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TOPIC: Rooms: Castle
#14876
Rooms: Castle 7 Years, 10 Months ago  
"Rooms" is an idea for expansions to the Fantasy line that enhance the existing pieces without creating an entirely new line. A "Rooms" set is not necessarily a room unto itself -- it might be just a few pieces that allow the builder to add pieces to other DF sets to evoke scenes and environments not previously available.

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DF makes a number of pieces that allow us to break up those huge expanses of blank stonework (walls with torches, alcoves, mermaid fountain, etc) but there are some simple "wall furnishings" that would add great variety to our layouts AND allow us to evoke the more "finished" feel that the interior of a castle or other structure ought to have.


Paintings and tapestries are essential to a castle or mansion. Not only are they decorative, they might conceal hidden mechanisms or doors, or their subject matter might provide valuable information to adventurers. Since computer printers allow us to cut out adhesive pictures of anything we want, we only need a place to put them on the DF walls. (Avery makes a "reusable" adhesive sheet (last time I checked, anyway) that claims to lift away easily without leaving any residue behind.) There are two ways to go about this.

The first is to have full-on wall pieces that have flat sections to accept a sticker. (A "default" image might already be stamped onto it, but many of us will want to be able to customize our paintings and tapestries.) A standard 2" straight wall might have a square flat with a "wooden" frame around it, or a vertical rectangle with a "metal" or "wood" rod at the top. A 6" straight wall might have a wide painting flat (for landscapes and historical scenes), or multiple tapestries.

The second way (which I like better and better all the time) is to sell wall pieces that have a small hole or slot in them, that paintings and tapestries and shields and candleholders and all sorts of stuff can be fitted into. The accessories that go on the wall can be made of plastic -- posts (small discs with plugs to go into the hole or slot) could be included to allow us to use items from other sources (dollhouse accessories, for example). I realize that this is an easy mod to do at home, but if DF standardizes the mount, then they can produce accessories without new wall sculpts, or they can license out accessory production to other companies (after consulting with a pack of rabid lawyers, please).


Windows would be a nice addition to the Fantasy line. Note that windows need not lead to the outdoors -- a room might be "divided" by a wall with windows for many reasons, and adds new dimensions of cover and visibility to action and stealth. One room might have a windows around it, where guards stand ready but out of polite proximity; another might have a windowed partition through the middle, to separate the areas where the public has access, and where distinguished visitors are allowed; a windowed wall might even be used to keep a large monster confined, but visible to keepers and admirers.

This one is a cut-out centered in a standard 2" straight wall piece. The window should be "finished" on both sides of the wall. I am undecided about the shape of the window -- I'd love to hear from others about their preferences. Possibilities include a single arched window, two tall narrow arches, two tall narrow rectangles, and the standard square window.


Finally, the fireplace. Once again, multiple approaches.

One is to add the sculpt of the fireplace to both sides of a standard 2" or 6" straight wall tile. The problem with that is the side opposite the side with the floor -- depending on the amount of material added (which could easily protrude half an inch or more), the piece might be a bit wobbly. In addition, that side needs to accomodate a "free" floor tile, unless DF breaks all precedent and creates a 2"x4" piece bisected by the wall with the fireplace. Another issue is whether to make the fireplace a cut-through, or to keep a solid wall between the two sides -- both have merits and drawbacks.

Another is to add the sculpt of the fireplace to the floor side of the wall, and leave the opposite side blank. Here, I'll broach the issue of whether the fireplace should protrude from the wall (occupying half an inch or more of floor), or should the fireplace be more or less flush with the wall, or should the piece be a sort of box to give the fireplace depth?

Last, the fireplace might be a free-standing mantel that goes against a wall wherever the GM wants to put it. If sized correctly, two fireplaces could be put on either side of a Secret Door piece from the Deluxe Room set to recreate the revolving fireplace in "IJ&t Last Crusade".


As always, please share your thoughts and ideas, and let tell us if you know of anything currently on the market that would stand in for anything suggested here (links appreciated).
jackattack
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#14877
Rooms: Castle 7 Years, 10 Months ago  
jack!

NO WINDOWS!
I have enough trouble with them on my PC!

Oh; sorry. you were talking about IN walls, not ON anything.
My bad.

