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Defenders of the Realm - A simple review

Fredrik Somerville
Norway
Oslo
Oslo
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The kingdom is under siege by four mighty armies, and only a select band of heroes can save Monarch City from utter destruction at the hand of evil!

Sounds familiar? Yeah, it reads pretty much like the back of a cheezy fantasy novel,
but it's also a fairly accurate description of what you're trying to achieve in this
game.



Over the past 10 years or so a new genre of boardgames has arrived; The cooperative boardgames. Defenders of the Realm (DotR) belongs to this category, and thus all the players have to band together and try to defeat the board itself. You win together, or you suffer defeat together. And let me tell you, this game can be hellishly difficult at times, making each success a truly wonderful feeling og accomplishment.


Components

The game has pretty good production value. The box it comes in is sturdy and thick,
with a really glossy and colorful front.
Once opened you'll first notice the board itself. It's huge, filled with detailed pictures of the various places in the kindom your defending, each painted by the reknowned Larry Elmore. The details between each place is a bit bland, though that might be a good thing as it doesn't distract you during sessions of play.



The rulebook is 16 pages long (counting the front that only has an image, and the back that has a list of all the actions available to you), and is fairly comprehensive.
There's a lot of text here, and it might at first look very intimidating, but it's all written very well and strucured. Reading it from start to end, you should have no trouble grasping the rules.
There's a few images in the book, but not many. There's a lot of examples, however, making it relatively easy to learn it all.



There's a bunchload of figures in this game. Theres the fairly standard fantasy heroes,
ranging from warrior and paladin to dwarf and sorceress. Then there's the four generals that the players are trying to kill; Saphire the Dragon, Varkolak the Undead, Balazarg the Demon, and Gorgutt the Orc. And finally a whole heap of minions colored to match the four generals.
The figures are fairly sturdy, made of soft and flexible plastic. While this makes them able to withstand a lot of punishment, it's bad news for those wanting to paint the figures as regular paint will have trouble sticking to them.

Each character and boss has it's own character sheet listing its various abilities and action points/life. The sheets are all made of thick cardboard and are probably made to withstand a point-blank atomic detonation.



Along with a load of figures, the game also comes with three decks of cards, all made of fairly robust materials.
The hero cards are what the heroes use to stick gears in the wheels of the game, while the darkness spreads cards are there to make the players miserable by adding minions to the map... Or worse.

Finally there's the quest cards, each with a simple quest and a corresponding reward. The quest cards are mainly there to give the players something tostrive toward when there's nothing much they can be effective at where they currently stand. The rewards might also be useful in boss battles.



A few counters and a set of corruption crystals as well as a set of colored six sided dice complete the component list.


Gameplay

The object of the game is to destroy the four generals. As each general is killed the game ramps up the difficulty. There's four ways that the players can lose:
- A general enters Monarch City (at the middle of the board)
- There's 5 or more minions in Monarch City
- One kind of minions are used up and you need to add more to the board
- 12 corruption crystals are on the board



Each character has a number of action points (AP) that also serve as hit points, thus giving less actions to do if you get hurt. You can spend an AP to move one space, or you can discard a card while using an AP to move further (how far depends on the symbol on the card used). You can also use AP's to attack minions on the spot your standing, attack a general, cure corruption, create teleportation portals, heal up or (if at an inn) search for more cards.
There's also various abilities that the characters have and quest instructions that require AP's to use.



Each time a player's turn come up he spend all his AP's. He then draw two hero cards and adds to his hand. Then he draw darkness spreads card(s) and place the monsters that spawn on the right spots, and move the generals towards Monarch City if the card tells you so.

If a space has more than 3 minions after monsters have spawned the place is corrupted and a corrupion crystal is placed there. In addition, all adjacent spaces spawn one more minion of the same type. If these new spawns cause more than 3 minions to be on that space they spreads out too, and you can get a nasty cascade of bad stuff happening.

If you end your turn in a space with minions you take one damage for each minion there. That's about the only way you can be hurt, except in boss battles.



When attacking a minion you simply roll one die for each minion. To kill the minion you must roll equal to or higher than their to-hit number. For orcs this is 3, demons and undead need 4 or more, and dragons kan only be killed by 5 or 6.
The difficulty of the dragons is equalized for the other minions by their special properties, though:
- The undead cause fear, hurting you for 1 more if staying in their space.
- The demons corrupt more easily, needing only 3 (not 4) to create a corruption crystal.
- I'm guessing the orc's special ability is rutting, cause they are weak but you'll get a LOT of them on the board. Seriously... You gotta keep their number down or you'll lose the game.

