Saturday, 16 February 2013

Hirst Arts Dungeon

Last Sunday was one of the regular games days that we run for our Scouts and Explorer Scouts.  An excellent day as always, we start at 10:30 and finish at 4:00 and usually have pizza and chips for lunch.  This time we had noodles, rice, spring rolls, sweet and sour chicken and more to celebrate Chinese New Year!

Our 20 eager players had a range of games from which to choose.  The games day had given me a good reason to get on and actually paint the Hirst Arts dungeon that I've been building for at least 2 years now.  A plain white plaster dungeon just doesn't have the same presence as a nice painted dungeon, especially if you add some extra bits of scenery and give it all a suitable grimy appearance!

My dungeons are assembled using a cork tile base with floor tiles and wall blocks plaster cast from Hirst Arts moulds.  I've used some of Bruce Hirst's designs and added a few of my own too.  They've been base coated in a watered down mix of PVA and black poster paint (1 litre of paint for £1 seemed good value but I've discovered that you need the PVA to give it a rub-proof surface).  Using Wilkinson's £1 tester pots I applied a blotchy java bean brown pattern and then added some dabs of urban jungle green along the edges of the corridors where I imagine it'd get pretty damp and mouldy.  Some smaller patches of envy green added to the effect.  After this I gave a very heavy semi-drybrush of stone grey, then a very light drybrush of silver grey.  Additional drybrushing with nutmeg spice and coffee brown along the middle of the corridors finished things off (dirty adventurers tracking mud from outside - no wonder the dungeon denizens get angry and attack them!).

A view of the complete dungeon.

The dungeon was revealed in sections as the adventurers explored.  I used very basic Heroquest rules to keep it extremely fast and easy to play.  Adventurers included a wizard, female warrior (counted as an Elf), a gladiator (counted as another Elf) and a knight (counted as a barbarian).

The dungeon entrance...

A Beastman guards the fountain (water still to be added!)

Warrior maiden and wizard prepare to fight a goblin.

Goblin bed chamber.

I wonder if any treasure is hidden here?

Just an empty bookshelf...?

A strong draught blows from behind - could it be...

... a secret passage!
A brave knight emerges from the secret passage into the daylight.

Stairs to a higher level of the dungeon...

... can be removed...

... to allow other uses of the room!

A partially barred gateway within the dungeon.

What's behind this grate?  Something damp by the look of it.
The forces of Chaos peer from within their lair

General view of some of the dungeon bits.

I like how the window turned out.

Note the algae / water stains running down the wall.

Corridor with arrow loops.

We also had a quick game of the old GW classic Dungeonquest which I got for only £5 in a GW mega-sale some 18 years ago.  This is played on a large board where you pick room/corridor tiles at random as you explore a castle.  You get 4 plastic figures with the game.  My friend Graham has painted the figures in almost all his games and I've done virtually none of mine.  I quickly painted up these figures the night before in attempt to alleviate some of my shame!

Dungeonquest Barbarian and Knight.

Dungeonquest Adventurer and Ranger.

Next time... some furniture for the dungeon!

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