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TOPIC: Rooms: Mine
#15168
Rooms: Mine 8 Years, 4 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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I am aware of the Yakkum Mine produced by another company, but I am more interested in seeing DF produce an accessory kit for their excellent Cavern line than I am in beginning to collect an entirely new product line that I've never seen in person.


As far as new wall and floor pieces go, I can think of four: mined stone, ore-bearing stone, breakthrough, and tracks.

Mined stone is simply a straight wall piece with gouges and scoring that indicate someone has been at it with a pickaxe. Add a bit of rubble on the floor to drive the point home.

Ore-bearing stone is simply a wall piece (ordinary or mined stone) with flecks of silver or gold or iron. If Stefan wants to get fancy, he might use flecks of red or green resin "crystal", to indicate precious gems. Given the wide variety of possible ores, and the relative ease with which this can be done with a little paint (or spray glue and glitter), this one is probably best left as something for the modders to do at home.

A breakthrough is an opening in a cavern wall where miners have dug through to another passage or chamber. This is probably best done as a door piece, with lots of rubble at the base and jagged edges all around.

Tracks are floor pieces with rails for mine carts. I'd keep it simple -- straight tracks, L or curve pieces, and maybe an end piece. I'm of two minds about what the pieces should actually look like. Nothing says "mine" like an underground railroad track, and a creative GM can find other uses for tracks as well (rapid transit for dwarves, a really old section of the NYC subway system, the wild ride through Gringotts' vaults, etc). New floor tiles also mean larger layouts. And while this is easily modded using N-scale railroad tracks, it's going to be very difficult finding an N-scale train car that looks like a medieval ore cart. On the other hand, it would be much simpler (and possibly historically accurate?) to have floor tiles with worn ruts where an ordinary cart has been dragged back and forth hundreds of times -- again, something that can be easily modded at home.


Adding a few accessories can also evoke a mine in a cavern setting.

Timbers are basically doorways that can be placed in passages. Two uprights with braces at the bottom, and a crossbeam above. Maybe add a lantern on one of the beams. Sell these in half-dozen lots, and a Cavernous Passage set becomes a mine.

A wooden ladder makes a good entrance to a mine. If it were sculpted so that the ladder rested against a stone or earth incline (which would go against a wall) at a 60-degree angle, it should be stable enough not to fall over when someone bumps the table.

A wooden lift with a winch makes a better entrance to a mine. A wooden platform with four upright beams and six overhead beams (an X inside a square) make the lift, and a large winch beside it. (No actual moving parts are necessary.)

An ore cart -- a metal box on tiny wheels -- would greatly enhance the mine experience. Leave it empty for the GM to add whatever treasure or junk he wants. (Note that ore cars can be used as hazards -- a speeding car will automatically hit anyone on the tracks, and gets a low attack roll against anyone beside the tracks.)


Looking back on my own post, the pieces I'd most like to see are the Mined Stone wall, the Breakthrough piece, Timbers, and an Ore Cart. Tracks (or Ruts) would be nice, as would the ladder and lift, but they aren't as key as the others.


As always, additions and rebuttals are welcome. If you know of existing products (DF compatible, please) that would make good substitutes, please let me know. (Include pictures and/or links if possible, but manufacturer, piece name, and part number will do in a pinch.) And I invite the modders to post WORKBENCH threads in the Gaming Talk forum regarding ways to make this stuff at home.
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#15169
Rooms: Mine 8 Years, 4 Months ago  
I'd love to see a mine set, too. However, to do it right, I think it would have to be a completely new set, with new walls, floors, etc. Here's my reasoning:

- Mined or worked stone looks a lot different than either the Fantasy or Cavern sets.

- Support beams and stairs and such would look best if they were part of the wall piece itself, instead of free standing.

- Mine tunnels would be less angular than the Fantasy passages, but more angular than the Cavern passages

If DF goes this route (and I hope they do), they could have a mine passage and a mine room set. Passages could stand alone, but he room set could have pieces that would work on their own or in conjunction with the Cavern Set. Imagine a setup that starts as a set of Fantasy rooms, transitions to a mine entrance, meanders around with a couple open chambers and finally ends up in a natural cavern with a lake in the middle and a river leading away! I think I just peed myself in excitement. :)

In my ideal Dwarven Forge world, the next set would be a Fantasy sewer set, which would be followed by mine sets like I've described above. Hopefully the success of the water sets means that DF can branch out in this direction, because I believe the consumer interest is there.
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#15170
Rooms: Mine 8 Years, 4 Months ago  
Oh, one more thing when it comes to mines.

Mines need to go DOWN. Sloping passages, uneven floors...they just cry out for multi-level setups.

DF has always been kind of a one-level concept from its inception, but a set like this would be a natural for including pieces that facilitate multi-level building. Of course, the inclusion of sloped passages and floors would be more of an advanced builder-type set, and aside from the forum regulars, I couldn't even begin to guess at how much demand there is for creating multi-level setups.

