The work on the Lost Mine of Phandelver pieces continues to move forward. I’ve applied a coat of joint compound to the Cragmaw Hideout cave complex. I started working on some of the cave rubble, adjusted some of the stalagmites, and built a ridge around the pond and stream to hold in the clear epoxy resin. I also realized that I am going to need a structure to hang the waterfall from, so I added a pillar that I’ll thicken and texture up before figuring out how the waterfall is going to work.

cragmaw hideout birds eye view

I started coating the finished foam and joint compound areas with a sealing coat of Mod Podge & black paint. I need to texture the actual play areas with some tin foil, but forgot about that step and you can see that I have one cave floor that has already been coated. Whoops.

entrance to the cragmaw hideout

I made three campfire rings, two small and one larger, that will get placed in the caves. You can see that the small LED and dab of cotton give a not terrible flame effect on the one of the smaller campfire that I’ve put together. I’ll get all three of them set up and wired to a switch, maybe two switches, before this thing is done.

This weekend I made some bricks for the next two parts of this project–the ruins and the first of two dungeons.

20mm x 40mm bricks

Okay, I made more than a few bricks. I made a bucket of bricks. I hope I have enough.

bucket o’ bricks

I mentioned in passing that I’ve decided to add another hobby to my repertoire. It ties into both the statue customizing/repainting that I was all about a while back and is a part of tabletop gaming that I’ve flirted with in the past but never committed to. I’m talking about 28mm miniature painting. 28mm refers to the scale of the figures, but explaining the details of that seems to lead everyone into the weeds and I’ll avoid that for both our sakes. Lets just say that a typical dude is about 1-1/8th tall. They’re pretty small.

otherworld idol and a 5-pack of resin flames

I found this miniature diorama set at Otherworld Miniatures and knew immediately that I had to have it. If you’re not of a certain age and disposition, you may not recognize it. This is the idol featured on the cover of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook. This set includes the iconic demon idol pictured above, but it also includes an altar and pair of braziers, as well as a pair of plucky thieves stealing one of the idol’s eyes. None of which did I include in the picture. Once I get everything put together and painted, I’m going to build a set piece recreating that cover. The flames; those I don’t really have a plan for yet, but I wanted them so I bought them.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook by Trampier
trampier cover art

In preparation for all the painting fun that I’m about to embark on, I picked up a nice set of brushes. This one is a 12-pc set of assorted detail brushes, Minute Series XII Miniature Brushes. I am no expert on brushes, but this set has almost 1,500 reviews on Amazon and has an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5, so I have high hopes for them. They came with a bag, a plastic case that screws together, and little caps for each brush. The brushes themselves have a fat, triangular, supposedly ergonomic, wooden handles and premium synthetic hair brushes. I’ll let you know what I think about them once I start using them.

Minute Series XII Small Paint Brushes with Holder by D’Artisan Shoppe

Of course, if you’re going to have figures and brushes, you’re going to need paints. I found a deal on Amazon for a pair of paint sets licensed by D&D. Each of these came with a miniature: an owlbear in the monster set and a dude with a sword in the adventurer set. So in one fell stroke I have two miniatures, four brushes, and 46 paints. Well, the actual breakdown is: 1 primer, 3 washes, 4 metallics, 37 acrylics, and 1 effect paint. I’d include a link to this deal, but it seems to be gone. The individual sets are still there, but the whole package doesn’t appear to be available anymore. I think this is enough to get me started. But I will say that like with every hobby, paints and brushes are the never ending must haves.

Nolzur’s D&D paint sets

I tried to use Lady Ronn’s light box for the photos, but obviously I need some practice. I had to photoshop everything to make it look right and I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work. Here are a couple pictures of the Cragmaw cave hideout that I’ve been working on. This time with miniatures for scale. That’s all for now. Later.

a peek into the cragmaw hideout
cragmaw hideout – work in progress

arohenRPG

The wedding of my sister-in-law to her handsome groom has come and gone. It was last weekend and I didn’t get around to mentioning it. Congratulations Josh and Kristen, I wish you many very happy years of wedded bliss. And Josh, I wasn’t kidding. That was a pretty swanky gala and I think it’d be great if you threw one every year! You know, for the family.
Thursday was the graduation ceremony for my youngest boy. The whole gang turned out to watch him walk and it went without a hitch, despite the heat and a stadium full of 18-year-olds and their parents. He made it out of high school and into world with only minor bumps and bruises. Now, despite the assertion that those were the longest, hardest, worst 4-years of a persons life (they’re not—that’d be middle school) it only gets more challenging from here on out. I wish him well and hope he finds his luck.
This weekend is the big summer kick-off. My mother-in-law is here. Summer is here. I cleaned up the patio and got the furniture set up and washed down. The grill is ready and waiting for me to make shish-ka-bob tomorrow. Because that’s what I want to do and it’s my Memorial Day. That’s why.
It’s a 101°F in my garage with the door open… I think I liked it better when I just thought it felt like a hundred degrees in the garage, now with the thermometer on the garage door opener I actually know it. Does not make things better.
So despite the 3-day holiday weekend, my math class is online, so no ‘day off’ from that. And if you needed proof that all this school has got me feeling the pressure. Here it is: arohenRPG. Yep, despite a 10-year hiatus from the pen and paper tabletop roleplaying stuff, I’m feeling the bug. So of course I had to waste some time on that by putting some of my old stuff together and creating a section of the website for it… probably not the best use of my time. But WtH, a guys gotta have some fun. You’ll find the link up at the top of the page if you’re into that kind of thing.