All posts by daggerandbrush

Terrain building enthusiast, miniature painter and history nerd.

The Menhirs of Gelosul – a tutorial on standing stones

After a long hiatus I return to the blogosphere with a new tutorial. A full-time job, moving countries and the advent of a baby boy did somewhat reduce my hobby time to almost zero and only slowly I get back into a rhythm of late night hobbying. Nevertheless work continues on my forest themed gaming boards.

In this post I focus on making standing stones from scratch, a staple in any fantasy game, but also interesting for the historical wargamer. Making some ancient menhirs for the gaming table is a fairly simpel affair. You won’t need fancy supplies or exotic materials. So come along and explore ancient sites deep inside the forest.

Continue reading The Menhirs of Gelosul – a tutorial on standing stones

Shaped by time – Wind-swept rocks for your gaming table

Your desert themed gaming table features dry lake beds and areas of deeper sand. So far so good, but this time we go vertical. Just as promised we will focus on large wind-swept rocks in this installation of the arid terrain series. The rocks are suitable as stand-alone pieces and can be freely placed on the gaming table. Depending on your design choices they can serve as inaccessible line-of-sight blocking terrain or be climbed by miniatures to give them an advantage. Naturally integrating the rocks into a larger structure or modular gaming board is a possibility, too. Per usual illustrated step-by-step instruction will guide you through the process and scenic photographs will provide examples of how these rocks can liven up the gaming table in combination with the other pieces we built in this series. So take a pick and chisel and come along, but mind your step. Continue reading Shaped by time – Wind-swept rocks for your gaming table

Sand in your shoes – A tutorial on arid rough terrain

Arid terrain still preoccupies my mind and we shall not stop at dry desert lakes. Instead, in this second tutorial of the series, I would like to focus on the ever useful rough terrain, or in this specific case a terrain piece that features deeper sand. While you could depict rough terrain with a stretch of land filled with rocks and thorny bushes, I felt it would be much more interesting and challenging to depict an area that features fine, wavy sand, where with each step your troops or characters sink deeper, adding to the exhaustion of sun and thirst. I did also add some weathered rock outcroppings and sparse vegetation to round the piece off.

As always a list of the materials you will need for this build is followed by easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions. Work in progress pictures will illustrate each step and naturally I won’t break with the tradition of including scenic shots of the final piece. So put on your pith helmet, fill your water bag and follow me once again to a harsh desert environment that offers much more than featureless stretches of land to the modelling enthusiast.

Continue reading Sand in your shoes – A tutorial on arid rough terrain

Mirage – Making a dry desert lake or Oasis

I always found deserts to be fascinating habitats. A cursory look will leave you with the impression that it is hell on earth: sandstorms, unbearable heat during the day and freezing at nighttime. Yet, the desert is not only home to thousands of plant and animal species, it also has a simple beauty to it, dominated by the shapes the wind forms. They are thus a worthy subject for the modeler and can provide an atmospheric backdrop for our games. The exploits of the Crusaders come to mind as well as the cultures inhabiting Northern Africa, for instance the ancient Numidians.

In this first tutorial on arid terrain (more to follow) I will show you how to make a dry desert lake or an oasis that is slowly drying out. Using a similar technique I will also provide you with some ideas how to model a partially dry river bed, with only a small stream of water remaining. Per usual I will talk about the materials needed and provide you with step-by-step instructions how to make a cracked lake or river bed and scratch-built a dead tree to add further interest.

Continue reading Mirage – Making a dry desert lake or Oasis

A guide to the Margravate of Greifshold – Over stick and stone

Dear wielders of the gilded fork, fishing enthusiasts and henge worshippers. The third part of my guide to the Margravate of Greifshold focuses on the areas and sites of interest surrounding the city of Greifshold.

We will travel to a lumbering village, the quaint fishing village Breka, ruins of steadfast castles taken back by tree and root and learn of the worshipers of Reigaro, the principal deity of the settlers. Continue reading A guide to the Margravate of Greifshold – Over stick and stone

A guide to the Margravate of Greifshold – A grand city

Dear bloggers, explores of a gallant disposition and fans of D20s. Last time we explored the geography of the magravate, but this time we will focus on the most important human settlement  on the continent: the city of Greifshold. Just like my last post this guide is part of a campaign setting I publish via Patreon.

