Making Grand Austria Hotel as Grand as possible!

This is resources, plans, notes and thoughts on my upgrades of GAH, both previous and future.

1 , 2  Next »  

Recommend
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Expansion in production!

Gretchen Fontenay
United States
Apison
TN
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Advent Calendar fanMicrobadge: 2020 Women and Gaming Forum Holiday ExchangeMicrobadge: 2020 Feel The Love Secret Santa participantMicrobadge: I love Christmas!Microbadge: Christmas
The kickstarter for Grand Austria Hotel: Let's Waltz! just wrapped up... tons on content in there! I'll have a good many duplicate bits when it gets here to pass along to people who have a damaged piece or just need more for some reason.

Update on the glasses... okay, I knew it wasn't going to be as simple as all that. So far I've made one passable glass and it takes 24 hours to make each one (pour it up and hardening time- not hands on for 24 hours thank goodness) and hope it comes out of the mold okay without bubbles or gaps.

"Tedious is not the word"

Pictures when I have something to show off....
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Sun Nov 22, 2020 6:41 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

How hard could it be?

Gretchen Fontenay
United States
Apison
TN
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Advent Calendar fanMicrobadge: 2020 Women and Gaming Forum Holiday ExchangeMicrobadge: 2020 Feel The Love Secret Santa participantMicrobadge: I love Christmas!Microbadge: Christmas
One of the things that has been annoying me about the champagne is the serious dearth of appropriate glasses in miniature size. Plenty of flutes... but the only champagne coupes I could find were glass. As in real glass... as in breakable... as in 'not suitable for gaming pieces'. Also expensive.

Now, the pictures with the guests on the cards depict champagne flutes... but that's inaccurate. Flutes for champagne did not come into popular use until after WW2... and really more the 70s and 80s. In the early part of the century, it was much more common to serve champagne in a coupe glass- like a cocktail glass but without the bubble on the join of the stem and bowl.

Apparently, dollhouses don't need coupe glasses because they aren't available except in either glass or very very small quantities of vintage ones.

What is available is a silicone mold to make them.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/769079819/miniature-mold-dollho...

Okay- so I ordered the mold and I'll make my own! I also watched a bunch of videos tonight to see how to polish them to a glass-like finish- that's going to be a pain.

Now to get the mold and start casting glasses...
Twitter Facebook
5 Comments
Sat Oct 31, 2020 7:11 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Dancers incoming!

Gretchen Fontenay
United States
Apison
TN
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Advent Calendar fanMicrobadge: 2020 Women and Gaming Forum Holiday ExchangeMicrobadge: 2020 Feel The Love Secret Santa participantMicrobadge: I love Christmas!Microbadge: Christmas
I ordered the dancers today- extra money from working extra hours. (Okay, I could use it somewhere else... but I'm not going to)

My thought is that these are likely the best I am going to find and they seem to be limited so best to grab them now...

External image


I did, however, get them from Ebay as the Etsy seller did not have enough.
Twitter Facebook
4 Comments
Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:57 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Plans and schemes

Gretchen Fontenay
United States
Apison
TN
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Advent Calendar fanMicrobadge: 2020 Women and Gaming Forum Holiday ExchangeMicrobadge: 2020 Feel The Love Secret Santa participantMicrobadge: I love Christmas!Microbadge: Christmas
Well, looking at the illustrations, the champagne glasses depicted are the tall flutes, not the coupes so I'll need to find flutes.

Also, for the dancer miniature storage, I think making a foam core box with the player board (rehearsal hall) as the lid would be just the thing.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:59 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Oh wait...

Gretchen Fontenay
United States
Apison
TN
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Advent Calendar fanMicrobadge: 2020 Women and Gaming Forum Holiday ExchangeMicrobadge: 2020 Feel The Love Secret Santa participantMicrobadge: I love Christmas!Microbadge: Christmas
So now, five years after the initial release, Grand Austria Hotel is getting it's first ever expansion, Grand Austria Hotel: Let's Waltz!.

There's a new resource, champagne and dancing couples plus more new content that has not even all been revealed.

Right off the bat, I'm going to have to buy/make champagne and find and paint miniatures for the dancers and rethink my storage.

I've found an option for champagne:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/668648907/a-miniature-glass-of-...

but it's a bit pricey... not that that has stopped me before. However, I did fill the wine glasses myself, if I can find empty glasses I'd like to do the same here- perhaps adding clear microbeads for bubbles.

