Archive for March, 2012

Arena by Dwarven Forge

Some time ago I found this photo along the web in a place that now I forgot…


A monstrous arena from hell! A dream! A huge delicacy made of sweat, polystyrene and resin. I remember that some guy spoke about Dwarven Forge, but I cannot found it on their catalogue, so it can be a limited edition set or old item. Think about it with a velarium and spectators: more beautiful than what you can see now. I want something like this one!!! But I cannot afford a thing like this one. Sad. Very sad.

In the meantime I passed my days working, but this weekend I will be in Terni for some playtesting of Ganesha’s games and in Agliana for the annual wargame convention. So I will have something new on the game fields to show you.


Hetairoi arena

Last time we see a gladiator arena with a drawn background as scene, here there is the same principle, a scene + an area for the fight. But this one is a scene with modelling skills of high class quality. It is so beautiful! And you can play without the need of step over tiers. The ground is so obstacles free and easy to storage and transport. When you want to add more style, you can add the scene. It is very well done, little in dimensions and tiers, there are not walls, but it has the right colours and proportions. The final touch is the velarium on the podium.

If you want to know more and watch more photos, you can read directly the blog of the man who realised this beauty: hetairoiwargames


To tread the boards

In these days I was little lazy about taking photos with my camera, and I suffered a interruption of my ADSL connection for 8 days. So I didn’t produce posts with the same rhythm of the past times, even if I have got a lot of new painted miniatures and the realisation of Ferrum et Gloria run very well. I defined the core rules and me and Diego tested them. Sunday I had even a visit from Paolo who now is living in Swiss. We playtested Ferrum et Gloria and played a game with the boardgame Ventura. Sorry, no photos, you can hope for better days. A now we can speak about the “Arena project” with the presentation of other people projects, like this one.

A huge arena is a problem about space and modelling. The action of the play is what is inside the arena, usually a hole with a flat and dull surface. So why spend a lot of time, energies and modelling skills for something around the play, for the boundaries of the hole?
A solution could be a scene, simple and cheap, to create the feeling of the situation. It’s as a theatre, a scene where your fighters can tread the boards.

This man (you can read more here) drawn a portion of the arena with some audience on it. He assumed that the focus of the eye will always be on the miniatures, so not many people was drawn, or all was a matter of heads. Instead he tried to give the individuals some character and animation.

He mounted the finished artwork on 3 millimetre foam board, then glued that to one 5 millimetre rectangular base section with an inside curve cut into it, giving the shape and stand for the model, with a prospective touch too.



How to find some vehicles for my armies? Well, go to a train modelling convention, buy a cheap car from car collector, re-paint it.

Here you can see a Bounduelle van. I don’t want a salad but war, so a touch of dark grey-green paint and it is ready for my BUF army. I don’t know what kind of van it is, but it appears to me like a design that fit in VBCW 1938 scenario, even if it is more probably from later years, around late ’50s I suppose. I don’t care about cars or vans, I prefer tanks.

It is a little small in scale, maybe 1:65 instead of 1:56, but it is good to the eye. I painted red crosses on it because I wanted an ambulance to give to the play another variation. Rules about pick up of wounded…

And speaking about me, I have problems with my ADSL connection since Friday, so I can use only an emergency substitute (steal not protected WiFi from neighbourhood, briefly and only when I find it). I need an ambulance too because I’m addicted to lead and to internet…


Playing cards: red star

I’m not a playing card collector, but I have just a couple of decks that a friend of mine gifted me. One of them is about Chinese posters, those strongly coloured images with propaganda scenes that years ago were very popular in China. Now maybe they are used only in North Korea. Their style is almost the same for all, a mix of comic art and realistic panting. I love these images, they are so naive even if their subjects are not so.

I choose some cards for you, reporting the scene in the brackets and under in italics the unintentionally funny legends. Left to right, obviously.

(Stalin and Mao, against the world, forgetting war between them)
Celebrating the longevity of the friendly alliance between China and the Soviet Union

(Haircuts with rifles)
The army and the people are all one family

(At school, ambushing among teaching post and desks)
Learning how to prepare for war

(Thoughts wearing military uniform)
Ruthlessly criticise the bourgeoisie

(Camouflage with leaves on a moving bike is a great weapon if used with a standing boy with a rifle on your back)
The red dawn lights up our parade ground

(The only good boy is a militarised one)
Be a good child of the Party

(Reading books is good for the apparitions of red ghosts)
Read revolutionary books, learn from revolutionaries and become an heir of the revolution

(People is red, the Mao’s red book is white)
Familiar with the life of workers, peasant and workers

(Bulling young geeks is good)
Don’t talk with him!

(Mockery and torture before a death sentence)
A bad element is publicly criticised

(Killed by a telephone pole is a great thing)
Learn from comrade Lei Feng


Five foot arena

After Zen Garden work I’m back on Ferrum et Gloria, my old project for a ruleset about Gladiators. This time is the fourth attempt to built something very easy, fast and with a strong adherence to historical situations. Diego is helping me with playtesting and ideas. I’ll keep you informed about what is happing.

And now a revamp of the “arena” series, camps for your gladiators. Bigger is better. This is the believe of U.S. people. A giant country hasn’t space problems, so them have huge constructions when smaller proportions are more functional. Indeed, this must be true even for wargame conventions, as you can see here. This one is the arena presented by Vul-Con, a madness 5 foots wide. Gladiators are in 90mm scale, Chinese plastic soldiers that in Rome you can find in souvenir shops that sells them to tourists. You can understand the real dimensions of the arena only with the men behind it. They aren’t dwarf, it isn’t an optical trick, is the arena that is big! Look at chairs too! And in the photo there is a hippodrome too… more than 20 foots long… A real madness!
In wargame conventions you have to show something that can emerge from the wideness of the show, because a DBA terrain is invisible among those spaces and other scenarios. But this thing is decisively unreal, however is a great view. I envy them! A day I could do the same but with 12 inch gladiators…

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