Friday, March 14, 2014

Alexandria wasn't built in a day!

My apologies for the lack of posts during February, but it was certainly a crazy month. Not only did I resign from my position with Wargames Illustrated and start my own business (doing design/layout/editing - Dave Taylor Miniatures LLC), but I was working hard with my friends Alex and Rob to get the terrain built for the Guns Of April 2014 event - Scavenger Hunt: Napoleon In Egypt.

When the team agreed to go with a skirmish style gaming experience (only 10-12 models to paint, instead of 150), I knew we'd need to up the game as far as terrain was concerned. I know our previous games have looked great, but the terrain played a secondary role to the vast number of models on the table (close to 1,000 in each game I think). I had a dream, a vision, for what we could fight over, through, and around, but to make it a reality I had to turn to my friend Alex Landing (owner of Ironheart Artisans) for design help and vast amounts of laser cut buildings.

As luck should have it, Alex has actually been to Egypt, and had an extensive collection of photos of the wonderful architecture of Cairo and Alexandria. After a few basic design conversations, Alex leapt in with both feet and designed more than a dozen building styles to turn into close to 70 buildings for our gaming. Assembling the buildings took roughly three days and was accomplished by my buddy and fellow GOA member Rob Chandler and I in late February.

Following assembly, Rob took a couple of days to "basecoat" all of the buildings. You can see a healthy number of them below.

Rob and the guys at Dropzone Games couldn't help but put together a layout of buildings together and through down a few toy soldiers into the streets : )

Once their immersive fix had been sated, Rob packed up all the buildings into the largest box he could find, and Alex delivered it to my porch. After discovering the box in the morning, it was a bot like Christmas as I dived in and started piling them all up on my dining room table, much to my wife's bemusement and chagrin.

I started taking them to my painting table, four or five at a time, in order to start painting in the details. According to Alex (and my research), although the stucco-covered mud-brick buildings and sandstone block abodes might appear to be a bit dull, or samey, there is typically a great deal of colorful decoration, particularly on the well-kept houses of the wealthier citizens.

So, without further ado, here are some shots of the smaller houses (small footprint, single-story)

The middle sized buildings (larger footprint, two-stories).

And a run-down bazaar (longer footprint, and single-story)

All of the roofs are removable, so action can move into the buildings : )

So, hopefully we'll have plenty more photos over the coming weeks. Only 21 more days and all this will be set up in the Westin Lombard hotel for AdeptiCon 2014!



  1. Looking forward to seeing the results of this project.

    Napoleonic Skirmish rule sound fun. I looked at using Muskets & Tomahawks for skirmishing during the Spanish Peninsular campaign.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. Very nice looking terrain. I'm looking at investing in bunch of terrain for my home game room since the local store closed.

  3. Looks great! And an impressive amount of buildings. In my humble opinion the main (grey) building would have looked even better sandcoloured. It's size is enough to set it apart from the rest. Now it looks a bit like concrete.
    Great collection regardless! Looking forward to follow this project.

    1. Thanks NW Crew, but granite was the stone we were going for on the big building ; )

  4. Wow, looks like you're going to put on a fun game. Those buildings are really cool.