Actually, windows might not be too hard to do, again, these are things that are "home-mod" capable. Just remember to drill and cut carefully, and have putty available to finish off the window sills, etc. Also, remember that castle fortifications had very few windows as such, because they were primarily designed for 'impregnability' so no one could invade and capture. So, you will see many arrow slits and few windows, as such - and the ones you DO see will be small and un-glazed.
And remember, we already HAVE arrow slits; see either Advanced Builders or Traps II, I don't rememberr right this second which one.

Paintings, tapestries, mirrors, etc.; easy. A little styrene for framing, a little printed picture, a small piece of aluminum foil. There's your painting or mirror. For a tapestry, print out a slightly larger picture, put the paper back in and print it again. This gives you the slightly crinkled paper that you can then cut out and stick to the wall.
To mount pics and mirrors, use a dab of hot glue on the back of the mount plastic; let it cool until almost finger-comfortable, then moosh it onto the DF piece. That way, you should(!) be able to remove it later. For the tapestry, use magic tape and mount it on a styrene rod, prepainted either gold, silver, or wood. Hang the rod on the wall with a fine wire over a model RR spike in the wall.

NONE of these should be 'regular'; all of it should be freehand, because a yardstick and level were something castle interior decorators never heard of in medieval times. Which is MOSTLY what we emulate in D&D-style gaming.
Mostly.

The Indy Jones fireplace is a classic (PUT THE CANDLE BACK!), and should be done both ways- single-sided, and double-sided. Use the center-post slamming wall for best effect. Again, model it using Sculpey, model putty, or Milliput, whatever fickles your tancy. DON'T make it protrude more than 1/4" on either side of the wall.

See ya!

Jim
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#14878
Rooms: Castle 7 Years, 10 Months ago  
Thanks for the tips on home modding, Jim. Do you have a web-site? You should, with pics and step-by-step instructions. Add a link to your sig lines.

On the windows, don't some building model kits include window frames and borders (fantasy and train models)? I wonder if it would be possible to use a church or cathedral window as a guide (or finishing touch) in cutting a window into a DF piece? What train scale would be equivalent to 25-28mm, or 1:72nd scale?


I will concede the point about windows in historical castles, although Bunratty, Mehun, Rennes le Chateau, Conwy, and Hedingham all have scattered windows of decent size. The height of the window and the direction it faces (inward or outward) seem to be the determining factors in window size and placement.

However, fantasy castles don't have to follow those rules. And other buildings are possible, including palaces, mansions, churches, museums, stone cottages, monasteries, guild halls, and so on. If your game is more cinematic than historical in feel, then windows in the outer wall of the castle fit in perfectly.

An actual exchange from the gaming table, paraphrased.
GM - "Coals from the brazier scatter across the room. Some of the silk cushions on the floor burst into flame."
Player - "Huh? Silk is really hard to set on fire, and it burns like hair or cigarette paper. Why would a silk pillow burst into flame?"
GM - "Because that's what happens in the movies."
Player - "Oh. Okay."
We continued our battle in the burning room, and a good time was had by all. (But when we faced the giant spiders, THEN silk burned like hair.)
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#14879
Rooms: Castle 7 Years, 10 Months ago  
Instead of hot glue may I suggest Blue Tac?

it stays where you put it but pulls off very easy plus its reuseable. I small dot of blue tac will keep any dungeoun wall hanging up.
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#14880
Rooms: Castle 7 Years, 10 Months ago  
However, fantasy castles don't have to follow those rules.
That's something to really keep in mind when we're talking about accessories for the fantasy line. I've had the good fortune to have visited castles and other historical sites in the UK and Ireland. A few things stand out when viewed through a gamer's eye:

1) There's no such thing as a ten foot wide passage. Even five-foot passages are hard to come by.
2) Rooms are small, and space is at a premium
3) Sound really carries in a building made entirely of stone (listen checks really ought to be a whole lot easier.)

So, if you're looking for accessories to re-create an authentic medieval environment, you're already in trouble because DF products are designed to reflect 30 years of game design and not to be historically accurate. In fact, the very idea of a castle is somewhat unrealistic (can I use that word in this sense?) when you consider it in a world filled with flying creatures and magic that allows teleportation and the disintegration of stone.