A battle against a general is a little more complicated, but not by much. I general you can include every other hero in the same space as you when attacking a boss, and you spend cards you've gathered to roll dice against them. The bottom of a card indicate which boss they can be used against and how many dice it'll let you roll.
If, after all participants have dealt damage, the boss is still alive, the heroes are badly hurt. If they DO get him, the player that dealt the final blow are named a Slayer of that race and can kill minions of that kind without having to roll dice.



But every medal has a backside.
When a boss dies the other bosses start to quicken their pace. Each player now draws TWO darkness spreads cards at the end of their turn, and if they manage to kill THREE bosses this increases to three cards drawn at the end of each turn.
Thus, as the game progresses it also ups the ante and makes everything seem more frantic and exciting.


Impressions

I've played this game about 10-12 times. I've only won once. On the easiest difficulty.
That's right, the game is TOUGH! Luckily there's an option of changing the difficulty, both to make it easier, but also to make it stone hard and then some.
Despite that, I've yet to play this game and go disappointed away from the table. There's something utterly satisfying about being beaten and discussing how we could have done better or different against that stupid, stupid game with your fellow victims.



This is a great game for people that like to discuss strategies and cooperate. All the cards are open to the other players, so you always know what possibilities are open to your fellow heroes.

If you've played Pandemic and feel what I've written here looks familiar, well... This is basically the fantasy version of Pandemic. It's gotten great reviews all over, and is a thoroughly good game. Highly recommended!




Good stuff:
+ Excellent component quality
+ Scales very well with both few and many players
+ Easy to understand once you've learned the rules
+ Variable difficulty levels
+ Great feeling of fighting against unbeatable odds
+ Expandable (one large and several small expansions available)

Bad stuff:
- Too few quests
- Some rules ambiguities, particularly about player abilities (there's a LONG FAQ on the developers website)
- Takes a LOT of space to play
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Thu Aug 9, 2012 5:33 pm
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Super Dungeon Explore - Tool times & Slimes

Fredrik Somerville
Norway
Oslo
Oslo
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Last week I spent a little of what I had left after my birthday on a sculpting tool. Up till now I've used plastic toothpicks to sculpt and shape the Green-Stuff, but looking on all the various models that needed a little prep before I could start painting I figured I could spend a little on some quality tools. It wasn't too expensive either. Cost me about $7.



I know, it looks like one of those torture implements that the dentist uses, but has a slightly different use. It's pretty heavy for it's size too, and makes a really loud metallic THUNK if you forget yourself and just drops it onto the tabletop.



One end is shaped almost like a knife, and while it looks sharps it's not likely to cut you. The tiny point and sharp edge is useful for making small marks and indentations in the materials sculpted.



The other end of the tool has a blunt edge, slightly curved and smooth, useful for "pushing" the Green-Stuff around or smooting out areas.

I decided to try it out and set about making the face of my Red Slime figure. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the process. It's virtually identical to the Gelatineous Cube though, only with a different tool.

Here's the end result after sculpting, painting and adding a thick coat of glossy varnish.



And here's another, backed up by his buddy...

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Sat Aug 4, 2012 10:19 pm
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Super Dungeon Explore - Painting poo

Fredrik Somerville
Norway
Oslo
Oslo
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It's been a while since I last showed you my progress on the dungeon building project, so let's remedy that situation, yes?

Since last time I had liberally splattered the entire board in a solution of black india ink and water, letting it seep deep into all crevices. I then highlighted the entire structure using the base gray color and an old brush of the kind used to paint walls with.



I then started painting the inside of the pit of goo. I went with a medium, dull green, applied a wash of dirty brown-green, and highlighted various parts with several shades of lighter green. Looks suitably unappetizing, no?



Once the paint was dry I covered it in a thick layer of varnish to make the surface look really shiny. I then left it overnight to dry out.



Next victim was the outhouse. It was originally painted orange. I covered it in a was of deep, dirty brown and let it dry thoroughly. I then added details like the metal barrs and the litte heart on the door, as well as a different shade of color on the doorframe.



