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potter

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Dec 4 12 3:07 PM

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Ok, I need some advice from the big boys here....

As some of you may know I am currently unable to paint, glue, make or do anything modelling or wargaming related at all for the short term future.

No, I'm not in gaol (jail). It's worse, I'm stuck at the other halfs parents whilst we find somewhere new to live back down in Devon even though me and the better half are Northern Monkies.

Now the present situation should be short term, but it's doing my head in. Don't get me wrong, I like the in-laws and we appreciate what they've done, but I don't half miss having my man cave, or even just a dining table with paints, figs, glue and all my tools handy. Me so sad (as in bored and unhappy...ok and 'sad' as well ).

Whilst I am on this unwiling hiatus, I have been formulating new projects, including a generic town/mixed necropolis type thing for wholesome 28mm gaming. This includes a system of corridors/rooms for spaceship battles, underground military bases, etc.

It is probably the latter I will (eventually) get started on first.

I have however also found out it's A LOT cheaper making your own gear than buying it. Don't get me wrong the stuff out there is sublime and I can genuinely attest about the quality of some of the manufacturers out there as I have collected lots of mixed houses, scenery etc over the years. But by heck, some of it, well it's pricey.

My stuff, will never look as good as bought gear. Simple as. It will never look as good as Matashiki's gear, Hell, I don't mind a lot of his stuff is the benchmark. Whatever I do make will be fun however, and simple and have multiple uses (firewood possibly being one of them).

I've made stuff before, houses, rooms etc and they've been fine. I've even made a very large dolls house as a present for a family member and it really was very special and I was quite proud of it. Admitedly the latter was from a basic kit, but the basement and attic were homemade and really fitted seamlessly in.

I digress.

I'm not going to be using foamcard. It's cheap, lightweight etc, but I'm not keen on the way it takes paint or how expensive it can be buying it over the counter for what it is. I am also worried about it's 'crushability'. Probably not necessary, but with two small neices around an awful lot, it may end up as 'Dolly Town'.

Thick Cork tiles are cheap and easy, but it's smooth walls I need, so not quite the right finish.

Plastic/perspex is out of question.

I love Hirst Arts but it's not quite what I'm after, weighs a lot, would take forever to cast and I only have some of the fantasy molds. No Sci-Fi styles sadly.

It looks like 3mm MDF/Hardboard floors, with 2mm walls. It's cheap and robust and readily available. No roof system, just possibly plain MDF to hide whats lurking in the rooms for PC's.

I have the hand tools, but few (small enough) power tools. I have an regular dremel which is handy, sander, glue gun etc (got to be masked up if using MDF etc) but nothing to use as a router should I need it for possible joints. I could just glue and tack the walls to floors, but I am concerned about long term rigidity without a tab and slot system. All the other bought kits I have made with MDF have incorporated this system. For the dolls house I borrowed a friends router, but that was a larger scale with thicker materials.

Friends have recommended stuff from DIY shops own brands (not like I'm using it everyday for commercial purposes so don't need Makita or Hilti) to the Proxxon range which looks out of this world and is UK based, but can I justify the prices for what I'm doing?

Also, to paint it all I need a decent air brush set up. My own is not up to large jobs and will cost a bomb using cannisters. I could just buy cheap tins of emulsion, but it will end up looking 'painted in large brushstrokes by a spider monkey'. Again friends in the know have their own favourites, Badger is recommended, as is the Revell Master series, but the prices....well my other half would have the screaming habdabs...

I have seen cheaper sets with a compressor and two airbrushes on Amazon, and am tempted but mixed reviews have me gun shy.

The 'Bunker/Starship/underground complex' will be moduler. The seperate corridors and rooms. Basic paint jobs for the most part for now. Uniform grey outside walls, lighter corridors, and med rooms/labs.

The best example of what I am aiming for is the Game Craft Spaceship system. I may even get a couple of sets of the cheaper end stuff as 'not-templates'...ahem. I know mine will not reach the professional end or become a business so I'm not worried about that, but I do want straight edges and crisp corners.

Lots of mixed length corridors, box rooms, bulk heads, some unique rooms, wards, armoury, hospital, lab, brig and kitchen but they will get the attention when they come along. Plus there's loads of accessories to be had in web land for such rooms, some of which are excellent and not too expensive.

The whole project I'd like to be able to do relatively inexpensively, but I know it won't be that cheap. It doesn't have to be mega bucks, and I can take as long as I want with it and will be a labour of love but then thats this hobby and our projects all over.

