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What to print for wargaming? – Paint Rack, Paint Holder, Paint Organizer

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Wargaming as a hobby is not only about figures and playing games with them. It is much more than just that, and an important part of our hobby is miniature painting. In order to paint you need paints, brushes and a place to store them. This is what I am going to look at today – what can I 3D print to organize my collection of paints and make my life a bit easier. 

Paint Holders for dropper bottles – Vallejo, Reaper, Army Painter etc.

There are plenty of different paint manufacturers out there, but somehow in our wargaming business most of them are using dropper bottles. They seem to be the most users friendly and a lot of use like them so much that we are transferring paint from Citadel paint pots to those dropper bottles. It comes to no surprise, that I was able to find some nice options of paint racks for those bottles. Let’s have a look:

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Source Thingiverse, by jpod/fetchbeer 

Miniature Paint Station by jpod  – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1914153
Modular Hobby Paint Rack – Large Straight by gsargent – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2531450
I strongly recommend to read the description here, as there are links to other variations available for this hobby paint rack.
The Perfect Paint Rack by conorokane – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4322811
Overly complicated folding 25mm model paint rack by fetchbeer – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1856829

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Source Thingiverse, by Groosome/ShadyRabbit

Not all of us like the dropper bottles and prefer something different, like the Citadel pots. Here the options can be quite limited at times, but I managed to find some interesting designs for you:

Paint Holder V2 stackable Made by Groosome – https://www.thingiverse.com/make:683485
Paint Station by Longtoke – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3074750
Games Workshop paint holder for peg board by ShadyRabbit – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1374310
Citadel Paint holder x10 by hacxx101 – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2144546

Paint Racks for both dropper bottles and GW pots

A lot of us are using different brands of paint and this usually means different kind of paint containers. What do to when you have paints in both – dropper bottles and Citadel pots? No worries, you are not alone and there are some options out there:

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Source Thingiverse, by Oysterboy/Kalrath

Paint Station – Citadel & Vallejo by Oysterboy – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3450473
Modular Citadel/Vallejo Paint Rack by Kalrath – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4060523

What if I am using craft paints and other brands?

Vallejo, Citadel, Army Painter, Reaper and the list goes on… What if you are using craft paints or calligraphy and drawing inks? Maybe you prefer tubes? Luckily you are not alone. There are plenty of different solutions available:

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Source Thingiverse, by Avocadocommander/marmotjr

Model Paint Rack by marmotjr – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:622033
Paint Holder by Avocadocommander – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1905687
paint holder by attenb – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1684811
Filament Spool Paint Holder by Limolwali – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1695214

Special – portable and interesting modular design

It might seem that I would be hard to find something special in this type of rather functional design space. However, I found few interestingly looking designs and solutions. It I easy to forget that in some cases, simplicity is the key to a nice and functional design 😉

Portable paint Station Part B (Paint Holder) by BHJ33 – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3923676
Model-Paint Organizer by TJMast – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3694022
U1JO – Modular Paint Station by alienboyxp – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4291038

Are you looking for something specific? Let me know!

Let me remind you that if are you looking for something specific or simply need help finding some bits just let me know. I am more than happy to provide you with a list of files suitable for your project. All you need to do is to let me know by writing a comment below! I will make an article around the theme chosen by you 🙂

Previous parts of What to print for wargaming series:

limited color pallete

Limited Palette

It is safe to say that almost all of us, no matter which miniature game one is collecting and/or playing, end up with tons of…
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What to print for wargaming? – Vehicles #5

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In almost every wargaming system sooner or later you will find rules for some kind of vehicles. Be it a tank, a car, a spaceship, or a simple wooden wagon. Today I present you a list of different kind of vehicles, and I hope that each of you will find something suitable for your games. Enjoy your reading!

Tanks, Jeeps and other WWII vehicles

There are many wargaming systems covering that part of our history. They might be in different scales; like 1/100 Flames of War or 28mm scale Bolt of Action. However, as different as those two games may be in case of rules, the period is pretty much the same or almost the same 😉 There are plenty of models available for World War II rule sets available on Thingiverse. Some of them are actually legendary, and well-known to the gamers. Even so, I hope that you can find a new interesting vehicle, which you can use for your games.

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1-100 Modern Tanks and Vehicles by m_bergman – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3766220
This is one of the biggest collection of models that I have ever seen on Thingiverse! And they are fully free for non-commercial use and available for commercial use, under some conditions of course.

Opel Blitz 3t truck by FMWP – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2961790
TIGER Tank! by PRIma – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1917801
Jeep M151 Mutt by rozoom – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:798225

Science-Fiction vehicles

Science-Fiction wawrgaming systems are extremely popular. In most cases, having a vehicle in your ‘army list’ is a must, rather than an option. However, even if you do not need anything like a sci-fi tank or buggie, there is still room for using cars as a terrain piece. So let’s have a look what you can print for your army or gaming table.

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MONTARAZ 28mm Scifi ATV by toposolitario – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2422452/files
Necromunda loading vehicles 2v by Dxsus – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3349477
1/48 scale wargame buggy model by Forpost_D6 – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2314616
Orkz War Buggy by Milhause – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3346518

Now something for D&D and Fantasy players

I do know that I probably shouldn’t join those two categories together; however I do feel that models presented here are perfectly suitable for both settings. I see no reasons in splitting the models in two different categories if they can be use interchangeably in different, but similar settings.

