Saturday, September 17, 2016

Matt is Joining the Blog

Last weekend I played the first miniatures game in a long time. Too bad the rules ... sucked. But it did help reinvigorate me to get back into miniatures gaming. So I started taking inventory of what I have and where I left off in my projects. As I was digging through some old rules looking for one particular set I ran across a copy of Arrayed for Battle!, which is the set written by Matt Kirkhart and was used for his Battle of Zama, which he ran at Cold Wars 2012. (You can see my battle report of the games I played.) I flew all the way from Arizona to Pennsylvania to play in those games and to meet Matt, whom I had met online through the Wargaming on a Budget forum on Yahoo. (I would link to it, but the forum has been overrun with posts about Warhammer 40K paper models.) I also competed in the 28mm DBA tournament with my wooden Armenian army. I lost badly as I did not really know how to play that army. But they sure looked cool!

Looking at the pictures of Matt and John's armies from Zama, and at Matt's armies depicted in the rules, I started wondering what Matt was up to. I emailed him and found out that he too had taken a hiatus of sorts from miniatures gaming. But, rather than moving away from making "craftees" Matt focused his energies into creating figures for fantasy role-playing rather than historical battles. He sent me some pictures and I thought that I just had to post them. Hopefully in the near future Matt – who has agreed to co-author this blog – will give us some insight into the components, construction methods, and painting techniques used to make the items below. See if you can spot the wooden shapes that he used.

– Dale

Hello everyone!  Good to be back, and I want to thank Dale for inviting me to make some posts to his blog.  It has been about two years or so since I posted anything to the Yahoo group about any of the Craftees I was making during this time.  In general, I decided to return to my gaming roots, mainly because I got into a gaming group that plays the games of my youth, mainly D&D.  As part of my nostalgic return to my youth, in terms of my Craftees I decided to try and make a Craftee version of the popular (back in the day) Heroquest board game.  I started to work on this project of creating a Craftee version of Heroquest and then decided that I would shift to doing more classic D&D monsters and dungeon pieces.  And then, of course, what happened is that I decided to write a set of simple rules inspired by classic old-school D&D and Heroquest that I could use to play games with my new figures.  I can write more about that later, but for now, I've included some shots of some of the Craftee fantasy figures I've done so far.  I put together a game set up using my new little fellows.

This first picture is a view of the whole board in the game so far.  The heroes have become a bit spread out, but down in the bottom room you can see a warrior priest and a dwarf doing battle with a couple of skeletons and a ghoul, with a halfling supporting them about to backstab a zombie.  The room has a closed single-wide door, a torture rack (I tried to directly copy the one from the Heroquest game), a wooden crate, and a mysterious collection of mushrooms growing over in the corner.  The heroes appear unaware of the vicious giant rats sneaking up the narrow passage to their rear.

Next we have the center hallway and turn section that also has an unopened single-wide door.  The knight (facing the camera) battles an evil chaos knight, while the elf shoots an arrow at an umber hulk who has wandered into the hallway (no idea how he got through the single-wide door!).  To the elf's left is a gray ooze reaching up to attack her by surprise!

Finally the far room is a burial chamber with a double-wide door, four marble pillars, a container of unholy water, a sarcophagus (also copied from the original Heroquest game) dominates the center of the room, and a carrion crawler opposes a barbarian and a wizard (who is not visible in this picture but will be in some of the pictures below).

This is a close up of the first room and the lower part of the hallway and turn tiles.  You have a good view of the monsters as well as the heroic knight.  The tiles themselves are pre-cut pieces of thin wood from a craft store that I painted to represent rooms, hallways, and turn sections.  As you can see, the squares in the hallway are not quite the same size as those in the room.  I tried to free hand paint everything, which gives it the "look" I want, but if you choose to do that, you have to be okay with some less than precise dungeon tile connections.  But hey, it's a dungeon, right?

The hallway and turn section, and the final room are shown here.  The gray ooze miniature is just hot glue that I pulled up in some places while the glue was cooling to make it look like it is "reaching" towards a hero in an attack.  Standard paint job and unlike most of my other Craftees, I actually put a gloss clear-coat on the gray ooze to make it look ... well ... "oozy."  You also have a pretty good view of the wizard in this picture, casting a spell to help out the barbarian fighting the carrion crawler.

And a close-up of the Burial Room.

Dale and I will talk about construction and painting of these guys in later posts.  I just wanted to give everyone an update about what Craftee project I have been working on over the past couple of years.  I also have some sci-fi figures that I'll post pictures of as well, sort of "Craftee Space Marines."

– Matt

New rules to boot!?! And Craftee Space Marines! I can hardly wait.

– Dale


  1. Fantastic news! Matt is not only a talented artisan, but he is a really fine person to talk gaming with!

  2. Thanks Chuck! Sorry I missed Guns of August ... again ... I need to try to make it back. I was going to Fall-In this year too, but now it looks like I can't go. I think I need to get a new job!!!

  3. Thanks Geordie, they are really fun to make and paint.




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