16 July 2013

Plastic pieces of potential

Evenin' all.

Some of you may have seen my thread over on LAF asking for opinions on the Marx arena for 54mm plastic gladiators and suchlike - it was part of  a larger Ben Hur related play set from quite a few years back. The whole set is likely to set you back at least £60, and will almost certainly have received more than a spot of heavy play from small children if the current ebay auctions are anything to go by...

Anyway, I found it an eight eighths set (i.e. enough for a full circle) on clearance for £12 from Plasticsoldiers.co.uk and it arrived today!

The plastic is fairly typical for children's toys - fairly flexible, so I'll need to fix it to a board before even thinking of making finishing touches.

Maybe now is as good a time as any to show you the box-file thing I've started and you can see in the top left of the photo above. We ended up with a bag of box files and I thought there had to be some geeky use for them, other than pure storage. My shoddy, wonky light-box effort got squashed when we moved house, so this is its replacement.

First step, assemble the tools - box file, cutting and sticking stuff, and some thick card.

Next, cut the card to the same width as the lid and base, respectively, firmly taping them alongside to give "wings". I've already cut some of a standard paper-backed grass mat to fit the lid and its wings in the picture below. Oh, i should also mention I removed the catch on the lid and the flappy bit that holds the papers you'd normally find in such a box in place.

Wings flapping

Box wings folded

Lid wings folded

The whole thingamajig closed up. Neat, eh?

I haven't got the back image sorted yet. I'm after a fairly soft-focus, impressionistic countryside image which will serve for my chivalric project.

Anyway, back to the gladiators' arena. Each piece comes with a gate way which can take a portcullis. As I only want a half oval to serve as a backdrop for my games (opinion seems pretty strong that a full arena is a pain to lean into to move figures around in), I'll be able to practise with impunity - I plan to cut back two of the gates from the four sections I will use to leave them plain. They also don't quite stand square so will need pinning together in some way:

You can see where the background image will sit quite nicely in this shot. 28mm Foundry peasant for scale.

Peasant again, in the ruins of a Roman arena. See what I mean about the stands not being square?

The stands are also open backed which means they can "stack", but I'll seal them over to give greater rigidity and for aesthetics.

Conga line coliseum!
All in all, I'm pleased with my purchases but it will be a bit more of a project to get them to gaming-table standard than I hoped. With luck, I'll only need four of them and then I'll be looking to offload the others.

Phew, it's hot here and that was a long post for me, image-wise!

Stay in the shade, drink plenty (you choose the beverage!), and happy geeking,

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