The first option I've found for dancers is here:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/809103596/1-miniature-white-pla...

if they're nice enough and I can find enough of them!

For storage, I'm thinking steamer trunk with the base game on one side and the five expansion modules on the other so that it's possible to decide to play only a certain module or modules (or just the base game) and still have set up be streamlined.
Twitter Facebook
4 Comments
Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:36 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Storage

Gretchen Fontenay
United States
Apison
TN
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Advent Calendar fanMicrobadge: 2020 Women and Gaming Forum Holiday ExchangeMicrobadge: 2020 Feel The Love Secret Santa participantMicrobadge: I love Christmas!Microbadge: Christmas
All these expensive artisan bits need some extra protection... plus I like my games organized. I also like to pull the game out and set it up in as little time as possible... if I have gaming time I want to be playing, not setting up.

So first, storage for the resources. I wanted extra protection for them so I took a wooden cigar box and divided and lined it and padded it to make the resources easier to get out of the box as well as keep them from being damaged.

From gallery of wren08


From gallery of wren08


As you can see, the box was designed to display the cigars so the lid slides into a slot and stands upright. To make use of this, I found an appropriate picture and decoupaged it to the lid.

I also took a nice travel themed pocket tin and divided it for the player pieces.

The rest of the insert is foam core and includes a tray for the hotel rooms, another for the coins and one for the Emperor tiles and turn order tiles. There are also two card trays to keep the cards separate and hold the dice. The trays are modular and can be pulled out and set on the table, much reducing set up time.

From gallery of wren08
From gallery of wren08


So now we're done!
Twitter Facebook
8 Comments
Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:13 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Oh jeepers, now what?

Gretchen Fontenay
United States
Apison
TN
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Advent Calendar fanMicrobadge: 2020 Women and Gaming Forum Holiday ExchangeMicrobadge: 2020 Feel The Love Secret Santa participantMicrobadge: I love Christmas!Microbadge: Christmas
Player pieces, that's what.

This isn't a worker placement so there aren't that many but you still have pieces to mark your score, where you are on the Emperor track, your money, if you're using the track and so forth. All together, you need six markers per player in different colours.

Since I already dispensed with the wooden cubes for resources, I upgraded these as well from plain wood disks to flat glass pebbles. This didn't cost me anything as I already had extra glass pieces left over from blinging Rokoko.

From gallery of wren08
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:50 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
10 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

So now we're finished....

Gretchen Fontenay
United States
Apison
TN
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Advent Calendar fanMicrobadge: 2020 Women and Gaming Forum Holiday ExchangeMicrobadge: 2020 Feel The Love Secret Santa participantMicrobadge: I love Christmas!Microbadge: Christmas
Not even close. Okay, close-er but if we're going to have such nice resource bits, the rest of the game doesn't just get off scott free.

So, the Emperor track marker. I saw in the game picture pages
United States
Sherman Oaks
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Shakespeare fanMicrobadge: NMBR 9 fanMicrobadge: Azul fanMicrobadge: University of MichiganMicrobadge: Concept Fan
posted a bust of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria (who was actually in the office at the time) as his Emperor track marker.

I loved it, wanted it, found it on ebay (search for "dollhouse bust") and painted it (it's metal) to look like a statue.

From gallery of wren08
.

Very good. What else?

I like metal coins in my games. I know there is a perfectly good money tracker on the player board... but I like coins.

So I obtained (from various sources) some period Austrian coins with the double eagle in 1, 2, 10 and 20 denominations. I carefully cleaned them- toothbrush and lots of soap and polishing agents. After my first game, I realized that the colours were too close so I painted the 10s gold and the 2s silver.

From gallery of wren08
Twitter Facebook
7 Comments
Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:37 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
13 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

Strudel aka the IMPOSSIBLE bit!

Gretchen Fontenay
United States
Apison
TN
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Advent Calendar fanMicrobadge: 2020 Women and Gaming Forum Holiday ExchangeMicrobadge: 2020 Feel The Love Secret Santa participantMicrobadge: I love Christmas!Microbadge: Christmas
After the struggles with the cake bits, I thought strudel would not be difficult.

Oh, how wrong I was!

Part of it is that I actually know strudel. I know how to make it and I enjoy eating it- it was a specialty of a restaurant my family frequented while I was growing up. So the cinnamon buns and other pastries that I could find were wholly unsatisfactory. If the game had only said 'pastry', I would have been okay but it specified 'strudel'.

