Saturday, 26 January 2013

Grand Designs...

Well this post has been a long time in the writing! I had the designs drawn up some time ago and have been cracking on with the build since then. Unfortunately a lack of a scanner at home and literally not having a minute to myself at work has meant that I haven't had a chance to scan in my somewhat colourful plan.

Anyway, for what its worth here it is in technicolour! 

As you can see I'm going for a staged build with each floor as a separate element. That way I can stack up the Shrine to have an impressive looking building and when the action spreads to multiple floors, they can be split up and laid side by side on a separate table to allow game play to continue.

Here's the floor plans as included in the Shrine of Rigg scenario on the Second Citadel Compendium.

The Ground Floor - actually its a basement level with a side and back entrance. This floor houses the armouries, storerooms, Koka Kalim guardrooms and dorms and Mother Samantha's offices.

I intend to carve a rocky outcrop out of pink insulation foam (£5 for a massive slab at B&Q by the way!) that will be part of the base for the building. This will go all around the Shrine in the hatched out areas you can see in the pic below.

Because of the sloping walls the ground floor has to be rather large - for every 3" of wall height you lose 1/4" of floor space on the floor above. This meant I had to chop the piece of 6mm plywood I'd bought into two - and actually as the thing is going to be rather heavy it'll be a bit more portable in two sections! The partly built section is the front of the Shrine and you might just be able to make out the outline of the rear of the building drawn out on the sheet of ply stood up in the background.

A few more closer views of what 5kg (there's a load more bricks all bagged up that I don't need yet!) of Crystacal R can make.

The ladies seem fairly happy with the work on their new gaff so far...

At the moment I've been arranging the bricks so that the Egyptian symbols are on the outside as the walls of the whole of the ground floor will be buried behind the rocky outcrop. I think I'll have to alternate which way they're facing on the upper floors - don't think they'll look too out of place?

Bearing in mind that this is only half of the ground floor and that there'll be another five floors above I'd better double the slaves' working hours and break out the bullwhips...

At least some of the upper floors are confined to the towers which have a slightly smaller footfall.

I hope to follow the plans as closely as possible although the squared off bricks that come in the mould have loads of Egyptian symbols and will look out of place for the interior walls for the rooms. I'll have to have a ponder about what to do about them. There are some likely looking 1/4 inch wide blocks on the Egyptian tomb mould that are unadorned and look like they'd make decent interior walls, but that does mean forking out for another mould.

Anyway, here's the rest of the floor plans -

First floor - the main temple area housing the statue of the Goddess Rigg. Also on this floor are various anterooms, priestesses' dressing rooms and Mother Samantha's study.

Second Floor - The Great Chamber or meeting room as well as Mother Samantha's private quarters and the Shrine's strongroom - Mmmm lots of gold here!

Third floor - The library and reading rooms and rooftops of the smaller towers at the front of the building - lots of roof top action here!

Fourth and Fifth floors - these are the top two floors of the two larger rear towers. One is a store room and the other a watchroom.

Actually having read the descriptions of the floors a little more carefully it seems that the third floor of the forward towers and the fifth floor of the rear towers are in fact just details of what is on their rooftops, which I'd have modelled in anyway while building the floor below! My build just got a little smaller, which is no bad thing! Mind you removable roof tops will be a must and I think I'll include a wall around them - much like castle ramparts but without the castellation of course.

The other thing to puzzle over is how to make the floors interlocking but stable so they can stand on their own and what to use as a base for each floor. I'm leaning towards something thin and light like plasticard as the walls and floor will provide the structural strength while the plasticard won't be too thick and show up as an unsightly layer in the exterior of the walls.

Luckily my next order of 25kg of Crystacal made it through the snow so work should resume once I've given the slaves a good whipping!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Build unto me...

 ... a temple of epic proportions!

Well its a start anyway!

So Christmas proved fruitful in Wargaming terms as my family kindly clubbed together to get me 8 molds from the fantastic Hirst Arts.

As you can see I've had a go at casting my first blocks and they came out rather well. Might have to track down a local source of Cristacal R (the high strength plaster I'm using) though as the postage cost me about the same as the 5kg bag I bought...

