18 months later (…or what was I thinking?)


Although I tossed the idea around in my head for a long time it wasn’t until January of last year that I officially started this project.  A mix of Mage Knight, Mage Wars, BattleLore, Summoner Wars, etc. with miniatures. This week I wanted to zoom out and see where it currently is and take an assessment of what all I still need to do.  This is actually the first time I’ve gotten everything spread out at once and to be honest it’s kind of exciting and is re-energizing me to forge ahead with more.

I’m currently using some Heroscape hex terrain for the world map in order to get in more encounters and playtime.  I’m using the Hirst Arts cavern mold pieces for mountains and I’ve gutted a Disney monopoly board game that I picked up second-hand for cottages and castles along with some prototypes:


This is the look and flavor I’m trying to achieve:


The leaders enter the map where they battle to control cities in which they can purchase additional troops:


They will conquer and control mines, mills, temples, etc. which will allow them to gather resources such as gold, lumber, stone, faith, mana for spells, etc.:


They will encounter enemies as they explore:


When an encounter occurs the battle between the armies (Earth Tribe and Cloud Tribe below) takes place on another board representing the battlefield:





The cards keep track of individual troop statistics such as name and description, movement values, if they are melee or ranged, unit value (how many spaces they take up in the leaders army), attack rate and hit points.




At this point I have not come up with a name for this game and I’m still working on a few issues such as battle mechanics (we’re close), the logistics of gathering components to cast spells and how to balance and counter balance the elemental factors.  For instance, how will fire and ice interact?  How will clay and lightning interact?

I’m leaning towards giving each tribe a set of values that include all the elements present but that are stronger in some while weaker in others depending on where they fall on the spectrum.  In other words the Magma Tribe will be higher in fire and earth, the Divine Tribe will be higher in Arcane and Runic and the Air Tribe will be higher in Lightning and Frost.

The Fire Tribe will have an advantage over the Water Tribe with a high attack rate but low defense and vice-verse with the Water Tribe over the Fire Tribe.  All in all I’m trying to create some drama that will affect which enemies you have advantages and disadvantages against and who you choose to battle.


Thanks for dropping by,

Night Owl



1/72 WWWII?


For a while now I have been considering how to incorporate some Weird World War II elements in to my growing 1/72 WWII collection.  I thought about the Dust Studios walkers and some of the Bones CAV stuff that will be on the market soon.  I came to realize that what I really wanted were some BIG walkers towering over the troops below and to achieve this I was going to have to do some “scale jumping”.  I had an opportunity to pick up a few of the 28mm Scotia Grendel Biped walkers for a clearance price I couldn’t pass up.  They appeared to be generic enough in style that they could be brought in and modified with some smaller details.



I added some DIY styrene cannon barrels and a commander from a Plastic Soldier Company kit.


These kits are resin metal hybrids and the resin parts (not my favorite material) do require a bit of time and patience to clean up.  I gave it a quick paint up involving primer, some washes and drybrushing:





Here it is scaled up with a couple of Dust Studios German walkers:


While building this model I managed to pique the interest of my teenaged daughter and we before we knew it we were able to get a game in using some home-brew rules that utilized the charts from Akula’s Bad Ar:se skirmish rules and here are a few shots:



My German squad flanking:


Her Russian answer:


The result:





Although she started out with some weak dice rolls she ended up prevailing in the end and kept the invading regime at bay.  All in all a fun time to be had.

Thanks for dropping by!

Night Owl

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

The Sodden Seraph: Part 2


A quick update on this build with more pics than words.


I’ve added some details to give the place a little character and while it’s not completely finished I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.




The smaller building in these shots is just a stand in for what will be a pump house or a tavern or both.





Although the main brewery building does have a lift off section it is the modular side components that give me several choices of configurations.


For instance:


I still need to figure out a method to attach a sign that will withstand the rigors of the gaming environment (magnets?) and add some more details and weathering to give some history.


Night Owl