Hirst Arts Bridge Inspired by Video Game


Last week while I was working on the sewer tiles in the den my wife was playing a PC game called Divinity – Original Sin.  Occasionally I would look up and see what was going on when things start getting a little excited.  At one point I looked up and saw this bridge and said “Whoa – I need to build that!”  So…

The inspiration:


I started by using some of the balcony support blocks from the 3″ Tower mold #79 and floor tiles from the Egyptian Floor Tile mold #290:


I wanted to give the bridge a little more length so I extended the middle a couple of inches.  This build was a challenge because I actually had to assemble the entire piece upside down:


I added pillars from the Gothic Arena Mold #42 and let it dry overnight before flipping back over:


I built a stair case based on Ruined Field stone Tower tutorial on the Hirst Arts website:



This bridge will align itself with the castle project, the Narthrax tower and give the dungeon set some vertical interest.


I added a few details to the ledges just to break up the flatness:



I can’t comment on the game play and although it appears that most of the PC game is outdoors it is still full of inspiration for terrain builders and every time I look up I see something else I “need to build”!

Here are a few screenshots I found on Google:





Night Owl


Sewer End Caps


Just a quick update before the extended weekend to share some end caps for the modular sewer system.  I used the Hirst Arts 3″ round tower mold to get the curved effect just to break up the blocky look of the rest of the dungeon.  I had to file down some of the edges of the ruined pieces in order to get them to fit the curves walls.


I cut some cardboard tubing to size, painted them bronze and aged them with some oily washes to get the pipes.  Then I cut some clear plastic from a miniatures container and bent them by hand before gluing them to the pipe exit and the floor.


These were painted the same muddy green and coated with gloss glaze like the sewer tiles.


For the backside I used some old clock gears and applied the same antiqued finish.


I also needed a door module in order for players to enter and exit the sewer system.  This should allow me to seamlessly add these tiles to any of my existing modular dungeons.



Thanks for dropping by,

Night Owl

Generic Sewer Tiles


I’ve been piddling around with some ideas this week and have come up with a few sewer tiles for the dungeon terrain.  These are a little different in that they are 4 X 4 tiles instead of one-sided modular pieces.  I acquired a new ink and am much happier with the color of the stain with these pieces.  I started out with some random field stone floor tiles that were stained and assembled along with some 1 mm styrene cut to size.


I glued the floor tiles up into straights and corners then I dry stacked some ideas to test if I could get the look I was after:




I decided to go with a ruined look and I proceeded to stain more field stone wall pieces and glued them to the bases:



Next I painted the sewage area with a muddy green and coated it with Triple Thick Gloss Glaze.



Not bad for 1 day project.  I could probably use twice as many but I think I’ll just use these as a transitional area for the layout connecting dungeons and caverns or a little hidden side quest.

Also I’ve been messing around with some color schemes for the cavern pieces.  I’m leaning towards a psychedelic aqua blend that can used for multiple settings: fantasy underworld, sci-fi/alien, pulp, Atlantis, etc.:


At the moment they look like “Grow your own Magic Rocks” so I might need to tone them back down a bit.


Night Owl


Hand Carts using Hirst Arts Doors and Floor tiles


Once again I found myself waiting for paint to dry and nothing to do but fiddle-fart around with random things on the workbench.  It occurred to me that some of these gear casts could make nice wheels.  Here we go!

First thing I needed to do was file off the teeth.  This is much quicker with a rotary tool.


Next I used an awl to scratch wood grain lines across the face of the disc:


I used the door pieces from the water cavern wall mold and filed off the base on one side (I used red paint to show the area to be removed for clarity):


I used the awl again to scribe wood grain into the newly filed area:


I added the wood floor tile and ramp from the cavern accessories mold.  Then I painted, washed and drybrushed everything.


Then I assembled the pieces like this:



I cut an axle out of a bamboo skewer and attached the wheels:


I added two more bamboo pieces for handles:


These are perfect little add-ons that will help detail a scene and easy enough to build that anyone could get a dozen or so in a couple of evenings worth of work.


I hear the sound of a market just around the corner…

Thanks for stopping by,

Night Owl

Interesting Mold Find at Craft Store


I was down at a not so local craft store the other day looking and pricing supplies for a different project and came across these clockwork molds in the glass department.  They are used to make powdered glass jewelry items (instructions mention something about freezing and microwaving?).  I thought they looked like something I could use so I picked them up. The package comes with four small square molds.  Two of them consist of gears and a clock face while the others, not shown, have wings, keys and a lock.  The firmness of the mold is less rigid than LINKA molds yet not as “squishy” as Hirst Arts molds.  So I took the bait, brought them home and messed with them a bit over the weekend.

First I gave them a coat of black spray paint as a primer, followed by gold spray and a dip in a black ink wash.  These look good as is for an antiquated clockwork project.