I know some people are big proponents of historically accurate accessories, which is cool, but I think DF has been past that point from its inception. And personally, I don't care if accessories reflect reality, as long as they are cool!
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#14881
Rooms: Castle 7 Years, 10 Months ago  
Well said, YC. Coolness is the acid test of a gaming accessory for me as well.
jackattack
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#14882
Rooms: Castle 7 Years, 10 Months ago  
jack -

If you knew how many times I've started a Web page, you'd definitely ROFLYAO!
If I can ever get a page up and operational, I WILL post stuff like this on it, and provide a link here.
As far as scale windows, you want 1/64th scale, which is 'S' scale. Unfortunately, there's a shortage of S-scale stuff. About the only big supplier is S-Helper Service, which has a Web page, but I don't know the link.

And yeah, you're right; fantasy means never having to say "But it ain't real!" You could have ANY size windows in a D&D castle.

AND, BlackHawk1 is absolutely correct about Blu-Tack; and it's a lot easier to get off after the game's over.

See ya!

Jim
jkratzer
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#14883
Rooms: Castle 7 Years, 10 Months ago  
I like the suggestions.

Here's what I do, for now:
1) Buy the walls with Windows, Fireplace, and other furnishings from Bombanat on e-bay. He's an excellent DF Conversionist.
2) Additional furnishings (tapestries, rugs, bookcases, etc.) from lord_cliff on e-bay. Their store is White Knight Studios.

For you do-it-yourselfers, #2 is a good option as WKS creates their own casts and you can paint them.
For those of us without DF Converstion talent, we can look to bombanat on e-bay.
For those without painting talent, I suggest looking to Roger at rogpaint.homestead.com/. I've purchased many items from him from e-bay and privately (last order was around $500.00). IMHO, he is a great painter.
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62 sets and counting. In addition, a boatload of individual pieces or sets of pieces.
 
#14884
Rooms: Castle 7 Years, 10 Months ago  
Okay, I did a couple of searches, and the closest I came to what I was looking for as a guide/finish for a window was this:

That's from the Zvesda Fortresses line. I'd prefer it without the shutters, and a full stone border (instead of the interrupted stone border), but beggars can't be choosers.

Jim is right. S-scale buildings/structures are scarce, and they are out-of-period. OO-scale (1/76) may have a bit more, but a lot of distributors seem to be fudging it and 1/72 together for sales purposes. HO-scale (1/87) is probably the most popular scale, and has a ton of stuff available -- it might be a bit small, but it is much easier to find parts and accessories like these, from Grandt:

There may be better items available, but I suspect it would involve hours of searching online or at you local hobby shop's model train section.

It's the idea of having to settle for something that makes me hope that Stefan might do windows someday.

It occurs to me that if the window had colored glass, or shutters, or an image stamped inside it, then it could be done as an accessory using the "second method" for paintings and tapestries in the original post. The window would be something that could be mounted on a wall using a "pin" or some tacky material.
jackattack
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#14885
Rooms: Castle 7 Years, 10 Months ago  
There is also this guy that makes a fair amount of odd stuff for fantasy interiors (i.e. furnitire for elf, dwarf, orc and undead- never seen that before!)

modeleo.tripod.com/id3.html
Blackhawk1
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#14886
Rooms: Castle 7 Years, 10 Months ago  
jack -

Great search for stuff, and they look like they will work at least closely enough to be acceptable, and that's all we need, right?
BH1, I didn't get a chance to go look at the modeleo page, but I'll check it out later.
Gotta go; meeting!

See ya!

Jim
jkratzer
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#14887
Rooms: Castle 7 Years, 9 Months ago  
I was doing a random internet search, and I found something interesting that supports windows being added to a dungeon setting. (I'm more sharing this as an interesting piece of info than trying to bolster support for new pieces.)

Troglodyte. Not the scaly subterranean cannibal from the D&D Monster Manual, the architectural style of carving dwellings and other structures into natural stone. There are a few places in France where villages were built against and into cliffs and mountainsides. There are apparently advantages in terms of defensibility, temperature control, and so on. Here's a pic.



So if a DF layout were designated to be halfway up a mountain, or alongside a cliff, it could very well have exterior windows. Dwarves might also have areas of their cities that have windows to let in light and air. (I always thought it strange that Tolkien's Moria only seemed to have two doors and one small window).
jackattack
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