Wednesday, July 27, 2016

TERRAIN - Dark Deeds Demo Table - Part 1

I recently completed another fun terrain commission, this time for Games & Gears and with a bit of a twist. Rather than being a display or demo table for a miniatures game, it was a display/demo table for their card game Dark Deeds (created by some of my mates from the GW days). Rather than a "terrain table" per se, it was described as being "the ultimate Dark Deeds gaming accessory". My brief from Sam, the owner of Games & Gears, was "make it Epic!"

I spoke quite a bit with Mark Gibbons (artist extraordinaire) about the look and feel of the back streets of Anthrand. We decided on using the excellent buildings from Tabletop World, and - to reduce the encroachment onto the table - I went about cutting the buildings in half with a hacksaw.

The initial layout for the table. The mat from the game determined the rest of the dimensions.

We also decided we wanted flickering candle light in the windows, so I placed 
an order with Ron at Fallout Hobbies and received the perfect set of LEDs.

Rarely does a terrain project go by now without working with Alex at Ironheart Artisans. 
He does great custom work that is certainly worth the price. For this project he created the cobblestone streets, the front, back and side panels to enclose and tidy up the project 
(more on these later), and the great crate that you can see at the top of the page.

Once I had the street section in place, I was able to shuffle 
around the half-buildings and try different arrangements.

We needed a tavern area (where all the nefarious missions are dealt out), 
so I started building it with foam bricks and balsa wood framing.

The city of Anthrand is a dark and gritty city, full of depth and texture, which was 
added to the table with quite a bit of greenstuff to raise some of the cobblestones. 

We wanted the buildings to loom a little more, so I added extensions 
to the roof lines with scribed plasticard and greenstuff shingles.

Initially the tavern floor was going to be stone, so I had added 
some raised stones to create the outlines of the card positions.

These two buildings were joined together by filling in the space 
between them with foam blocks and coating them in PVA glue.

A look at the long curb stones sculpted from greenstuff.

The floor of the tavern was switched to a wooden floor and a large stone 
threshold was added. The floor boards are all scribed plasticard.

Each level of the buildings were pinned to the others, and then the buildings were screwed down to the base. After that, I used my Dremel to cut out the windows of the rooms that would be holding the "flickering candles". The next stage included priming the interior of those rooms so that there were no strange reflections etc. The rooms were then wired with the LEDs and sealed up with the MDF panels you can see in the photo above (sadly I forgot to take photos of most of this stage of the project).

The panels were all attached one at a time and given time to dry etc. As you can see in the 
photo above, some panels required a bit of encouragement in the form of clips sand clamps.

Here's a shot of the first stages of the wiring, making sure all of the wires 
could be connected (after they had been green stuffed in place, of course).

A shot of the side panel with the gap being covered with greenstuff shingles : )

At this stage the build is almost complete.

The second stage of the lighting involved a little bit of testing, 
with everything being held in place with painters' tape.

And finally (for the build at least) we decided to add some street lamps. 
These O-scale lamp posts were pre-wired and really just needed a new paint job : )

Anyway, that's the first part of this look at the Dark Deeds display table. Next time I'll go through the painting process. Hope you enjoyed it!



  1. The vision gets more grand each time! Great job and thanks for the kind words always happy to be part of these.

  2. Superb stuff, Dave. I love those buildings.

  3. Wow! That is out of this world

  4. I saw the finished set floating around twitter but didn't realize you had made it! Thanks for giving us a behind the scenes look. Beautiful job man!

  5. Dear Lord Mr. Taylor, you have outdone yourself on this build - stunning work Sir.

  6. .... That is cool... You have not even finished and you have already achieved the design brief!

  7. Definitely epic!

  8. Kinda wish they had this at Adepticon!
    It looks really sweet so far, and Dark Deeds is the most fun I've had with a non miniature game!

  9. This is exciting! I love it. Can't wait to see the finished thing

  10. Oh boy oh boy! I will get to see this in person!!!

  11. Fantastic work Dave. I love it.

  12. Fantastic work Dave. I love it.

  13. I love this Dark Deeds Demo Table.
    Do you accept such commission for a blood bowl terrain?