Experiments with Microbial Leather

I read a Popular Science article about Suzanne Lee and her work with microbial fabrics. When the article gave a recipe to try at home, I knew I just had to try it and compare the results to real leather to see if I can create my own supply of leather substitute in my own kitchen.

Growing the Material

I followed the instructions on the Pop Sci website. The recipe uses live Kombucha culture. Since I was new to the world of Kombucha, I was a bit unsure about some of the terminology, but I went with a live “scoby” culture. It didn’t take long to put the recipe together, and then I waited for a month, periodically checking the results.

Microbial Leather before drying
Microbial Leather before drying

After a month, I had a 0.2 inch thick mat of material floating on the surface of my container. It was wet, rubbery, and smelled like vinegar (which goes away after it has dried), but it held together nicely and didn’t need gentle treatment.

I left it out to dry, occasionally flipping it over to get even drying. After a week, it was dry and had shrunk from 0.2 (about 12-13oz leather) inches to 0.02 inches (about 1oz leather). Only the thickness shrank appreciably. The other dimensions remained roughly the same.

The Initial Results

Microbial Leather after drying
Microbial Leather after drying

The resulting material is a little rubbery compared to leather and has a slightly tacky feel, but it feels strong enough to use in leather projects. It picks up textures from the drying surface. I dried it on a sheet of parchment paper which wrinkled when it got wet, so my sample has a slightly textured surface which imitates leather somewhat – if I really wanted the effect, I would dry it out on some textured plates.

My first tests are going to test how well it takes to dying and finishing, but so far, this looks like it has promise as a substitute in garmet-weight projects.

 

Starter’s Guide to Leatherworking

When I was a kid, I did leatherworking with my 4-H group. About two years ago, I picked it back up, a few of my projects are in the above photo. Last year, one of my brothers was thinking about getting back into the hobby, but the amount of information out there is intimidating, especially when you are looking to start investing in equipment.  So I put wrote this guide for him and I thought I would share the info. These are, of course, just my opinions – if you go to an online forum, everybody has their opinions that they insist is “the one true way” but I think this is a reasonable starting point. I’m trying to break this up into the steps that I follow and the tools/resources for each.

Shopping for Supplies

I primarily shop at Tandy. I have since branched out to other suppliers, but Tandy is pretty good “one-stop shopping” to get you started. I recommend getting the Wholesale club gold membership. It’ll pay for itself very quickly. Also, Tandy has monthly specials. It’s great to follow them and grab tools when they are on sale even if you don’t immediately need it.

Choosing your project.

When I got started, I picked up one of Tandy’s starter kits which includes a few starter projects. They aren’t bad, but you’ll get more bang for the buck if you start with project ideas and then build your tool set to match your style.

If you can find a kit, it is a great place to start. Wallets and belts are great starter projects. If you buy a pattern, you will need to buy the leather and cut it out yourself, as well as buying any lacing or hardware that you need to assemble the piece. Tandy has some patterns, but also check their leathercraft library, which has some of their older patterns available for purchase to download and print at home.

Start small. Leather is pricey, wait until you have some confidence before trying larger projects. It is also a good idea to get a bag or two of scrap leather. It is great for practicing on. I keep a bin of scraps for testing tooling techniques, dyes, finishes, etc.

Tandy has a lot of good intro videos online. Especially check out the videos that are for the kits, they are good introductions. It’s a good place to start. There are a number of books that I can recommend, but I’d start with the videos first.

Match your tools to your need. I can’t think of any tool that I need for every project. Heck, I can think of projects that wouldn’t require a mallet. So, your priorities depend on your project.

Cutting tools

If you aren’t using a pre-cut kit, you need something to cut leather with. You can start with a utility knife, like one that you would use for cutting carpet. You probably already have one and it is easy to use. I have one of the fancier knives and a pair of leather shears, but I use the utility knife most often. The angled knife is very comfortable.

Punches

If you aren’t using a pre-cut kit, you will need something to punch holes for lacing, sewing, or attaching fasteners. There are a lot of options, you will need to choose based on the project.

Casing the Leather

“Casing” is the term used to describe the proper wetting of the leather. Too dry, and it is hard to stamp. Too wet, and it is “mushy” and doesn’t imprint well. Everybody has a different technique. I dunk the entire piece into cold water until the bubbles stop coming out. Then I set it aside and let it dry until it is about the color of dry leather, but is still cool to the touch. It is hard to get right, but when you do, the leather is a joy to work with. Tandy sells special additives and special natural sponges if you prefer to apply the water that way. You don’t need them, plain water and kitchen sponges work just fine. You might just want to pick up a pack of kitchen sponges, they are also useful for applying dyes and finishes.

