Archive for category Hirst Arts

D & D Game Board

Over the past few months, I’ve manged to get myself in to a D&D campaign.  4th edition is very nearly a different game from the old AD&D I used to play back in college (bonus points to anyone who remembers how long ago that was).  The new game uses a strict grid for combat resolution – a situation I find 10 years of miniature gaming very suited for.  With a few nights work, I set up a battle board using Hirst Arts bricks.  All of the objects are movable, allowing for any number of conflicts to be fought over the 4 6×6 dungeon tiles.

Paint plan

  • Medium Grey house paint for base
  • Highlights with Light Gray (Folk Art) & Country Tan (Apple Barrel)
  • Tile details: Rifle Butt (Howard Hues)
  • Select details: Stone (Secret Weapon)

1 Comment

Adepticon Malifaux terrain

One of my major projects for Adepticon was creating terrain for the new Malifaux tournaments. Its a fun game to create terrain for – a wide variety of archetypes are in play.

Hollow Halls is made up mostly from Manor House terrain kits. These kits are rather a chore to work with, detail is worn down from over casting the molds, pieces are large & heavy and instructions are non-existent. No wonder they were going cheap on Ebay.
Infestation is made from Hirst kits, building molds I made for Adepticon a few years back and a bit of sculpting.
Grey City is an old 40K table made from Hirst components.
Cairn Hills and Grave Yard are old fantasy tables made from pink foam and (once again) Hirst blocks.


Leave a comment

Water Color on Plaster

I’ve long wondered how plaster bricks would take to water colors.  The basic white block seemed to be a perfect object to take color.

With the help of my oldest daughter, I was able to give water color a trial run.

The water colors provided good coverage (especially under an adult hand) and would be fun to see how multiple layers would stack & blend.  All told, could be a good method to employ if I ever manged to get way from the moody Gothic terrain I seem to build all the time.  Anyone know of a set of water colors not intended for Kindergartners?


Crates and Barrels

The Hirst Arts Cavern Accessory Mold #85 is an invaluable mold.  Crates, barrels, sacks and vessels are appropriate for just about any sort of table top game – fantasy, historical or Sci Fi.  These crate and barrel stands are going to be used at Adepticon on the Legends of the Old West and Malifaux tables.


Adepticon 2011 Webcart Now Open

The Adepticon 2011 web cart is open for business.  I will have a busy year ahead of me.  Friday I teach 2 sessions of my Hirst Arts Seminar.  Come learn about tips and tricks with Hirst Arts molds, or just good fun for anyone who wants to get their feet wet in the plaster hobby.  Saturday and Sunday are the Warhammer Ancients events – first Singles, then Team.

The big news of the day is the announcement of the Crystal Brush awards and a shocking $10,000 first prize.  Cool Mini Or Not is sponsoring the competition and will be vending at Adepticon.  I’ll need to set a few bucks aside for bizarro Euro imports.


Adepticon 2010: After Action

I may be biased, but Adepticon 2010 was a surprising success. Adepticon has always been a tournament players convention. We’ve worked for years to introduce a more casual speed to the gaming frenzy, after all – not everyone wants to play 11 high stress tournament games in less then 72 hours. This year, Adepticon literally took over the hotel. Tables spilled out of the halls and into the walk ways. Many people took advantage of the additional tables for pick up games, or sit down games with their friends. I want to say I saw Infinity, Fire Storm Armada and the Rogue Traders RPG being played (if you’re out there – send me an email and we can get you on the schedule for 2011).

In the open gaming hall, the demo games were well attended. Photos below are from the WAB demos I ran, the Old West battle game and the Vox Populi demo game.

Adepticon marks the end of my “gaming year”. All of the big hobby projects are wrapped up and presented. My big effort this past year was the creation of a WAB demo army – 200 figures for Rome and Carthage. Next year’s schedule is already filling up.

