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My arena and miscellaneous WIP...
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Author:  Gomez [ Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:32 pm ]
Post subject:  My arena and miscellaneous WIP...

After months of mulling over ideas and gathering bits, I recently started building my first arena. From the beginning it was going to be my "starter" arena - I definitely want it to look nice, but it's smaller than what I'll eventually build and it's designed to be a trial-run of my construction ideas.

I started with a sheet of pink Dow foam cut to 24" x 24". Around the edge and on the bottom I added some 1/4" MDF off-cuts to create a sort of tray and provide some rigidity to the edges of the foam to keep it from constantly getting dinged up.

Here you can see the overview. Five pits - the main one is about 2" x 4", and the satellite pits are approximately 2" x 2". I wanted them to be big enough so that the 30/40mm based figures would actually look like they could fall in but small enough that they didn't take up too much real estate on the board. I'll add removeable plasticard pieces with spikes for the pits as well, so I can switch between lethal and non-lethal house-ruled pits.
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Here's the terrain I've got going so far - pillars, man-traps, metal rollers, spiked fences... The pillars are mounted on plasticard sheets that are a few mm wider than the corresponding pits so I can alternate between between pits and pillars; the others are designed to go anywhere on the board. (I'm interested in trying some house-rules for the traps and rollers to add a little craziness - I'll consider any ideas you throw at me!)
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Here you can see the pillars in their places and everything else arranged around them. The pillars are hollow so I had to use some spackle to fill the tops and added a glue/sand mixture to their bases to keep them from tipping over. Wasn't sure how that would turn out but it worked great and was a piece of cake.
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I added some cardboard to the bottom of the pillars - it's cut the same size as the pits so they sit inside and keep things from sliding around or getting knocked over too easily.
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Questions, critique, and ideas are all appreciated!

G

Author:  Alpharius [ Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My arena...

In a word - WOW!

Awesome work indeed!

I'm looking forward to seeing this one progress...

Author:  hiredgoonthug [ Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My arena...

This is nicely done so far! I had an idea for a smaller arena as well that I will try to implement in the next few weeks.

When you paint and texture the foam you may not be able to fit the cardboard under the pillars into the trap holes. Trimming it with a hobby knife later may be the remedy if it's an issue.

Author:  Sheijtan [ Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My arena...

That looks really nice, indeed! Looking forward to at some point maybe playing on them.
Where did you get the pillars and spikes from? Really like the size of the pillares.

Author:  Gomez [ Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My arena...

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I appreciate it immensely!

Sheijtan wrote:
Where did you get the pillars and spikes from? Really like the size of the pillares.


The pillars are Wilton 7" Grecian pillars - made for cake decorations. They are a nice dense hard plastic which makes them good for durability but hard to cut. When I went to make the toppled pillar, for example, my trusty X-acto wouldn't even dent it - I had to break out the Dremel to cut it. They are also hollow so all the separate pieces had to have their ends filled with spackle or other drywall paste. They are quite a bit narrower and don't look quite as nice as the AR resin pillars, but they were a lot cheaper.

All the other bits (traps, spikes, shields, etc.) are either normal hobby supplies (balsa wood, plasticard, cardstock) or ordered from the Hoard-o-Bits ebay store.

-Traps = Games Workshop (Ogre accessories)
-Metal rollers = Privateer Press (accessories for their "Grind" game)
-Spikes = Wargames Factory (spears from various sets)
-Shields = Wargames Factory (Dwarven shields, I think)

Beyond that, it was just a matter of cutting, snipping, and gluing everything into the arrangement I needed. For example, the spiked pillars are super simple: just a narrow band of 90# cardstock cut to fit around the column, a few dots of super glue to hold it in place, then coated in a white glue/water mix so it hardens completely (and won't "fuzz up" when sprayed with primer). When that set, various spearheads were glued on at even intervals.

The hardest part was organizing everything in my head, TBH. If you have had any practice building terrain or cutting/converting plastic minis in the past, you can do something similar (or better).

hiredgoonthug wrote:
When you paint and texture the foam you may not be able to fit the cardboard under the pillars into the trap holes. Trimming it with a hobby knife later may be the remedy if it's an issue.


Thanks for the tip - I'm already thinking about what to do if that's the case, and this is one of the possibilities.

Hopefully I have another update ready for this weekend...

Author:  Gomez [ Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My arena and miscellaneous WIP...

UPDATE

Slapped a first layer of paint on this bad boy...
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Went with Zandri dust. It's exactly the color I wanted, but at $4.00 a pop for those tiny GW pots, I'm not sure it was the most economically sound decision. We'll see exactly how many I go through...

Here's what my workbench looks like...
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Otho and Frigge are off stage left, Lupa, Viatrix, and Iason are still unbuilt, but this is most of my AR minis. Really looking forward to getting started on Leo and Noxious.

WIP mantraps...
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Just getting started here, but figured I'd toss them up anyway.

WIP Micon...
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Things are just roughed in at this point - and actually it's the third time his skin has been at this point... Brown skin is a ****ing pain to make look right - even a hair too much blue/purple makes it look super gray, and too much tan/red makes it look more Native American/Asian than African. Maybe the third time will be the charm.

And my only finished items thus far...
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Tokens! (Actually, this is seven of the ten I was going to paint, so even this is not quite actually finished.) I shamelessly stole the idea for the paint scheme from spiralingcadaver and blasted them with some spray-on gloss enamel to keep them from chipping during every game. I considered trying for a black marble look but decided that was a lot of effort and I'd rather spend my painting energy on minis than tokens. Still, I'm pretty dang happy with how they turned out.

As always, I'd love any feedback, questions, critique, etc. that you've got.

Author:  Sheijtan [ Sat Nov 15, 2014 2:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My arena and miscellaneous WIP...

Fantastic! I really like the colors :). Looks really good and I am disappointed, that mine will never look as good as yours.

Author:  Lord Nat [ Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My arena and miscellaneous WIP...

Wow! Not a lot else i can say....

Author:  WuhSawBe [ Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My arena and miscellaneous WIP...

I'm "late to the party" on this, but that is really cool! I like your ideas, I may have to steal a few if I ever get around to building my own arena...

Author:  Gomez [ Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My arena and miscellaneous WIP...

UPDATE: Huzzah! My first finished AR miniature - Urbicus!

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Really pleased with this shield. The blending between Tin Bitz and Vallejo's Brass looks quite a while, but I dig how it turned out.

As always, feedback/questions/critique are all greatly appreciated!


G

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