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, June 28, 2022

Building a 28mm Gladiator Arena (part I) for Blood on the Sands

 There is a small local gaming convention being run on the 2nd July called Shire Con, an adhoc mini MOAB of sorts, put on to compensate the fact that the last two MOABs have been cancelled due to COVID.It will be mostly Warhammer competitions no doubt but the opportunity presented itself for me run a participation game - so I thought it would be a good time to let Blood on the Sands into the wild again.Victor, one of the very active and invaluable play testers will be helping me out.

So for just under a week I have been attempting to get a proper gladiator amphitheater ready for Shire Con, something fit enough to display BotS on. There is nothing wrong with playing on a simple hex-grid, this is how BotS was designed to be played, but if you want to put on a spectacle it has to look the part. The arena would represent a small provincial amphitheater, something very far removed from the Colosseum. 

I have spoken about this before but enclosing an arena you intend on playing a game in is a very BAD idea. You quickly grow tired of reaching over the walls and down to the arena sands, especially playing a dynamic game like BotS where there is a lot of moving around. Thus, I opted for an open half-arena, for playability. I'm waiting on a pair of mdf doors and I have accepted the fact that the spectators I have had 3D printed by a mate will not be here in time. Still it would be nice to be able to play on this on Saturday regardless. The image below is where the build stands with 3 days until the con. Wish me luck...

I'll show some images of the process that got me here. Firstly transcribing a grid to the foam board. Not as tedious as it would seem and then lightly adding sand, grit and grout powder.

A good solid base for the arena walls and bleachers out of proper blue XPS foam. The green stuff is the horrid crap that our local hardware chain, Bunnings, is passing off as XPS. The Editor's box is made of foamcore and will house the doors.

The bleachers are made out of white packing foam as they will not be played on and will likely be covered in as many spectators as I can manage. Stairs were cut into the bleachers to make the arena as realistic as possible. The arena wall itself was covered in thick card not only to help hide all the sins but to give a nice smooth finish.

The walls of the arena will be edged with wooden railings, kindly laser cut by a friend from mdf. The cut-off ends of the arena have been finished as if to show the interior structure of the arena and in the Editor's box I used a modelling clay with a texture roller to make a stone patterned floor.


  1. You kept this project a bit quiet, but it's looking good and I hope it was finished too, for the show.

    1. Just realised I put 2nd June in the post, Joe. The con is on this weekend - the 2nd of July and the build continues! I've been so very busy play testing and trying to get this build finished too.

  2. Looks fabulous! Sorry I wont make Shire Con (away with work) but I hope its a blast

    1. Thanks Paul - hopefully you'll be around for MOAB proper.

  3. Lovely work Frank, really sets the scene, hope you have lots of interest in the game .