  • Finish another 1000 points of Romans.  This will give me a full 2K WAB army.  I expect that most of the projects will be various Italian units used as allies.
  • Paint 100 (more or less) Hopilites for a WAB big game next year.
  • Build 1 Necromunda table.  I have an old Hirst Arts Skematic dungeon that I want to re-build and remake.  A Necro table would be a perfect project for the conversion.
  • Create a resin building kit.  Not sure what period yet – Rome, Old West and Pirate are all possibilities.

Leave a comment

Ruined Castle – Complete

Took about 10 weeks of hard work, but I’m rather satisfied with the result. In the end, the 8×4 table was consolidated into a tightly packed 4×4 table – perfect for a skirmish game like Legend of the High Seas. The event organizer was please with the terrain & apparently the castle was a hit with the players.

Looking at the finished project, I would to add a few taller pieces.  The jungle plants are nearly as tall as the castle structures – I’d like for the castle to break through the forest canopy.  Guess that’s a project for next year.


ruined-castle-016_600 ruined-castle-014_600 ruined-castle-012_600 ruined-castle-009_600 ruined-castle-006_800 ruined-castle-017_600

Pirate Castle Series:

  1. Ruined Pirate Castle
  2. Its a Jungle out there
  3. Ruined Pirate Castle – layout
  4. Ruined Pirate Castle: paint list

Pirate Castle At Play:

  1. Cursed Treasures:  Cursed Isle at Adepticon
  2. Plastic Legions:  Give it up for the Pirates!!



Ruined Pirate Castle: paint list

Adepticon is almost here & the castle is nearly finished. For this project, I’ve spent a lot of time painting with a sponge. Its a great little tool which completely eliminates any brush marks. With the highly textured surface of the Hirst blocks, the sponge quickly applies paint to the surface & leaves shading in the crevices unmarked. Wet blending is a snap – the sponge easily blends from color to color.

All that is left is a bit of static grass on the bases and creeper lines on the walls with flock.


Paint List

Field Stone:

  • tan house paint base
  • Dark Brown with hints of Light Red Oxide & Hunter Green (Folk Art)
  • 80/20 brown/black wash with water, future wax and white glue mix
  • Desert Sand top coat (Americana)

Chipped Stone:

  • medium grey house paint base
  • Medium Gray (folk Art) & Dolphin Gray (Apple Barrel) undercoat
  • 80/20 black/brown wash with water, future wax and white glue mix
  • Medium Gray top coat


  • medium brown house paint base
  • English Mustard (Folk Art) 1st dry brush
  • Desert Sand top brush



Ruined Pirate Castle

The pirate castle for Adepticon is finally coming together (and with 2.5 weeks to go – it better!).  25 pieces cover a 6 foot by 2.5 foot table space.  When combined with jungle plants, the whole set up should fill a 8×4 gaming table.  I have a lot of painting to do, but a big brush should cover a lot of ground in a hurry.

jungle-castle-table jungle-castle-table-2 The castle layout begins with the two large round towers with the gate house ruins in between.  Next is the open court, presently occupied by pirate booty in the form of wine barrels.  Past the loot is  the armory on the left and to the right, the chapel.  Next comes the remains of the grand hall, now little more than an entrance way & a few pillars.  Finally, the oldest part of the castle stands with a watch tower on the left and the corner keep on the right.  The broken remains of the walls surround the fort.

Both towers below have full floors at the 4 inch level, making them fully 3D gaming pieces.  The ground cover is Hirst Arts Cavern Accessory Mold #85, wooden craft barrels and resin cannon balls.


Corner Keep


Corner Keep



Watch Tower

Watch Tower



Ruined Pirate Tower

First installment in a rather large project for Adepticon:  a ruined pirate castle. The table will be used for the group Legend of the High Seas game on Friday and Saturday night.  Plans for the rest of the castle include a second round tower, one or more square towers, a fallen main  hall, a few grand facade and lots of jungle foliage.

The ruined tower is built from Hirst blocks with a floor tile carve as the second floor and wall paper texturing the base.  The open side and missing upper floors represent the damage done to the fort when sacked by the British navy – but in reality are a nod to playability, giving easy access to the structure.