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Fantasy Diorama idea


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#1 Brian Swartzmiller

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 01:23 PM

I am new to painting mini's, but have been doing dioramas for a while so I wanted to combine the two. My Idea is to use an aold card table approx 3X3 and have a small "outpost" consisting of a Blacksmith w/attached shop, A tavern, An Item/potion shop, and A "magic" shop for items and spells. All buildings I am going to design myself. I plan on using lots of interrior details in the buildings.

Now my first question would be is there any other type of building I might be missing (my goal is to double the diorama as a table top game), so Adventures can "prepare" in town?

The Rest of the Diorama will consist of some water features and mountains, I will sculpt and rough the terrian my self and add deatils. Now depending on the size of the village I'd like to set up at least three "quests" on the table for example one quest might take place in a small ancient graveyard, but I have to make it all fit the table and flow togehter. All ideas will be welcome

last thought while I am getting the land formed I'll be painting the mini's I going to be using as of now I'm looking at a 4-5 man adventuring party starting in town, 5 NPC's in the various shops, like I said once I get the concept for the village and how it will look I can scale the rest around that. This will be a LONG project and I look forward to the ideas

#2 Nocturne

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 01:33 PM

As you mentioned a graveyard the obvious missing building is a small church or chapel, can double as places for clerics to prepare, get blessed items etc.
The other thing would be some sort of guardtower which would double as a jail, not so much useful for getting kit but could be useful from an adventuring standpoint, i.e. local quest links, information on dangers in the area etc. I'd say if space is limited a chapel is probably more use directly for the players.

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#3 Adrift

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 01:44 PM

A general store. Every outpost town needs a small general store for all the rudimentary needs.

Maybe a young boy or girl who's selling fresh fruit/veggies in a small cart that they bring into the outpost from an outlying farm.

#4 Brian Swartzmiller

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 03:00 PM

Grat ideas thanx guys

#5 Inarah

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 04:15 PM

A little market square with fruit and vegetable vendors, maybe someone selling bread, someone selling meat, fish or chickens. This sort of stuff would have been the mainstay of daily commerce in any village and still is in much of the world.

You should also add a mill, near the water, for the grinding of grain. This is central to having a village, as without it there is no bread. There would probably also be a sawmill for processing lumber.

If this is an outpost you need a military/government presence. Some kind of defendable tower, with room for a handful of soldiers. An office for the Captain/constable/Lord protector to do his business from. Who keeps the law here, collects taxes and road tolls, and ensures that the weights used in the market have not been shaved?

Personally I would combine the potion and magic items shop. This is an outpost, and those are luxury items better suited for sale in the city. If the area is still wilderness I wouldn't expect a large enough trade in those items (the party excepted) to keep two shops open soley for that business. However, adding an herbalist shop might not be a bad idea, as it's more the sort of "magic" that rural folks use and understand (and there's still options here for the players)
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#6 dwarvenranger

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:19 AM

As someone who uses Hirst Arts molds to create buildings and had the desire, unlike most HAddicts, to build a village before I built a dungeon, I can tell you that 3' x 3' may sound like a lot of space, but it really isn't. So I'd be weary of making too many buildings.
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#7 Brian Swartzmiller

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:20 AM

@dwarvenranger... I can totally understand I am thinking the table might just be for the village and go from there. Seeing how you've used Hirst Arts could you give me a general idea of building sizes? I was thinking 5X6X4 any demension advice you can give me would be helpful I am still in the concept stage and don't want to get into it and figure out I either went too small or too big
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#8 The Inner Geek

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:26 AM

Reading your post, I had an idea about creating "gateways" to adventures in the diorama. For example, a waterfall nearby could have a hidden cave behind it. A Barrow, or even a Mausoleum in the cemetary could contain a secret door to an underground crypt. A plain old cave nearby, or a cellar entrance behind the tavern could all be places the party "exits" the diorama and enter a part of the adventure. The river might contain an underwater entrance to a cavern system that the party can only find by actually looking at the diorama for clues about the landscape they recieve from NPC's.

Most of this isn't adding much physically to the location, but ideas on using the diorama to assist the story.
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#9 Qwyksilver

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:24 PM

Heh...just ask Castle builder and Sergei about the need for self restraint and spacing when building a village.

Tim and Dave went so far as to make underground tunnels just to add more fun things in one of their city crawls. Think it was called night of the demons.

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#10 dwarvenranger

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:44 PM

Well, what kind of building are you planning the 5" x 6" for? I have two kinds of fieldstone homes, one type ends up being 5" x 5" outside (4" x 4" inside) and is a single room. The other type of fieldstone house is 8" x 8" (7" x 7" inside) and has three rooms. The inn is 13 1/2"L x 9"W outside and is two stories.The tavern is 17"L x 8"W and is also two stories. The blacksmiths shop is 11"L x 10"W. The footprint for the water mill is 17"L x 10"W. The town is still a work in progress, since I tend to get sidetracked.
I know it sounds obvious, but if you don't plan on keeping everything up all the time, make sure you have a place to store the buildings. They tend to take up a bunch of space.
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#11 Gryfter_92

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 07:55 PM

As someone who uses Hirst Arts molds to create buildings and had the desire, unlike most HAddicts, to build a village before I built a dungeon, I can tell you that 3' x 3' may sound like a lot of space, but it really isn't. So I'd be weary of making too many buildings.


So very true!!!!

I have been using 18"x18" pieces of 1/2 foam poster board as the bases for my buildings, just to keep me from building myself inside of a castle......with no way out. The idea is to be able to place them together to form the village eventually....lol The HA molds are probably the next best find since Reaper. One piece of advice is to K.I.S.S. when it comes to buildings, especially if they are to be used for gaming.

#12 dispatchdave

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 07:40 AM


As someone who uses Hirst Arts molds to create buildings and had the desire, unlike most HAddicts, to build a village before I built a dungeon, I can tell you that 3' x 3' may sound like a lot of space, but it really isn't. So I'd be weary of making too many buildings.


So very true!!!!

I have been using 18"x18" pieces of 1/2 foam poster board as the bases for my buildings, just to keep me from building myself inside of a castle......with no way out. The idea is to be able to place them together to form the village eventually....lol The HA molds are probably the next best find since Reaper. One piece of advice is to K.I.S.S. when it comes to buildings, especially if they are to be used for gaming.


Agreed2. I like to use 1/2" pink foam (insulation foam) in 12" squares for all of my (WIP) buildings. Now to build alleys and streets too....

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#13 Gryfter_92

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 08:58 AM

Yeah, I use the 3/4 blue insulation for terrain, I figured my "village" would be relatively flat.......hence the 1/2 in poster board...lol. If I didn't force myself to keep it simple, then it turns into a giant nightmare of a layout.......something along the lines of a museum piece....lol




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