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Gnomedozer, Snap-fit Model by dutchmogul – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:150113/files
Gnome Driller Tunneler by onebitpixel – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:396072
Pioneer Wagon by Kazzee – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:128582
Brougham carriage by rozoom – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:778237
Ratmen Roller by VidovicArts – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3282961
Simple Airship by PlanescapeBestiary – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2809997
D&D Airship – The Valkyrie by Tecwyn – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3323552

More modern times… or Zombie Apocalypse !

This is a new category, as I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to put cars, excavators and all other trucks and mustangs just waiting to be printed! All those models can be used for zombie apocalypse or other post-apocalyptic like settings.

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Classic Transport Truck No Support by RezaAulia – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2858192
Easy to print Generic Excavator (esc: 1:100 or HO Scale) by guaro3d – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2240987
CAT Bulldozer by Hein – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1621482
1970s Ford Mustang by Ford – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:40261

Something special

It was quite easy to find something really special in todays category. I present you, one and only – Tesla ! 😀

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Tesla Cybertruck 28mm by BREXIT – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4000493

Ok, but jokes aside, I managed to find two models that some of you as fans of films and video games will appreciate:
Batman Tumbler Car by 3DWP – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1276704
Mass Effect: M35 Mako by mausolfb – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:877282

Enjoy!

Are you looking for something specific? Let me know!

Let me remind you that if are you looking for something specific or simply need help finding some bits just let me know. I am more than happy to provide you with a list of files suitable for your project. All you need to do is to let me know by writing a comment below! I will make an article around the theme chosen by you 🙂

Previous parts of What to print for wargaming series:

Game and diorama accessories #4
Miniature bases #3
Weapons #2
Horses #1

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How to prime your models with spray paint #1

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Before painting you need to primer your models. This is one of many ‘golden rules’ of miniature painting. You can primer your models by using a brush, airbrush and spray paint primer. If you have a horde of miniatures to prime a brush is not the most tempting way to do it. Not everyone have an airbrush, so a spray paint seems to be the best and quickest option.
However, it is often not as easy as it seems. Let’s have a look how to make it easier for your, by providing few tips and tricks and why you should prime your models.

Why priming is important

The case with priming is the same as with washing your models in warm water with some soap. Most people will tell you that it is essential, other will tell you that it is not important at all. I always prime my models and for me it’s just common sense.

So, why you should prime your models?
Mainly, to prevent paint from flaking off your miniatures. Paint can have adhesive problems when used directly on plastic, metal or any other material that the miniature is made of. By priming the model you are creating a better surface for next layers of paint. You will find that primed models can be easier to paint as the paint sticks to them better, than to unprimed miniatures.

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Painted models that were primed before painting are less likely to paint chipping when damaged during a game. Imagine that by a mistake you or your friend caused a model to fall from the table on the floor. Such fall can damage the models itself, not to mention the paintjob. Primed models, even when the paintjob is damaged and chipped in few places, should not show the bare metal or plastic, but the primer in those chipped places. In some cases, the paintjob will not take any damage thanks to the paint strongly sticking to the primer.

What color to use for priming your miniatures?

In general there are three colors that most people use: black, white and (light) grey. Those three colors are the most commonly used when priming your miniatures. Before choosing the color you need to know what you want to achieve. On black primer it will take more time and layers of paint to get bright colors. When a miniature is primed with white paint, all colors will be brighter, not as dark as when painted on black primer. What if you are looking for more neutral color? Here comes the grey primer to help you out. Grey color is considered to be a neutral one, compared to black and white. Colors will not be too bright, or too dark. We can say that they are going to be ‘toned down’ a bit.

For beginner painters I would suggest a grey primer. By many painters it is consider the easiest one to work with and the most universal one.

It is worth to mention that you can use many other colors to prime your models. It makes sense especially, when you are painting an army and can treat your primer as a basecoat.

Then you are just making your life much easier and speeding up you painting as you have 2in1: models primed and base coated at once.

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What spray paint brand to use

There are many different brands on the market and at first it might be quite hard to choose the right one, especially when you are a beginner. So what brand to choose?
I would say that the best idea would be to choose one of the brands dedicated to miniature painting. Which means: Games Workshop, Army Painter, Vallejo, Tamiya and the list goes on… Miniature dedicated primers were made especially for priming models. In other words they are designed for miniatures and should not melt them or damage them in any other way. Plus, they are expected to provide good coverage with thin layer(s) of paint and allow all those nice details to be seen through the primer.

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The downfall is that they can be quite pricey at times.

What about using cheaper not dedicated spray primers?

It is natural that you will try to find a cheaper alternative to the expensive dedicated spray primers. It is possible to get a quite good spray primer that was not made especially for miniatures, but still provides nice coverage and does not damage your models.

The question is which one to choose and which one is the best?

I cannot give you one name and be 100% sure that it will not damage your models and that you will be happy with the achieved result. I can, however, give you few names as a starting point where to look and what other modelers are recommending to try. Have a look at the offer of:
– Krylon primers (color master paint + primer)
– Brite Touch (general purpose primer)
– Rust-Oleum Automotive Primer (probably best for metal)
– Deco Color
– Dupli Color (or Dupli-Color)
– Den Braven
– MONTANA (Gold and Black series)

You can find one of those brands in most countries and builders warehouses or even supermarkets. Before buying any of them please make sure that you are buying a PRIMER, and that it’s a MATT one. Believe me, you don’t want to end up with a gloss primer or just black gloss paint instead of a primer. Also make sure that you are NOT taking a VARNISH

Few things to have in mind when using cheap spray primers

Cheaper primers most advantage is that they are cheap. Sometimes they also provide a better protection and adhesion than miniature dedicated spray primers. Unfortunately they are few downfalls that you need to have in mind when buying and using those cheap primers:

– they tend to have more aerosol in them than miniature dedicated primers (you can overspray the miniature and it can be harder to control the spraying itself)

– they stink. Yeap, they simply stink and the smell can be still there even after leaving the model for 24-48h outdoors

– it is safe to say that in most cases paint is thicker than in dedicated miniature spray primers. This may lead, again, to overspraying and flooding your models with paint, losing all those lovely details.


