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BUILDING AN ARENA

BY

FELIX PANIAGUA

The boxes form the basic structure of the arena, the walls and the floor. I do half of the arena on each box. This has two advantages: the arena can be bigger, even if your boxes are not large, and it takes up less storage space between gaming sessions. Each box should be big enough to make up half of the arena. The arena I am building measures 30x15 inches, as the boxes bases measure 15x15 inches. A bigger arena is built the same way, by starting with a bigger set of boxes. A few sheets of wall texture are perfect for simulating the walls of the arena. Cut them into several pieces of an appropriate size and glue them to the boxs sides. You can buy wall texture sheets at many modelling shops, or if you prefer, you can download them from the Internet and print them. A quick image search using your favourite search engine for wall texture should display several different wall textures. A larger image file is better as youll usually get a higher printing quality.

Arena DeathMatch can be played on any flat surface, but it definitely becomes more enjoyable if played in a scale arena with walls and a sand surface. This section is a guide on creating an easy, quick to build and very affordable arena. My experience in building scenery pieces for miniature games is close to zero. As much as I like playing my games over nicely crafted gaming surfaces, I have rarely found the time to build any scenery pieces. This guide is specially aimed at those, like me, who have almost no experience and dont have the time or budget to create a complicated gaming surface. The goal of this guide is help every player to quickly and easily build his own arena. Lets get started!

NECESSARY MATERIALS & TOOLS


You need only a few things to assemble your arena. The stuff youll need: Materials: -Two cardboard boxes -Some wall texture sheets -A beige gravel mat Tools: -A craft knife -PVA glue -An old brush -Adhesive tape

The gravel mat is used to simulate the sand of the arena. Cut it to an appropriate size and glue it to the base of the box. You can find gravel mats in many modelling shops.

BUILDING PROCESS
This arena is a regional arena, 30 inches long and 15 inches wide. The height of the walls should be 5 inches.

PREPARING THE BOXES


To prepare each box for cutting, lay the box flat and identify the different sections of the arena (the floor and the walls) as well as the unnecessary parts of the box, which well cut out later. The base of the box is the floor of the arena, while the first 5 inches of the sides of the box are the arena walls. Cut out the remaining section of the boxs sides and flaps. Mark the box with a black pen marker for each of these different sections.

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The following picture the box prepared to become the first half of the arena.

Cut out the unnecessary parts of the box. When cutting, be very careful and be sure to cut away from your fingers, or you might end up injuring yourself with the blade. Pictured below is a box with the unnecessary bits cut out.

Note that the leftmost wall section is marked as remove. This is because we are building one half of the arena, so well only need three wall sections on each half. If building the entire arena from a single box, we would not remove that section.

THE ARENA WALLS


Once we have prepared the box, we can start gluing the different wall textures to the side sections. For my arena, each wall section is 15x5 inches, but that might vary depending on the size of your box and height of your arena walls. Normally, each wall section should be as long as a box side and as high as you decide your arena walls should be (ideally, the height of your available wall texture). With a pen, mark and cut out six 15x5 inches wall sections on the wall texture sheets. Each one is glued to a side of the box. Three of them are used to cover the internal sides of the box, while the other three used for the external sides. Although not strictly necessary, your arena looks much better if you cover the exterior sides of the box with wall textures as well.

Finally, make a cut to completely unfold the section of the box well be working on, as it is much easier to glue the wall textures in place if the box is completely laid out.

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Apply the PVA glue, thinned down with water, to one of the sides of the box using an old brush. Glue one of the wall texture sections into position.

Apply PVA glue over the base of the box and cover it with the gravel mat. Repeat this process to cover each of the three internal sides of the box. Once all internal wall texture sections have been glued in place, it is the perfect moment to assemble the box. Your arena should look similar to the one shown on the following picture.

Depending on how precisely the gravel mat covers the boxs base, the edges of the mat might be showing, taking away from the models realism. To conceal this, apply PVA glue over the edges of the mat and over the lower parts of the arena walls and then put some brown fine modelling sand over the area. Once the box has been assembled, cover each of the three external sides of the box with the remaining wall texture sections.

