Published on by Chris Abbey
The Latest BlackstoneHeath construction video on YouTube
Part 1. The Inn Building
It was about 40 years ago that I first came across D&D and fantasy miniatures and gaming. A discovery that has in many ways shaped the direction of my life. What has kept me interested for over three decades is the combination of gaming with friends, the sheer breadth of gaming possabilities and the creation of a world in miniature. There are so many ways to play these games and I know that for many nothing more is needed then a pencil, a sheet of notepaper and an active imagination. For the last six months I have been playing that sort or role playing game as well, set in the world of Harn using the Fate RPG engine with out a single miniature in sight. However, ever since the start when at the age of 16 I held a Games Workshop trade account to keep our school D&D and wargaming group supplied with the latest Citadel Miniatures I have enjoyed collecting and painting miniatures and using various props to illustrate there enviroment, including Dungeon Floor Plans, maps drawn with dry wipe pens and now 3D printed terrain.
The age of the hobby 3D printer has really transformed what is available. The variety of dungeon tiles and buildings is astounding. The design files are either very cheap to buy or are available for free and the material that is used for printing is also very economical. I use a material called PLA, made from cornstarch and costing under £15 a Kilo. About 3 months ago I started 3D printing 'The Wobbly Goblin Inn',. This is a 3D printable kit from Hobgoblin 3D. It took forever to print, literally hundreds of hours, but you could put half a dozen pieces on to print before going home from work and in the morning come back and as if by magic you their were new pieces to harvest.
My plan is, over the next couple of years to expand from this model Inn to build a complete fantasy / medieval village and from their a small town. I have built the Inn into a 2' square Terra-Former modular terrain tile kit. Terra-Formers are kits for building modular terrain. They can be built as either one foot or two foot suares or one foot by two foot rectangular modules. There are a wide range of different profiles available such as roads, canals, streams, rivers and hills and each piece has embedded rare earth magnets to perfectly align and hold the modules together so their is no drift during play. The next stage will be to extend the two foot square Inn to a three foot square with an assortment of outbuildings such as stables and barns and an orchard and garden area. We will then extend awayf from the Inn adding some cottages and a watermill. I'm hoping to be able to update my hobby blog with progress once or twice a month.
So, lets take a look inside. This is the bar area. The bar itself is 3D printed as are the wine storage cabinets and some of the barrels. The other's are resin models that I have had for a while. Behind the bar is the Innkeepre from the Otherworld Miniatures NPC range.
This is the kitchen area. The large fireplace is part of the Inn itself. The range and bread oven were free designs from Thingiverse. The roasting pig is a metal cast I've had for ages, the lady with the rolling pin is from Otherworld Miniatures and the table if from a Mantic Games terrain crate.
Here's a view across the main dining area. The big table with the red runner down the center was a free 3D design from Dungeonworks, as was all of the food and plates on the table. The other tables and benches are metal casts from various manufactuers.
This is the Inns guest bedroom. The beds are resin casts, other furniture is from Mantic Terrain Crates, the Conan miniatures game and an MDF table.
This is the upper level, accessed by an external staircase where the innkeeper and his family live.
It felt that this was a fairly large inn for the amount of bar and kitchen staff that I had to run it, so last weeks work on the tavern project consisted of painting up some additional staff and customers to make the Inn look like it was in use.
In the photo above you can see the six staff that I painted last week, all apart from the chef 'Raclett' with chefs hat and cleaver are from the Otherworld Miniatures NPC range. I've had Raclett on my to-paint pile for decades, so not 100% sure on his origin, I think he came with the pig on spit model that you can see in front of fireplace, and they could all be from Minifigs (from a long time ago). The Otherworld Miniatures are, back row left Claudette the Innkeepers Wife, Barny the Cellarman, and Maria Serving Wench II and in the front row we have Harriet Serving Wench I and Master Fairbake the Halfling Chef.
I also added nine seated customers. Three were old Citadel Miniatures that had been in the lead pile for decades and six were from a pack of Sally 4th 'The Crowd' Miniatures. These are unarmed medieval / fantasy unarmed civilians intended for populating tavers, jousting and blood bowl stands. I also made the seats on my 3D printer. I had a basic chair design file which I decreased the height and stretched the width until it was the correct size to take these seated miniatures.
Here we have a team photo with the rest of the team which includes Thenardier The Innkeeper, Bruce the Bouncer, Madame Rousett The Brazen Strumpet, Timmy the Stableboy and Henrietta the 'Old Crone'.
The catering team are hard at work while Timmy sweeps the floor and Bruce scratches his back with a huge club while smiling at the guests.
The Inn is really coming together with the addition of some deated customers to go around the tables.
It still looks a little quiet, so I am planning to paint up another pack of 6 seated 'The Crowd' miniatures over the next week or so and for variety swap there heads with some Victrix Viking and Frostgrave plastic heads.
However, my main goal for this week is to complete five one foot suare terra-former modules to model the immediate surrounding of the Inn to give me some space for a garden, orchard, stables and barn.
(We are not affiliated with any 3D design companies, I'm just including links to companies whose products I've used in case they are of interest)
Over the last couple of weeks we have been busy building new boards for the start of the village for Blackstone Heath.
The buildings are 3D printed from designs by Black Scroll Games and the drystone wall is made from 3D prints by Printable Scenery.
The buildings have all been set into Sally 4th Terra Former 1' square modular terrain boards so that they blend into the landscape but are modular enough to allow the boards to be rearranged in different configerations.
Update 17th March 2020
Over the last few months I have been working on two new developments for Blackstone Heath.
The first one is the development of two hill section (a straight hill and a corner hill), both with Sally 4th Hobbit Hole kits set into them. The idea is that when I am using Blackstone Heath for Fantasy rather than Histrorical gaming, I can swap out the two hill tiles behind the Inn to make it a bit more like 'The Prancing Pony' in Bree from Lord of the Rings. There the Inn had accomodation for both the big folk and the hobbits.
We have also been working with a fantastic sculptor from Russia's Evocatus Miniatures to release a range of 28mm Fantasy / Medieval village Folk.
The sets are all themed, detailed and very animated. The Exorcist set includes the bed, floating women victim and the ghostly painting!
Packs that fit in with the Tavern include drinkers, gamblers and fighters.
An important part of daily life in any period or genre is laundry, and in the 'Wash Day' set we see villagers hard at work at these chores.
.... and at the end of the day, what better way to relax than in a good hot bath. This miniature is a free bonus miniature for kickstarter backers!
These packs of fantasy / medieval miniatures are curruntly available to backers of 'Blackstone Heath Village Folk' project on Kickstarter. Click here to take a look.