Once again we  follow the well traveled scholar Regis of Werta to the city of Greifshold. Where to eat? Where to sleep? What to do? Fear not traveler, Regis will answer your questions and provide the one or other anecdote. Continue reading A guide to the Margravate of Greifshold – A grand city

A guide to the Margravate of Greifshold – The land and its myths

Dear readers, adventurers and fans of all things fantasy. As you may know I publish a campaign setting via Patreon with terrain crafting and painting tips. Part of this publication is an in-character guide to my setting: The Margravate of Greifshold.

Thanks to people supporting me on Patreon I can write such background material and release it for all to enjoy on my blog, basically embracing a Creative Commons mindset. Feel free to share links to the guide here on DaggerAndBrush and share the love and help GM’s with their efforts to bring joy to the table. Let me know how you like the guide, what else you would like to see and, naturally, consider supporting me on Patreon, where you get a PDF version of the guide and are always the first to see new content.

So far with the plug, onward to the guide. Follow the well traveled scholar Regis of Werta to Greifshold, an untamed land shaped by myth and warring tribes. A land to be conquered and civilized or a land to be cherished and defended from outsiders? Where do you stand, adventurer?

Continue reading A guide to the Margravate of Greifshold – The land and its myths

Fantastic beasts and how to draw them – Hand-drawn fantasy maps step-by-step

I always thought the most intriguing aspect of historical maps such as the Carta Marina are the fantastic beasts and odd creatures depicted on them: Humanoid figures without heads, sea serpents swallowing ships whole and dragons terrorising villages. Many of these depictions are based on Roman and Greek myth or on tall stories told by sailors over an ale. But how can you add such beasts to your own maps and how do you go best about coloring the map?

In this short tutorial I will show you one way of drawing such beasts and digital colorisation techniques. I already covered the basics in another posts that gives you an introduction to hand-drawn maps. In this installment we draw a much more detailed map and use layers of translucent color  instead of layer masks to bring the map alive.

So come along and explore the Margravate of Greifshold with me, but be warned that we will meet dragons and sentient mushrooms in long forgotten ruins, serpents deep below the waves and fierce tree guardians deep inside an autumnal forest.

Continue reading Fantastic beasts and how to draw them – Hand-drawn fantasy maps step-by-step

DaggerAndBrush now on Patreon – A modelling guide for the intrepid adventurer and more choice rewards

In the past years the DaggerAndBrush blog has become an essential part of my hobby and I really love to write tutorials and articles for you that hopefully inspire and entertain. Without you there would be no real reason to publish content, thus I thank you for your ongoing support, comments, suggestions, discussions and general banter; it does indeed mean a lot to me.

All content on the DaggerAndBrush blog will always be free and there won’t be any paywalls. I would love to publish content more regularly, but real life often prevents me from doing so. I would also love to feature videos and Twitch streams to show you some of the stuff that is hard to explain in writing or with a photo, but both requires significant amounts of time.

This is where this Patreon campaign comes into play. Through your support I will be able to publish content more regularly.   Patreon gives you the choice what to support and when to support, so I chose it as a platform given it is entirely voluntary and community driven. Pledge levels start at 1 Dollar per content post and  you only pay if new content is released. You can opt out whenever you like, no strings attached.

Continue reading DaggerAndBrush now on Patreon – A modelling guide for the intrepid adventurer and more choice rewards

Mapping fantastical fancies – Hand drawn campaign maps for your RPG sessions

If you are a Game Master it is always exciting to start a new campaign and let your players explore new shores, their peoples, customs and the secrets they hold in ruins old, mountains high and dungeons cold. To make it easier for your players to visualize this unfamiliar environment you may have provided them with a map of these lands, may it be as loot or after some negotiation with a Gnome in the local antique shop. A map may also come in handy for a wargaming campaign to show the position of warbands or armies and natural obstacles.

Often the first iteration of such a map is a simple hand-drawn sketch, but after more and more of the new area is discovered you may want to provide something with more visual appeal, add a background texture or even colorize your map.

I will show you some of my current exploits into the realm of map making that will be of help if you start out to make your own regional maps. I am still in the early phase of developing my drawing and coloration skills, but hope that the following ideas will be of use for your own development as a hand-drawn map artist.

I will show you my process of drawing a map by hand, scanning and cleaning it up and finally colorizing it using Photoshop. I will also provide you with some PNGs of elements such as ruins, towers and a city that you can use for your own creations as well as a generic parchment background. Future iterations will feature encounter maps, too. Continue reading Mapping fantastical fancies – Hand drawn campaign maps for your RPG sessions