I then glued the outhouse in place using my trusty old wood glue. Here you can see the final placement, as well as how the goo looks like after varnishing.
Apart from a few tiny details, I reckon I'm finished with this board...



The second board started just like the first one, painting it gray, washing in ink and drybrushing. Except for the middle room...
That room I waninted off-white on the floor, and the walls with a deep purple, making sure I got paint deep inside the cracks and crevices that I had cut into it.



I then gave the floor a wash of red-brown. I had watered it too much out, so I didn't much like the result...



...so once the wash was dry I painted over again with the same off-white color.
Here you can see both boards next to each other, separated only by a small piece of hallway.



I had always envisioned a checker pattern on the middle floor and had intended the red-brown to be a base for that, but I dropped that part. I instead started painting every second tile in a mix of 1 part water, 1 part paint.



The other tiles I wanted blue. I tried a light blue, but it turned out too subtle.



And thus I gave them a second cover, a bit darker blue this time.
I then painted a lighter blue-purple onto the bricks, amking sure I did NOT fill in the cracks between them. It turned out darker than intended, so I'll lighten them up a little later.

I had planned on writing this much earlier, and actually did so, twice. But both times I had gotten far into the document when I accidentally hit the thumb-button on my mouse, thus gouing back on my browser, wiping away all that I had written. I don't know how many times you've done something similiar, but it can really break your spirit, and starting from skratch is a real pain in the posterior!
Anyway, I've learned from my mistakes an wrote this in NotePad before copy-pasting it over.
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Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:31 am
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Super Dungeon Explore - Making monsters

Fredrik Somerville
Norway
Oslo
Oslo
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A little over a week ago inspiration struck like lightning...

For a while now I've been envious of the people able to sculpt their own miniatures, and curious of how to do it. And as I was looking through the SDE photo gallery at BGG I came across a picture by Archibald where he'd made his own gelatineous cupe and painted it violently pink?
That made me think "Why can't I do the same?" Which got me thinking "How can I expand on that idea?" And with that in mind I brought out my sketchbook, pencil and penbrush (I love drawing in case you didn't already know), and started sketching out ideas. Here's what I came up with:



The idea was to have four minions, one miniboss, and a bigger main boss. I concentrated on shapes that would be easy to make, with relatively few features.
I'm fairly confident I can make something at least resembling these images.

First order of the day was to figure out what materials to use. I went with FIMO, a clay that's fairly easy to work with and that hardens by heating in the oven. I'll then add small details with Green-Stuff.
Here's the kind of clay I'll use...



The first shapes I tried were the Gelatineous Cube and Red Slime, simply because they were so... Um... Well, simple!



I then started out on the Black Jelly, creating the main body. I then stuck a piece of thin wire through it to work as armature for the tentacles.



Afterward it was fairly simple to wrap a tiny bit of clay around the wires and shape it into place.



At this point I was getting pretty confident... Big mistake!
When I started on the Oozeling I had no problem. The shape of the body was pretty simple, as were making the "feet" of the model. But when I stuck the wire through and started shaping it into the correct gestures things didn't go as planned...



As I wrapped the clay around the wire, the wire started to cut into the shape of the body, creating ugly holes and making the whole thing misshapen. I had to hold the thing between my fingers, thus squeezing the body more out of shape.



For future projects I think I'll make a more substantial armature instead of just a simple wire stuck through, as that wire didn't have anything to "hold on to" to prevent it from sliding inside the clay.
As you can see it did NOT turn out like the image I had prepared, but after 30 minutes of wresting with this one piece I felt enough was enough. Better try the whole armature thingie at another date.



The next step was for the figures to get hardened. I set to oven to 110°C (230°F), and once hot enough I placed the figures inside.



The time for baking is 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of your models. I let them heat for 25 minutes. I guess I'll try 30 minutes the next time to see if there's any difference to the way the clay feels.

Here you can see them after they've hardened. Not much difference, just a slight darkening of the color. The feel of the figures is pretty hard and smooth, almost like enammeled pottery.
I've included the Druid with them so you can see the size difference.



The next step was to add some detail. For that I'll use some Green-Stuff, an epoxy putty consisting of a blue and a yellow part. Once you've kneaded them together it turns a deep green (hence the name), and leaves you about 15 minutes to work with it before it start to harden.



It's a really sticky thing to, so I had an eggholder with some olive oil in it. I used a plastick toothpick to mold and shape the Green-Stuff, occationally dipping the toothpick into the oil to prevent the stickiness from ruining my work.



