Archive for November, 2010

Wanna see my progress?

November 29th, 2010 No comments

Yay pics!

Looks like I have all the wall segments assembled but not attached to floors, since I’m now limited by the number of floor tiles that I have at the moment. I’m casting quickly but I’m still not nearly close enough. My friend is still casting for me and between the two of us I’ll get to the number of tiles needed in good time.

I only have 2 more doors to make, which means 4 casts and then that mold can be taken out of the rotation. I was only casting the door and a finial for future use.

I’m finished casting the A&K floor tiles since I’ve built the floors I’m going to build with them. At least I think I am. I have 3 of the 6 small room floors built from them and I may make 1 of the large room floors with some of them but I have enough cast for that. I haven’t matched them up as well as I would have liked but they’re more than good enough for this game board.

But I digress. You wanted to see pictures!

Sorry – I just have the one. But you can see the solid block of wall segments and it is solid. Tucked next to them on the right are the completely finished wall segments. They’re on their floor tiles and have been sanded (as needed) to be flush. Seems like the new walls fit better for some reason. The last dozen I assembled don’t seem like they’re going to need sanding. I like that.

I’m not worried about putting the corner sections on floor tiles just yet. There’s so many more walls than corners I’m working on getting those done faster. I’ll take a break and assemble corners when I get an influx of floor tiles.

Good planning means that I can assemble the floor tiles in pairs since everything is built off of those components. So lots of making two tile segments but they’re easy and should make for consistent larger builds.

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It’s getting there

November 27th, 2010 No comments

40 casts later and I think I’m good for the walls. I didn’t take into account the 2″ brick block (say that three times fast) which I can use instead of 2 1″ bricks so that means I really need fewer of the 1″ than listed. Then when building I found out that the 1/2″ bricks are a bottleneck but I can build the same size wall using 1″ bricks and that actually matches up the style with the corners so it looks good. Thereby using up the “extra” 1″ bricks I cast.

Confusing, isn’t it?

Yesterday I was able to build using the bricks I cast on Wednesday. I’m letting them dry for 2 days before using them. And since these are small and simple pieces I was able to build and let set during each cast. I used up everything I cast on Wednesday into everything I could build. So I’ve got a huge stack of walls waiting for floors.

I’m down to casting floors and individual pieces needed to make doorways and corners. A friend of mine is selling one of the out-of-production Hirst molds that makes nothing but the 3/4″ brick and I told him I’d buy it. Very special use but now that I’ve found a way to use that brick and there’s an advanced version of this game I know I’ll be building onto the set I have. So it’s a good investment all around. And it’s out of production so it’s one of those ‘get it while you can’ things.

I’m also finishing up my basic arena build. I have the 2 most complex pieces in construction and will work on the other 8 pieces while building the game board. Most of it is simple wall building, just larger and with a few decorative bits. Once the arena is done I’ll paint it and all the finished game board pieces. I get my paint mixed up in quarts so I know everything will match. Then I can smile and show that I’ve made progress. And if I’m smart enough I’ll also have a few floors done so I can do the fancy painting in good time.

Oh yeah. And I have to paint up the miniatures too.

DungeonBash Board Info

November 25th, 2010 No comments

I’m running several sessions of the miniatures game DungeonBash at GenghisCon in February. I decided that a Hirst board would look way better than the cardstock tiles provided with the game. Perhaps I need therapy.

The (sadly defunct, it seems) game is a randomly generated dungeon built on-the-fly as are the encounters. This means I need to build enough pieces to cover every configuration possible, using every section. I know I’ll have more than I need in the game but better too many than not enough. The sections themselves are pretty small. Walls are 2 tiles, 2 levels high. Corners are 3 tiles, 2 levels high. I finally sat down and figured out just how many of each I needed. Turns out I need 157 wall sections and 72 corner sections. And 23 doorways with doors. Doorways are 2 tiles wide and each door needs to be cast twice to make them double sided. So 46 door casts.