– they might damage your models. I am thinking mostly about plastic and resin models, but metal miniatures are no exception. You never know how the primer will react with plastic, metal or resin. Car primers melting plastic or resin miniatures are nothing new 😉

Ok, so if there are so many ‘general’ disadvantages are they actually worth the hassle? The short answer is yes, but you need to be careful and find the one that is right for you.

Before applying any primer on your miniature take a spare model or a model sprue and check if you are satisfied with the result. If you are not happy how the primer looks, it’s too glossy or maybe it is flaking off the plastic it’s not for you. The same goes if it melts the plastic, it’s sticky, or the paint is to too thick – it is not worth the hassle.

My own experience

For the last few days I was priming around 12-15 HDF terrain kits and some plastic GW models with some cheap and cheap-ish primers. We will talk about working with HDF and MDF another time though 😉

What are my conclusions?
I will not recommend White Den Braven Super Color Universal spray paint for priming MDF or models. The paint is way too thick for my liking and the coverage is not too good either. However, white is a tricky color and it is hard to find a good white paint and primer. In the contrary, Den Braven Black Matt is OK for me. I can recommend it, but you need to be careful not to overspray the miniature.

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I love the MONTANA Black series of paint. It is very good for HDF and MDF kits and the color palette is just amazing! Plus the price is quite good (17zł/7$) compared with the dedicated miniature primers. I have not tried to prime any miniatures with it so far, but will make a try especially for you soon. One of my friend’s advised me not to use in on miniatures, as for him the paint is way too thick for our hobby needs. However, my other friend told me that MONTANA Black series Black Matt paint is ok for him for miniatures. I will need to see it for myself 😉

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What’s next?

In second part of ‘How to prime your models with spray paint’ I will talk more how to use spray primers, or better to say how to make them work. How to prepare cans before priming and use them properly. I will also give you some tips how to avoid most common mistakes that people do with spray paints in general.

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What to print for wargaming? – Game and diorama accessories #4

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Our series of what to print for wargaming is slowly growing. You can have a look at previous parts, where I covered the topics of bases, weapons and horses. Today I want to talk about different accessories, that you might want to use in your games. Curious what is it all about this time? Read on.

Where there is war, there are casualties

Sad but true. Where there is war, there are casualties. I do realize that in most wargames there are no rules for casualties. After all when one of your soldiers is killed, you just take the model off the table. However, I do believe that miniatures representing casualties can be used as casualty or wound markers and to add a bit of realism to your games. Sometimes, they can also be used as unit ‘gap fillers’, when you are missing a figure of two and do not really want to buy another box just for 1 or 2 miniatures. Plus, if you are a diorama maker, they will definitely come in handy.

28mm Dead Male Villagers by Curufin – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2657523
Dead Bandits/Rangers D&D Casualty markers (With and without bases) by BinaryLegend – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3877018/files
Giant Attack Casualties by Valandar – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3283151
28mm Scifi Casualty by WardF – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2435286
Battlefield Casualty – Horse + Cart by gametree3dprintscenics – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3086684

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Civilians

Every now and then you probably miss having few figures of civilians on your gaming table. Be it a waitress, innkeeper or just people walking down the street. Also, during some games your objective is to escort someone or to release some prisoners, and then all those civilian figures can be useful.
I hope that you will be able to find something for your needs:

Commoner (Dockworker) for 28mm Tabletop Roleplaying by AJade – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3734860
Lumberjack and his Wife Miniatures by Ilhadiel – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3516680
Hospital Staff Miniatures 25/28mm by BigMrTong – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3254946
Villagers – Smithy by Quinian – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4285523

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One day I will print them all (Hospital Staff) and make one huge horror inspired game in a haunter asylum…

Monsters!

Let’s admit it openly. At some point all of us, gamers, have a need to paint and use monsters in one of our games. In most cases, the bigger the better! D&D and all other so called paper RPG players, I have some good monster propositions for you

Ghoul by Manuel_Boria – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3466743
Monster Mondays #9: Ambush Maw (28mm/32mm scale) by dutchmogul – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3093475
Cockatrice – Tabletop Miniature by M3DM – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3614977
Bulette – D&D Miniature by Yasashii – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3775005

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When I look at that Cockatrice I want to make a ‘The Witcher’ inspired diorama 😀

Objective Markers

In almost every wargaming system there is an option or a scenario where you need to place some objective markers on the board. Those markers can be represented by almost anything, however how much nicer it looks when you use dedicated objective markers? Have a look at what I have found.

Water Resupply Point Objective Markers by TZRock – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1346215
Industrial Dome Objective Marker (Epic 40K – 6mm scale) by fractalnoise – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2392392
Tea Light Objective Marker by thatguyj1f – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3347472
Biostructure Wargaming Objectives by Techmek – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3155901

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love those Alien markers!

TIP

In case of objective markers of wound/casualty markers it is a good idea to do them from scratch instead of looking for ready-made products. By combining few different objects – like barrels, weapons, ammo crates etc. you can make a simple but good looking objective marker. You can print each piece of the puzzle separately and then arrange it as you see fit. Markers made in such way give you must more satisfaction, than ready-made 3D printable designs.