Swivel Knife

Many designs require the use of a swivel knife. This is used for making cuts part way into the leather. You normally use this to outline objects before stamping to create sharp outlines. If you get a swivel knife, you will also need jewelers rouge and a strop to keep it sharp. you can make a strop out of a scrap of leather glued to a piece of wood, that’s what I did. The basic knives are pretty good, but you may want to get one that has an adjustable handle to fit your hand better.

Stamps

You can pick up a beginner set of stamps that are more geared towards western-style carving. Carving is what leatherworkers call the stamping process. Personally, I don’t use too many from the starter set. If you have an idea of what designs you like, you may be able to pick up tools that better fit your taste. The 3D stamps  are nice, but you may only use them for one or two projects. When starting out, look for stamps that you think you’ll reuse. Until you get a collection, you should decide on a design before buying stamps. Tandy frequently has sales on alphabet kits, you’ll eventually want one, so keep your eyes open and you might save 50%.

Mallet and Stamping Surface

When I am stamping, I place the leather on a marble board which is on top of a poundo rubber mat. At minimum, you need a hard surface. Marble is great, I had a old marble board that I used for baking before we got the granite counters in the kitchen. The poundo board absorbs some of the shock and keeps the noise down – nice, but not necessary when starting. The mallets from the starter kits aren’t that great. You can start with it, but you will appreciate something heavier. I normally use a maul, it gives me deeper and cleaner impressions. You really notice the difference when using 3D stamps or Letter stamps.

Edge Beveling and Slicking

Some people leave the edges flat. I prefer to bevel and slick them. A #3 beveller is good for most weights. I never had much luck with the plastic slickers. I think the wooden slicker is easier on the hand, performs better, and can handle more thicknesses of leather. I think it’s worth a couple extra bucks. Tandy sells Gum Tragacanth, which you apply to the edge to help with slicking. It’s pretty good but not necessary.

Dyes

The different dyes and finishes are confusing. So here is a basic rundown.

Dye

This will probably be your go-to coloring agent. You have a spirit or water base that soaks into the leather and brings pigment with it. Tandy has “Eco-Flo” dyes which are water based. I’ve gotten some good results with them. However, it is water based. If the leather gets wet and is not sealed really well, the dye may run. I have had problems when applying the first layer of protection – the finish can pick up and smear the dye. That said, I used these dyes for my belts and have yet to run into any problems in the rain. You can also pick up Eco-Flo dye packs. So it’s a good way to get started. However, I really like the Fiebling dyes. They are spirit based, so they stink like magic markers, but they have a very wide variety of colors and do not cause problems with water. They are more expensive.

Antique Gels

These are pretty cool. Basically it is a thickened dye. You apply it to the leather and then you wipe it off. The gel sticks into the deeper impressions in the leather. It’s very good for showing off your tooling. It also gives the product a more weathered look, hence the name. So far, I have only used Tandy’s antique gels – not too bad. If you are going to do a lot of tooling, you’ll want to have some of this.

Highlight Gel

Tandy is the only company that sells Highlight Gel to my knowledge. It is basically the same as Antique Gels, but it comes in a wider variety of colors.

Waterstain

I’ll have to admit, I haven’t used water stains in a project yet. I’m not really sure how they differ from Eco-Flo dyes.

“Acrylic Dye”

The most confusing term, this is paint. Tandy sells Cova Colors. It is acrylic paint formulated to use with leather, specifically, it is flexible enough not to crack when the leather is flexed. It is a paint, it doesn’t penetrate the leather and it covers up the grain. The only time I use paint is to create a metallic look on the leather. Normally, I use Liquitex artist acrylics.

Remember to pick up some daubers for applying dyes. I keep both medium and small ones around. The small daubers are probably best for your starter projects. Go ahead and buy a bag of 100. You will go through them.

Finishes

The purpose of a good finish is to seal the leather, provide luster, and provide some amount of water resistance. I’ve used Tandy’s satin sheen. It’s easy to apply, comes in a variety of glossiness, and works pretty well. For my armor, I wanted something with more water resistance and tried out Acrylic Resolene. I love it. It is a bit tricky to apply, but has a soft luster and is more water resistant than a lot of other finishes. There are a lot more finishes out there but I haven’t explored them yet.