The floor tiles are actually twice what I thought I would need because I forgot to add the wall, corner and doorway bases into the mix. So instead of 60 casts of the floor tile mold I need 120. 10 tiles per cast – 1,185 floor tiles in all. That’s not including the fancy bits to fill the room tiles. Since I’m making each one different I’m casting them myself but I still need 340 tiles of some sort to make the rooms.

Floor tile total – 1,525.

Walls are 2 rows high. Each wall needs 3 1″ blocks and 2 1/2″ blocks. 471 1″ blocks. 314 1/2″ blocks. Luckily there’s a piece on a couple of molds that’s 2 1″ blocks in a single cast but I’ll be mixing them. I could have made a custom mold and made each wall a single cast but that would actually have been more casting. I don’t mind building.

Let’s continue.

Corners are 2 rows high. Each corner needs 3 1″ blocks and 4 3/4″ blocks. 216 1″ blocks. 288 3/4″ blocks. The 3/4″ blocks will be the ones I need to cast more since there’s fewer on the molds.

687 1″ blocks. 314 1/2″ blocks. 288 3/4″ blocks.

Doorways use separate types of blocks and while I have a custom mold to cast the uprights in one piece (each cast of the mold makes the base doorway) it’s currently AWOL. Now that I know how many I need I’ll take a little more time to look for it. Otherwise it’s 6 pieces per upright, 2 pieces per arch. And I haven’t decided on the finishing detail for the tops of the doorways so I don’t know what I need there.


If I use all the molds that just make the basic blocks I get:

  • 17 1″ blocks per cast. 41 casts
  • 3 3/4″ blocks per cast. 96 casts
  • 9 1/2″ blocks per cast. 35 casts

Yes. 96 casts to get the necessary blocks for the corners. Luckily I can cast just those blocks when I move into casting floors and other bits. Just because a block is on the mold doesn’t mean I have to cast it. Only counting what I have completed I still have 600 1″ blocks (36 casts), 268 3/4″ blocks (90 casts), 266 1/2″ blocks (30 casts).

Making this kind of game board takes a lot of patience and a LOT of casting. I did a bunch yesterday, probably 12 casts. That doesn’t sound like a lot but if I keep up that pace the 1″ and 1/2″ blocks will be done in 2 more sessions. The 3/4″ ones in about 8 more. But I still have a lot of floor tiles to cast and once I get the basics done for this board I can work on pieces for my arena and another project as well. So a little more than a week of casting left to get what I need and I’ll be building at the same time.

Again, this is why doing up totals makes me sad. But it gives me a constantly reducing number of blocks to cast and that shows progress.

The pieces themselves aren’t very exciting but once I get enough to make a small example I’ll post a picture. They won’t be painted but you can see what it looks like.

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Impatience is NOT a virtue

November 24th, 2010 2 comments

I thought I learned my lesson about slowing down and doing Hirst builds clean and correct. Of course I forgot that.

My decorative floor inserts aren’t squarely aligned. That’s my own fault for trying to do the entire floor build at once. So I took them apart, will sand off the glue, and then assemble them in the much slower but much more accurate way. What’s that way? Doing this row by row so I can confirm that they’re square before putting them together. That and using the absolute minimum amount of glue since they’re going to be attached to 2mm foam and will have support.

Yes, this is much slower than just putting together the whole floor but what’s the point if the decorations don’t line up?

The floors I’m building now are being assembled in that method. Even though a 3 tile segment isn’t quite square. I need to examine it and see if it’s off kilter enough to A) be a problem and B) bother me. If either of those apply I break it apart and do the same darn thing. I have time to do this right.

On a positive note it turns out a custom mold I made lets me make the doorframes in many fewer casts with little assembly. I had 7 sets cast up and while I can’t find the mold right now between those and building the others I may have enough for all the doorframes! Once I know for certain how many I need. This game board is difficult to plan.

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November 22nd, 2010 No comments

He’s actually part of my elf army. If he’s not immediately killed he’s got some cool special abilities. When I play, he tends to get immediately killed.

Reaper 14457 – Silvermaine

He’s been converted by the sculptor to be anatomically correct and there’s a whole story to go with that.

