Sunday, 15 April 2012

Dave's Games Ruined Longhouse

When I posted my last ATZ batrep, I included on my game-board a couple of brand new buildings that I'd made recently. They were both fairly small ruined houses and both came from a card scenery company whom I have never mentioned before - Dave's Games. Dave's Games is run by Dave Graffam and he mainly produces buildings for the fantasy gamer, most of which are of little use to contemporary gamers like myself. However, he also makes a range of ruined buildings, which can be used in so many historical periods and genres. I bought a bundle pack of his ruined buildings late last year and got 17 buildings in the set for roughly £25.00. Absolutely fantastic value for money. Anyway, here is the first of his buildings that I made - the ruined longhouse.
I chose to make this building first, simply because it was the easiest to make and I knew it'd only take me a couple of days to complete. At the time that I made this I was also working on my WWG Mayhem City Police Station. I made this to give myself a break from making so many furniture items. I learnt the hard way that you can only make so many pieces of furniture before it becomes a chore.
The building has a footprint of 6" by 4" and is 4" tall. As you can see it is nothing more than four walls, a floor and a chimney. The hardest part of making it was cutting out the holes in the walls, and to be honest, that wasn't a very difficult task.
Here is an overhead view of the building, showing off the flagstoned floor with a scattering of rubble on it. Those of you not familiar with Dave Graffam's models may be thinking, yeah, I can see that, so what? Well, Dave's models have a special ingredient that makes them totally awesome and even better value for money than you'd imagine. It's called layers. Layers allow you to customise each model to your hearts content, giving you so many options that you could build hundreds of this model with every one of them being unique. For the floor, you have three basic options - flagstones (as shown here), concrete blocks and wood panelling. For the rubble, which you can add or leave out, you have four options. I chose options three and four. Options one and two added broken wooden beams.
This is one of the long side walls with the door in. The door is a separate layer, so if you don't want it on this wall you can leave it off. For my walls, I chose the plaster over bricks option. Other choices were bricks, stone and wood. The plaster option overlays one of the three basic choices. Here, you can see the brickwork showing through the gaps in the plaster rendering.
Here is one of the short walls, showing a massive hole in it that a person could walk through without any bother. Further options for your walls are stone corners and/or wooden beams to give it that Tudor-style look.
Here is the second of the long walls, and I chose to add two windows to it. The internal walls are textured the same as the external walls, however, you do have an option for wooden interior walls, if you fancied a contrast.
This is the second short wall, with the chimney stack abutting it. The chimney is asymmetrically shaped. The sticky-out bit (actual architectural term!) at the bottom can face to the left or to the right. Your choice. If you add up all the choices of layers that you're presented with it soon becomes apparent that my assertion that you could make hundreds of these buildings with each one being unique and different from the others is no exaggeration. This has to be the greatest strength of Dave's models. The level of customisation you have at your fingertips is simply breath-taking. Also, bear in mind, this is probably the simplest of his ruined buildings to make. With his more complex buildings the choices of customisation are even greater. In the advertising industry, a product should have a U.S.P. (Unique Selling Point) to make it stand out from its competitors. Dave's Games' U.S.P. is undoubtedly layers. Fat Dragon Games have layers on some of their models (with the likes of bullet holes, dirt or graffiti, for example) but nowhere near the extent offered by Dave Graffam.
The bundle of 17 ruined buildings that I bought just knocked me for six when I saw what I could do with them. I should point out that all of the ruined buildings are available to purchase separately but I'd definitely advise going for the bundle pack, which is far greater value for money. If you wanted to buy the ruined longhouse separately, it costs just £1.31 according to the RPG Now and Wargame Vault websites that I looked at this morning. Both sites stock the full range of Dave Graffam models.
The idea of adding layers to WWG models has been put forward on their forum, but it looks unlikely to happen, which I personally, think is a great shame.
The more novels that I read about a zombie apocalypse, the more I realise that so many buildings are going to end up in a ruined state. Fire, for example, will destroy many of them. I also realised that my own version of Mayhem City was going to need a lot more ruined buildings than I originally envisaged. So expect to see more ruined buildings in my ATZ batreps. I'll tell you now that a lot of them are going to come from Dave's Games.

33 comments:

  1. That choice of layers sounds really useful. I'd never want to have 2 exactly same buildings, hehe.

    You got some lucky doors there, that they've survived the destruction of the house :P

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    1. I did wonder about the survivability rating of the door, Mathyoo. To include it or not, was the question. I have other ruined buildings that are missing their doors, so just for a change I decided to keep this door intact.

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  2. Nice, I'll have to check these models out, look like a good way to fill up the gaming table!

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    1. Believe me, you'd have no trouble at all filling a table with Dave's Games ruined buildings.

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  3. This is quite cool. To be able to choose layers really makes this stand out.

    At some time it could be fun if you showed your progress when building something.

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    1. The option to add layers to these models is what makes them stand out from the crowd - their U.S.P. that I mentioned in my review.

      Another request for a card modelling tutorial - duly noted. It is something that I want to do.

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  4. I'm very impressed with this, more so than I thought I would be.
    A quick review of the other ruins in the bundle would be useful too.

    I agree about the need for ruins as the apocalypse progresses.