Edge Finish

Many people apply a special edge finish to the raw edges of their leather. I tried Tandy’s edge paint on a belt, and it cracked and peeled off as the belt got used. For most of my projects, I bevel the edges, dye the edge with a regular dye, then I slick it and seal it with whatever finish I’m using for the rest of the project. The result is nice, but not as sharp as a proper edge finish. Recently, I tried some of Fiebling’s edge coat and it seems more flexible and less likely to peel, so I may try it on some future projects.

Sewing, Lacing, and Attachments

Woo hoo! We are at the final stage, putting the piece together. Basically, you can sew, lace, or rivet. If you are building a kit, you should have the tools needed. Otherwise, your project will determine the technique used and tools required. Each requires it’s own set of tools, so start with one (lacing is the easiest to start with) and build from there.

Ok, that’s my quickie intro. There is so much to learn, but hopefully this will get you started. I’m happy to answer (to the best of my limited ability) any questions you have. Good luck!

Book Review – Ancient and Medieval Siege Weapons

As an aside, I realize that my book reviews, are more like book recommendations. I don’t plan on writing reviews of books that I don’t like. So, if a book appears here, expect it to be a positive review.
Book CoverSieges played a huge role in medieval and ancient warfare, but I realized that I didn’t know that much about them. I had seen various documentaries that covered a siege engine or two and I knew the difference between the major types of siege engine (or so I thought), but I didn’t really know the details. Who used what? What were the strategic and technological reasons for the development of different siege engines? Ancient and Medieval Siege Weapons: A Fully Illustrated Guide to Siege Weapons and Tactics by Konstantin Nossov is an excellent introduction to the history of siege warfare from the earliest known examples through the introduction of cannons.

Overall, the writing style is what I like in a historical book. The author presents the information in a straightfoward manner, without too many diversions or minutiae. Even though I only have the Kindle version, I recommend getting the print version. The color plates are not inline with the text. This wouldn’t be a big deal if I knew where the images were and could flip back and forth, but the Kindle version didn’t have any crosslinks. In fact, I didn’t know that the color plates existed until I bumped into them in the middle of the section on throwing machines. There are plenty of black-and-white illustrations peppered throughout the book to illustrate key ideas.

The first section of the book is dedicated to the history of siege warfare.  Nossov uses this historical overview to provide context for the machines and tactics that he will discuss later. For example, battering rams and borers are used against different types of walls.

The second section is dedicated to different types of siege engines.  The author groups siege engines together by broad types such as “Scaling Ladders” and “Battering Rams” and then goes on to provide specific examples within each category. He discusses the tactical uses of each machine, how they were built, and how defenders would try to destroy or disrupt them. Some measurements are provided, and the drawings are quite detailed, a creative builder could reconstruct from this information, but that is not the goal of the book.

This section on seige engines is the meat of the book and probably the main reason why people will be interested in it. The book focuses on well established machines, instead of getting distracted by failed inventions and obscure flights of fancy. Even so, you will find a lot to learn here. As you would expect, it covers catapults, battering rams, and siege towers, but it also covers mobile sheds, borers and sambucas (which I never heard of before this book). There are plenty of illustrations to help you understand these machines and how they were used.

A small, but important, detail that he cover is how certain terms (such as “catapult” and “ballista”) were applied to very different machines at different times. This helps prevent a lot of confusion.

The third section builds upon the first two sections to discuss siege tactics. This includes tactics of both the besieger and the besieged. By the time you reach this point in the book, many of the ideas will be familiar, but Nossov brings it all together to paint a picture of a siege. He does not limit his discussion to which machines to use, he discusses many of the other gambits that armies took to claim a city.

I realized that I have been a fantasy roleplayer for over 30 years and not once have I played a siege. Sieges tend to go against the “epic quest” model of fantasy role-playing, but this book has motivated me to find a way to work it into a game. If you have any interest in siege engines or warfare, this is a great book to start with.

Gamer’s Guide: The Buckler

Like most fantasy gamers, I’m fascinated by medieval and ancient arms and armor. Over the past few years, I have been delving deeper into the history and usage of historical weapons. So I find it interesting when a historical item is described differently in an RPG. As I research, I plan on creating “Gamer’s Guides” for different weapons and armor that will discuss different weapons from both a gaming and historical perspective. Before I begin this discussion, I need to point out that I am not a professional historian. I do not claim to know everything about the topic and I will point out areas of greater uncertainty.

