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Rangers of Shadow Deep – Ninjilly’s DayKnight 30 Day Project

Rangers of Shadow Deep – Ninjilly’s DayKnight 30 Day Project

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Project Blog by ninjilly

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About the Project

Inspired by Day[9]'s DayKnight 30 Day Projects, I wanted to start breaking down the intimidating hobby backlog into smaller projects. First up I'm challenging myself to get a playable kit together for Rangers of Shadow Deep before next payday so when I pick up the PDF I can jump straight in

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Week 2 - Papercraft Buildings, The Finale

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For the final two buildings of the week, I jumped to a new maker. Fat Dragon Games have an excellent line called Ravenfell, which creates an entire town. I bought the 2nd expansion for this project mainly because it was only $3.99 vs $11.99 for the Core Set but having built these, I’ll be going back for more if I need them in the future. As with the better of the Graffam kits, these have lots of layers you can switch on and off to get varying effects across the range. Even with just this one expansion, changing the building materials and general condition would give you enough variations to fill a small village. And their moss layer doesn’t look like dragon piss.

Thieves Guild with an extension and an escape hatch in the roof Thieves Guild with an extension and an escape hatch in the roof
Week 2 - Papercraft Buildings, The Finale
Farmhouse, the little bit at the side is a wood store. This is probably my favourite model this week.Farmhouse, the little bit at the side is a wood store. This is probably my favourite model this week.

The models were definitely more complex and time consuming but they are designed for RPGs and the detailing is great. Each level can be removed, and although there isn’t any detailing on the inner walls, there are floorboards so you could easily use them for multilevel gaming. There are even options for having the windows open.

Each one feels very sturdy and once this project is over I can see me going back to make more. I kept them off the bases that come in the kit and having seen them like that, I might cut down the other ones and just have them freestanding.

My only gripe with the FDG models is that the instructions assume you have the Core Set. You only get instructions for little sections of the buildings in this expansion and there are parts included that there isn’t an explanation of. I understand why they have done it but I feel that if you can buy a product as a standalone, it should come with all the instructions necessary to make everything in it. Thankfully after this week, they weren’t much of a challenge but it is something to note for anyone starting out.

Week 2's work togetherWeek 2's work together
Models in situ, looks better than I was expectingModels in situ, looks better than I was expecting

So week 2 has ended and I’m halfway through the project. So far, I’m very happy with the amount that I’ve managed. The buildings have been VERY time consuming but they look good (I do solemnly promise to take daylight photos that don’t suck at the end of the project) and they feel robust enough that they will last a good long time. All told this week, I have spent probably 12-15 hours putting them together. You can have things cheap or quick, rarely the two at the same time.

I was worried about this section coming into the project because I was sure they’d look dumb and cheap but there are some great companies providing affordable solutions to terrain and I’m happy to have tried them out. Once I’m out of the challenge, I could see me making more just to have them on hand. My RPG group were admiring them this weekend too so they may get more use than I was expecting.

Costs outwith the budget:

In terms of incidental expenses, obviously ink and pritt stick have been pretty liberally used this week. I bought a load of off-brand printer ink in November so I didn’t need to worry about running out. All the buildings pictured have gone through less than half a cartridge of each colour, printing on highest quality. Pritt stick is another one I had bought several of back when Amazon had a deal on the multipack of the smaller sticks. I used two this week and started on a third for the final level of the last building. If your printer can print on card better than mine can then this would be a moot point but it is something I’ll need to think about in the future. Perhaps using a spray adhesive would be cheaper but as effective and I suspect much faster.

I used superglue for the proper joins mainly because I had plenty and it made fast work where PVA would have held me up more. Such a small amount was needed on each model that I’m nowhere near finishing the bottle.

Conclusion of Week 2

The papercraft buildings came in much higher than my expectations. Going into this project I was sure that I would chuck these out as soon as I was able to replace them but at this point I’m considering buying more and even starting a whole snow covered table for Frostgrave with them. I preferred the Fat Dragon Games buildings and with even this one expansion, could easily build a good sized table of terrain without everything looking samey. For anyone struggling to get decent terrain at home, have a look into papercraft buildings, they might not be perfect but they are blood good for the cost.

