3D Printed Wagon

It turns out that the Central branch of the San Diego Public Library has a free 3D printing lab. They appreciate a small donation for materials. For less than $5 I was able to try my hand at 3D printing a wagon for gaming.

It’s not quite as simple as going and finding a 3D model online and bringing it to the lab. The original model I found had wheels, for instance. It worked out fine for my adventuring party (who doesn’t love a broken down wagon as an adventure hook?) but if I’d wanted to get them printed as well, it would have meant more time and two additional prints (one for each wheel).

As it was, it took quite a while to modify the model I found online. There’s plenty of free 3D modeling software available, but most of it has a fairly steep learning curve.

One other thing to note is that, similar to character models in World of Warcraft, you want to make sure your model is sufficiently thick to be able to withstand some pressure. In my case, the wagon model had a woven texture that ended up being a bit brittle. You can see how one of the wagon sides came off. Again, perfect for a bit of battle damage but not great if I was going for something more pristine.

Sandpaper, a pair of wire cutters, a craft knife, and a great deal of patience was all I needed once I arrived. The print itself took about two hours, but it was definitely worth it.

One coat of paint later and I had a perfect prop for the adventuring party to clamber over and investigate.

Finished print
Finished print
Supports removed - with some damage
Supports removed – with some damage
Finished wagon - painted
Finished wagon – painted
Finished wagon - bottom
Finished wagon – bottom

The Fabulous Tavern

Our latest campaign starts off with the characters in a small town that happens to have an awesome tavern called the Ewe and Arrow. Inspired by various sources, we decided to create our own!

Starting with the first floor, we went with a basic cardboard rectangle with a removable bottom (each of the floors will be separate). We used craft foam for the stone walls and used a ball point pen to create indentations to create the rock look we wanted. After that, toothpicks for the window frame and wooden coffee stirrers for the door frame, then card stock for the reinforced bits of the door.

First Floor Assembled First Floor Primed First Floor Painted

The next few floors came together easily after that. They were similar cardboard boxes, but got coffee stirrers added to the outsides to go for the look we wanted. After that came the attic/roof. Priming and the first layer of paint was relatively easy.

Unpainted sides Painted sides

Here’s a view of the different floor plans (created using more coffee stirrers glued to the base of each floor). Also, the roof was made using long strips of card stock. The paper was painted brown, then gone over with bits of other colors to give it a non-uniform look. After that, the strips were cut apart into sections and laid down to cover the roof. The opening was left for the chimney.


Floor Plan 1

Floor Plan 2

Floor Plan 3

And it’s final stages. First, with a little bit of the wood still unpainted, and finally with walls all at least painted with one coat. Eventually we’ll get back to this and do the chimney and re-weather the outside walls, add color to the floor plans, etc, but it’s good enough to get some serious gaming done in the meantime.

Mostly painted Done for now

Super Cheap Wire Miniatures

I became briefly fascinated with wire sculpture and decided that it was as good a medium as any to try to create miniatures for Dungeons and Dragons. The scale makes it hard to do origami, and I had a spool of the stuff lying around, so I figured why not?

Bonus points for the D&D 3.5 book used for a background.

First up is the bard. I was running the campaign and had my self-insert DM PC. I’ve since learned the error of my ways, but he was a great tool for demonstrating the lethality of the enemies. The very first combat once they reached their questing site saw him beheaded. Fun times. He’s got a whip, some pan pipes, and a rapier at his hip. Oh, and of course a wide-brimmed hat.

The Bard

Next up is the monk! The first attempt was serviceable but a bit bland. It read more like somebody in a drunken bar brawl than a badass martial artist.

The Monk 1

Remember that badass martial artist? Here it is. We’ve got a dynamic pose, baggy pants, and a quarterstaff ready to kick some serious butt.

The Monk 2

Next, a spearman, readying his spear against a charge. The scale got away from me a bit so he’s a bit on the large side, but he’s got a cool backpack and a helmet, so there’s that.

A spearman

And this little cutie is a rodent of unusual size. As I recall he was retconned into some other furry animal on the fly, as one of the players actually owned pet rats (who were simply adorable, by the way).

Rodent of Unusual Size

Watch out! It’s a sword and shield fighter with a cape!

The Fighter

A villainous sahuagin with a trident, oh no!


But let us not forget the GOD OF FREAKIN’ BEARS. Seriously, this guy got to use the wire I had left over from making my chainmail hauberk (hey, I had a bunch of time on my hands between classes in college and not much to do, don’t judge).

The God of Bears