There is something about tabletop war games that has the ability to create a kind of excitement not found in other more modern types of games. Video games provide a realistic feel, while allowing gamers to take part in the action as if they are actually “in the game.” However, the strategy, and the study of human behavior exuded in the play, is something that video games can’t come close to when compared to the more traditional tabletop games.
Even though tabletop war games may be seen as a traditional type hobby, thousands upon thousands of hobbyists still play these types of games. However, one company, called Printable Scenery, is combining the modern-day technology of 3D printing with that of these traditional games.
“Due to our interest in table top war-games, we decided to experiment with creating miniature 28mm fantasy scenery,” Mathew Barker of Printable Scenery tells 3DPrint.com. “For the last year we have been experimenting with different designs. Having worked in the television industry for many years I’m used to getting involved in projects where no-one is 100% sure what’s happening or how things will turn out, so the transition to experimental 3d printing has been frightfully seamless.”
While Barker says that the process for modeling for animation and the process for modeling 3D prints are quite different and challenging to adjust to, the main challenge for him is keeping everything to scale.
The tabletop war game designs created by Printable Scenery are quite intricate, capturing many details often not seen in traditional game props. The company has designed quite a bit of this game scenery and has made the designs available for purchase and download via their website. They include things such as a war tower, stone walls, castle walls, bridges, fences, and even extremely detailed cottages.
“All the details have to be modeled into the mesh as we cannot cheat anything with textures or normal maps,” Barker tells us. “This way the model quickly becomes very hi-poly and can be a nightmare to change once the details have been added. Creating brick patterns that don’t tile or repeat can take a while to model – as opposed to in animations, where applying a tile-able texture is much easier. This all becomes more painful when changes are requested, making locking down concept designs an absolute must.”
As you can see in the images, Printable Scenery’s designs are not something you would find on a free model repository site. These are carefully created with hours upon hours of work. When it comes to 3D printing, the prints are done on a MakerBot Replicator 3D printer, and then of course post processed and painted.
Personally I am not into tabletop war games, but if I were, I know I would certainly be purchasing some of these designs. What do you think about Printable Scenery’s creations? Discuss in the 3D printed war game scenery forum thread on 3DPB.com.