Tuesday, 12 July 2022

New Project: 15mm Dungeon Adventure !


“You find yourself facing a low stone arch, its surface pitted and scarred - beyond, an unnatural light pierces the gloom, and you see a pile of golden treasure - gemstones, crystals, giant pearls, buried in a mound of coins…….What does your party do next…..?”

A huge departure for me, climbing up the ladder of scale, to the dizzying heights of 15mm ! - now, I haven’t painted anything bigger than 10mm in about 35 years, when I daubed Humbrol enamels in the general direction of some Ral Partha, Citadel, Asgard and Aurolea Roccoco D&D figures, back when I was a schoolboy - so this project is sort of taking me full circle…..

I’d had a hankering to do something a bit different from the usual small-scale fare in a while, and having spent a lot of time during various lockdowns perusing YouTube catching up on more recent developments in the Hobby, I had become fixated on all the amazing work out there scratch-building scenery, particularly dungeons and adventure tiles - it brought with it a whiff of nostalgia, whilst offering the possibility of a new challenge.

Although my gaming entry was really 1/300th MicroArmour, I am of a generation where D&D loomed large, and I fondly remember adventure campaigns fought with my friends, AD&D manuals at the ready, dog-eared character sheets littering the table, and odd-shaped dice scattering every which-way….. so was keen to revisit those glory days when the opportunity presented.

Now modern gaming offers an absolute cornucopia of scenics and terrain for D&D, but I wanted this project to adhere to my frugal nature, and allow for the use of basic, modular scratch-built or re-purposed items, so was going to be more about wrangling with blue foam and bits and bobs, rather than buying in lots of pre-made items - but I got a bit stuck when looking at the basic ideas of dungeon set-ups; there was plenty of inspiration out there in 3D, 2D, full wall, half wall, tiles and mats, but all seemed to mean either some expense, or a time commitment that was going to be a bit beyond me - for this reason I was delighted to come across the tile pieces produced by TT Combat here in the UK:


Now although ostensibly 25mm ‘sized’, these seemed to be a good fit for smaller scale miniatures, so the temptations of 15mm beckoned, thanks in no small part to a selection of the Crom’s Anvil (now at CP Models) fantasy minis that I had been gifted by Mike Stockin - they seemed the best compromise in terms of creating a manageable project at relatively small expense - outside my comfort zone, yes, but containable in terms of painting and building, with large, varied and well established ranges of miniatures to draw on, whilst keeping the tabletop simple and cheap.

I opted for a basic set to start with to see how things went - containing 5 separate frames of variously sized tiles, they look like they will provide plenty of fun options:

Variously sized rooms, corridor strips and single tiles, even some fun looking drain grilles, along with a rune-marked main chamber - all topped off with cracked stone paving - what’s not to like ?

There’s a good YouTube video here of one of the available sets, if you want to see them in the flesh, so to speak:


In line with all of TT Combat’s products, the pieces are nicely produced in MDF and clearly scribed - so just needed a basic painted undercoat with added details to begin to bring them to life. - a quick, if careful pass around the edges with a sharp knife, and they pop neatly out of the frame.

The squares on the tile measure 25mm exactly, functionally making the corridors in particular on the small side for based 28-32mm figures, particularly when considering monsters/baddies etc on larger bases, but for 15mm should be just fine:

A UK tuppence and a penny give the general idea, alongside a plastic ‘giant’ figure approx 35mm tall, who is on a very narrow integral stand:

My intention is to produce all sorts of scenic items and terrain parts that can add to this modular set-up, hopefully keeping things cheap and cheerful, as well as producing a range of adventurers and dungeon denizens for them to stumble into !

So, the overall idea is to ‘go large’ whilst keeping it small - stay tuned for more to come !

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