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COMPLETED! Are you not entertained? An Arena worth fighting in

COMPLETED! Are you not entertained? An Arena worth fighting in

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Project Blog by carlospictor Cult of Games Member

Recommendations: 282

About the Project

Lockdown drives more hobbying. This is a short project as I take a playmobil colosseum and style it out for WarCry, Warhammer Underworlds and anything else that can be played on a small space.

This Project is Completed

So. Much. Plastic.

Tutoring 11
Skill 10
Idea 15
2 Comments

There was a bit of a flurry of activity on some Facebook groups of people buying and painting up the Playmobil Roman Colosseum for use with WarCry Arena rules.

I was lucky enough to snap one up in the UK from Playmobil website and with 30% off – so for just £36.

When it arrived – the box was huge. After sorting through all the bits and an hour of assembly, I was left with this frankly monstrous terrain piece.

Have I bitten off more than I can chew?

So. Much. Plastic.
So. Much. Plastic.
Takes up most of the dining tableTakes up most of the dining table

Sorry no pics of this stage!

Tutoring 10
Skill 11
Idea 11
No Comments

With the arena assembled, I knew it would be far too large to store anywhere. I could have it disassemble into its smallest wall sections but was worried about paint chipping with constant assembly/takedown.

I instead opted to build the arena in 2 halves so I could at least store it fairly discretely when not in use.

with a 3ft x 3ft 9mm MDF square, I place each half on the board, lining up the exposed ends perfectly along the machine cut edges so I’d have 2 straight edges to butt against each other. Using a thick marker and rolling a flat coin, I then traced around the entire outer edge of each half – giving me 2 curved edges to cut with my jigsaw.

Once cut, I then used a very hefty amount of No More Nails to cement the colosseum to the board – wiped down overspill and left to dry for 24 hours.

I’m too Hexy for this post

Tutoring 11
Skill 10
Idea 12
No Comments

With the two halves properly dried and very sturdy, it’s time to start working on details.

The arena is going to be multi-purpose. I’ll be using it for WarCry, Warhammer underworlds (especially 4 player match ups), Super Fantasy Brawl and well – anything that takes my fancy!

To that end, 60mm hexes needed to be made to pave the floor of the arena, I made a template in Inkscape and then printed a dozen or so sheets and spray adhesived them to cardboard. Cereal packets and those cardboard Amazon envelopes work well.

I cut out all the hexagons by hand and round the edges so they’d sit like slabs.

Glued down with PVA wood glue, they form a really versatile and distinctive arena floor.

 

I’m too Hexy for this post

The image above shows everything glued down with a few sprays of black, grey and white. I’ll get onto the other details and priming in subsequent posts.

At this point, I’m really pleased with how it is coming together.

Details, details, details

Tutoring 6
Skill 8
Idea 8
No Comments

I know that a fair few Playmobil arenas have been made very Age of Sigmar – all blood and skulls. To fit with my other terrain, I wanted the kind of arena that could exist deep in the Victorian East End, full of ne’er do wells, pickpockets and the occasional gent in search of excitement.

To that end, I wanted some refinement, but run down. I also needed cogs, signage and an entrance/ticket booth.

Cogs decorate the outer wallsCogs decorate the outer walls
There’s a barred cage (to hold any drunkards foolish enough to pass out overnight)There’s a barred cage (to hold any drunkards foolish enough to pass out overnight)
A man-trap sits ready to ensnare the unwaryA man-trap sits ready to ensnare the unwary
Ticket office, with a small sign hanging. Ticket office, with a small sign hanging.

These additions help to bring the piece together and cement the Steampunk, civilised theme.

Hex bomb, hex bomb, you’re a Hex bomb

Tutoring 6
Skill 8
Idea 8
No Comments

Further detail I added was specifically for Warhammer Underworlds games. I needed to mark starting hexes for war bands.

using cogs again, I played with few arrangements to get a pattern I felt was good for four-player games, and gave different options depending on which quadrant you chose. Slower warbands do struggle to get anywhere if placed too near the walls – but overall it makes a nice balance of aesthetic and playability.

Painted example showing hexes and starting hexesPainted example showing hexes and starting hexes

Paint part one: Priming

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 8
No Comments

I’ve never painted something this large before, so I needed ways to save time.

making the bulk of it stone was an obvious move – easy to do with rattlecans.

early in lockdown, GW stopped deliveries and it meant that cans of GW primer were going for silly money on eBay.

Instead, I bought much cheaper black, white and grey car primers from Halfords. I find them too grainy to consider using on miniatures – but they are perfect for scenery.

  1. Turn the model upside down and spray black – getting all undersides caught and covered.
  2. Turn the model the right way up and spray thoroughly with grey at a 45 degree angle. You want good coverage.
  3. spray again with white at a 99 degree vertical to dust directly from above. I also spot sprayed a few areas of the floor to very the stone colour.
Fully primed and zenithed arenaFully primed and zenithed arena

Paint part two: detailing and drybrushing

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 8
No Comments

With all the priming done, I was then ready to start getting details and pushing further textures onto the arena.

I use makeup brushes for drybrushing as they are cheap to get hold of and have a softness that really suits drybrushing techniques.

using craft store “smoke” paint, I’ve added extra highlights across all surfaces.

 

Paint part two: detailing and drybrushing

After that, I went around the whole piece adding leadbelcher or Warplock bronze metallics to metal areas – cogs, gates, braziers etc

at this point, I also used a mix of GW contrast Blood Angels Red and Gryph Hound Orange over the arches and any other parts (ticket office roof) that I wanted to be brick.

Paint part two: detailing and drybrushing

Finally, and before adding any further weathering – I stuck back onto the piece the alcove arched stickers that go all around the inside wall. This was a really quick way to add extra colour and an effective marble look to those elements. Adding them now meant that they wouldn’t be spoiled by drybrushing but could be weathered along with everything else.

Paint part two: detailing and drybrushing

Painting part three: Further details

Tutoring 8
Skill 8
Idea 9
No Comments

As these posts are a little out of order, I’ll share some pics of the arena floor. Drybrushing and washing created a stone floor I was really happy with.

I’ve then added extra detail with some green mould/algae and brushing in areas of tracked dirt, especially where I imagine the fighters would trek out in two lines, ready to square off against each other.

Painting part three: Further details
Painting part three: Further details
Painting part three: Further details

Details and weathering: Exterior

Tutoring 8
Skill 8
Idea 9
No Comments

Close ups of the details and weathering that help bring the piece to life.

Details and weathering: Exterior
Details and weathering: Exterior
Details and weathering: Exterior
Details and weathering: Exterior

Details and weathering: Interior

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 9
No Comments
Details and weathering: Interior
Details and weathering: Interior
Details and weathering: Interior
Details and weathering: Interior

And that’s a wrap!

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 7
No Comments

With all detailing completed and a final spray of Matt varnish, my steampunk multi-purpose arena is done.

it’s been a fun project, with plenty of learning and showcasing of my techniques. I’ll certainly be less afraid to tackle a large project in the future.

And that’s a wrap!
And that’s a wrap!
And that’s a wrap!

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