the central island are set differently to break up the symmetry a little.

The lava texture was from an image I found on google image, and the "land" texture are once again from Heroic Maps, this time their Volcanic Fields set. The printed maps were glued onto 5mm cork sheets, which are then roughly trimmed, and the exposed edges then painted with a dark brown paint, followed by a dry-brush with a lighter shade of brown.

My original intention was to have the whole board being flat, but some error in the alignment resulted in the central island being too big to fit. I tackled the problem by stacking a smaller cork square under it, thus elevating it a little above the pathways - as it turned out I think this added character to the board.

To prevent characters from having lines-of-sight to each other at the start of the game, I made some rock pillars (from the same 5mm cork sheets) and set them such that when the characters from the same team are placed vertically opposite each other, the characters from opposing teams cannot see each other.

Building these boards had been a fun and educational experience. I had other ideas for arenas, but ultimately the end products had to be something that were visually appealing, yet unambiguous and easy to use, without undue bias to either a melee- or missile-based character.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

D&D Arena Board 1

One of the gamemasters in our local RPG community organised a D&D Arena event for charity, and I volunteered to make a couple of terrain boards for it. After some discussion, we decided on the size and themes for the two boards, the first of which is featured in this post.

The event pit teams of two point-bought 5th level characters against each other. The board needed to be large enough so that characters couldn't get into melee range in just one round, but not so big that it disadvantages melee-based characters excessively. Based on this I recommended a 20 x 20 board, which is a common size used for commercial battle-maps.

For the first board the organiser asked for a ziggurat. Thanks to my experience in building the inverted ziggurat in White Plume Mountain, I knew it was easier to build than it sounded. A trip to the art supplies store got me all the materials I needed: cardboard, 3mm MDF boards, hot glue sticks, glue sticks, and 5mm thick cork boards (for the other board).

I was fortunate to be able to find 12" x 12" MDF boards, which meant that each arena would be based on a set of four boards, which can be taken down for easy storage and transport. It also meant that I could use one of these MDF boards as a base for the ziggurat itself, as cardboard would not be sturdy enough in this role.

As the primary aim of the arena board is for a competitive event, the layout had to be symmetrical to ensure it does not bias against one side or the other, lines of sight had to be unambiguous, and measurement of movement and range had to be easy. With these considerations, I chose to use printed grid maps for texture, such that all movement increments were in 1" (with the exception of the steps on the ziggurat).

The maps used were all from Heroic Maps, with their river set providing the field and the moat, and their Ancient Dungeon set providing the stone pattern for the ziggurat. Despite being designed for use as a 2D terrain map, the stone pattern worked well for a 3D structure, and allowed me to "wrap around" the corners of the ziggurat, giving it a more natural look.

I am not sure whether this set-up favours a melee-based character or a missile-based character, but I will be attending the event to see how the players deal with its challenge.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Tehnolog Orc painted as Magnamund Ogron

This is one of the four Tehnolog 54mm orcs that I got quite a while back. I reckoned they area good size for ogres next to 28mm scale figures, but I don't have an army that had ogres, so they remained unpainted. Then one of the adventures in my Lone Wolf campaign took my players to the Stornlands, where the Magnamund version of ogre - the ogron - commonly serve as mercenary troops.

The ogron is described as being around 9-foot tall, and have blue skin. The inspiration for the colour scheme comes from the ogron as depicted on the cover of the Magnamund Bestiary, and also an illustration of the same ogron inisde.

I tried a new technique on the shoulder plates to duplicate the appearance of worn metal shown in the illustration, and was quite happy with the result.

You can see all the four orc figures that came in the Tehnolog box in the picture below, and you can easily find a seller for them on ebay.

They can each fit onto a 40mm square base if you angle their front a little, but it will take some planning to make them rank up if you plan to put the bases side-by-side in a unit.

The final photo shows a size comparison against a Reaper 28mm figure.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Wargames Factory Woodland Indians with Mad Robot Miniatures conversion bits

Here are the three Wargames Factory Woodland Indians figures with weapon arms from Mad Robot Miniatures I painted last weekend.

As you can see, the arms are a little large for the torsos - and this is even after I have shaved them down considerably, but I think over all they still look ok for the tabletop.

They are based on the same Mirco Art Studios resin bases I used for the rest of the gang - this resulted in some odd poses, but as fg and I plan to use them for Necromunda, which features a lot of elevation, this may work out afetr all.

The final photo shows them alongside the rest of the gang. Their heads are noticeably smaller than those of the metal figures, but their futuristic-looking weapons help them blend into the look.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Mad Robot Miniatures Heavy Weapon Team Done

I managed to complete the Mad Robot Miniatures Heavy Weapon Team over the past few days. The miniatures are from Mad Robot Miniatures, and the mortar, sandbag, shovel, and the mortar bomb in the hands of the crewman are from GW 40K.

The figures were fun to paint - and there is simply something about heavy weapon teams that just says "Imperial Guards".

The final photo shows the mortar team alongside the Warzone trenchers. Nothing on the figures from the two ranges themselves is exactly identical, but I think the identical colour scheme ties them together.

I am now tempted to buy figures and bits to build a squad of Rough Riders modeled after WW1 British cavalry, but the cost is likely to run to US$100 for six mounted figures. Perhaps I will wait for a sale...

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Mad Robot Miniatures Heavy Weapon Team

I've been looking for a mortar team for my Warzone Imperials force for a while, but I haven't been able to find something that will match the look without some expensive and laborious head swap.

Then while looking for arms (as in upper limbs) and weapons to go with the Wargames Factory Woodland Indians to convert them into post-apocalyptic gangers (more on that in another post), I found Mad Robot Miniatures, which had the arms I needed, and indeed a whole customisable sci-fi miniatures range. I decided to get a 3-man crew since I was paying all that postage anyway, and the result is what you see above.

They unfortunately do not have a mortar, so I had to find and buy a 40K Imperial Guard mortar from ebay (and since I was paying postage I bought some other bits too, including the sandbags you see on the base).

The uniforms are not an exact match to the Warzone trenchers, as you can see below, but maybe infantrymen had a different uniform from men from the support company. Maybe.

The final picture shows how well the mortar bomb from 40K fits into the hands of the Mad Robot crewman. Over all, I am quite happy with my buy.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

War & Empire III Kickstarter

West Wind Productions has just started their kickstarter for their range of 15mm figures, and it funded in just 41 minutes.

I have bought a couple packs of their Successor infantry and cavalry, and liked them enough, so when I found that they will be releasing Late Romans this time round, I decided to back the project and give our Roman-Sassanid project another boost.

I am backing the King level together with Martin (who is looking to get a couple packs of Palmyrans), which will give me enough figures for three double-units of spears supported by archers, and two units of javelin-armed auxilia. That's 144 figurines to paint, not counting the free figures that will come with the stretch goals.

If you are looking for a new project for next year - the shipping date is given as December 2018 - then you may want to head over and have a look.