I left the figure overnight to make sure it had cured completely before I took it outside for a little one-on-one with my primer spray.



When painting figures I use these dicarded bottle-corks with a little tack-it to hold the figures. Prevent me from smudging the paint while it's wet.
Here I've added the base color, and filled the eyes with white.



I did a subtle wash around the face to get some shading into the crevices and folds before I did the details. The eyes were extremely simple; Just big blobs of black with some smalled dots of pure white as highlight.



Heres the back and sides. As you can see I've added progresively lighter shades of the base color to the edges, in thinner and thinner lines. At the corners are tiny biths of pure white.
I've also added some bubbles and lines to the faces of the model to add some sense that it's a huge piece of jelly you're looking at, hopefully making you think of fluids.



And finally, a piece in my falf-finished dungeon. I'll probably add a base to it so it'll fit the original figures, but that's not a high priority for now.



And that's it for now...
I've not had time to paint or model the features of the other models yet, but that'll hopefully happen in the near future.

And if you're wondering what's happening with my dungeon project; Fear not, I'm still working on it. In fact, I've made quite a bit of progress, but just have not had to time to report on it yet. Hopefully you'll see something in the next few days.
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Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:41 pm
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Super Dungeon Explore - A crack at my dragon

Fredrik Somerville
Norway
Oslo
Oslo
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Two days ago I had an accident.
Well, not me personally. I was showing the game off to a friend, particularly the miniatures. Afterward I placed the figures back in the box and closed the lid when I suddenly heard a loud SNAP!
Opening the box again I saw that one of the wings on the dragon had snapped off. And I hadn't even used force when closing the box, so beware, those wings are fragile! Worse yet, when I held the wing against the dragon I saw a tiny sliver was missing, and I couldn't find it anywhere.



I've completely overturned the box, even going so far as to check between each card, even though they had been rubberbanded together. No luck, the sliver was not to be found anywhere, not even on the table or floor around the box. Where it's gone is a complete mystery.

Still, I was able to use some superglue and reattach the wing. It left a large, ugly crack in the wing, but all's not lost. If I can't find the splinter and glue it back before I start painting the dragon I have a quick and dirty fix; I'll file down the area I glued to make it smooth, then I'll cut, carve and melt additional groves and frayings on the wings to make them look battleworn and damaged.



After this rather disapointing turn of events I've been working some more on my spawn points. I've not been able to do very much, but at least something's been painted.
I did the same thing I did to the first Kobold Warren to the other three.



I don't have any skull-color so I had to mix my own, using a lot of white with a tiny dot of yellow and a little dark brown. I decided to do the skull on the Egg Clutch spawn point at the same time.



Once the paint had dried I gave them all a wash with some earthy brown. I've never been able to completely master washes. I feel like they alwas turn out dirty or just "messy". These are some of the better one's I've done, but I still feel there's something a little "off" there.



I then mixed some red, green and black to create a dark, warm brown to use inside the sockets and nostrills, a little lighter toward the edges of the sockets. The teeth and horn were painted with the skull-color I rcreated, with some aditional white added in.



The next step was the eyes. I decided on a light blue glow with a tiny dot of light in the middle.





And to finish it off, I used a thinned down version of the brown in the sockets to line the edges of the horns and teeth.



Not sure how much I can work on the minis or dungeon tomorrow, because some friends are comming over to play some games. We'll almost certainly play some "Mansions of Madness" or "Super Dungeon Explore". Hopefully both.
I'll make a blog-post about it if I remember to take pictures. ^_^
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Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:35 pm
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Super Dungeon Explore - Painting rocks and lava

Fredrik Somerville
Norway
Oslo
Oslo
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After the game yesterday I decided to start painting, though I wanted to start with some of the simpler stuff. No reason going for the tough stuff without some warming up first, no?

That left the spawning points. Not only are they of a fairly simple construction, but they are also one of the things that aught to grab the attention of the players, so getting them done before the figures might turn out to be a good thing. That, and I already had a fairly good idea of the color scheme I wanted to use.

I started out by washing them in some lukewarm water with some common household detergent, scrubbing them thoroughly with an old toothbrush. Why? To get rid of the residue of chemicals used in the molds to make the plastic slip out easily.
After washing them I rinsed them thoroughly in clean water.



