Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Art of Inspiration

Any hobby enthusiast out in D&D Land will freely admit that many of their terrain ideas don’t come within. Instead, it’s the RPG community that actually lends the largest helping hand. Continuously trolling for crafting inspiration is nearly a hobby in and of itself. And if you do it right, there’s a considerable adrenaline rush to be had. But you need to know where to look. Gen Con, for example, is a creative juggernaut. Ben capitalizes on this opportunity to commandeer as much inspiration as he can. Let’s take a look at what sort of stuff he shuttered on his last trip.

Gen Con peddlers went bonkers with their booths this year. Dioramas, normally reserved for only the largest of vendors, showed themselves in great numbers. Combine that with a much larger dealer hall and Ben nearly fell victim to sensory overload. Finally companies realized the power of a 3-D setting. And that was good news for us, hobby folk.
Hirst First
The casting method of choice for the Pile is of course, Hirst Arts. Since Ben is ramping up his Egyptian setting, he zeroed in on Bruce’s tomb style displays.
  • Coffins: Stand them upright with supporting earns.
  • Teeth: Provide menacing cover for the archers above.
  • Columns: Drop in some slick ivory arches.
  • Mummy: Put your mummy in the right light.
  • Entrance: Make an imposing entryway.
  • Skulls: Put those craniums in creative places.
  • Wet: Intermix simple water ways.
  • Molding: Line the walls with some flair.
Chic-kee Monkey
Best in Show easily goes to Geek Chic. They worked with a Hirst Arts hobbyist on a truly epic layout. While some of it was a repeat from 2011, their enhancements and add-ons for 2012 were eye popping.
  • Filler: Applied an earthy substance to fill in the gaps.
  • Furniture: Used tables to touch the place up.
  • Doors: Balanced the door with a small brick.
  • Changeover: Transitioned from outdoors to dungeon perfectly.
  • Water: Surrounded the caverns with lots of water effects.
  • Crystals: Modularized crystal piles for repeat use.
  • Space: Separated the floors with a simple sand effect.
  • Arrows: Snipe an opponent behind some cover.
  • Traps: Step carefully or suffer the consequences.
  • Ornate: Decorate with subtle class.
Statuesque Paint
Many of you know that Ben has a soft spot for statues and he was particularly impressed with this paint job…placed in a rather deadly setting.
A word of warning as you point and shoot that camera. Don’t let your excitement get the better of you. Hold your device steady and preview your pic before you move on to the next shot. Also, be sure to zoom in on the key elements – too far back does you no good.
Keeping a folder with all your inspiration helps keep you out of creative rut. Stay thirsty, my friends.
Questions to Ponder: Did you have a favorite inspiration from this week’s post? How about a least favorite? Have you already made any of these for your own game board? Was there something else at the Con that Ben missed?

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