'Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,' the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. 'Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.'

-Robert E. Howard
Beyond The Black River

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Jungle Vegetation: Aquarium plants revisited.

Another look at aquarium plants.

This is my first attempt at a tutorial video hopefully people find it useful....


Blog happenings

It also seems that the name I have chosen for a blog is in use in several other places.  So I am contemplating a new name, although I will want to keep the general idea of alliteration as a nod to Dungeons and Dragons and still descriptive having both elements of fantasy and sci-fi.


I am working on a list of ideas.....

Starships & Steel
Ramparts & Rayguns
Lasers & Lances
Portcullis & Plasma


Starships & Steel is the most obvious and would allow for the use of the current logo and video intro.

If anyone reading this has any ideas, drop me a line.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lights! Camera! ACTION!

I watch a fair bit of YouTube.  There is a lot of cool crafters and terrain builders out there with all kinds of ideas.  I try and share mine here as best I can.  Sometimes I wonder if it would be easier to communicate the ideas and the builds via YouTube like some of the others?

I am tossing around the idea of a companion channel to see how it might work and if it might find an audience.  I still have a few things to iron out, but I have started a channel and made an intro video using free assets on the web.

With the new youtube channel, I also created a new banner for this site as well.  I hope people think it's cool.

Do we need another YouTube channel on terrain and miniature gaming?  Maybe not, but as of right now I have my favorites and those channels plus the others I am subscribed to often don't put out enough content.

Hopefully a little more won't be a big deal.

Anyhow, the fledging channel is available here.  I hope to have some content up soon....after I get a microphone.  :)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Hither Came Conan. Monolith's Conan Boardgame.

After much anticipation and waiting Conan has finally come to trod my home under his sandaled feet.  This weekend there was gigantic mirth as I rolled out my first games of Conan with some of my friends. 

We played two of the scenarios: In the Clutches of the Picts and Hunting the Tigress.  We had a few growing pains in the first scenario, but were off to a roaring start by the second.  In retrospect part of the issue is Monolith referring to a model as a unit.

My brain sees 3 guys moving together as a unit.  They see it as 3 units in a group.  Other than that most of it was simply looking a few things up and then heroic killing and rescuing.


IN THE CLUTCHES OF THE PICS


Hadrathus opens the hut door and unleashes a lightning storm into the hut killing the 3 Picts inside.  Conan and Belit advance and Shevatas advances and unleashes hell with his throwing knives. 
The giant snake slithers out of the hut and attempts to end Conan and fails horribly, likewise the Pict hunter also fails to damage Conan.  In one fell slash of Conan's sword the snake falls lifeless.  Belit moves in and kills the Picts inside the hut.  Hadrathus and Belit open the chests in their rooms acquiring treasures
Hyenas race out and attack Hadarthus and inflict a grevious wound before being cut down by Shevatas.  More Picts erupt from the huts to kill the Heros.
Hadrathus and Conan move into the Snake hut to find the unconscious Princess.  Shevatas is confronted by Zogar Sag and a Pict.
Conan drops most of his equipment, picks up the unconscious Princess and makes his escape.  Belit and Shevatas make short work of Zogar Sag and his Pict guard, but with his last force of will Zogar summons 4 more hyenas that burst out of the forest to attack Belit and Shevatas.  It is too little too late though, with Zogar's head already in the possession of Shevatas, he easily flees the field with the head.

Our Heros are victorious.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Building Fronts: Part 2

Once we have the building fronts constructed the next thing we need to do is build doors, prime them black and paint them.
Cutting stir sticks to size and using white glue to build them.

Once the doors are glued I reinforce them with some matchsticks.

The wooden doors are glued to a bamboo skewer and once dried inserted into the front and the base,  Cut them off flush with the bottom of the base.  They should be able to open inwards.

Once you have the fronts assembled, hit them with spray paint or brush them black.

Once painted black, choose your basic colors and paint the walls like plaster and wood or stone or a combination.

Once you have the building fronts built and some corner stones you can assemble them into a city street for your campaigns.

Adventurers are engaged by a a group of city guard,

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Building Fronts: Corner stones.


One of the issues when building these fronts is gaps when you place them next to each other.  Not a deal breaker.....BUT...could be cooler.

My first thought was pillars.  I placed round pillars in the gaps and it was ok, but I thought square ones might be cooler.   The bases are 1 1/2 inches wide so I attempted to build a stone column that size.  I decided it was too large.

I have decided to make the columns at .75 of an inch to fit in tighter to the wall.
Scored along the lines and folded into a column.
I decided to base these on a 1 1/2" base so they matched the height of the building fronts.

Test fitting into the wall sections to see how it fits.



Primed black and sponge painted with grey and light grey.


Walls with painted corner section added in to fill the gap.

Building Fronts. Part 1

As I continue to prepare for the start of my adventures in the Hyborian Age, I realized I would probably want to start in a city.  Further to that I know I didn't want to craft whole buildings.

1) It would be a monumental undertaking.
2) I felt they might get in the way of the actual play.

I went over to DM Scotty's Facebook group and made an inquiry about what other people do to handle this.  I had an idea from DM scotty already, but wanted to see what else people had come up with.  In the end I decided to go with a building front system.  False fronts to give the impression of buildings without the bulk allowing the layout of streets and other city features. Scotty's original youtube video on these is located here: Tilescapes: Building fronts.

I have now begun working on these so I can make a few simple and interesting layouts.

In addition to the pieces I am working on below I have completed 3 test fronts, and have 2 blank walls ready to be painted (assembled and primed).

Going forward I am going to use a measured base so I can make some uniformly size pillars to place as corners or building divisions to tie the fronts together.


Started laying out 6 fronts.  In this case 5 full size ones and 2 1/2 size ones to add a little variation and interest when they are set up.  As well I have made some sketches on the front to remind me what I am doing with each.

Pieces cut out with a sharp knife and beginning to cut out doors and windows.

Cutting some texture and depth elements for a stone/wood building.


Texture pieces glued down with a combination of hot glue and white glue.

Adding some detail to one of the end caps.

A selection of the building fronts.  Still two more basic walls to do from this set.  One will be a wall with windows and one a solid wall. 



Thursday, November 3, 2016

Lost in the Jungle: Ruined Huts

And so our brave band, after being shipwrecked on some lost coast of the Black Kingdoms and fighting their way past hostile tribes have come to a once open settlement that is now overgrown with jungle and in ruins.

The village huts, once likely thatched, only remain as rings of rough hewn stone.



Cut out a piece of foam core larger than you want the stone hut to be.

Shave the edges down to create a nice slope.

Draw a circle approximately where you would like the hut to sit.



Cut polystyrene blocks for the structure.  These blocks are about 1" x 1/2" x 1/2".

Begin fitting the stones to your circle by cutting corners at appropriate so they fit together.

Glue the blocks into place.  I used hot glue, but the high temperatures melted the foam in some places.  Next use your x-acto knife to distress the first level of stones.

Repeat with the second layer of blocks: fit, glue and distress.

Base coat the entire project in black.

Roughly paint the stones with a dark grey.

Add a lighter grey over the dark a little heavier than a dry brush.



Use a white to hit the edges of the stones.
Cover the base in white glue to prepare it for a covering of sand
Base covered in sand.  Once it is dry add more watered down white glue to cement it in place.
Paint base sand with a dark brown.
Dry brush with a lighter brown to bring out detail.
Add some moss flock to the edges.
Completed ruin.