Trying to run before I can walk maybe, ambitious, you got it, realistic? May be..

So, advice please. Recommendations, advice and tips all very welcome. What tools and experiences people have had whilst trying similar stuff.

Thanks



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#2 [url]

Dec 4 12 5:17 PM

I suggest trying a library.....the old fashioned kind and or on-line. Then, most/some hobby shops have how to make it magazines/books.

Practice makes perfect when it comes to learning how to make/create buildings/terrain you want to have/use.

I am therefore I think....OR....I think therefore I am...OR...I think I am therefore I am!!

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bryon31

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#3 [url]

Dec 5 12 5:49 AM

I've never done anything quite so elaborate.  I made my own dungeon tile set.  I used 5mm mdf because it was nice and thick.  I cut it out into the desired sizes.  4x4, 8x3, 8x8, etc.   Then I applied self-adhesive linoleum tiles to the mdf.  I thin used my saw to score the linoleum to create the 1in squares. Painting was easy, just black primer with some grey dry brushing.  Not perfect but sturdy and makes for easy and quick dungeon building when playing an impromptu game of D&D. 
 
Cost:
 
The MDF was approx. $6  for a 4x2 slab.
The Linoleum was $1 per square foot so 8.
Paint I already had but maybe $5  ($4 for spray primer, $1 for craft paint)

The project was relatively quick.  About 6 hours total work over two days.

P.S.  I don't know if you have any kids,  but mine made excelent drybrushers.  So my little selfish dungeon project became a family activity.  Also my younger daughters love to play with the tiles, and because they are so heavy duty I don't worry much about it.

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#4 [url]

Dec 6 12 7:36 AM

It may not be available in the UK yet, but the dremmel does have a new router device. If you're working with lighter material this should work.

I saw recently someone used the rubber utility mats (The ones that look like puzzle pieces) for a base of their playing surface and then rolled out a battle mat that they painted on canvass. They then attached pins to the bottoms of their terrain objects and used them to hold down the mat itself.

That idea wasn't exactly what I was looking for myself, so I used some 1'x1' wooden panels and glued grass mats to the surface. This way I can stack these when they're not in use.

As for walls and such, bluefoam insulation work really well, but I'm not sure it would be durable enough for occasional use by the wee folk.

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jack

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#5 [url]

Dec 7 12 1:19 AM

Bryon31,
My hats off to ya. Thats a very ambitious and impressive project you have under taken. Granted not "factory perfect", however I have little doubt the finished results were Most Impressive and I for one would really like to see a pic or two if you could.
 

"You see old friend, I brought more soldiers than you did." 'King Leonidas - 300'

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potter

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#7 [url]

Dec 8 12 5:54 AM

Me too-Needing the inspiration here Bryon even if mines not scheduled until far in the future ;)

Is there anything you can't combine with the Persian figs?

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bryon31

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#8 [url]

Dec 9 12 11:12 AM

Not sure I'd call it inspirational but here you go.
Dungeon set up for a game with my son and nephew.
From a different angle.
My sons Wizard  Zurn blasting some Bugbears
Brock, my nephews paladin is keeping the wizard safe.
My bugbears.  GW Orc bodies with 5th Edition Goblin heads and tomb kings shields.  Scratch build helmet on the right and my poor excuse for greenstuff hair on the left.
The bases are not done... I know some of you were wondering.  

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#10 [url]

Dec 9 12 12:01 PM

Kindacool D&D with real figures as opposed to imagined ones,very slick.

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jack

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#11 [url]

Dec 9 12 1:30 PM

Wow, the memories of D&D games past! Thanks for posting! I enjoyed it!

-macasm

  Many thanks Bryon31.. looks like it was a simple but fun game, the best kind.
What 'terrain system' were you using? Is that.. Dwarven Forge? I believe they were the company that came out with a terrific Dungeon and also a Cavern set.
Not shabby by any means, bit pricey (a lot for me lol) but I'd say "well worth it", and w/ the expansion sets, i.e. halls, walls & wells Oh My! (sorry couldnt resist that), devil it was potentially unlimited in size. 
Just thinking of WF's Orcs and DWARVEs fighting there way through the caverns. Man Im really wishing I had them now.

"You see old friend, I brought more soldiers than you did." 'King Leonidas - 300'

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potter

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#12 [url]

Dec 9 12 2:37 PM

Man thats just perfect and so good to see those figs-Cheers buddy and well done-Great stuff

Is there anything you can't combine with the Persian figs?