I am planning something a little more ancient, more of a lost civilization time frame for these.  I poured out some dark turquoise and emerald-green paint making sure not to mix them.


Next, using the spongy materials that many miniatures are packaged with, I took some hemostats (tweezers also work fine here) and dipped it in the unmixed paint and dappled the casts.



I followed this with some blacks and rust:



Lastly, I used a dry brush of bronze to tone everything back down and sealed with a satin clear coat.


Interestingly enough the new 1 inch bases that were included in the Bones II Kickstarter package fit perfectly on the clock face and would make a fantastic health counter or condition marker for miniatures.  Unfortunately it isn’t the size I’m using for my skirmish armies.


Maybe a Father Time turn counter?


The wings, although limited in use, can add a nice flair to some terrain pieces.  I used both sets, adding my own cracks by scraping an awl across them, on this pedestal and finished it up with paint, flock and autumn leaves made from Birch seed husks.





Now to figure what do do with all the gears.  Hmm…time to go rummage the parts boxes and see what we can come up with.


Night Owl

Too Much of Everything is Just Enough

While this week has seen some additional casting the process is slowing without a doubt.  Like a marathon runner I hit a good pace and kept it for a while but now it is starting to burn.


In my last post I described the pieces as 4 X 2 Wall or 2 x 2 Corner and I’ll show here what I meant by that and how the modular pieces work together.

To build a dungeon room that is 8 X 8 tiles I would use the following 9 pieces (from left to right):

Floor 4 X 4              = 1

Doorway 2 X 4       = 1

Walls 2 X 4             = 3

Corners 2 X 2         = 4


Arrange them as such:


and condense:


Now I want to add an L shaped corridor coming off the room so I’ll use the following 9 pieces (from left to right):

Corner 2 X 2                                 = 1

Pillar (1/2″ sq block/3 high)      = 1

Walls 2 X 2                                   = 2

Floor 2 X 2                                    = 1

Walls 2 X 4                                   = 4


Arrange them as such:


and condense:


These can be modified accordingly to build smaller or larger areas,  I have found that it is easier to keep most of the pieces in units of 4 or less as I can still make 12 X 12 rooms without the storage issues.  I’ve been messing around with some color schemes but still haven’t settled on anything that I’m too happy with.  I’m really liking the idea of an open top dungeon resembling jungle ruins with vines & vegetation but that may postponed for another day.  I think I just want to go paint a mini and not think about it for a while!


Thanks for dropping by,

Night Owl



Dungeon Crawl Progress

I haven’t posted in a while and thought maybe an update might be in order.  The last few weeks has found me casting more modular dungeon pieces and because there isn’t much to show that wasn’t shown in the last post I thought I would do a mock set up and get an overview of the project.  My goal is to cast enough to set up a dungeon crawl for an all day or two evening run.  Here’s what we’ve got so far:


The amounts of each module are below.  I have not used them all to arrange this layout.  I would like to have at least two of each for any configuration that I can come up with.

Wall – 1×2          6
Wall – 2×2         20
Wall – 3×2         8
Wall – 4×2         36
Wall – 5×2
Wall – 6×2

Corner – 2×2     35

Floor – 1×1         6
Floor – 1×2        14
Floor – 2×2       22
Floor – 3×2       4
Floor – 4×2       19
Floor – 5×2       1
Floor – 6×2

Floor – 1×3        2
Floor – 3×3        1

Floor – 4×4       2

Floor – 6×6       1

Room – 3×3      1
Room – 4×4
Room – 5×5      4
Room – 6×6      1
Room – 7×7
Room – 8×8
Room – 9×9
Room – 10×10

Cavern Pieces –  77



I’m using a 4 X 4 DIY battle mat as a base since I don’t have the cavern floor tiles mold.








In all honesty, looking at it as a set I’m rather disappointed in the color.  Everything has a alcohol/ink wash base and I was hoping this would be enough but no such luck.  The colors looked good at first but as they completely dried over time they really kinda went bland and ran together more than I thought they would.  The walls are brown and the floors are black but it’s hard to see that from a distance so I think I’ll go back over them with some strong dry brushing to help make them pop.

Although I dread the time it would take I really like the random colorization of the field stones.  A good example of this can be found on hosercanadian’s blog here: https://hosercanadian.wordpress.com/2015/01/25/going-down-to-the/.  His random card generating dungeon system is what inspired this project after all so take a look!

So where it stands now is that I still need to keep at the casting grind for a while.  The weather here has started to warm up so maybe I can put it into overdrive for a bit and get it knocked out.  Also, keeping me busy is the acquisition of the new D&D 5th ed release.  While I haven’t actually played the pen & paper version of D&D since the early 80’s I keep hearing good things about it and finally caved in.  This tabletop set up could help me to relearn the system after all these years.

Thanks for looking,

Night Owl