What is a buckler? (Gamer version)

The Pathfinder SRD defines a buckler as “This small metal shield is worn strapped to your forearm. You can use a bow or crossbow without penalty while carrying it.” Obviously, not all RPGs are the same, but a similar definition can be found across many other fantasy RPGs and many gamers use this definition. The key points are that the buckler is a small shield that is strapped to the arm in such a way that allows you to feely use both hands.

What is a buckler? (Historical version)

Buckler Image from Ragione di adoprar sicuramente l'Arme (1570)
One example of a spiked buckler from Ragione di adoprar sicuramente l’Arme (1570). Lines indicate how a small buckler can protect a larger area.

The buckler is a small shield that is held in the fist. (Wikipedia). Bucklers are usually held out away from the body, doing so creates a “cone” of protection that maximizes the effectiveness of a small shield.

Who used a buckler?

Bucklers were very popular as a civilian shield. It’s small size meant that you could carry it as part of civilian dress without impediment. On the battlefield, the buckler was popular with those who used a sword as a backup weapon, such as an English longbowman. Larger shields were simply infeasible, but they could carry a buckler hooked over their sword hilt until they needed to engage in melee.

 Did shields exist that meet the gamer’s description of the buckler?

Ok, so maybe historians and gamers use the term differently, but are their other shields that fit the description? There were plenty of shields that strapped onto the forearm. However, most of these shields still had a handle to grab onto and did not allow any significant use of the shield hand.  A knight could hold onto reins, but wouldn’t be able to use that hand for much else.

The Scots had a shield called a Targe that comes close. The targe is a circular shield that has one strap for the forearm and a strap that acts as a handle. The size of the targe allowed warriors to hold a dirk in their shield hand and its blade would extend beyond the edge of the targe, allowing it to be used in combat.

An image from the Codex Wallerstein, A German fighting manual from 1556.
An image from the Codex Wallerstein, A German fighting manual from 1556.

The targe come close, but it’s not quite what gamers picture when they talk about bucklers.  The Codex Wallerstein, a German fighting manual, shows something closer to the gamers idea of a buckler. In it, the spear fighters have a shield that is called a tournament shield, a targe or a tartsche. This fits the gamer description – it is small and straps on the arm  and leaves the left hand free to hold a weapon. I have yet to encounter any other examples of this and the Codex Wallerstein presents the image without additional description. The image demonstrates one of the challenges with such a shield – you must keep your arm bent in front of you to keep the shield facing the opponent. With a spear (or other thrusting weapon), it appears that you can do this, but it is hard to imagine other weapons that would allow this.

What about archers? A frequent statement by gamers is that archers wore bucklers at the same time that they used their bows. We do know that some archers carried bucklers with them, but it appears that they were meant to be used only when in melee combat. I have yet to find a historical example of how bucklers would be used in archery. I hope that this is a lack of knowledge on my part, and if anybody has good examples, please share. My main concern is that an arm-strapped shield requires the left arm to be bent. Either the archer bends the arm, drastically reducing draw length, or draws to full length and gets little protection from the shield. Anyways, I might be missing something, hopefully I will revisit this article later with more information.

Does it matter?

How much historical accuracy do we need in games? Only as much as we want. However, it becomes important when we want to add historical elements into our fantasy gaming, especially when we start reading history to find familiar terms used in different ways. There are a lot of things from history that haven’t been explored in fantasy gaming and we can mine historical resources to create new gaming experiences.

Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle

Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle by Douglas J. EmlenI just got back from vacation. The book I took with me was Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle by Douglas J. Emlem, a professor of biology from the University of Montana. This is a book that explores an interesting question for world builders and gamers: “why do some, but not all, animals develop weapons of ridiculous size?” Emlem’s book examines creatures with enormous horns, antlers and teeth and shows how special circumstances leads to an “arms race” between members of the species. He also draws a comparison to the development of arms in human history.

The comparison to human history is the low point of the book. Emlem is not a military historian (and doesn’t claim to be one) and the analogies are pretty loose and a few are based on common misconceptions (such as the mobility of a knight in full plate armor). If you plan on buying this book to gain new insight into human warfare (like I did), you will be disappointed. However, the bulk of the book is spent on the animals and the evolution of their weapons and there are some great lessons there about the development of extreme weapons.

The author looks at animal weapons as a cost-benefit analysis: for example, a large set of antlers is unwieldy and requires a huge amount of nutrients, however it provides critical mating opportunities. The assorted costs and benefits depend on circumstance. In many cases, the costs keep most weapons to a reasonable size, but sometimes the benefits outweigh extreme costs and an arms race develops. Emlem discusses these circumstances, and how the arms race develops and sometimes collapses.

