Sunday, 8 July 2012

And now for something completely different...

Painting has come to a grinding halt as I've managed to hurt my back somehow this weekend - very, very unamused and frustrated (and in lots of pain, I need sympathy dammit!).  Hopefully normal service shall be resumed soon, but in the mean time, here's something a little different

Occasionally I get bored at work - in one period of boredom (waiting for crap to install on a server somewhere), I stumbled across the Hirst Arts website.  Having uncovered the world of Hirst Arts, plaster moulds (or molds) and effectively "grown up Lego" - my "down-time" at work is spent sketching building ideas for battlefields (concentrating on Warhammer Fantasy Battle - Empire at the moment).

I've sepia'd it up a bit to make it look a little cooler:

I'm no Christopher Wren or Norman Foster (Or Christopher Robin or Norman Wisdom for that matter), but I'm having some fun with it, and once I get around to casting up some blocks, I'll have the ground floor built soon.  The upper levels will be mainly foam core and coffee stirrers (sourced from work, Starbucks, Costa and Subway).

If anyone is interested I'll occasionally post more of these drawings up (as I finish them) - please feel free to shout yay or nay...

In case anyone was wondering, I do have some previous form for building stuff, only in a digital 3D environment.  If anyone played Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory (a free multiplayer FPS game spun off Return to Castle Wolfenstein) back in the day, they may have enjoyed (or been haunted by) the map Braundorf.  

Seven years ago (I can't believe it's been that long), I got this map from inception to Beta 4 version (with the feedback from some very good people), at which point it got used a couple of times in the Enemy Territory tournament at QuakeCon (I think it was used in ClanBase too).  Somebody else got it to a final version, but I have no idea if anyone plays it anymore.

The download link is still there on RTCW files:;49667

I also contributed a little bit to La Rochelle with the talented Ifurita (who is also a miniature painter and wargamer), and my Night Watch clan mates blushing_bride (Architectural genius) and Leifhv (Morten Harket impersonator extraordinaire and makes a damn fine map too) also created some fantastic maps for the game.  Unlike the miniature painting world, where people are generally supportive and criticism is constructive, the game mapping world was like putting your head above the parapet while wearing a pink rabbit head in WW1 - the criticism and comments could be brutal and a fair few people gave it up because it wasn't worth the abuse.

Mapping for a computer game is hard - while being relatively successful with Braundorf, I had several aborted attempts that never made it to an Alpha version.  I have the utmost respect for anyone who does that as either a hobby or a living - miniature painting is a breeze in comparison.  :-)


  1. Good work sir, hope the back gets better real soon.

  2. I love the drawing and I would love to see more.

  3. Cheers chaps - off to the chiropractors this afternoon to get the spine rearranged.

    I'll post more of these as and when I finish them - I can't promise how regular they'll be though!

  4. These are lovely drawings. I would say keep posting them. And best wishes with getting your back taken care of.

    1. Thank you Anne! I'll try and get a new drawing up in the next couple of days.

      The back is definitely on the mend, my chiropractor is a legend...

  5. Nice stuff. Good to see someone else who works in 3d software that does this hobby too. I'm a maya generalist and worked on an expansion for battlefield 2 about 6 years ago. I'm Still doing 3d for other things.
    I like your drawings. Be nice to see how they turn out as models. For inspiration you could google 'Warhammer online Concepts' and think about turning those into miniature buildings.

    1. Thank you sir! Although Radiant was nowhere near the same league as Maya...

      I've googled general fantasy architecture, hadn't thought about Warhammer Online.