Washing them made the plastic go from feeling slippery to a more rubbery consistency, letting me grip them more firmly.

After having let them dry completely I took them out in the garden and gave them a thin coating of primer. Not only does this give them a lighter color to paint over, but the primer actually contains an adhesive that let it stick to the plastic better than regular paint would, and having only a thin layer makes it rough, thus letting the paint on top stick better too.



Once the spawn points had dried for well over an hour I started working on one of them to test out how to proceed. If it looked good, I'd go on with the rest of them, otherwise I'll strip the painting from it and start from scratch.

First thing I did was to go over the skull and the groves in the rock with some white paint to make color painted on top of them brighter and clearer.



For the grooves I'm using a half-glossy acrylic paint, and I started by using a bright read, filling all the cracks liberally, not taking care if I spilled outside.



After the red had dried I filled the inside of the grooves with a warm orange, leaving some red on the outer edges.



Using a much thinner brush I added a little yellow inside the orange parts.



As a final highlight I mixed a tiny dash of white and yellow, applying only the the very brightest and largest part of the colored parts.



Not that impressive yet, no?
The next step should make it stand out a bit more. I now painted the entire base matte black, taking care not to paint inside the lava rivulettes.



I finished the base by a light drybrushing of a medium gray, adding only a tiny bit of highlighting with light gray.



And that's as far as I've gotten so far.
I plan on painting the skull next, but that'll have to wait until sunday at the earliest. Due to some partying that's going to happen here tomorrow I'll not have the time to continue before then.

By the way, never buy Citadel brushes (the kind Games Workshop sells). I've had too many of them start to split after only a minute or two of use, which naturally tend to ruin whatever you're painting. Just a little heads up...
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Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:46 am
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Super Dungeon Explore - It has arrived!

Fredrik Somerville
Norway
Oslo
Oslo
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Two days ago I got a slip in the mailbox saying there was a package waiting for me at the post office. Needless to say Martin (my son) and I immediately took the trip over and rushed back with the big box, only stopping to grab some watermelon (Mmmmm, yum).

Here you can see the my first unboxing of a game. I'm not going to bother you with any commentaries and let you focus on the images instead.



















And while I may be giddy with delight over FINALLY having the game in my grubby little paws, it looks like I'm not the only one.



First order of the day was to assemble the miniatures. The game comes with over 50 miniatures, and with the exception of 5 chests, they all need assembly.



The dragon, the main boss of the basic game, was by far the most annoying of the figures to put together. It seemed that all the limbs were designed to poke out in wildly different directions than the assembly instructions told me. Not only that, but the main body was bent in a way that prevented the tail from fitting into the slot it was supposed to align with.
I've read on various forums that this is a common problem with the dragon. It's easily fixed, though. I plugged in a hairdryer and used it to heat up the pieces, the used my fingers to bend the figure into shape, and when it had cooled down it stayed in that new shape.



One of the kobold-types, the Ironscales, come in five pieces. Each piece fairly tiny, I can uderstand why this might be a daunting task for a casual games that didn't know the figures needed assembly.



Some figures require fewer or more pieces than the Ironscales. All in all, it's ben said that the game needs an average of two hours to assemble them all, more or less depending on skill and experience.



Me? I used upward of 6 hours spread over three days. I plan on painting them, and wanted to remove that ugly molding-flash that rears it's ugly head along the edges of the mold the figures were cast from. It doesn't look to bad when the miniatures are unpainted, but then you start to add paint it becomes horribly obvious.



I managed to finish the last of them today. Here you can see a few of them.









Once they all had been put together I decided to try using some Green Stuff on one of the Kobold Flingers, just to try it out. Nope, I'm not kidding. It is actually named Green Stuff. It's an epoxy, a two-part material made of a yellow and a blue material. Once mixed it becomes deep green (hence the name) and slitchtly sticky. It dries in about an hour into a hard, rubberlike substance.
I used a tiny bit of Green Stuff in the cracks where the joints were, pressing it in and flattening with a plastic toothpick. It made the joints much smoother, and while it doesn't look too good on it now, it'll make for a drastic improvement over NOT using it once painted.
I'll eventually do so on all models, but not right now...



Earlier today I tried the game for the first time with my step-son, Yacob (9 years old). We decided to start with an 8-bit game, the introductory size game. He chose the Druid and the Paladin, while I took on the mantle of the evil Consul. *evil laughter*
Here he is, selecting which board he want to play on.