Overall, the writing is accessible without being dumbed-down, illustrations are well-made and used appropriately to demonstrate important content, and the author is meticulous about listing sources. While I picked this book up to learn about human warfare, I recommend it for the lessons on creature design.

A Few Important Lessons for Creature Design

While I really recommend reading the book, here are a few lessons for creature designers.

  • Weapons require resources to make – a creature with extreme weapons has a stronger need for nutrients
  • Most extreme weapons are used against members of their own species. The “bigger is better” development only works when you are going up against somebody similarly armed. Prey creatures will usually have different defenses.
  • For the benefits to outweigh the cost, the weapon must provide access to a valuable resource. Usually, this is the chance to mate, but in a fantasy setting, it could be some other resource that the creature needs.
  • For a resource to be valuable, it must be rare and defendable. If a resource is common, there is no need to fight over it. If you cannot defend your resource, if it is very disperse or if others are capable of sneaking around you, then your weapons become less useful.

There are many more lessons for a creature designer to learn. This book covers a topic that is near and dear to many gamers’ hearts and is well worth the read to add depth and flavor to your fantasy fauna.

On Fighting Small Creatures – Lessons Learned From My Son

When I was in college, Nerf™ released their first swords and bow and I quickly had a makeshift armory hanging in my dorm room. A few years ago, they started their N-Force™ line, which includes swords, a mace, a battle axe, and other goodies. I have most everything in this line and my son and I go outside and play with them. As he has grown, Nerf™ weapons proved to be a bad choice for our style of play – the foam on the swords are not thick or dense enough to protect against the plastic core. I’d rather let him swing as hard as he can, so we have moved to full contact swords like those found at Forged Foam . I hope to make some swords of my own (he wants an axe) and share those projects here.

During our battles, I made some observations about fighting smaller opponents. Before my experience, I thought that the primary factors in a combat like this would be reach and target size. What I hadn’t considered is the effect of angle. Your opponent is not just small, but is also low, and that changes a lot. If you are using a long weapon, like a spear, the angle isn’t so bad; but most of my observations are based on using a sword. Before continuing, please understand that I’m just some random guy with no particular authority on historical combat – take my ideas with many grains of salt and feel free to add your own observations and ideas.

The Head is Almost the Only Target

Obviously, I’m not trying to club my son on the head, but it takes a lot of effort to swing at any other part of the body.  You have to swing very low in order to hit any part of the body other than the head or maybe the shoulders. In real combat, this isn’t a bad thing, the head and neck are excellent targets. However, it does mean that any helmet worn by the small opponent matters alot. A kettle helm would act similar to a buckler, providing a cone of protection against downward swings. Your swings are also easier to block, since many will be coming downward.

Your Reach Isn’t as Good as You Think It Is . . .

Your sword is at maximum reach when you are holding it straight out from your shoulder. As you aim downward, you are effectively shortening your reach. You may still have the advantage over your opponent, especially if he has a proportionately shorter blade, but it’s just not nearly what you think it is.

. . . Unless You Take Advantage of Footwork

You can cover a lot more distance in a single step than your opponent. You can engage and disengage your opponent easily. You can use your stride to your advantage to control the combat.

Your Shield Might Be Useless

I like shields. There is a reason why they are so prevalent throughout history – they work. Your shield design matters. Most shields are designed to primary protect the upper body and the upper legs. If the shield is strapped to the arm, instead of using a boss grip, then it is very difficult to drop your shield enough. This makes it very difficult to block a low, horizontal swing – which is exactly the way you are being attacked.

This requires a longer shield, but you don’t want anything that hampers your ability to maneuver (see above). I just built a boss-grip long shield with the grip up towards the top. We haven’t tried it out yet, but I am hopeful. Until then, I have found that an off-handed sword, carried in a low guard, seems to work the best.

 So what are the best tools and approaches?

For the larger combatant: You need to protect your lower body. Note that most plate and scale armor overlaps top-over-bottom. Against a small opponent, this creates gaps that a small opponent can exploit unless you have additional armor underneath, like mail under a suit of plate. For weapons, I’d go with bashing weapon that is likely to dent an opponent’s helmet.

For the smaller combatant. The helmet is the most important line of defense, a kettle helm will really help. A long weapon is useful, but I’d use a slashing weapon, like a glaive, instead of a thrusting weapon like a spear.