THE ARENA FLOOR


Measure and cut out a section of the gravel mat to match the base of the assembled arena half. In my case, the base of the box measures 30x15 inches, so I cut out an equally sized section of the gravel mat.

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EDGING
It is a good idea to cover the edges of the box with adhesive tape. This not only gives more consistency and strength to the model, but also hides the visible box surface that shows where the different wall texture sections meet as well as the top of the walls. Cut out thin strips of adhesive tape and apply them carefully over the edges of the box.

Personally, I decided that by adding vegetation texture to the walls (mainly on the upper part), painting some blood spots on the sand and adding some green shades on the edges of the floor, I could give the arena an ancient or ruined feeling.

DOORS, PITS, AND COLUMNS


Doors (where Avatars enter the arena) and pits, such as trap pits or beasts pits, are easily made using the templates provided in the rulebook. Photocopy the templates page, cut out the different pits and doors and glue them, using PVA glue, to a cardboard base of the same size and shape. You can use the remaining bits of the box for the cardboard base. The end result looks better if you add some fine modelling sand around the edges of the pit to better integrate the scenery piece once placed in the arena.

Ideally, you should use transparent adhesive tape or one with a colour that is similar to that of the walls. Now that the first half of the arena is finished, follow the same steps to build the second half. Be sure to use the same dimensions for both halves so they fit together properly later!

PUTTING BOTH HALVES TOGETHER


To ensure the arena sticks together properly when gaming, apply this modification to each half of the arena. The goal is to obtain a puzzle joint. To this end, cut out a section of 2 inches of the floor on one of the halves and cut out a section of the same length on two of the walls of the other half.

Remember to visit our website where you can find several scenery elements to download. Downloading gives the advantage of being able to resize them to your needs before printing them out. Columns can be quickly made using the same techniques. Decide on the width and height of the column face, for example 1 inch wide and 5 inches high. Cut out then a 5x5 inches cardboard piece and bend it vertically every one inch.

EMBELLISHING THE ARENA


Now that the arena is built, you can add some effects to improve its looks with a few very easy and quick additions. There are plenty of options you can choose from. 131

Fold the column as shown on the above picture and cover it with adhesive tape to give it strength and improved consistency. Next, texture the column. Cut out a 5x5 inch (same size as the one used for the column cardboard) wall texture section. By drawing a small line every 1 inch (the width of the column face) well know where to bend the wall texture section to properly cover the column. Apply PVA glue to the column and cover it with the bended wall texture section.

I also added some effects to improve the overall look: blood spots and some grass texture on the top of the column. Here is the final result.

FINAL THOUGHTS
The final step is to cover the top of the column and give it a base. I cut out a 1.2 inch square piece of wall texture and glued it on the top of the column. To base it I glued the column to a 1 inch square plastic miniature base. I applied PVA glue and covered it with fine sand. Try adding a metal washer to the base of the column to keep it sturdy. The size of your arena is determined by the size of the cardboard boxes. If your box is big enough, and you have a big space for keeping your arena once your gaming session is over, you might want to build the entire arena in one box, which makes the process even easier and faster. You can also make your arena with four boxes, building a quarter of it in each box, for a very big and easy to keep arena. Boxes come in many different shapes and sizes; you can even find circular boxes for a classic Romanstyle circular arena! Using this method, it took me around five hours to build the arena, four columns, two pits, and two doors. I started it on a Saturday after lunch and finished just before dinner. So there you go! Simply by reserving one weekend afternoon, youll have a nice looking arena to play your deathmatches! Pictured here is my finished arena!

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SCENERY TEMPLATES

4 x 4 pit trap

4 x 4 water pit
You can photocopy this page for personal use or, alternatively, you can download it from www.avatars-of-war.com

4 x 4 beasts entrance pit

3 x 4 bands entrance door

You can photocopy this page for personal use or, alternatively, you can download it from www.avatars-of-war.com