Unfortunately, not everyone (or possibly anyone) who was creating dollhouse food had ever heard of strudel. I found one Russian artist who had some... but not nearly enough and attached to a plate. I contacted her but either because of the language barrier or some other reason, I never heard back.

I had built a friendly rapport with Jan over the cake slices, so I contacted her and asked if she would be up for trying to make strudel. She looked up some recipes on line (yes, that's how she makes her pieces...by knowing how it's really made!) and we talked back and forth about fillings and single serve vs slices. I think she actually made a real strudel just to see how it was made and then came up with several prototype pieces.

I chose the one that looked the most right to me and explained what I liked about it (and, if I remember correctly, the one thing I didn't) and she made 30 pieces of strudel for me.

It did take a long time (that's 30 pieces ya'll, and she makes every apple slice individually and by hand) and cost as much as the cake per slice. With all the work she put in, I still feel like I underpaid her!

So, as with the cake, when the strudel got here, I attached it to the plates with doilies. Also, some of them got a bit of treatment on top (at Jan's suggestion). They came all with the white 'powdered sugar' top- some of them I touched with the resin on top to take away the white... and a few I sprinkled with brown eye shadow (!!!) to simulate cinnamon.

This is what I mean by 'years of experience' etc. I would have never thought to use eye shadow but Jan said it was what she would use and she was exactly right.

So- The Impossible Strudel:

From gallery of wren08
From gallery of wren08
From gallery of wren08
From gallery of wren08
From gallery of wren08
From gallery of wren08
From gallery of wren08


Size comparison:
From gallery of wren08
Twitter Facebook
4 Comments
Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:16 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
10 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

Cake aka the difficult bit

Gretchen Fontenay
United States
Apison
TN
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Advent Calendar fanMicrobadge: 2020 Women and Gaming Forum Holiday ExchangeMicrobadge: 2020 Feel The Love Secret Santa participantMicrobadge: I love Christmas!Microbadge: Christmas
Okay, that's got the coffee and wine sorted... now on to cake.

This was actually much more difficult because I wanted dollhouse cake... that was not attached to a plate and was in a single slice. There were some options- some bad and some worse- on etsy.

There were some very nice cake slices... that were already attached to a plate. I didn't want that because I bought enough of the coffee saucers to use for cake and strudel as well so they would all match.

And then there were quite a lot of whole cakes that looked very good... or at least good enough... but they were either whole or had one slice on a plate and it was surprisingly difficult to find just cake slices.

I had planned to just have the cake all the same kind... but I had so much difficulty finding realistic looking cake without a plate that I scrapped that idea fairly early and was just looking for anything that matched my requirements and standards. (The rather terrible cake that I could find that was not expensive was just... rather terrible.)

Eventually I found an artist who had two kinds of cake that looked great and was in slices and not on a plate. (The chocolate frosted and the white with sprinkles) I bought them and contacted her about making more for me (there were only 6 pieces each). She was/is still in school and said she couldn't take the time to make any more right away so I kept looking.

The I found Jan Green. She had German chocolate cake and carrot cake already and I commissioned her to make the Victoria sponge- six pieces each. It took some little time for her to make me the sponge cake but when they got here, it was so worth it, even allowing for the quite high price tag.

From gallery of wren08
From gallery of wren08
From gallery of wren08


https://www.etsy.com/shop/JansMiniatures?ref=listing-shop-he...

In case you're wondering, the cakes slices cost about $10 each. That's awfully high for a board game piece... and awfully low for an artist creation. It would not have been less expensive to make them myself- Jan has years of experience and an artistic touch that I could never duplicate.

After the cake got here, I then had to attach them to matching plates... but I knew that the finer restaurants of the time (and possibly still) served their desserts with a doily on the plate under the cake/pastry. And, what are we trying to be? The best hotel in Vienna? We do NOT skip the doily.

I planned to make the doilies myself but that proved to be beyond me with the tools I had so I found some on etsy:

The doilies are from StewartDollhouse
https://www.etsy.com/listing/70999627/4-miniature-laser-cut-...

I glued the doilies to the plates and the cake on top... and now we have cake! (The cake is NOT a lie.) So, whew.. almost finished.
Twitter Facebook
4 Comments
Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:43 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

1 , 2  Next »  

Subscribe

Categories

Contributors