These are just my thoughts on the subject. Let me know what you think. The way my son is growing, my size advantage won’t last for long 🙂

Paper Playground – Juvenile Chromatic Dragons

Originally Published January 20, 2005

Paper Playground - Juvenile Chromatic DragonsThis was the last product from Penguin Labs LLC. It was an interesting challenge to design a dragon that could be made this small. I really don’t remember too much about this product.

So, what happened? Why did I stop? Well, I guess it was a few factors. The first was the birth of my son. Then, I picked up some freelance work which became a full time job. With the demands of work and family, Penguin Labs kept getting pushed to the background. While I worked on other projects, I never polished them enough to justify selling them. Part of my goals for this new website is to brush off some of those old projects and share some new ones as well. So, I hope you enjoy the products, and thanks for letting me take this trip down memory lane. Let’s see what the future brings.

From the product description:

Paper Playground – Juvenile Chromatic Dragons gives you a set of small cardstock dragons for you to print out, assemble, and use in your next game. This set provides smaller counterparts to the adult dragons provided in Paper Playground – Chromatic Dragons or they can be used by themselves to challenge your heroes.

Paper Playground – Juvenile Chromatic Dragons consists of kits for six colors of dragons, each with their own breath weapon plus a variant of the green dragon that breathes fire. Pages are scaled for printing onto both A4 and Letter sized pages without difficulty.

The basic model size, without scaling:

  • Length, total, including breath weapon: approx. 5 inches

  • Length, nose to tail: approx. 3 1/2 inches

  • Length, body: 1 1/2 inches

  • Height, to shoulder blades: 1 inch

  • Width, body: 3/4 inch

  • Width, wingspan: 2 3/4 inches

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Paper Playground – Metallic Dragons

Originally Published January 5, 2005

Papaer Playground - Metallic Dragons

I don’t have a lot to say about this particular set. It is basically a reskinning of the Chromatic Dragon Set, with some changes to the fins and horns.

From the product description:

The companion set to Paper Playground – Chromatic Dragons, Paper Playground – Metallic Dragons brings the mighty forces of good to your table by providing cardstock dragons for you to print out, assemble, and use in your next game.

Paper Playground – Metallic Dragons consists of kits for six species of metallic dragons (five found in the OGL and one created specifically for this set). Each dragon can be assembled to be on all four legs or reared up on its hind legs. Additional leg and tail positions give you additional flexibility in creating dragons to your taste. Best of all, you can make as many as you want – if you have ever wanted an army of dragons, don’t miss this chance!

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Paper Playground – Tyrannosaurus Rex

Originally Published July 30, 2004

Paper Playground - Tyrannosaurus RexWhile I was working on the Portable Adventure Kit materials, I was stretching my abilities as a paper modeller. When I built my models, I didn’t use unfolding programs like Pepakura. Nowadays, I wouldn’t shy away from it. Back then, I felt that it made it too easy to create a model that would be too hard to build. Designing it by hand forced me to keep it simple. So, the entire design was done with sketches, measurements, and lots of calculations. My son love dinosaurs, so more dinos may be in the future.

From the product description:

The Tyrant Lizard is now yours! Paper Playground – Tyrannosaurus gives you a magnificent Tyrannosaurus Rex to build and use in your game or to display. Two versions of the model are provided, one at 30mm scale (approximately 1/60) for most fantasy RPGs and a larger one at 45mm scale (approximately 1/40 scale) for larger scaled games or for display. All pages are optimized for printing onto either Letter or A4 sized paper.

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Portable Adventure Kit – Grassy Hills

Originally Published June 28, 2004

Portable Adventure Kit - Grassy HillsThis is the last of the Portable Adventure Kit products to be released. While I liked The Fields of War set, the terrain pieces were difficult to transport. So I needed something that I could fold up that would support pewter minis. The result worked better than I expected; I could set a full can of soda on top of one of these pieces. Your results may vary depending on the weight and type of paper you use.

From the product description:

Take your terrain with you with Portable Adventure Kit – Grassy Hills! This set of cardstock structures is designed to store flat to be carried with the rest of your gaming materials. When unfolded, the pieces become terrain tiers for your miniatures.

The product contains geomorphic, edges, corners, and basic filler pieces (9 pieces total) that you can configure to create a wide assortment of hills. Pieces are marked with 1-inch squares, making them compatible with most games. When in use, the platforms are stable and capable of supporting metal miniatures so you can use them with the rest of your gaming materials. Pages are designed to be printed on Letter sized paper or A4 paper without scaling.

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