Things I’d do better next time

  • get a brown pen for edging instead of the black, this would make the models look better though it isn’t a major thing on most of them
  • spray adhesive to mount the paper on the card or try to find a printer that can cope with 180gsm card without throwing a tantrum
  • skip the card bases and either leave them plain or base them properly on some mdf biscuits.
  • add in some flock, tufts etc to make them look even better (I might still manage this before the project ends but I’m putting it here anyway)

Week 2 - Papercraft Buildings Part 2

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The second half of the week finally meant laying down some proper cash on the project. To date I had spent $0.95 on the Pumphouse but this time I knew I was going to spend more to get the final buildings. I decided to stay away from the small ones as I didn’t like the two I’d done that much but I went for the Apothecary at Rake’s Corner from Dave Graffam and the Expansion Set 2 for Fat Dragon Games’ Ravenfell range. I hadn’t built any of the Ravenfell stuff before but I had seen a Youtuber I follow make some for D&D several months ago.

I also needed to buy some card – I try as much as possible to be a zero waste consumer so there just isn’t that much recycling to be raided in my flat!

Week 2 - Papercraft Buildings Part 2

Thankfully Hobbycraft are still in January sale mode so this pack of 50 sheets was down to £2.50. The weight is a little lighter than I was looking for but the next level up was less than twice the weight but 4 times the price so 180gsm it is!

My printer doesn’t like printing on anything other than paper so I was still gluing sheets onto the card as I went which would have been less time consuming had I not insisted on getting as much bang for my buck by trimming off all the excess to get the maximum number of pieces per sheet of card.

So to the Apothecary

Week 2 - Papercraft Buildings Part 2

This build was pretty much the same as the previous post. The major differences with this one were a) it comes with internal support struts which were great for cutting out any bowing that I was worried about with the thinner card and b) no layers within the files that could be adjusted. This second bit was disappointing if only because I really dislike the “lichen” layer that Graffam put on their models. It looks like a dragon has pissed on it as a fly by.

Week 2 - Papercraft Buildings Part 2
Week 2 - Papercraft Buildings Part 2
Week 2 - Papercraft Buildings Part 2
"Lichen"

Overall, I’m happy with the building. I’m still undecided about adding some flock to the bases (or to cover the dragon piss), I suspect it would make it look better but I’m mindful that I have a bunch of trees to do first. Perhaps if I have flock left over after next week I might add some in.

Next post will be a quick Ravenfell walk through and some photos of all the buildings together.

Project Cost:

Pumphouse model 0.95

Apothecary 2.95

Ravenfell set 3.99

Cardboard 3.21 (£2.50, converted via Google)

Total $11.10

Budget remaining: $8.90

Week 2 - Papercraft Buildings Part 2

Week 2 - Papercraft Buildings Part 1

Tutoring 2
Skill 2
Idea 6
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This is the week that is going to involve some cash but I still want to keep it cheap. Papercraft buildings seemed like an easy way to go but they vary in quality dramatically. Rather than spend hours and hours searching through options, I gave myself 90 minutes to find something I liked enough that had some free options to trial before laying down some money. I found a couple of sites that I’ll come back to when I have more ready cash in the future but I’ve gone for Dave Graffam Models which had two free options I liked to get started.

First up

Week 2 - Papercraft Buildings Part 1
Week 2 - Papercraft Buildings Part 1

The hovel. Simple one sheet design, no layers or anything crazy but a good starting point. I printed it out at highest quality and stuck it onto some scrap card that I’ve been saving for the last couple of weeks with this project in mind

Week 2 - Papercraft Buildings Part 1
Week 2 - Papercraft Buildings Part 1

Tools are straight forward enough – Pritt stick to back onto the card, steel ruler, hobby knife with a fresh blade on it, superglue for gluing the building together and a black Sharpie to edge to cover the card. Ideally you’d print it out on cardstock and skip the card backing step but I’m working with what I have.

 

Week 2 - Papercraft Buildings Part 1

Easy and quick, a bit small but a good start. On to the next building…

Week 2 - Papercraft Buildings Part 1

Yuuuuuuup, the Pump House. First expense of the project, this one set me back $0.95 and I bought it pretty much because it has pump in the title and I’m a child!

To serve me right, I’m not actually a fan of it built. It is tiny. The file comes with different layers so I might go back and reprint it with a thatch roof or something to make it look a bit better but next it is time to move on to bigger buildings…

Project Costs:

Pumphouse 0.95

Total $0.95

Budget remaining: $19.05

Week 2 - Papercraft Buildings Part 1

Week 1 - Zombies

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Skill 4
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From watching games on Guerrilla Miniature Games on YouTube (link to a playlist of all Ash’s RoSD games), I knew that I needed zombies but not wanting to spend any more meant I had to put up with what I have. I know that CMON get a lot of credit for their minis but the Black Plague zombies are a real mix of quality. There are a lot of them though!