It might be a good idea to look for markers in the board games section. A lot of files marked as ‘for board games’ can be easily adapted for wargaming needs.

Are you looking for something specific? Let me know!

Let me remind you that if are you looking for something specific or simply need help finding some bits just let me know. I am more than happy to provide you with a list of files suitable for your project. All you need to do is to let me know by writing a comment below! I will make an article around the theme chosen by you 🙂

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How to base miniatures

how to base miniatures

Painting miniatures is only one part of our wargaming hobby. One of the other ones is basing your miniature. There are many ways and materials that you can use to base your miniature. Today I will show you how to make a simple base for your miniatures with household items that probably all of us have at hand.

Materials and Tools

The below list contains all necessary, and some optional, materials for today’s project. Let’s have a look what you will need:

  • Cork (a wine bottle or a cup coaster is fine)
  • Sand
  • Small stones or gravel (optional)
  • PVA glue (aka white glue)
  • superglue
  • x-acto knife
  • cutters/clippers
  • safety glasses
  • work gloves
  • bits from your bitzbox (optional)

As always safety first, so do not be surprised to see safety glasses and work gloves on the list 😉 Please have in mind that it is the bare minimum, which you will need to make a simple base that I am presenting to you today. If you have other materials and bits that you want to use go ahead and use them. You probably noticed that some materials have the ‘optional’ mark next to them. Depending on your projects you might need them or not, that’s why they are listed as ‘optional’.

base miniatures dyi
Not all materials visible here will be used today.

Step one – choose our base and start working with cork

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Different size of miniature bases.

Have a look what miniature needs to be based and double-check what base size you need for that particular model. Also try to think if you are going to use this miniature in a tray as it might need a bit more planning, as you do not want to make a base that won’t fit the tray 😉

When you have the base size you need to prepare a cork sheet (one from a wine bottle is fine), superglue and clippers. Take your clippers and start cutting or better to say ‘crumble’ the cork. The idea here is to get smaller cork pieces with irregular shapes on each edge of the small cork piece.

minis base
Remember, safety first when working with tools 😉

When you are satisfy with your cork pieces you can start arranging them on your base. When you are happy with the overall look of the base, start gluing the pieces in place with superglue.

basing minis
A small drop of superglue.

Step two – it’s time for sand and gravel

Prepare the PVA glue (white glue), container with sand and some small stones. Instead of stones I am going to use ground cork from GaleForce9. However you can use many different household items, for example whole black pepper (ungrounded) 😀

basing miniatures for

Put some PVA glue on your base and add sand and gravel. I tend to ‘flood’ the base with glue on it in my sand container 😉 I am a lazy bugger 😛

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Step three – the devil is in the detail

Now is the time to unleash your inner creativity. If you want to add some bitz, skulls, bones and any other bitz that will make your base special now is the time to do it. I am going to use some skulls from ORZOL Studio, that you could see in the ‘How to paint miniatures’ article. Please note that static grass and grass tufts can be added after painting the base 😉

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I also have other bitz from ORZOL Studio, but I have an idea for a small diorama project. I simply plan to use all those swords, skulls and the undead/possessed (?) knight for it 😉

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That’s it! You finished building your base!

miniatures for basing

Congratulations! You finished building your miniature base! Now all you need to do is to paint the base, add some static grass or grass tufts and painted model. Just that 😉

What about adding some paint ?

We will cover this step in another article dedicated the art of basing. Please remember, that materials like static grass, grass tufts can be added after the base is fully painted. Next time I am going to show you how to add some grass tufts and maybe some foam modeling flock.

to base miniatures
Yay or Nay? Do you like how they look on my fresh bases?
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Pocket version of A-Case anyone?

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Being a part of the A-Case Crew is an awesome experience, however every now and then
you are being tested. Yeap, tested! I do not mean any kind of medical tests, but new ideas
are being tested on you and your miniatures. Curious what is it all about this time? Read on!

The not so strange package…

One beautiful morning I received a package. It was a normal package. Nothing unusual about
it. Not even a strange sign on the envelope front or back. Just another day in the office.

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Package like package, everyone knows, everyone saw one in their lives.

Instructions, instructions, instructions

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Pretty straightforward I would say

Ok, so let’s have a look at the instructions and what I have to do today to make it work. Do
open it. Do put it in the microwave. Add black paint. Don’t look at me like that! I am just
testing it… Ask the designer why I need black paint 😛

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I never liked pans anyway…

How to be a hobbyist without black paint

Ok, I am a hobbyist without black paint! No idea how it happened, but let’s mix some black
paint out of primary colors. At least some black-ish color 😉

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My blackest black of all my blacks

Ideally you need just three colors: yellow, cyan and magenta. However, I got only yellow, red
and blue. This is the blackest black that I could get…

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Black paint is there. Trust me I am an engineer! 😛

What’s next?

I am as curious as you are, as I never did that before. But getting a pocket version of an ACase magnetic transport system case sound perfect! Worth to give it a shot.

When the first step, according to the instructions, is ready I will have a look at the second
part of this A-Case. What we got here – add warm water, use a hot saucepan, do not drop it,
let it cool… Am I in a next masterchef or what? 😀

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And done!

This is our result!

Here you can find the final result ;). Not as pocket as I thought, but I still love it!
Who wants to get one of those unsuspicious packages and give it a try?

