Tinfoil Tabletop Caves

cavebuild_01

A few months back J–one of our Statbonus contributors–linked me to a Youtube video of TheDMGinfo making cardboard and tinfoil miniature cave tile sets. If you haven’t seen it yet I highly recommend checking out his channel. Continue reading

Advertisements

The Battlebox (For the Portable Dungeon Master)

a120150131_204206

Anyone who’s been to the game shop on a busy night has seen the tote-stacker dungeon master. He’s the man with an army and an arsenal of battlefields to throw at his players…if only he could get them through the door. He wheels around his tote-boxes strapped to a moving dolly, and a hush follows wherever he goes– from customers anxious to see what custom dioramas he’ll unveil, to his players waiting at the big table. Everyone watching feels a mixture of emotions. 50-percent pity for the poor bastard loading up the moving van every game night, and 50-percent frothing envy over the players who get to tame the wilderness within those tote boxes.

Everyone who frequents the game store has seen this guy. Hell, I am that guy. At least, I was. Then I decided to become the Van Helsing of gaming.

Everything I need to DM a game in one box. One tote, ready to do battle at the drop of  hat. No more moving dolly. No more asking; “Could you hold the door?” Everything I need in one space-saving, box-of-holding for mini’s, set pieces, maps, and dice.

Too bold? Too lofty a goal? Probably. But what I managed to build isn’t half bad for running a game in a pinch. So here are a few features of the Battle-Box. Continue reading

Start Painting Miniatures! (A Guide to Shame)

A few weeks back a new D&D player at the game store asked; “Where should I start?” He was holding up a package with a plastic 28mm figure that looked like a mutant from The Hills Have Eyes, wielding a cleaver, laughing with a gap-toothed grin. He said he wanted to paint his new barbarian.

-- Reapermini.com

— Reapermini.com

Pictured: A lovely sculpt by Paul Muller, The Dreg Butchers. AKA; NOT a Barbarian!

I explained to him that there are tons of painting guides online, but they range widely in skill level, and it can take hours of surfing to learn exactly what type of instructional you need. Painting a mini isn’t like building an IKEA shelf. There are no steps 1-5 with weird bubble men to demonstrate. In short; I couldn’t explain in 10 minutes or less how to paint his murder-hillbilly, may god have mercy on the party that gets stuck with this deranged “barbarian.”

So to make up for my incredibly unhelpful answer, which boiled down to “surf around online until you get inspired or give up,” here are a few reasons why there is no catch-all forum guide, and how searching for one can end in swift, depressing defeat. Continue reading

Product Review 09667 (Rattlesnake Leather)

20140628_004525

Every time I’ve ordered miniatures or miniature products from Reaper (http://www.reapermini.com/) I’ve received a receipt, which also has a printed statement claiming that if anything extra was thrown into the box with my order, it’s no accident. Ostensibly this is a warning, so honest gamers won’t send back the promotional Krakken that was thrown in with their order of a dozen victims-on-spits.

vicspit

Seriously, guys. Seriously…

Continue reading

Portable Tabletop Walls

brick

In the eternal struggle between quality of set-pieces on the gaming board, and the amount of shit I’m willing to drag to the gaming shop (or virginal basement dwelling), it has often been my instinct to err on the side of portability. In prior posts I’ve talked about constructing compact buildings for ease of transportation. Some weeks ago I got the notion to scratch-build walls to match the “nesting houses”, in a way that would both conserve space and blend in with the paint scheme.

So today I present to you my adventures with foamcore, lacquer, and refrigerator pranks. Continue reading

Cheap Insect Miniatures

20140418_075158

Some months ago I purchased a bag of toy insects from the Dollar Tree discount store by my house. In part because I have the mind of a small child. But also because I harbored hopes that I could turn these tiny malformed bits of plastic, which would only pass for real bugs if the insects had been tortured to death then tie-dyed and baked, into table-worthy miniatures. This is the tale. Continue reading