Maybe, if we're lucky, we'll see sloped cavern passages and waterfalls and more multi-level goodness in the future.
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#15171
Rooms: Mine 8 Years, 4 Months ago  
I'm with you, believe me. I'd love to see a Sewer line, and a Mine line, and highly detailed Dwarven Halls with smooth stone blocks and carved runes and reliefs along the "ceiling".

But (as RabidFox* has pointed out in other threads) a new line is a major undertaking involving huge amounts of labor and capital, and involving huge risks. I started the "Rooms" threads in response to those arguments.

My intent is to suggest ways around some lines, and a gateway to others. If DF can make a "lesser" set that enhances an existing line and "simulates" a new environment -- like sewers or mines -- they can do so for less money, less labor, and less risk. If the set tanks, then they minimize their losses. If the set is a success, then we get something we can use and they make money. If the set takes off like a pegasus with a rocket pack, then they have a solid indicator that an entirely new line will meet a receptive audience. THEN we get "real" Sewers and Mines and Castle Interiors or whatever.

Is there anything you can think of that would make for a decent "transitional" set? Is there something that would make something like this "do for now"?

--------------------------

Regarding multi-level set-ups, meet me in a new thread.
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#15172
Rooms: Mine 8 Years, 4 Months ago  
Can we at least make an attempt to achieve balance in the other four lines first?
Fantasy is basically there and Cavern is getting close.
There are many here that really would like DoE to get much further along.
Moreover, I am still doing the normal pounding of the gavel/hammer/gun butt to get the Sci-Fi line where it can be long-term viable as well.

Master Maze made in the genres of Ainsty's Yakkum Mine and the Sewers of Aldwark would be cool, but we really need to achieve a bit more accomplished with the existing lines first.

Would it really be so hard to wait through two to three years of good production on the existing genres before pursuing these other genres?
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SF: Starter(3), Passage(2), Alpha(7), Beta(2) someday soon;
Cavern: Cavern, Cavernous Passages, many individual pieces, Cavernous River & Wall and Cavernous Lake someday soon;
Fantasy: Room & Passages, Room, Octagonal Room, Wicked Additions I&II, Adv. Builder, Diagonal Walls Set, Dungeon Accessories, Medieval Furniture, many individual pieces.
 
#15173
Rooms: Mine 8 Years, 4 Months ago  
Would it really be so hard to wait through two to three years of good production on the existing genres before pursuing these other genres?
Wait to get 'em? Sure. Den of Evil needs its Wicked Additions set. Sci-Fi could use some accessories. Cavern would benefit from some new options (maybe a Cavern II set with new pieces that compliment the existing ones.)

Wait to suggest them? No way! We need to plant the seeds now if there's to be a chance for sets like these to crop up in the future.
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#15174
Rooms: Mine 8 Years, 4 Months ago  
Here I come with my 2 cents worth again!

New Line: Pardon my language, but Hell NO! DF can't afford to take that risk yet, not for 3-4 years MINIMUM.

DoE: Definitely needs their Wicked Additions Set; the Room and Passage set is a GREAT start, but canNOT carry the line by itself. DF must extend DoE.

Sci-Fi: Sci-Fi has sufficient structural pieces to survive, although some (like a certain infected canine) will insist that the line needs MANY additional items. I will argue that the Additions Sci-Fi NEEDS are Wicked, NOT furniture! DF isn't IN the furniture business! And, just as an aside, Tony Griffon, an eBay vendor, makes EXCELLENT pieces for Sci-Fi; he has so far done the computer console that beats the DF one (it's modular, curved, and desk-level with a slanted top!); a BACTA tank set that can also be used for straight containment tanks; 4-way, T, and L-corner passage floor fillers; and an engineering section module that is highly reminiscient of the DiLithium Crystal chambers from the NCC-1701 engineering section. And Tony is working on a Transporter Pad module! So, NO, DF doesn't need Sci-Fi furniture!

And also, DF cavern and cavern passages would be much better than Fantasy as a mine, especially if they include directions for modders on how to add the tool marks for a mine adit or drift. Adding the timbers after that would be easy, almost more of a customizer project than one for Df themselves.

Also, using N-scale track, with an N-scale freight truck on an S-scale hand cart would be perfect, but it would be best done as Atlas flex-track inside the straight fantasy or cavern passages and rooms, and use sectional track only for curves and switches.

But these are just MY opinions; anyone else's WILL vary, at least, to some extent.

See ya!

Jim
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#15175
Rooms: Mine 8 Years, 4 Months ago  
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

I'm much less interested in speculating on the State of the Company, or debating DF's schedule of future releases, than I am in discussing the creative merits and potential versatility of a small release that would allow us to "convert" Cavernous Passages into something approximating a mine.

