Saturday, March 30, 2013

Building Overhangs - Balconies?

Duh. OK. So, sometimes it takes a few minutes to sink in and understand what I've really gone and done. All these pieces amount to are TLX balconies with TLX tab slots cut out. Well, almost.

I'll spend a little more time thinking through my plans here. I think there's more flexibility to being able to use tab slots rather than have a built-on railing, but it won't "just work" for angled balconies. The textures that wrap the piece *would* need redesigning though, but that's not a difficult task.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Encounter: The Hermit's Shack

I've got a rough first draft of the first encounter, "The Hermit's Shack". I have never put something like this together before, and frankly, I don't know how well the format will work for people. My goal was to just provide some ideas of hooks and encounters, and so it's not a bunch of monster stats and system-specific challenges. It's just some fluff I've collected that someone might enjoy reusing however they see fit.

Download The Hermit's Shack (draft 1)

This isn't complete! I mean, besides the cover artwork being a piece of TODO text, I haven't really tested out the layout much to see if it prints well, or if the font size is good. I haven't spell-checked it at all either. But, I get few enough folks passing through this blog that I figured I'd push what I've got up now to keep me moving, and if anyone wants to comment on this - praise or criticism - I'd appreciate it.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hangin' out at Thoumont's

I haven't been kitbashing much lately - I'm just too lazy and unmotivated. It'd help if there were people in my area who I could collaborate with. That would be a lot of fun.

Inspiration struck me on my way to karate class tonight, though. I wanted to make a Thoumont's building that had an overhang. A lot of the static-built papercraft buidings I've seen have interesting architectural elements that the TLX stuff doesn't have. So, I present to you, the TLX building overhang:

Ok, I admit it doesn't look like much. I didn't bother adding textures to it, but imagine the top piece with roof textures on it, and the bottom would have a top and bottom texture - the paper wraps all the way around the foamcore. It's also sporting TLX anchors in two corners. It might be neat to add them in all four corners, and even in the middle - not sure. I also think adding some anchors to the bottom may be a nice option, as you'll see in the next photo.

If I had built TWO of these pieces, I could have made a second floor that extended over the first, and that would have looked better. As it is, the roof is at least hanging over the front entryway. I propped some posts under it just to make it look like it had some columns. Maybe anchors underneath would just be too fiddly for setup. I dunno.

There you can see the 1" overhang. It's not much, but it's more than nothing, and I think that little option may make buildings a little more varied.

It works with the standard tiles and trusses. If I were to make this a real kitbash or product add-on, I'd need 1", 1.5" and maybe 2" roof pieces and tile pieces, and I think I'd want to make railings that wrap around the add-on tile piece. I'd need to make tall and short roof pieces with and without overhangs, and maybe even some angled pieces.

Another, less flexible alternative would be to make a 7" roof and a 4" roof (or even just a 4" roof since you can make a 7" from a 3" and a 4").  A 4", 4.5" and 5" roof would be less floppy than the smaller ones, but maybe less versatile. Hm. Nope - I want the smaller pieces.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Anyone up for an adventure?

I've been toying with the idea of putting together some simple adventure hook ideas, coupling them with sample maps that take advantage of the WorldWorksGames TLX tile sets. I'm starting to scribble down locations and cliche encounters just to see what it would be like. The end result, I hope, will be a series of adventure hooks, quests and delves that are game system agnostic. Making them absent of any game mechanics details, they should be suitable for any size or level group, too. Since I've got a million Dungeons and Dragons 4e books, I'll probably include example mobs to fight, or stats for skill challenges and what not. I'll package things up as maybe 1 - 3 pages of text plus maps. Maybe noone will be interested, but it'll at least let me get better at story telling.

While I've actually got a lot of little plot lines in flight, I'm going to try to package up something around a mini build I posted on a while back. That'll let me build up some styles for how I would like to publish the results, and buy me some time to finish off the next idea.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

First speedmount test today

I'm looking to create a base for some promo pics of the Atlantis TLX set. I bought a crazy big pen set in order to try to better edge my work, though even with a 100-pen set it's hard to edge the sand sections... So, I'm going to try speedmounting the pieces together to see if it reduces the need to edge the sand. If it doesn't work out, then oh well - I'll just make real TLX tiles. If it does work, then by the end of the day today, I should have at least one 3x5 base to work off of, maybe two if I'm lucky. I'll have to design it so I can flip them around and have two layouts!

Update 1: Well, I got one board done last night. I found that the cutfiles for the large tiles were off just a smidge, and it drove me nuts since it meant it didn't cut perfectly inside the scorelines, leaving an annoying and unnecessary dotted line along one edge. I spent a little time fixing that, and another set of minor issues with the cutfile, and it's much more consistent. I might submit the new file to the forums to see if anyone is interested.

I'm almost done with the second board, but I'm fighting my printer again. After five or so pages, it starts losing black ink. Last time, I drew the pigment black through the lines a bit, and it was fine again. This time, I think it might be the regular black. It's really annoying - it messes up the flow of getting things done. So, two tiles more down, and I'll have the base on which to build! It's embarrassing how long this has taken me. :(

Monday, March 4, 2013

Moore State Park. In paper. By an 8 year old.

My family and I had a great time visiting Moore State Park over the weekend. Even with the snow, the trails were easy to walk, and there are some really nice buildings to be seen. My younger son couldn't keep from imagining how to recreate part of the trails we walked, and so that night, he busted out the TerrainlinX tiles and set to work. Specifically, he did a creative layout that resembles a bridge we crossed on the path.

There at the bottom is the bridge. There's a waterfall just past the bridge and he's captured the stream there nicely.

He used Thoumont's tiles to recreate the wooden bridge, balancing tiles on the posts to make the roof. I knew exactly what he had made when I saw it!

Several tiles were stacked on top of each other, adding some variety to the landscape. I like doing this, too, to keep the maps from just being so flat.

I thought this was really creative. He took the tile pieces from the Hinterland Cliffs set and arranged them to make this little area. Now I wish I had a ton more of those pieces - it's a really clever way to make interesting hilly areas, or in this case, maybe a cave entrance or other really neat scenic location.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Comething COMPLETELY different... Topiaries!

I recently wrapped up making the standees from the Citizens of Himmelveil II set from WorldWorksGames, and wanted to make use of the momentum I had. I've been tossing around the idea of making some scenery standees - stuff like plants that would fill in some rooms and make the builds look more varied. Here's what I whipped up using some photos I found on the web:

The colors are a little dark, but that's easy to fix. They're fairly tiny things - they're all smaller than a typical standee. Here's another photo of a couple plants in "action":

I'd imagine they'd be very fiddly things to cut by hand, but via a machine cutter, you'd have dozens cut out and assembled in no time. I'll probably add a larger black border around the plants to make them easier to cut by hand. I think next I'd like to make some variety of signage for buildings - a couple sandwich board signs, maybe this standee-style for posts with signs hanging on them, and maybe some that are designed to be glued to the buildings (either flat on the wall, over the door etc, or jutting out of the building).