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Starting to build my first dungeon

Warlord dungeon crawl

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#1 MiniCannuck

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 06:57 AM

I started making my first modular dungeon for use in a Reaper scenario I want to do for my local gaming group. My inspirations are the amazing table I saw at GenCon last year and the rule sets that members of the forum have generously shared.

I don't now how to upload pictures in the forum, but here is the link to my blog to see the progress so far.

I am starting out with an Egyptian/Desert theme. Once completed, I plan to adapt the rule sets I've read to create a module for a band of Warlord soldiers to go through. I'm not much for creating random monster dungeon crawls (though playing them can be a lot of fun). I really want to make a scenario that brings me back to the modules of my AD&D youth. Who knows, perhaps this will spark others to publish their modules as well.

I hope you enjoy!

#2 Rastl

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 04:29 PM

You can check out how I made mine on my website in the Terrain blog.

There's also a whole topic on modular dungeons in the Hirst Arts forum.

They're fun and addictive to make.
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#3 Da Matt

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 04:43 PM

I've been eyeing the molds on Hirst for a while now. Can't wait to get a couple ordered and put something together. I look forward to watching you put your together I like what I see so far.

#4 MiniCannuck

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:47 PM

Hirst Arts molds are great. Plus the company really supports the product with excellent projects to do. I owe a lot to what I've learned from that site.

#5 Castlebuilder

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 02:57 AM

Hirst Arts molds are like crack! Once you start you just can't quit!

Anyway, having built a couple dungeon layouts, I offer a few suggestions.

1. Keep in mind that you are building for a skirmish game. Leave plenty of room for fighting. Combat in hallways is slow and drags down the game. Small, touth parties are usually more fun than hordes due to the cramped spaces. Critters like rats, spiders, and goblins work well as speed bumps to slow down a party.

2. Build your hallways with an extra 1/2" so the models can move around easier. If your hallway is just 2" wide, it can be tricky to get two models side by side. This is especially true if you are playing an army like the Reptus, which are very cool but really hang over the bases.

3. Build your walls with the understanding that gamers will be reaching in and out of the rooms and hallways. The layout you played on at GenCon had walls 1 1/4" high as the standard. Lot's of builders don't even go that high. You can do higher walls where decoration requires it, but make those sturdy enough to survive being bumped my elbows and other body parts.

4. Keep track of your paint colors. You will eventually need to touch things up.
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#6 Dr.Bedlam

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:00 AM

I agree with Castlebuilder. That's why I'm afraid to look into Hirst Arts stuff... I've seen what they did to him. Awesome, but scaaaary...

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#7 Qwyksilver

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:36 AM

Hirst Arts molds are like crack! Once you start you just can't quit!


I hate Hirst Arts.

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#8 karazax

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:52 PM

I am considering the 3d terraclip terrain, have heard good things about it. The hirst stuff looks really cool, but seems like it would take a ton of time to set up and more importantly for me, difficult to store and transport.

Sewers of Malifaux
Streets of Malifaux
Buildings of Malifaux

The fatdragon stuff is pretty cool too, but takes alot of time to put together enough to make a large dungeon.

#9 Da Matt

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:00 PM

I've got several sets of Bendy Walls from Dark Platypus and I love them especially since I got the magnetic receptive grid an deverything to put them on. I like the 3d terraclip stuff too I think it looks great but there's just something about a more substantial dungeon that makes me squee a bit. Lets face it I would love to get my hands on the Dwarven Forge stuff but thats not going to happen unless I win the lottery I'm not playing, its just too expensive. I've seen some pretty cool modular stuff done with hirst and I'm really looking forward to where this one goes.

#10 MiniCannuck

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 07:00 AM

My gaming group tried the Terraclip stuff out. It is nice enough on it's own but if you try to mix it with crafted terrain, it doesn't look as good. The way I see it is paper terrain is like playing a board game - it represents but is still abstract.

Terrain building isn't as daunting as people make it out. I have a number of the Hirst Art molds. What I do is get up 15 minutes earlier than I need to mix up some plaster and pour it in a group of molds. When I get home at night, I pop them out and put them in the dehydrator to cure. I unplug the dehydrator when I go to bed and start the process again in the morning. In 2-3 weeks (depending on how many casts I need), I can have 4-5 projects done!

Like painting, it is much easier to do if you have room for a dedicated space to keep things set up.

#11 Da Matt

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 09:17 AM

Terrain building isn't as daunting as people make it out. I have a number of the Hirst Art molds. What I do is get up 15 minutes earlier than I need to mix up some plaster and pour it in a group of molds. When I get home at night, I pop them out and put them in the dehydrator to cure. I unplug the dehydrator when I go to bed and start the process again in the morning. In 2-3 weeks (depending on how many casts I need), I can have 4-5 projects done!


How much time are you looking at to cure the blocks if you don't have a dehydrator to put them in? Are you using any kind of vibrator to make sure you get all the bubbles out of your plaster in the molds?

#12 Castlebuilder

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 03:30 PM

How much time are you looking at to cure the blocks if you don't have a dehydrator to put them in? Are you using any kind of vibrator to make sure you get all the bubbles out of your plaster in the molds?

Normally the bricks dry in a couple of days. If you can spread them out somewhere that there is air circulating, such as near a furnace vent or even better, with a fan blowing over them, the blocks dry faster. If you leave them sealed up in a plastic container where the moisture can't evaporate, they not only take a long time to dry, they come out in funny colors........or so I'm told........
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#13 Inarah

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 03:59 PM

Like MiniCannuck says if you are willing to devote 15-20 minutes twice a day you can get a lot of casting done. I used to just empty the mold out onto a large cookie sheet to dry. If I was in a hurry I put them in the oven. (Turn oven on 350 for 5 minutes, turn oven off, insert cookie sheet and leave to dry overnight).

I never needed a vibrator for casting. After I got a feel for the plaster all I needed to do was tap the side of the mold with the blunt end of a hobby knife or similar tool and it would settle out the bubbles.
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#14 MiniCannuck

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 05:37 PM

I don't use a vibrating table. As long as your plaster is thin like crepe batter, a few taps will do.

I found a dehydrator for $20. They will air dry in a couple of days but it takes less space/effort with the dehydrator on my work table. Again, if it is easy to do, you have a better chance of doing it ;)




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