 

Week 1 - Zombies
Week 1 - Zombies

I like the shamblers and the fatties so I picked out some and jumped into trying out Vince Venturella’s speed painting with inks method because I want to give it a shot for my Kings of War dwarves later on.

First you prime black, then grey at a 45 degree angle and then top down on the model with white to give a three tone zenithal effect.

Week 1 - Zombies

I forgot to document the rest of the process but I didn’t like it. The fault lies with me – I didn’t go heavy enough with the grey and as a result there were far too many black areas left so the inks just looked weak. I also realised that most of the colours were too bright for how I wanted my medieval zombles to look. I beat myself up a bit for wasting time so early on in the project thing but then facebook of all things helped me out. That timehop crap popped up with a Neil Gaiman quote I had posted a few years ago about making mistakes

Week 1 - Zombies

I’ll come back to the method in the future but in the mean time, I grabbed another handful of zombles and went back to what I know.

  1. Prime grey
  2. Block out colours (skin is Army Painter Necrotic Flesh; clothing is meant to be peasantry so I wanted to stay away from blues and went with Vallejo Russian uniform, English uniform, Cavalry Brown and Revell Leather Brown)
  3. Wash (Games Workshop Athonian Camoshade for the skin and GW Agrax Earthshade over everything else)
  4. Highlight (only did one pass of this with the original colours because I was starting to run out of week, I can always come back for a step up edge highlight if I have time left over in a future week)
  5. Bases black but I might change this to brown by the end of the project, I won’t be properly basing at this point because they are still a board game mini and I don’t know how I’m going to find RoSD. If I love it then I’ll come back when I have more time.
  6. Skeleton bone dots in the eyes – I hate the look of this but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  7. GW technical paint Blood for the Blood God to final touches (I did these last two stages too late to get photos)
Week 1 - Zombies
Week 1 - Zombies
Week 1 - Zombies

I’m happy with how they all turned out in the end – decent table quality and probably the most models I’ve managed to paint in a short space of time in well over a year. Like I said in the step-by-step, if I like the game, I’ll come back and go back over a couple of things on these guys. I forgot to do the mouths, to finish the hair, and I hate the eyes (hello New Year’s resolution candidate!).

The mess up with the speed painting method threw me a bit so I didn’t have time to bash into the heroes as well which had been my original plan. I think I’m going to break them up into three groups so that I can just get through two a week and still get them all done by project end.

Goals and Objectives

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Skill 2
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I have a confession to make – I, Ninjilly, find my hobby backlog so intimidating that I avoid it completely. I’ve not painted in months, I haven’t even played that often because I feel ashamed by how bad everything looks. I have some great stuff in there, games I want to play and many more I want to try out. Enough is enough.

 

Inspired by streamer, host and all round great guy Day[9] and his DayKnight 30 Day Projects (see https://dk30.day9.tv/ for more information) I decided to challenge myself to embark one for the first month of the year. DayKnight Projects aim to take big things and break them down into smaller, manageable projects with a four week structure. So to my challenge…

Goals and Objectives

Rangers of Shadow Deep ticks some very important boxes for me – it can be played solo, it doesn’t need a lot of minis and it has a strong narrative focus. I want to try and get some of my RPG group to foray into miniatures games this year and RoSD looks like a good bridging game for us. It has RPG elements in it and more importantly is co-operative.

The PDF is $20 and January is a five week month so I’m holding off buying it but that doesn’t mean I can’t get something ready to go for when I pick it up. The goal then for the challenge is to get enough kit together for the game, preferably for the less than the cost of the PDF. What I need is broken down into 4 elements – minis, buildings, trees and scatter terrain.

Goals and Objectives

Week 1 – Minis

I need ranger/hero models, zombies, giant rats/spiders and some villagers. I have heroes and zombies in an unopened copy of Zombicide: Black Plague. Spiders, rats and villagers sadly I don’t think I can do from what I currently own but I do have a big pile of Pathfinder Pawns so I’ll just have to use those.

Week 2 – Buildings

This is where I think my only real expense. I don’t own any fantasy buildings and this is budgeted for under $20 so I’m going to focus on printable buildings.

Week 3 – Trees

Pretty self explanatory on this one – make a large volume of trees, shrubs etc to help populate the table.

Week 4 – Scatter Terrain

I have a box of resin terrain a friend gave me a while back that has carts, crates, ruined walls etc in there. The final week of the challenge will be to get the usable stuff painted up.

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