So. I have two and a half models base-coated, and no real prospects for starting to play while I’m up here in Michigan (Unless I drive two hours over to Lansing in October). For me, that equates to grandiose ideas. First, that involves a lot more models being purchased to flesh out what hopefully will end up being a roughly 100-point force, with a few character ‘jacks chosen for their affinities to my two epic ‘casters and a whole lot of units. Errants, Bastions, and Flameguard, I’m looking at you. Obviously that kind of an army requires something better than a cardboard box to transport it, so I’ve been lusting after one of the Privateer Press Battlefoam bags but cringing from the price tag. Maybe once I get some money saved up. Let’s hope I can control myself until then.
Next on the agenda, after I’m settled into a place with some space and time to build, is a gaming table. I’ve seen a lot of people building their own all across the Privateer Press forums, with varying degrees of difficulty and success. I’m thinking to build a stand-alone table, maybe with some storage down below, but this design really caught my eye:
I love that, beyond the 4’x4′ play surface, there are 6″ runners for cards, room for drinks and snacks, and an additional 1′ wide writing surface off to the side for reference sheets, army lists, rule books, or the cat if you so desire. Whoever designed this — and it wasn’t credited when I found it — you are amazing. I want to copy this so badly.
This leads into the actual play surface itself. Since I’m playing the Protectorate, I figure a desert theme would make my table sort of a “home base.” Within the Protectorate, there really aren’t that many locations where you’d be likely to find Kreoss and Feora — my two casters — since the former is up with the Northern Crusade while the latter watches over the military at home. The one exception I can think of is Tower Judgment, which shows up on the cover of Forces of Warmachine: Protectorate of Menoth behind the Avatar in the top left.
So my interest was piqued, to put it mildly. I started looking for premade terrain pieces of gothic cathedrals, since that’s what you usually find that sort of flying buttresses on. (And no, gothic cathedrals have nothing to do with teenagers in entirely too much eye makeup and spiked collars listening to bad music and pretending to like it just so they can get some attention. Or bats, darkness, and heavy metal either. They’re actually very light and bright inside.) Turns out there’s not much that will give you both a curved wall and a flying buttress, especially not in 28mm scale.
That is, until I found Hirst Arts. They offer a variety of molds from which to make plaster or resin bricks, arches, buttresses, and more, which you can then glue together in any configuration you please. It’s like a Lego set where you can always make more Legos, and the castle wall doesn’t look like… well, Legos.
Now, I’m not planning to do a whole lot of the casting after this one project, so I’d rather skip the $30-$40 price tag per mold, of which I would need three. Plus plaster, glue and paint. That’s why I looked for and found Naloomi’s Workshop, one of a handful of sites that sells pre-cast sets of Hirst Arts’ molds. They run $2 for a plaster cast of one mold, and $3 for a resin cast — quite the deal considering that you can get ten resin casts of a mold for less than it would’ve cost to get one plaster cast. So my plan is to get one of the smaller 6″ tower sets along with the parts to make a flying buttress, and use those to build a dice tower in the style of Tower Judgment.
The rest of the table will be pretty standard desert terrain, with a few floating “dunes” and Middle-Eastern-style buildings that I’ve managed to find online in 28mm scale. Given the expenses and effort involved, this is definitely going to have to be a multi-stage process, probably starting with the army, then to the Dice Tower Judgment, then the table itself. I anticipate the tower costing $40-$50 all told with paint and materials, and the table to be another $100 roughly, but if I can find materials for less I’ll jump on that. Still, I’m excited to get started on this! If only we had invented time travel by now!