Monday, January 23, 2023

New Conan Game for Scrum Con - Swords Against the Cult

 I am doing two Conan games for the upcoming Scrum Con in Silver Spring, MD in April of this year.  One of the games is the Conan game I did at Barrage two years ago.  I wanted to do two different Conan games for Scrum Con, so I picked another famous part of the original 1982 Conan the Barbarian movie.  The other two possibilities to me were the raid on the snake tower to get the gem and kill the giant snake, or the raid to capture the princess.  I went with the later just because I thought the terrain would be easier ... although in hindsight it has taken me three weeks to build this layout and I think I made an wrong calculation about which terrain would be easiest!

I am going to do something I don't normally do with terrain which is post a picture of the layout completely built, but unpainted.  This I hope will give a sense for how "rough" things look until you actually put some paint on them ... the paint to me anyway is the "magic."

Here are some shots of it on my basement floor.  The "board" is 3.5 feet long (a little longer but just a couple of inches) and 18 inches wide.  It's made out of craft foam (the thick 6mm kind), wooden craft pieces, and rubber tubing.  It's more or less finished (I have one more detail to add to the snake pillar but it's just a minor cosmetic part of it).

Here is a view from the front with the cave tunnel entrance to the main hall.  In the movie the orgy is happening around the snake pillar.  The stairs lead up to the upper level where Thulsa Doom and the princess are.  The four little round tables will have gold treasures on them and the two wooden pieces closest to the entrance are actually fountains, so they will have hot glue "water" on them as well, but not until after they are painted.


Here is a closer up view of the place where the orgy is happening.

The beads around the base will be painted as skulls (nice, right!?) and they are glued to the foam at this point so they won't move during play.  The circular raised platform is the top of a very large (13.75" I believe) paper mache box.  The round tubing was hot glued onto the foam.  In the movie, there is a rounded "railing" like feature on the stone, and this tubing was the easiest way to get this effect.  We'll see how it looks painted but I think it will look good. 

Another close up.

You get a better sense for the tubing here.  The smaller wooden pieces on each side of the stairs up are burning light sources for the room.  The styrofoam white piece is the stone bowl that holds the "pea soup" in it in the movie.  It can be moved so if Conan wants to push it over, he can.  The snake pillar in the middle will have another architectural feature under each of the snake heads, but this is more or less what it is going to look like.  It, too, is not glued to the raised circular platform so it can be moved if needed.

Here is a view from the rear of the whole game board.

The top layer is where Thulsa Doom (the figure will be on the circle in the rear of this picture) and the princess are located.  

I have all the figures done as well except for the three heroes, Conan, Subotai, and Valeria.  But I will show the figures like I normally do, after I paint them.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Normans for My Hastings Project

In my last post I showed the start of my Saxon and Norman forces for gaming out the Battle of Hastings, but apparently I forgot the Normans! This led to Matt asking about "how I was going to do the Norman cavalry", which I interpreted as "how are you going to make those iconic Norman kite shields, which were used by both the Norman cavalry and the infantry. (If it pertained to something else Matt, you need to let me know as I am being a little dense.)

I will be honest, my first attempts were rather simplistic, as shown in the figure below.

Basically I took the rounded end of a flat toothpick and trimmed it to get the kite shield shape. As you can see, I did an inconsistent job on the size between the three examples. It was because of these results that I cast about for another solution.

First, I wanted something simple to shape. As I had been using a hole punch with thin craft foam sheets that seemed a likely candidate to try. All I needed was to get the shape right. I searched on the internet for "Norman shields" and came across numerous images of shield transfers that are commercially available. Most are for 28mm scale figures (given the popularity of the rules Saga) although I knew that there were some for 15mm. That said, both were too large for my figures, so buying commercial transfers was out. What I needed were digital images that I could scale. So I found some.

I first scaled the figures to an appropriate length, top to bottom, and increased the DPI (dots per inch) of the image so it would lose as little fidelity as possible. I then printed the images out using my inkjet printer on the brightest paper I had. I did not use photo quality glossy paper, however.

I took the printout and glued it to brown craft foam sheets and carefully cut the shields out with tiny scissors. Those, in turn, were glued to the figures.

With a close-up shot you can see obvious flaws, but not when the figures are at arm's length. I did not even color the paper edge, nor paint the craft foam; I liked it the way it was.

What do you think?



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