Gentlemen and Ladies
The primary writing for Gothic is complete and the Alpha draft is with our friendly editors for sense-checks and proofing. They should have their work done by the end of November and then it goes through a swift redraft before going to Millsy, our layout artist.
This gives us time to start other things, most important of which is the creation of the second Gothic participation game table for Salute 2017.
We already have the superb Cemetery by Bill Harrington that some of you saw last year, but I am coming up with something a bit different – the Transylvanian village of ‘Sucevita’. As benighted a place as ever there was, where Professor van Helsing and some brave villagers shall do battle with Viktor von Frankenstein and his abominations.
I am taking as the inspiration for my board the village featured in the 2004 Van Helsing film featuring Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale. We could argue for weeks about the merits of that film, but one thing you cannot but applaud were the sets.
I would also like a bit of a Hammer Horror film feeling as well (what? I’m old, get over it).
To that end I need to build at least half a dozen substantial village houses, and supporting terrain. This I shall be recording here in a series of short articles so you can witness their design and crafting.
I had considered using the Fabled Realms houses from our friends at 4Ground. They are excellent pieces but really don’t give off that eastern European vibe I am looking for. So it is once more down to me.
The first job when crafting buildings is to do a design review. Thus I created a list of features I wanted to include in them, such as;
– What are they made of? Stone, timber, roof tiles/shingles?
– How big should they be? Small, medium or large,
– Am I going to have detailed insides? Are we going to allow figures to move through and even fight in them?
– What will they look like? How many doors, windows, balconies, chimneys?
I am planning to produce a 75cm square board, and already have pre-cut sheets of 5mm ply for that purpose. So if I craft six buildings about 100x150mm, add walled yards, small outbuildings, a couple of streets and various scatter terrain, that should be more than enough to fill it with a pleasing and tactically challenging layout.
I generally make buildings with a strong core of 5mm foam board, then other features are made from card, matchsticks and thin wood sheet. I base them on thin hardboard and the whole thing is held together with PVA and cocktail sticks inside the foamboard.
You can see below a design drawn onto an A2 sheet of 5mm foamboard. Other than the key wall dimensions, you do not have to be too precise with the placement of doors and windows. Few houses were ever built alike before the 20th century.
This design comes from some 1:1 scale sketches I first did on 5mm graph paper.
The A2 sheet will provide enough material to make two such houses, with enough left over for yard walls and outbuildings.
And there I shall leave it for today. Keep an eye out for more articles as the build progresses.