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How to paint miniatures

how to paint miniatures

When you are starting a new hobby like wargaming, painting your miniatures might seem like a scary and daunting task. There are so many articles telling you what is the correct and probably the only way how to paint miniatures. All those information can be overwhelming. Let us help you with painting your miniatures by providing an easy general step by step what you need to do while painting miniatures.

Choose what you want to paint

As many would say, choose your poison. In our case it means to choose which miniature figures to paint. Have a look at what you have in your bits box and on your workbench and start painting! It doesn’t really matter what game you are playing, be it Warhammer 40K, Bolt Action, Kings of War or even Dungeons & Dragons. You will always find a miniature that does not have an insane amount of detail, but is rather simple in design and looks like a good starting point for a beginner miniature painter.

painted miniatures
What would it be today – Warhammer 40k, Frostgrave, Bolt Action or something from ORZOL Studio?

Safety first!

First and foremost before starting any work that involves cutting, sanding or using any sharp tools in general you need to wear protective equipment! Yeap, model painting can also become dangerous if we are not careful. Simple work gloves and safety glasses should do the trick. Just be careful when using any kind of tools, especially ones with sharp blades and/or edges. In our hobby plastic can bolt from the sprue, a piece of metal can get into our eyes or under our skin.

to paint miniatures
Safety first!

What is also very important do not drink your paints! In most cases we are using water based acrylic paints, but even they can be harmful for your health. Whatever you do be careful and stay safe!

Tools

The long you will be involved in wargaming and miniatures painting hobby the more tools and paints you will have. However, at the beginning you do not need much to start. We will provide you with a short list of selected needed tools and equipment. Don’t be surprised to see much linger lists in other articles and painting tutorials as the more techniques you use the more paints and tools you have 😉

You will need:

  • brushes
  • painting palette
  • acrylic paints
  • acrylic primer (ex. in a bottle or spray can)
  • two containers for water (one for metallic paints, the other for non-metallic paints)
  • superglue
  • x-acto knife
  • cutters/clippers
  • sandpaper
  • files
  • milliput/green stuff/other epoxy putty
  • safety glasses
  • work gloves
paint miniatures
Just a few of our tools

Preparation time

This step depends quite heavily from the figure you choose to be your first painting victim. If the material that the miniature is made of is resin or plastic you need to clean the model from any mould lines and/or trappings. There are special tools for that called mouldline remover or just mould remover. You can just use your x-acto knife 😉

paint minis
All that flash will need to be cut away and each skull cleaned before painting.

If the miniature is made of metal this preparation steps are a bit different. When working with metal you might need a set of files and different fine-grids of sandpaper. Remove all mould lines and imperfections with the sandpaper and files. You can try to use the x-acto knife, however with metal it might be quite difficult. In this case files and sandpaper works much better than a knife.

After all lines were removed glue the pieces together and check if you need to fill in any gaps and imperfections. You can sand them with fine-grid sandpaper or just use an x-acto knife. When all that is finished, a general rule of thumb for plastic and resin minis is to wash them in warm water with soap. However, we need to warn you that some resins might start to bend if the water is too hot! With metal miniatures you can also use rubbing alcohol to clean the miniature from any dust and oily stuff.

Leave the washed models on the side on a piece of cloth and let them dry before painting.

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Different materials = different way of preparation.

Priming time!

Your miniatures are nice and clean. Assembled. All gaps filled and sanded. Now it is time to use a primer before the actual painting. A primer is a thin coat of paint that you use to cover an unpainted surface in order to prepare that surface for subsequent layers of paint. You can use a brush or a spray primer to primer your models. Just remember to apply thin coats to keep the details sharp and easily visible.

Generally speaking we use three basic colors of primer: white, black and grey (light grey).

  • Use white when you want your colors to be brighter and more vivid.
  • Use black when you want your colors to be darker.
  • Grey primer is believed to be a neutral color and choice between white and black. Your colors will not be very bright, but won’t be very dark either. Colors will be toned.

If you are a beginner we advise to use grey primer as it is the most versatile.

Primer is a coat of paint that protects plastic/metal/resin, but is also a surface that a next layer of paints sticks to much easier than to an unprimed model. In other words, primer should make your painting easier as new layers of paint will adhere to it more than to plain plastic/resin etc. surface.

Decide on a color scheme

Primer is still wet and you are waiting for it to dry. It is a perfect time to decide on a color scheme for your paint job! As you can see miniature painting means choices, choices and choices 😉 Look at your collection of paints and at your miniature. Decide what colors you want to use. Is your character going to be painted in darker or brighter colors? Is a combination of red, browns and blues a good idea for this particular figure?

If you feel that you don’t have enough paints, you can always visit your hobby store or any other craft store to pick up more paints and ask for some advice there.

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In most cases producers will help you out with the color scheme matching your miniatures.

When still unsure how to paint a particular miniature, have a look at tutorials available on the Internet – articles, forums, YouTube; plenty to choose from. Most box sets come with an artwork printed at the box showing you proposed painting scheme. You can use that. If it is a historical figure, try looking at some historical books and osprey artworks dedicated to that particular period and unit. Remember, that the most important part of miniature painting is to have fun!

Primer is finally dry and you decided on a color scheme? Time for some miniature painting!

Let’s do some miniature painting!

OK, this is the most important step. Start painting and have fun!

There any many different paint manufacturers, however it doesn’t matter which one you choose remember to thin your paints. One of the most common rookie mistake is to paint with thick, not fully mixed paint. Put some paint on your painting palette, add a drop or two of water and start painting. If you feel that the coat is too thick, try to add a bit more water. If the paint appears to be too thin, add more paint to the mix. You will quickly figure out the right consistency of paint.