    And can I put a voteinwiht Lord S. for a blow by blow account of you building something - perhaps even as simple as a small ruin.

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    1. Joe, you won't have long to wait to see another Dave's Games ruined building as I plan on showing my second model of his next time.

      A tutorial on how I make my buildings is definitely on my "to do" list for my blog. I know from the number of requests I've had to do one that it would be a very popular post.

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    2. Tutorial sounds good and would definetly be popular.
      On another note I would like to see a figure occassionally with your models to get some idea of scale.

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    3. I honestly never thought of adding a figure for scale purposes. I'll try to remember to when I do any future reviews. Any idea which figure I'm most likely to use? If you said Vampifan you'd be spot on.

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    4. Who would have thought "Vampfan" ?

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    5. I know, and me with so many figures to choose from! LoL!

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  5. I noticed that ruin right away on the last batrep. It's very good. I didn't realize Dave had gone so heavily into into customization with layers. All of my current Dave Graffam models are his old freebies, which I loved for the intricate detail and beautiful colors, much better than either WorldWorks or FatDragon imho. I'll have to take a look at Dave's new stuff.

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    1. Joe, I can highly recommend taking a look at his ruined buildings. I am sure you won't be disappointed in them.

      By the way, you put in a request on your own blog for me to add a page of my figure reviews. I did think about it but have avoided doing so, due to the amount I've posted so far. Miniature figure reviews are far and away my most populous of posts. For it to work I think I'd have to split the page into multiple pages, covering various subjects, similar to what I do for my photo folders. So, that would mean a separate page for Civilians, Cops, Corpses, Gangers, Military, Supernatural Stuff, Survivors, Vampires and Zombies. It's doable but it'd be a lot of work. Joe/Zabadak has already asked me to do what you're asking, so you're not alone. I'm undecided but if more people want to see me add to my pages I will.

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    2. Yes, I can see how that would be a huge undertaking, and there are probably lots of things you could be doing that would be more enjoyable for you. Maybe all of your followers could chip in to hire someone to come in and do it for you. :)

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    3. Hi, Bryan. I went on Wargames Vault and got a couple of Dave Graffam's ruins, the Ruined Church and the Sniper Wall. Thanks very much for the recommendation. Speaking of recommendations, I'm reading book 3 of Jonathan Maberry "King of Plagues". Thanks for the recommendations. We seem to share similar tastes.

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    4. If I could clone myself I could get twice as much work done! To add figure reviews to my list of pages, I'd have to add an extra nine pages! I may do it if I get bored one day.

      The ruined church and the sniper wall are both superb models. I want to make them both as soon as I can.

      It's funny that you should mention getting book 3 of the Joe Ledger series by Jonathan Maberry, because two days ago I bought book 4 - "The Assassin's Code." It's next on my reading list. We do indeed share many similar tastes.

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  6. I am a big fan of Dave Graffam buildings, mainly for my weird world war two games (which have German zombies of course!). They are good up to the 50's and lack modern style for nowadays games. Sure a ruin is a ruin, but with the layers, only bricks and concrete work but the architecture style seems out of place. I have tons of the models and only issue may be the difficulties to make them temporary build. it gave me few hours to design theright way to store them flat and make them sturdy enough for metal models to stand on the first or second floor.

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    1. Cedric, what you have to remember with architecture is that just because new techniques of design and construction are developed, old style buildings will still exist alongside their more modern counterparts. Any town or city you visit today is a mixture of the old and the new. For that reason, I think Dave's models are just as viable in a contemporary setting than more futuristic designs.

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  7. It looks great Bryan. Good value for money it seems. I think it would fit in well in most periods from the last century

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    1. Thanks, Simon. I'd go so far as to say that you could use this in much earlier historical periods. Give it the timber frame option and you're transported back to Tudor times!

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  8. Great work Bryan, love the run-down render falling off look.

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    1. It all adds to the ruined look, Ray.

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  9. I've got quite a few of Dave's buildings and I agree, they're lovely.

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    1. It's not hard to be impressed by them, is it, Lead Legion?

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  10. Good review Bryan, thanks. I've seen these but never taken the plunge. I know what you mean about the furniture.

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    1. Having suffered burn out from making too much furniture in one go I have vowed it will never happen again, Irqan. If you do have loads of furniture to make, I recommend taking a break every so often and do something totally different, like I did with this model.

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  11. They are pretty fantastic and so useful for a lot of different periods, you're right about ruined buildings during an apocalypse, my Franonian city has a lot of ruined stuff!

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    1. All hail Franonia! Sorry, I got carried away there. The fact that you can use these ruins in so many historical periods is a big plus. Couple that with their customisation and they are an absolute winner.

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  12. Dave Graffams's models are some of the highest-quality ones around, second only to WWG's stuff. I can also see that the thick cardboard you use for the walls really enhances the look of the model.

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    1. I totally agree with you about their quality, Robert. I'd even go so far to say that they're as good as WWG. We card modellers are blessed with a number of companies producing very high quality products.

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  13. Hey Bryan, I'm right up there with you on Dave's buildings, really, really nice stuff and the layers are an excellent feature.

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    1. Thanks, Colin. It's good to hear from another Dave's Games fan.

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