The colors match my army colors and even though it’s difficult to see his eyes are painted in gem fashion to match the coordinating color I used for the entire army. His horn is highlighted the same way. Kind of a nice change from the white/grey typically seen on unicorn minis I think.

Monstrous spider – with freehand!

November 14th, 2010 1 comment

I’m working on improving my extremely poor freehand skills. Hence the use of the phrase ‘the F word’ when I refer to freehand. But if I ever want to get better I need to keep trying.

I need 2 monstrous spiders for a game I’m setting up and here’s the first one, painted to tabletop quality.

Monstrous spider with blue markings

Monstrous spider with blue markings looking at ya

He’s not based yet. I attached him to a spare Hirst custom block so I could paint him without continually rubbing off the paint. I’ll base him and the other one at the same time. Next one gets red markings!

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Mini progress. Well, proto-progress

November 10th, 2010 No comments

I call it “proto-progress” because I haven’t actually put a brush to a mini. But they’re on deck for painting.

8 skellies on sticks, based and primed.
2 large spiders on wires, primed.
6 elves (to be painted as drow) prepped and based

There’s some other monsters that are prepped and based but I can’t remember exactly what they are in the game. I could probably look them up but I’ll just note there’s 2 of one thing, 2 of another (think that is a partial group) and 4 of one other thing (I think that’s a partial group too).

I’m working on matching up the minis with the monster list to know what the heck I’m painting and so I can mark off progress as I paint them. Luckily they’re monsters and don’t need the full detail painting.

And for whatever reason I don’t know if I bought the character minis or not. I need to dig through the boxes I brought back from ReaperCon to make sure they’re not hiding in there. I wasn’t that organized when I made the list and bought the minis.

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Some DungeonBash in process shots

November 8th, 2010 No comments

I don’t *need* this until the convention in February so I’m finally being kind of responsible and not rushing at the end.  I planned it using Sketchup and need to tweak the ‘official’ pieces to match adding in wall segments.  That’s easy.  A few sections need to be enlarged a bit to accommodate the walls and corners.  It won’t matter in game play so I’m not worried.  That and that DungeonBash seems to be a dead game since the publisher isn’t available any more.  Sad.  I would have liked to have shown him the game board.

Yep.  I use my off-brand Legos from when I was a kid as building frames.  Still playing with toys.  There’s a couple of gothic arena pieces tucked in this construction set.

Here’s a nice stack of wall and corner sections.  There’s also a stack of wall bases on top.  I need to use my True Sander to smooth the bottom edge of the walls and then I’ll epoxy them in place.  One thing I’ve learned is that I can use wood glue on almost all of the construction but when attaching walls to floors for pieces that will be handled I have to use epoxy or they snap off.  Easier to just attach them correctly in the first place.

I prepped these tonight and will GENTLY reposition them tomorrow before priming so they’re a little more dynamic.  Reposing skellies is tricky since they can break easily.  I can probably pin the arms back on if needed but would prefer not to do so.  Heck, if they seem weak I’ll probably put in a small pin just to make them more durable.  Looks like the bases on this set will be sand painted similar colors to the dungeon itself.  It’s a cheat but if you’re not cheating, you’re not painting.

By the way – I need two sets of every encounter since there’s a chance that if there’s two random encounters going the second one can be the same as the one that’s in progress.  That’s the luck of the dice.  So not only do I have to paint twice the number of minis I want to distinguish them so each encounter is visibly different.  In the case of the skellies I’ll do different color glowing eyes and different colors on the shields and weapons.  And I’ll be numbering the back of the bases to make record keeping easier.

On my way to casting!

November 4th, 2010 No comments

I have to accept that my preweighed plaster and other bits might be walkabout so I’ll be getting more Hydrostone in the very near future. But I had a “D’oh!” moment when I realized I had an almost full jar of plaster here. So I spent a bit of time weighing out packets and plan on starting casting tonight.

I have my plans in SketchUp and I really just need to cast basic blocks for that one. I’m also going to see where my arenas are and cast for those. I don’t have to cast all the floor tiles (thanks to a large credit at Naloomi’s Workshop) but I still need a ton of bricks for my wall segments.  And I’ll be casting floor tiles for miniature bases.