There are many painting techniques and ways to paint a miniature. The most common one that is recommended for beginners is called – layering. The concept of layering is quite simple. You need to apply another layer of paint that have slightly different color then the first one and leave some of the first layer of paint still visible. You are adding as many layers of different colors until you are happy with the final result.

By leaving a bit of the previous layer visible you are creating a feel of transition between applied colors. This transition will create a highlight effect or give depth to shadows (shading).

So how does that layering work anyway?

Even though it can be hard to explain and might sound difficult, it is fairly easy to do.
Choose three similar colors. For example: dark red, primary red and light red.
Apply the first layer starting from the darker one.
Keep on applying thin coats of paint with brighter colors. You can mix dark red and primary red to get a transition color between those two.
Remember to keep some of the previous layer visible to create a transition effect on the miniature.
Keep on applying new coats of paint until you are satisfy with the result.

painting miniatures
An example of paints that can be used for layering.

Please remember that this is only one of many ways to paint a miniature. It is not the one and only and if you are doing it differently than described here you are doing it wrong. That is not the case! Miniature painting is a creative process and you will be experimenting. You will be learning new skills, add washes and inks to you inventory, add metallic paints, use varnish to protect your miniature, start using techniques like glazing… and many more!

What we want you to remember that it is just a hobby and we do it to have fun! Not to treat it one of the household chores 😉 We hope that this very basic article helped you to start your journey of a miniature painter!

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How 3D printing is changing our hobby

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3D printers are becoming cheaper and therefore easier to get for an average mortal human. The quality of the prints is also getting better and better as the technology keeps evolving. It is not surprising that 3D printing is now widely used in the miniature industry and by many hobbyists around the world. However, is 3d printing miniatures and accessories at home doing more harm than good? How 3D printing is changing our hobby? Want to know answers to those questions, please read on.

What is the biggest change that came with 3D printing?

It is not surprising, that a lot of miniature manufacturers switch from traditional sculpting to digital sculpting. Therefore, it is safe to say that the industry is relying quite heavily on 3D printing technology right now. However, the biggest change came when 3d printers appeared in our homes. The opportunity to print miniatures, vehicles, accessories and terrains in your own home! Not to mention printing your very own creations and sculpts.

Imagine that instead of going to a local hobby store to buy new miniatures, you can just print them on your 3D printer sitting comfortably at home. Now, this very idea is becoming real, even the new standard I would say. That, in my opinion, is the bigger change to our hobby connected with 3D printing technology – 3D printing miniatures at home.

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Photographs courtesy of Ścibor Sekunda/ All printed at home. What would you print at home?

Not just blisters or boxes anymore

As 3D printing at home is getting more and more popular by the day, the industry is evolving and trying to adapt to the new situation. New companies emerge on the horizon offering digital files for 3D printing as an alternative to the traditional plastic, metal or resin models. You can know buy STL files and print models at home on your 3D printer. It can be everything, starting from a simple miniature base and ending on a whole terrain set! The best thing is that you can print models as many times as you want and in any scale you want. Want to use a WWII style building in Bolt of Action and Flames of War? Just change the scale and print it! The files can be modified, shapes changed, rescaled, resized and printed as many times as you want.

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Photograph courtesy of Dominik Kaźmierczak/ Some Sci-Fi anyone ?

No more limits, just use your imagination

Digital sculpting has its benefits and one of them it’s the ease of changing any part of the project at any given time. Any shape, style, size is possible which means that your imagination is the only limit. You can create whatever you want and then print it on any given scale and amount. You need a Sci-Fi terrain set, just print it. Just changed the system you are playing? Need some tokens, zombies or some scatter terrain? No problem, create it or get free or paid design and just print it! It is as easy as that.

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Rescale, resize, print as many as you need.

More functionality and compatibility

Different manufacturers are using slightly different scales. Simply speaking models from different companies labeled as the same scale might not be compatible with each other. While digital models can be rescaled and ‘become’ compatible with any given scale and manufacturer. The same goes for wargaming terrains. There are a lot of scenery locking systems that were developed to be compatible with each other. It means that you can buy or print terrain pieces from different sculptors and if they follow the same locking system they will be compatible with each other. You can even find free files following given locking system on sites like Thingiverse. Such functionality and compatibility gives almost unlimited design options!

Free models and instant availability

As it was mentioned before, the industry is switching from traditional to digital sculpting and printing their products before offering their copies in plastic, metal or resin. However, there are a lot of sites where you can find digital files for 3D printing for free. One of such sites is widely known is Thingiverse. It doesn’t matter what you are looking for, you will probably find something that suits your needs. The best part is that a lot of them will be absolutely free! This makes 3D printing models and miniatures an affordable option compared with buying pre-made plastic models currently available on the market.

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Plenty of free files to print on your 3D printer

What comes next?

Those are just a few examples of changes and benefits that came with 3D printing technology. The miniature industry has changed and is still trying to adapt to that new reality of 3D printing miniatures at home. Is 3D printing going to force the industry to change its approach toward the client completely? It is hard to tell. What we can see now is that buying STL files is getting more and more popular. Tell us what you think about 3D printing mini and home? Do you like the idea or not so much?

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How to make a boardgame

how to make a boardgame

After playing hundreds of board games and spending even more time during Dungeons and dragons sessions, or rolling dice in wargames like Warhammer, you probably though about creating your very own board game. You have a great idea, everything outlined in your head, but you have no idea where to begin? We will try to help you with that! Read on.