Thanks for the track tips, they help.
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#15176
Rooms: Mine 8 Years, 4 Months ago  
If I may, I'd like to share some ideas on the Mine concept...

For a couple of years now I've been planning out a Dwarven Mine terrain board. I may have even made mention of it here in passing. I was keeping it a "big secret" because I wanted to mass produce it and sell it. Problem is, even with a stockpile of materials, the labor is excruciating to build it the way that I envision it so it wouldn't really be cost effective for the average joe.

In the process of doing research on the project I learned quite a bit about the concept in general. I purchased a lot of cheap materials to play with for proof of concept just to make sure I understood what I was going to undertake.

One thing I understood immediately is that you really have to have modular pieces that can be interchanged (much like the DF pieces)--but there are certain limitations to how to do this with (mine cart) tracks. I looked into using HO scale flexible track to create curves. They're about right for the size (remember that mine carts were small and needed to be so in order to manouver througout the mines) for 25-30mm minis and they look great. The problem is that you can't achieve nice 90ยบ angles with that track without seriously destroying the rails on one side of the track pieces. So what do you do? You could use foam core or balsa wood but that's a LOT of work to get the right look of a rail.

Next, rails sit on ties so you've got the whole "raised rail bed" issue to deal with. Doing this in resin would be a monster, me thinks. Almost all model railroad tracks already come sitting on ties so that's not a problem. Adhering the ties to high density styrofoam (the pink stuff) isn't a problem for straight, X shaped, + shaped, or T shaped rails but it might be a problem with flexible track that was't permanently flexed into shape to retain its curve.

The basic setup is pretty easy. Glue two 2" pieces of Pink foam on top of each other (stick together with toothpicks for a better hold) with white PVA (Elmer's) glue and then carve out your mine shafts. Use balsa wood for the wooden supports that shore up the walls and ceiling (I was going to run them horizontally across the top of the shafts for a really cool look).

Add gravel and other debris to the bottom of the shafts with white PVA glue and then basecoat everything with dull acrylic house paint. Then start your drybrushing from there.

I picked up a couple of different sized mine carts from eBay. Some were too small (particularly the HO scale ones) for 25-30mm minis. Others were just fine but you had to assemble them (put together the trucks, cart, and couplers). I even found a source for a nice hand-cart that I still want to pick up.

The materials are out there but it takes a lot of searching to find the right stuff. Maybe some day I'll get off of my duff and actually build this thing. Right after I finish my Fantasy Forest... ;-}~
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#15177
Rooms: Mine 8 Years, 4 Months ago  
Dante -

I think you're on to something, but I still think N-scale track & wheelset truck on an S-scale ore car (because S-scale is closest to 25-30mm minis) is the best way.
IF you are going to go whole-hawg and try making the stuff from scratch in resin and/or pink foam, try this:

Sculpt your foam; glue down your rail ties where you want the track to go; after everything is COMPLETELY set, use a radiusing-roller bending tool to make your curves in bare-metal rail (available at a WELL-STOCKED MRR store - check your Yellow pages locally, or Google it on-line) and spike it down. Yeah, I know, hand-laid rail is a total PitA! - but it's the best way to get this right. And if you decide to go resin, it's the ONLY way!

Once you have each section or module set up exactly the way you want it, including track alignment so the rails line up when setting up your pieces, go ahead and cast your molds. If you want to do a one-piece mold, you'll want to make sure you have a filler piece of wood or styrene or metal to place down the inside of the passage sections, small enough to give a good mold wall, but large enough to give room for the mold to be flexed away from the walls after the resin sets up. Remember to use LOTS of Mold Release on that filler piece, because otherwise, you'll NEVER get it out of the silicone to pull out the master after the RTV sets up.

Y'know, if I had ANY sculpting skills, I might go ahead and do this project myself! Or, depending on where you live, you might want to collaborate on it with me - you sculpt, I make master molds.

Nahhh; I'm too lazy! But it was a fun fantasy there for a while; maybe 30 seconds.

Good luck if you go ahead with it.

See ya!

Jim
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#15178
Rooms: Mine 8 Years, 4 Months ago  
Since we seem to be focusing on tracks and cars, I'll ask a question.

How important is it that the tracks actually work?

Is it enough to have tracks visually represented in a mine setting? Would modular tiles with tracks as part of the resin mold itself be acceptable, knowing they probably wouldn't allow a car to roll freely through your setup?

Or do the tracks need to be practical as well, and therefore added as a second setup overlaid onto your DF setup? Is a rolling ore car critical enough for you to go to the additional trouble of scouring the hobby shops for an appropriate railroad car in your chosen scale?
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#15179
Rooms: Mine 8 Years, 4 Months ago  
I don't see working tracks as a big deal. After all, these are miniatures, not toys (or so I keep telling myself and my wife). As long as the track is recognizable as a track and the mine car fits more or less neatly on top of it, I'll be happy.
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