Welcome to "Adventures in Lead", a blog dedicated to the hobby of miniature wargaming. The figures and terrain on this site are mainly for a campaign set in exotic "Indostan", a distant land bearing remarkable similarities to 18th century India during the Seven Years War. Bits and pieces from other projects may pop up here as well from time to time, including colonials, gladiators, pirates, dinosaur-hunting and even some RPG'ing.
The actual campaign journal and after action reports for the Indostan campaign can be found on their own blog - "Indostan: The Jewel in the Crown", the link to which is found by clicking the small image below-left.
If you do find anything remotely interesting on this blog please leave a comment, it's what keeps these sites going and their authors motivated - Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

WIP - The Arena Part 1

I've scoured the internet over the last couple of weeks in search of images of 28mm scale arenas and have found quite a few nice ones. Some are complete arenas including everything from the arena floor to the seating, the best example of which is the mythical, Dwarven Forge Arena. 
The Dwarven Forge Arena
 This has to be the ultimate in miniature arenas out there - but it's not commercially available and probably never will be. One can only image the cost of such a piece, which includes removable seating, so that the cells, rooms etc can be accessed under the bleachers. When all is said and done, a beautiful arena, but is all of this necessary for a one on one combat game? I shall continue to drool and dream though. 
The second type of arena is one that includes the walls and fighting floor only, a good example of which is TerranScapes'.
The TerraScapes Arena
This type of arena is a little more practical in its design. For one, all the unnecessary bits have been omitted and you are left with the bare bones of a fighting pit, which is really the only thing required for these types of games.  
The last type is a simple hex map to play out your combats on. There are plenty of these commercially available, the best probably being EM4's Ludus Gladiatorus game, because it includes rules, the hex map and gladiator miniatures to boot!
The EM4 Arena
In the past our group played our games on a similar hex map and although satisfactory, it leaves a lot to be desired if you want a visually good looking game.
After pondering all these different things and scratching my head over design and construction issues, I decided on a style of arena to make.
The first step was deciding the type and although I'd love a complete arena, tiered seating and all, I decided against it. Construction was the main problem, followed by storage and lastly playability. So I opted to make  the second type, the fighting floor and walls only, omitting the seating and editor's box etc. In my opinion everything above the wall enclosing the arena floor is eye candy, who wants to fight in an empty stadium anyway - I'm NOT painting 100+ spectators!
Secondly I decided on the shape. I chose an oval arena, which I believe is more historically correct and is visually more appealing to me.
After a lot of deliberating I got to work, having figuring out just how I would construct this thing. A visit to the local hardware store helped me choose the materials and I returned with some MDF sheets and pine timber. I have access to a good range of hand and bench power tools, which were needed for my design. I constructed a simple frame from the timber and mounted it to the heavier MDF board and next cut long flexible strips from the thinner MDF board in a bench mounted circular saw (very dangerous). Using a couple of countersunk screws I attached the flexible strips within the frame, giving me the curved bends of my arena. (Click images to enlarge)
The beginnings of my arena
The screws holding the flexible strips in place
With some simple carpentry my arena began to take shape. Next I set to work on the hex grid arena floor.

2 comments:

Boggler said...

Looking really good.

I can't wait to see this in it's full glory!

Keep it up!

Steve Boulter said...

I agree, can't wait to see the finished article, so far all my gladatorial games (using THW 'Red Sand Blue Sky' rules) have been solo, but I've always thought I'd like to put on a Con game sometime and an 'eye candy' arena would be a must.