Start with a rough game design

Start with writing down your ideas for a board game. Try to include as many information in the description of the game as possible. You need to find out what your game needs. At the beginning even the smallest idea and detail is relevant and might be included in the final version of your board game. You can make a quick list with so called key-words that can be developed into more complex concepts later on. Just be creative! Make easy and simple rules and have fun at the same time!

There are many questions that you will need to answer, but let’s start from the most basic ones:
– how do you want your game to look like?
– how many game pieces you will need to play the game?
– are you going to use playing cards or dice?
– are you going to create your own version of game cards?
– will your game need a game board?
– how many players can play the game at once?
– what is the age range of your players?

Those are only a few questions that you will need to answer, but it is a start. Answer them as short as possible. You will quickly notice that spending too much time trying to answer one question is blocking you from going further. The more advance and developed your game will be, the more often you will be changing your original answer.

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Make a prototype

You have the basic outline of your game written and sketched out. It is time to make the first prototype. Make all the game pieces needed to play the game. If you decided on a game board, game cards, dice or pawns it is time to create them now. As it is going to be your first prototype it does not need to be beautiful and visually appealing. Take a piece of paper and make a quick sketch of the game board. Do the same with game cards and any other game piece that you need. Use vastly available materials like cardboard or paper to minimize the time needed to create the prototype. If you need more than one copy of some pieces try to create a printable template that can be quickly adjusted to your need. Use as much printing assets as possible as it will save you some time and make creating and adjusting your prototype much easier. You can even make your whole design, including the game board, printable to send it to other creators and play testers for their games!

Remember, that you are just trying out your game, checking if your idea works. At this point it is inevitable to make some changes to your original concept. That is why you need to start with a cheap and scruffy prototype instead of investing a large sum of money into something more eye catching. Later on you will use more elaborated designs and materials for your project.

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Playtest your game!

Having your game pieces ready, you are going to play test your game a lot. Play it with friends and family, determine what your game needs and what people want. Use your prototype and games to establish what people like and need. Do not be afraid to ask people for help. Ask them what they like about it and what they would change in your design and why. In other words make your game as user friendly as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for help. Brainstorm your ideas for the board game. The more games you will play the better. This is what the game development and game design is all about, creating a game that is free of errors and liked by others. After few games you will collect enough answers from play testers to start introducing changes to your first prototype. The game board, wording on some game cards, even the mechanics, all of that might change. You will stay with game cards and dice idea, or switch to playing cards instead. Your game is changing, evolving into a better version of your original idea. This is how game development works. Make changes to your prototype as your go. There is no need to create a new prototype each time you have to make a change. It just takes too much time and effort. You need to concentrate on play testing your game, instead of re-making the board game or cards. If you find out that custom made cards does not work, try to use playing cards instead.

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Final prototype and a bigger picture

After some time making changes to your first prototype will not be possible. Number of changes needed to be made will force you to create a second prototype, after that maybe another one and another. Finally, you will end up with the final prototype and the game will be finished. This will also be the time to take make the final game prototype and have a look at a bigger picture. Now it is the time to invest more time and money into a beautiful and visually appealing and eye catching board game. It is also the time to make a rough plan of possible future game expansions if the game becomes a big success. Before your will move to the next step just make sure, that the prototyping is over.

Producing your game

Prototyping and developing your game is over. You have all pieces designed, double checked and triple checked, all looks great. Now is the time to think how to produce your game. Are you going the self-publishing road or looking into crowdfunding on websites like kickstarter. Each of those solutions has its advantages and disadvantages, which you will need to consider when making your choice. There is also a possibility that your board game will be picked up by a publisher and all production matters will be handled by your publisher. This is probably the scenario that each game developed would like to get, but unfortunately it’s not always the case. The production phase of your game is not going to be easy, but if your game is good and you believe in it, it will be worth the hassle.

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Selling and promoting your game

Finally, your game is ready. All printed, produced and published. You want to sell it to the people around the world. What to do know? Promote your game as much as possible. Send few free games to selected reviewers for them to make the unboxing and how to play videos and articles. The more content discussing your game published on blogs, various YouTube channels and other platforms the better. Participate in hobby related events, shops and game conventions. Present your game on as many events as possible. Play with the participants, have a chat with them on your stand. You will quickly find that this is the best way to promote your game, when you are talking about it and playing it with others.

In summary

Creating your own board game is not easy and you will find yourself wearing many different hats. In an instant you will become a game designer, play tester, publisher and a lot more than that – simply speaking a man of all trades. It is going to be a lot of hard work, but also plenty of fun at the same time!

It all depends what is the main reason of creating the game. If you are doing it for money, it will be much more difficult than it seems. If you just want to create a new game to play with your friends and family in your free time the process is going to be one big adventure. We create and play board games, because we like challenges. Creating a board game from scratch is a big challenge, but when finished brings a lot of satisfaction.

We do understand that there is much more to creating a board game than what we mentioned in this article. However, we hope that this article has helped you to make a start on your very own board game. First and foremost have fun and be creative! Best of luck with your own board game projects!

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What are tabletop games

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Nowadays, tabletop games are becoming more and more popular. We can clearly notice an increase in the number of people playing a tabletop game. Proof of that is a large number of events and tournaments dedicated to this kind of hobby. And yes, some fans take it as a hobby, while others take it a little bit more serious or even make money on it. In this article, we will go through the history of the games and point out some important information and differences. Some of the games are not meant for kids, even though they are still games. We could compare them to gambling, where the machines or games should be operated only by adults. However, this does not mean that minors are excluded from the professional world of tabletop games.