I set out my two spawnpoints, he figured out on his starting positions, and then I placed the treasure chests. Here's the board at start, just after I summoned my first wave of minions and Yacob was about to start.



After the first two round, where he did abysmally and managed to get both his heroes on fire, I had to remind him of the goal of the game (which I had told before we began), and that if he wanted to have a chance at winning he should focus on the spawners and/or treasure chests.



At this point he changed the Druid back out of bearform and nuked that large bunch of enemies with his Area of Effect (AoE) spell. Sadly he got most of them, and a followup from the Paladin wiped my first spawnpoint.
This massive deathrate on my part gave him two lootcards that he gave to his druid. If I were him I would have given the Frozen Falchion to the Paladin, but I let him do it the way he wanted. Let the little guy play and make some desicions on his own. ^_^



Two rounds later I had managed to spawn a massive amount to minions due to all the skulls I got from his kills, and he got an utterly useless relic from the treasure chest that gave an extra green die to Dex, a stat neither of his heroes could use.



At this point he managed to kill one more kobold, and this would spawn the mini-boss Rex (the target you're after in the 8-bit game we played), had it not been for one tiny detail:
His heroes had been on fire for quite a time now, and had accumulated so much ouchies that they were nigh on dead. At the beginning of the turn Rex spawned they both fell over dead, before they even could realize the danger they had brought upon them selves.



But all did not end in tears, for the kobolds were fond of cripy meat, and there was a large feast!

Still, despite the not so noble way of dying, we both had a lot of fun, and we will definitely try it again, most likely a full 16-bit game. I also look forward to trying it with someone a little older (read: someone that thinks through his strategies and doesn't just attack the nearest thing with the strongest attack).

While I've been assembling figures the dungeon project has taken a backseat, but now THAT'S out of the way I have started again. Here's a slight progress, where I've started to paint one of the maps.



This was taken a few hours ago, and I've finished painting the base colors now. I'll continue tomorrow, shading and adding details.

I've also primed and started to paint the spawnpoints. I'll let you know how that goes in a future post.
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Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:02 am
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Super Dungeon Explore - Interior decoration

Fredrik Somerville
Norway
Oslo
Oslo
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Continuing from the last topic, I waited until the glue had cured completely, then poured a sizable gunk of wood-glue into the hole I had cut out of the floor.



It took almost two days for this to harden, but that might be just as well. My fiancé and I have started painting the kid's room, so for a whole day I was unable to do anything at all except carry furniture, scrub walls and prepare for painting them.
I managed to squeeze in an hour of hobby-time tioday, though, and here's the result...

I decided on a color scheme for the dungeon, and used two hallway pieces to try it out on. My main consideration was that it should be colors I had plenty of, so I didn't have to mix it everytime I used it.



After the basecoat I washed the pieces in a wash made up of 1 part brown (same as basecoat walls), 1 part black india ink, 10-12 parts water. After having thoroughly dried they looked like this:



The final touch was a light drybrushing of the floor, using the basecoat of the floor.



While the pieces above were drying off I spent some time with the dungeon boards themselves. First I cut out pieces for the floor and structure, then glued the floors to the board.



The structure I left unattached for the moment. I wanted to decorate it a little, something much easier to do when it's not stuck to the board. The strips you see here are the cardboard of a pizza-box, glued with the glossy side inwards.



Looks pretty ugly, doesn't it?
About 15 minutes later and with more cardboard attached it looks rather different. Yeah, I know. I have a sick sense of humour.



Here's a shot of the board with the walls and outhouse in their proper place. I'll probably paint the outhouse and board separately, gluing them together when both are fully painted.
Notice the small tube I've added in the pit. The gunk sloshing out of it is a tiny piece of thread covered in wood-glue. I'll leave it up to your imagination what it's supposed to be once painted.



I've also done a tiny bit of work on the other board, but not much. Here you can see it with walls attached. Once they are both painted and done I'll make up my mind which way to attach walls I like best.



Though not strictly related to SDE, I've been touching up on my painting skills. It's about 5-10 years since I last painted any miniatures, so I'm pretty rusty.
I prepared a few Skaven minis I have lying around, and wanted to try out a color scheme for the kobolds. Here's my first attempt (sorry for the horrible quality).