The molds I went for include the Egyptian Tower Mold #93, Wood Shingle Roof Mold #240, Wooden Plank Mold #220, Wizard's Tower Mold #50, Cracked Floor Tiles Mold #203, Octagon Tower Mould  #63, Dragon's Inn Mold #51 and the Wall Builder Mold #200.

Other than the Egyptian Tower Mold (more of which later) I figured they'd give me lots of flexibility in building Old World style buildings from cottages and Inns to Towers and additional fortifications for my Mighty Fortress, and maybe even some dungeon tiles...

The blocks I've cast up are from the aforesaid Egyptian Tower mold and the Cracked Floor Tiles mold because I want to build this... include the Rigg's Shrine scenario from the Second Citadel Compendium in my Return of the Magnificent Sven campaign.

Spot the similarities?

This is going to be a rather massive build as I intend on constructing all six floors that are detailed in the floor plans included in the scenario.

The Ground floor may prove a little tricky as it is actually below ground level...

The instructions for the Egyptian tower say you need to make 18 castings of the mold to have enough bricks - judging by the picture it looks like this might just about comprise the top couple of floors of the four towers of the shrine! Guess what I'll be doing in between waiting for paint to dry on whatever minis I'll tackling over the next month or so.

I've yet to work out dimensions for each floor but the idea will be for it to comprise most of the playable area on the table. I'll be constructing each floor as separate pieces with some way of allowing miniatures to be placed on different floors simultaneously. It'd be great to do this with each floor stacked up to form the whole building but I haven't really planned out how I'd do this as yet. The alternative of course is to make the floors stackable but lay each floor out side by side on the table during play so on multiple levels can be used at the same time - not as visually striking but a lot easier to build.

Suggestions and any experiences you have had with similar projects would be most welcome!

I may attempt something a little smaller like the Wizard's Tower while I'm casting up enough blocks and assembling sufficient slaves to allow building on the Shrine to commence, as a way of familiarising myself with working with this new medium...

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Retrospeculationisms 2012...

So here we are dear reader, poised Janus-like at the gateway of the year. Behind us are the serried ranks of diminutive soldiery, shining in their new coats of paint (ignore the vast unpainted masses grumbling behind them!), the burgeoning community of like-minded appreciators of vintage lead and the grandiose plans and projects awaiting the glorious day of their culimination...

Or in other words we've painted a few little men, got our own Oldhammer forum going and (personally speaking anyway) made wild and expansive plans that even someone retired from the world of work and any other obligation would struggle to complete in under 10 years!

So what did I get done last year -

January - this month finally saw me getting round to photographing and writing up the battle reports from the Orc's Drift campaign I finally got played in 2011. This was truly a huge project and it felt great to finally get it going again.

February - Of course there are always distractions and things that get in the way of the Big Project and this time it was my Dad's Birthday and another slightly smaller Big Project. I had of course decided to paint the French and British fleets present at Trafalgar as a gift for his 50th, with only a slightly ulterior motive of getting a game of Wooden Ships and Iron Men in against him - still not pinned him down yet as family occasions usually involve too much booze to even contemplate such an involved rules set.

I got a few more reports done for Orc's Drift after building a free standing scenic backdrop for taking table-wide pictures.

March - I entered the LPL - the LAF's gruelling 10 week painting competition, so no more Orc's Drift for a while! Having to paint a minimum of 5 minis each week is a great way of reducing the lead pile though and many of my teams had a somewhat Lustrian feel so I was making progress on the next Big ProjectThe Return of the Magnificent Sven - my own continuation of the 2nd ed. Magnificent Sven scenario.

April - More LPL!

May - Phew, finished the LPL and was rather chuffed and astonished at coming 17th out of 46! Congratulations to fellow LAFers and Oldhammerers Phreedh and Mikedemana for getting into the top half of the table as well.

June - Lots of procrastinating in the form of rummaging through the lead pile! The arrival of Kipling, our somewhat errant Black Labrador (you thought Fenton was bad!), meant that I had my hands full and couldn't hole up in my cave upstairs in the evenings.

It did give me chance to start setting out my thoughts on The Return of the Magnificent Sven in the form of a series of scenarios.

July - the beginnings of Oldhammer as a community! Oh and I finally got back to writing up Orc's Drift...

August - and Orc's Drift is all wrapped up.


How long did that take - note to self, be more focussed with large, time consuming proj... ooh those little 10mm miniatures look nice!

