Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Weekly Update - Sunday, June 5th, 2016 - More From The Workbench

So round! So silver!


It's been, I am happy to be able to say, a very productive week here at The Workbench. The Barsoomian figures can rest their weary feet; four of the little scout flyers, four six-figure air skiffs, and two ten-figure skiffs are done to table-top standards. Fifty-two people in loincloths to join my Old Guard 'Ancient Egyptians' as the generic light infantry / hot weather tribal types, to go with the horde of  Celtos 'Gaels' that I use as my 'cold weather tribals' - hot and cold weather being relative to Tekumel, of course. Phil's thought on using figures like this for Tekumel was simply: "A guy in a loincloth is a guy in a loincloth is a guy in a loincloth" as his own New Kingdom Egyptians chased our leaden alter egos across the game table for the umpteenth time. (We used to spend a lot of our time running for it. Simple survival was usually the order of the day with Phil.)

The big news, as far as I am concerned, is that I have finally gotten back to an old project that got stalled and put on the shelf years ago- a tubeway car. In all the time we adventured with Phil, we never got around to making one of these; no idea why, we just never did it. So, a while back, I thought that it might be fun to have one. This is a very basic 'solid body' model, intended to be as easy to use in games as possible.


The car is a 6" sphere; I am mounting it on a clear Plexiglass base, as there will be times when I will need it as a free-floating model - like when the players wind up in one of the junction stations or the repair yards. My question is: we never ahd a model of either the cars or the stations, so what should I do for a tubeway car station? The opening in the floor for the tubeway will be the same size as the car, with a little 'windage', and as I'm doing this car as a 'midships' model with the door on the greatest diameter, the car will be 'floating about halfway in / out of the tubeway.

I am leaning in the general direction of a pretty 'generic' station, one that takes these cars and not the big ones, as I think this would get more use in games over time. The base, will have to be about three inches thick, to make the car float at the right level, and I'm wondering if I should try to do a little 'forced perspective' modeling and install the "dim purple lights" that Phil said are in the tunnels. My other option would be to rebate the underlayment for the floor, and have valence lights with purple filters to give a nice glow to the thing as it sits in the station. I am also sort of assuming that I am going to want to do the three colored 'tiles' in the floor that are the panels that summon the cars and indicate status. (LEDs, no problem.) Walls? The service rooms off the corridor that leads to the actual station?

My thought is that this will be about a foot wide and deep, so that I can use it as a 'super tile' in Underworld adventures. I'll have to make the stairs that lead 'up' from the base level of the game board to the station entrance, but that I can due in my sleep. Same thing with stairs down from the surface, if that's how the players get into the station.


Game design philosophy note: I usually do not do interiors in models, unless the game scenario requires them; taking the models apart during the game is usually kind of disruptive, so I normally provide separate paper plans to players when they go into a building or something else with an interior. It keeps the game moving smartly, and also forces the other players to send somebody in to see what's there - adventures ensue. If I was doing a display model, I would indeed put in all the lights, screens, and controls; it's pretty easy to do, these days, as model railway suppliers have all the stuff needed to do this kind of detailing.

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