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Sat Jul 7, 2012 4:53 pm
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Super Dungeon Explore - Colors and shapes

Fredrik Somerville
Norway
Oslo
Oslo
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As I mentioned in the previous post I changed the hallway pieces so I could simply add walls to the side instead of having to cut off tiles and muck about with uneaven surfaces. I also use slightly less materials that way, so it's a win-win situation.

Yesterday I cut out the hallways and scored the tile-pattern into them. I then added various flaws like cracks, missing pieces and misshapen tiles.



I then cut of strips of 4cm high walls that I glued to the sides. I used some fine sandpaper to smooth out the extremely rough texture on the backside of the styrofoam, and also to make a slightly curved look to the outer wall.
You can see one of the tiles fully shaped here, along with some that hasn't been shaped yet, and the first try.



I wanted to test out how to paint them on a single, small piece before going to far ahead with anything, and had to make some preparations for that. If you use a spraycan to as a primer on styrofoam you'll ruin all your hard work. Some of the chemicals that makes the can spray their gunk melts away the foam, making many and ugly pockmarks in the surface. That's also the reason I use wood-glue and not any kind of superglue.

To combat that I gave the whole structure a thin layer of wood-glue using an old brush, making sure the whole surface was covered without flooding the small details.
Once the glue was dry I sprayed the hallway and painted the whole thing using some old acrylics I had available. I wanted to try a deep earthen tone, but it turned out a bit too chocolate-y for my tastes, though.



To break up the monotony I repainted the walls in a slightly different color, and added a thin line as decoration on the outside.
This was just a rushed job I did to see it in action, so please forgive the sloppiness like the cracks between floor and wall. I fully intend to fill in gaps like that on the finished pieces.



To get a tiny bit of variation I had higlighted the floor and walls with a subtle hint of green and blue, though that isn't really possible to see on these utterly horrible pictures.
In retrospect I think I'll go for a different color, either something a little more lively and colorful, or stick to a lighter stone-like surface. I'll keep on having floor and walls a different color, though.



I've filed down and covered the other hallway pieces in glue, and while they were drying out I decided to start on one of the main boards.

I've cut some holes and glued some sand inside one part of the board. Once dry I'll go over it again with a thick layer of glue to bind the sand to the side, as well as making the sand less textured. The idea is to have something icky-looking down there, like sewer water or lava. Not sure what yet.

I've also cut grooves into the floor where I inted on having walls. For future boards I think I'll ditch that process and simply glue them directly on top of the tiles as it was a major pain to car out, and took more time to accomplish than I'd cared for.



I had planned on getting more done, but was interrupted by a friend that dropped by and we spent the time playing "Defenders of the Realm" (we lost big time) and "Tales of an Arabian Night" (I won by a HUGE margin based purely on luck) before he had to go.

My copy of SDE is estimated to arrive somewhere between the 6th and 13th, and everytime I've ordered things through Amazon before it has arrived a little before the estimate. I've positively giddy with anticipation, and will probably be massively disappointed tomorrow when I look in my mailbox and can find nothing buy adds and bills.

Anyways, time to go to bed, and the modelling continues tomorrow.
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Wed Jul 4, 2012 11:07 pm
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Super Dungeon Explore - Dungeon tile project has begun!

Fredrik Somerville
Norway
Oslo
Oslo
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Today I measured up and cut several thick cardboard pieces to use as base for my Super Dungeon Explore dungeon boards. I plan on making fairly simple constructs, at least to begin with, with the boards standalone pieces and having several small hallway-pieces that can be slotted into the boards and act as... Well, hallways.



A fairly simple idea, yes?
The first order of the day was to glue some styrofoam onto the cardboard bases. I prefer to use regular ol'style wood-glue for working with styrofoam instead of the expensive foamglue that cost and arm and a leg.



After the glue had dried (I used several books to keep pressure on them) I used my knife to fut off the excess foam.



I then traced the tile pattern onto the foam and started cutting grooves into the foam to simulate tiles.



My initial design was to cut off the outer row of tiles and glue walls on top, but I wasn't really pleased with the results.





Here you can see the size of the smallest sized hallway compared to the boards. I propped up some pieces to look like walls just so it'd look cooler for you guys. Guess I failed.



A simpler design was to make the hallway pieces only two tiles wide and glue the walls onto the side. Here's a halfway done piece, with a partially painted Descent miniature on it for scale.

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Mon Jul 2, 2012 10:13 pm
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