Also of note - my 200th post, Fighting Fantasy's 30th anniversary and I rummage through the lead pile again in an attempt to control my erratic ebay purchasing.

September - I get my hands on a piece of Warhammer history,

finally paint up the brilliant 4A Goblins who have sat patiently for longer than I can remember...

 and I start fiddling around with the aforementioned 10mm stuff. I a fit of hubris, caused no doubt by memories of completing Orc's Drift, I formulate plans to weave in 3rd ed. campaigns with large scale Warmaster battles and games of Mighty Empires and Man O War.

October - Finally some gaming! I introduced my 4 year old son (and to a lesser extent my 2 year old daughter) to the joys of Heroquest.

 I also signed up for the next online game of Warhammer Fantasy Battle 3rd ed. with the dream team of Gaj (battle reporter extroadinaire) and Dreamfish (GM and WFB encyclopedia), and Airbornegrove26 as my opponent. Oh and I get some Warmaster skellies painted.

November - It all goes a bit quiet because I've embarked on a rather ambitious modelling mini-project. To make my Slann Cold One riders look like this one

with the modeller's most forgiving friend - Miliput!

I think they scrubbed alright.

December - I bought some stuff. Really cool stuff -

And some pretty big stuff -

But that's it! Unforunately work, life and general fatigue stepped in to finish off the year in style and hooray, the world din't end after all!

So what can I take from all this?

Well there was lots painted and written but not much in the way of games played. Apart from Heroquest with my kids, a few games of (unpublished) 40K with an old buddy of mine and the online game of 3rd ed. there wasn't much going on in this department.

Orc's Drift took way longer to finish off than I had intended (I still need to add the pictures to the PDF versions of the battle reports I'm putting together with Dreamfish's help!) and that was because I got distracted - every wargamer's curse! Mind you some of those distractions were a little difficult to avoid - my Dad's Birthday and the LPL.

I think a little forward planning this year will certainly help with this. I might alot certain months to certain projects so that I can keep them bubbling along - especially the bigger ones like the Maginifcent Sven.

So things to do in 2013 -
  • Play at least 1 game of Warhammer Fantasy Battle 3rd ed. I've loved the highs and lows of the online game I've been playing but I'd love to get some games played in real time! I'm looking forward to hopefully hooking up with a few fellow Oldhammerers at Vapnartak in York and we'll see if we can get a game sorted from there. There's also the Opponent Finder which is definitely worth a look.
  • Visit my local Wargames Club - definitely high time I got round to doing this, especially as a friend of mine (the 40K player) is quite keen to go as well - when he gets back up here from down South.
  • More playing - I'm eager to see how Mighty Empires and Warmaster work - not to mention Man O War work - should give me more of an idea of how to use them with my Old World armies.
  • Get Return of the Magnificent Sven done - miniatures painted, terrain built and scenarios written. Realistically I can't see the games getting played this year unless I do nothing else. And there are bound to too many other nice shiny things to distract me to do that!
Next up - a "little" terrain project that should bubble along nicely while I'm waiting for paint to dry...

Commission Accomplished

Season's greetings and Happy New Year to you all. I'm afraid I've been a little quiet over the Christmas period - far too much drinking and eating to be done!

I have been busy too mind. As well as my Golden Gobbo entry I have finally finished the little commission fellow LAFer, theBinman, asked me to do a while back. The wife's eyes lit up momentarily when I first mentioned I was doing some commission painting - until I told her I was being paid in old lead of the Citadel variety!

Anyway, without further ado, here are the latest additions to theBinman's plucky adventurers, ready to seek death or glory on his amazing Mordheim table.

The Good - haven't seen this chap before but good fun to paint. I went for an old school High Elf vibe. There's a little Wood Elf in there too with the little Green Man-type face on the shield boss, although its a bit hard to make out in the pic.

The Moody - Skarloc's Archer. He looks like he'll make a great Elf Ranger with attitude judging by that eyepatch.

 The Grumpy - Gnome hero. I've painted this guy before for my own burgeoning Gnome Allied Contingent. Not sure if the badger hair cloak is recognisable as such but that's what it is!

And finally - The Snotty, enough said!

And of course the obligatory group shot.

Can't wait to see the guys in action...