History in a nutshell

We have to start from an explanation that tabletop games are a form of RPG (role-playing game). They probably evolved from ancient strategic games, such as chess that later became the basis of the modern type of wargames. 1971 was the year of releasing Chainmail that gave the beginning of what we today know as tabletop game. A huge turn happened in 1974 when Dungeons & Dragons got launched (check our Dungeons and dragons carrying case). Another game that was found in the same year is called Empire of the Petal Throne. Because of the huge success of D&D, it has been used as a generic term for other fantasy-like role-playing games since then. In the early 80’s hard times showed up for D&D’s producers. Some people claimed that the wargame causes negative and harmful psychological effects on its gamers. Thankfully, board gaming also had its proponents who would promote tabletop gaming as a good activity to get together and associate with others. Today in a day, it is an industry worth millions of dollars and is getting a quite serious meaning. The board games’ fans expand all over the world to share their passion.

What is the difference between a tabletop game and a board game?

A lot of people tend to use these terms interchangeably but not in every case that would be a correct word matching. Let’s have a look at what the real differences between them are. They might seem a bit confusing at first sight, but even the gamers are mostly not aware of the differences that may occur between those two words.

In general, board games are previously pre-packaged and they come with a board, rules and pieces or pawns, while tabletop games consist of a collection of minis and rules.

Board games – usually are finished during one meeting or sitting. The games, components, and all the applicable rules are packed in a box. Players cannot influence the course of events of the games. They can only use their experience and barely known mechanics, Card games are included in this type of gaming.

RPGs (role-playing games) – the games are usually not finished in one sitting and actually, it is all about rules that are to be applied. Upcoming rules are treated as an expansion to the games. There are no winners or losers. The fans roleplay without using any secret tricks or mechanics.

Wargames – This kind of the games is most closely associated to board games and the majority of them happens to have similar if the not the same looking package. The most important value is a history-related theme of the games. Some rules have more advantages than others. Getting deeper into wargaming, we could split it into miniature games and historical games.

What are the most popular tabletop games?

The most popular tabletop games depending on regions, cities, countries and up to personal preferences. However, there is a very generalised list of probably the best board games that u might find helpful.

  1. Arkham Horror (Third Edition) – takes about 4 hours or more to play it. It is third edition and a fantasy version of Arkham Horror
  2. Battlestar Galactica: Starship Battles- based on Star Wars’ spaceship theme
  3. Betrayal Legacy- themed to D&D
  4. Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – full option of Warhammer 40k with some additional minis
  5. Detective: A modern crime board game- Ambience of Sherlock Holmes
  6. Keyforge: Call of the archons- said to be “world’s first Unique Deck Game”
  7. My little scythe- originally meant to look like My Little Pony. Designed by a 5 years old kid and her father
  8. Root: A game of woodland might and right- styled as Night in the Woods
  9. Rising sun- earned more than 4 million dollars on Kickstarter in 2018
  10. Shadows in the forest – a modern version of an old-school game

Why do people play tabletop games?

In a world full of technology, smartphones, tablets and interactive machines, people try to remain “human-being” in their everyday life. What does it actually mean? All the kinds of board and tabletop games played by their players require real interaction with others. It is a way of communication that slowly gets forgotten. We tend to communicate through online communicators, social media tools that’s why face-to-face communication gets unconsciously disappeared. Getting together in one place with your community (people that share the same passion) to fall into a game battle makes the players improve their mental health and arises the level of endorphins. Eventually, we are happier and feel more satisfied in life. There also are some elements of competition. As human beings, we like to compete with others. This need might be fulfilled by taking part in an event or a miniature tournament where just a single played battle could be more than enough to feel the positive energy coming out. Besides, some people make a living out of tabletop gaming. How does it work? Artists sculpt and paint miniatures and sell miniatures to their enthusiasts. Game designers create new board games to attract new gamers. Event managers use the opportunity to organize competitions and tournaments, where one plays against another person or a community. There are many other examples, such as complementary products manufacturers who design cases for miniatures, brushes to paint them, etc. Since there are business affairs involved, it can be called an industry. In the numerous society of the gamers and among the competitors, we can differentiate enthusiasts. These guys usually are just observators and collect miniatures but they are not meant to participate in the battles of wargames.

Is D&D a tabletop game?

Formerly, Dungeons & Dragons is one of the most popular tabletop games and was designed Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974. It has been published Wizards of the Coast (now Hasbro) since 1997. The game was the one to follow when other board games started being releasing. In 1977 it got split into two sets of the board game. It can be assigned to tabletop games because there is a role-playing taking place. Every person performs and controls a single character. When there is a group involved, it is called a “party”. It is all about verbal improvisation combining other skills, such as logical thinking and Maths. It usually takes several meetings to finish an adventure and even longer to finish a series of adventures that are called “campaigns”. The Dungeon Master (DM), according to their interpretation of the rules, determines the results of the parties.

To start playing the game, you only need the rulebooks, some polyhedral dices and a role sheet for every gamer. Most of the players use a miniature figure to help themselves visualise the game. DnD evolved from the wargames that use minis to add a visual value. Dungeons & Dragons has become even more popular over the last years. Day by day it earns more and more fans. It is a millions-worth kind of business and even more, it seems to fully satisfy the needs of their clients (gamers). Its management clearly responds to the changing world and trends. Moreover, as a game, it brings fun and joy to thousands of people all over the world. Moreover, it is supposed to note an increase in the sales since the wargaming world attracts new proponents. If you are a wargamer, there is no option that you do not know Dungeons & Dragons.

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