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Monday, August 29, 2016

10,000 Views! 100 Posts! Terrain! Frostgrave! Words! Emotions!

MERCS Shantyville

First off, this blog has finally hit 10,000 views! Thanks to everyone who stops by for a hobby fix. I know there are blogs out there who hit this probably monthly, but it's still a pretty cool milestone for a little ol' gamer like me. This is also my 100th post. This blog has always been something I did to simply track my hobby progress, it's an added bonus to hit achievements like this.

Anyway, lots of progress in terms of terrain. First off my buddy Mike and I had a hobby build day on Saturday. With his extensive know how and my good looks/charm we managed to get this thing built:

So much awesome...

Now when I say "we" I mean almost entirely "he," as this is his forte and I have little to no experience working with wood. We had been discussing doing something of a build last week and the topic of folding boards came up. A folding board is something I've wanted for about five years, ever since I first read about a build in the Privateer Press forums. I can't find the original link, but below is a picture of it:

I don't know who made it, but it's pretty spectacular

In that example he made the fold pretty seamless. The entire board is made up of Hirst Arts molds, which made it extremely heavy. It is semi-bare with more or less cosmetic elevation changes to add interest, but a Warmachine table is generally pretty void of terrain by necessity.

Not having much experience with wood working has kept my grand plans at bay, but Mike volunteered to put his knowledge to work. On Saturday we got a few materials and he went to town on the dead trees.

He had kept this idea as a prototype for future folding tables, trying to see if there were any snags or problems he'd come across. It seemed to go pretty smoothly and he had it done in about 4 hours time, which included going to buy materials and me distracting him as much as possible.

This thing turned out pretty sweet and is pretty heavy, which is something that comes with the territory. It's super strong, and I have no worries about carrying it around and falling apart or anything.

We made a 3x3 board, which is a good size to have as it's the most common size for the games we play. Also keeping it 3x3 lowers the weight to a minimum, as this thing is pretty heavy as it is and can take up the whole back seat of my car. It shouldn't have a problem for my trunk, though, I just have too many items in there to store this in right now.

I plan on making a Frostgrave inspired board with this and I am super excited. I'm picturing a frozen dockside city, complete with several elevations and resin water effects. I've spent a long time thinking about what I'd build on a folding table and I used to almost always picture a canal city, inspired by Carnevale boards (that game has such a cool aesthetic!), and a frozen version of that seems appropriate. It's most likely going to be composed mostly of pink insulation foam for all the layers and to keep it light. I also plan on using paint rather than flock for the snow effects. This keeps is much less messy and shouldn't rub off as much. Using an airbrush for snow drift effects and stippling on white should do the trick, and if need be I can add some extra stuff. If I can find an appropriate model it would be cool to have a sunken boat frozen in the water as well. This board can work for Frostgrave, Malifaux, and any other Fantasy based game or RPG easily so it works well as a prototype. Also shaping and sculpting stonework with pink foam is very easy so it keeps the barrier low on building skills.

Also I spent a bit of time punching out more cardboard from my Battle Systems Kickstarter and made another building. I quickly set up a MERCS table using the Shanty Town bits on my 2x3 mat from the Terminator game.

I'm still pretty over the moon about this terrain set. It works so well on so many levels - I quickly put this together with no real idea of what I wanted to make, I'd just put walls and stuff together bit by bit.

Also notice the Tail Feathers board game in the background, just got that one last week!

This stuff easily fills up a MERCS board, maybe a bit much for some but I don't see how it can cause much of a problem in a game. A few things here and there would make it more playable, like eliminating the railings in a few spots, but overall it's playable as it is.

I just love the visual interest it provides, not to mention this all packs away very quickly and is the opposite of heavy. I know that this is one of those things that should you see being played will instantly draw your attention. Terrain like this is what got me interested in the hobby in the first place, as to me the hobby has always been visuals above all other aspects. 

Another thing I had done over the weekend was get my Frostgrave warband together to figure out what I'd need to paint to finish it. I haven't seen some of these models in years as I had painted them over 6-7 years ago. They are still pretty interesting to look at and it's always stimulating to take a glance back and see how you've improved on painting over time. I've figured out that I only have to paint the apprentice and a warhound to have a finished warband, so one day I'll need to get to it. We have four or five players getting ready to jump in on this campaign, it's going to be a fun ride!

Anyway that's what I've been up to, until next time keep calm and paint on!