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bryon31

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#13 [url]

Dec 10 12 6:10 AM


My hats off to ya. Thats a very ambitious and impressive project you have under taken. Granted not "factory perfect", however I have little doubt the finished results were Most Impressive and I for one would really like to see a pic or two if you could.

-jack




What 'terrain system' were you using? Is that.. Dwarven Forge? I believe they were the company that came out with a terrific Dungeon and also a Cavern set.

-jack



Jack I think you’re getting forgetful.  You ask me to post some pictures of my home made dungeon set.  Then after I post them you ask if they are Dwarven Forge.   I must admit I’m flattered.  I really like the Dwarven forge stuff. 

To date I’ve only made the floor tiles. I Haven’t made any walls or doors yet the latter will be my next project as I already have the balsa wood ready to go just haven’t gotten started. I use some “Wizards Chess” set pieces from the Harry Potter game as statuary; they really look quite nice on the table.  I have some cake decoration Greco-Roman columns I use for pillars but that’s about the extent of it so far. 

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jack

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#14 [url]

Dec 10 12 7:01 AM

Jack I think you’re getting forgetful.

Ha ha..  the jokes on you my friend.. for I AM..."Forgetful" in carnate! (really dramatic music here) 

You ask me to post some pictures of my home made dungeon set.  Then after I post them you ask if they are Dwarven Forge.   I must admit I’m flattered.  I really like the Dwarven forge stuff.

Hmm I expected something along the lines of.."hey very nice work etc."  Not, Wow..then find myself wondering, "where did you buy the really cool dungen tiles." finished look from a 'home' poject.
And love the idea of using the "Wizards Chess" pieces for terrain. I've heard others say they too have used cake decorations for the columns. One fellow, sometime ago used them to recreate a smaller version the cave's of "Moria", from the 'Fellowship of the Ring' and they too looked really good after a few finishing touches.

"You see old friend, I brought more soldiers than you did." 'King Leonidas - 300'

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potter

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#15 [url]

Dec 10 12 7:44 AM

Jack-I've used cake columns before (in the old days before resin ones were so plentiful) and they work a treat, are/were cheap and take paint very well.

Word to the wise however, don't use the plastic ones if purchasing from a craft/cake shop, stick with plaster 

Is there anything you can't combine with the Persian figs?

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bryon31

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#16 [url]

Dec 10 12 9:42 AM

Dag nab it,  I have the plastic ones.  I've never seen them in plaster.  This pic has one of the "wizards chess" statues in the background.  My son doesn't trust the knigt pieces.  They more often than not come to life as a "trap" of sorts.  This one, however, was not and he avoided it like the plague just the same.  I so love the messing with minds I get to do as a DM.



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jack

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#17 [url]

Dec 10 12 10:23 AM

Jack -I've used cake columns before (in the old days before resin ones were so plentiful) and they work a treat, are/were cheap and take paint very well.
Word to the wise however, don't use the plastic ones if purchasing from a craft/cake shop, stick with plaster -potter


Resin bad.. me no like resin, resin roll off table or me drop and make jack go "SON OF  A  @#$&@$! "
I mean resin is not the best choice devil ..it weighs more also.


I agree Potter, when ever possible avoid any kind of specialty shops. The magic word is "Dollar Store" or something like it in your respective areas.
2nd I look in the baking / craft sections of your BIG chain dept. stores.
3rd 'maybe' check the Party shops, yea kind of a specialty shop, so beware, OR... 
Just go straight to the Hobby / Craft store and buy a wood dowl rod, paint that puppy grey and call it a column.

"You see old friend, I brought more soldiers than you did." 'King Leonidas - 300'

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potter

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#19 [url]

Dec 11 12 6:22 AM

I recommend the plaster ones purely as they're easier to distress...i.e with a steel rule and small hammer...

Jack-Resin makes me cry too and sad and costs mucho dinero

Is there anything you can't combine with the Persian figs?

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bryon31

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#20 [url]

Dec 11 12 9:24 AM

That makes sense.  I think I will try and create a mold of the plastic ones I have and recast them in plaster.  Thanks for the idea, I really wanted to do a "ruined" temple scenery piece but couldn't figure out how to destroy the plastic pillars in a convincing manner.  Now I know. Even if the cast isn't great it's for ruins anyway.  wink

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