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Pyramid Power - NO PEEKING players! You know who you are. :) - Printable Version

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RE: Pyramid Power - NO PEEKING players! You know who you are. :) - ableman33 - 06-15-2016

Thank you BlueMeander, though I think you've cornered the market on "goodie" terrain this time around. Smile

I live, work, and run/play games around Houston in Texas. I met a few TG folks at ReaperCon in Dallas once, and I'd love to meet more. Big Grin


RE: Pyramid Power - NO PEEKING players! You know who you are. :) - OrientDM - 06-15-2016

(06-15-2016, 06:42 PM)TheBlueMeander Wrote: There was a lot to catch up on here and the goodness is kind of intense. All I can really say at this point is where do you live? cause I want to be playing YOUR games.

Oh, you do! You really do!  Ableman is an awesome DM.  Very creative even when we aren't playing on terrain!  He really makes being a PC hero fun! Big Grin Big Grin I'm hoping that I can make my game fun using these awesome pieces he is designing for me.  And I hope to make it fun for him as he will be a PC in my game!


RE: Pyramid Power - NO PEEKING players! You know who you are. :) - ableman33 - 06-15-2016

I countersunk some conical-headed screws and drilled the holes for attaching my base plate to the plywood spacers. Now everything can be secured nicely.

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And here's a close-up of the secret passage.

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Quote:ableman33 said: Since there is so much space between the top of the floor and the bottom of the base, I will need to make a box of foam core to give the illusion of a passage down.

Who am I kidding? Use foam core here, even in a non-structural area?

Plywood all the way baby! Tongue

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And here's a close-up of the final secret passage.

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A little bit of paper texture, and we're good. Smile

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I painted the inner lip of the base board black to blend in since it wouldn't be attached to this passage.

While I was at it, I slapped some white paint around the interior of my illumination cutouts to help squeeze a tiny extra bit of light from my reduced voltage bulbs.

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I then used some heavy duty aluminum (aluminium) craft foil to create shrouds for my lights. Not only will this bounce more light up through the symbols, but it should help with the light bleed to keep folks focused on the illuminated symbols.

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I have to teach tomorrow, so there likely won't be much progress for a while.

At this point, I'm down to statues, gears, and interior and exterior walls. Piece of cake. Tongue

Good luck everyone, and happy building! Smile


RE: Pyramid Power - NO PEEKING players! You know who you are. :) - ableman33 - 06-16-2016

All right. All the pieces are in their proper places and everything is buttoned up, seen here just before the bottom plate is attached. (The tape is just temporary.)

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And here's everything so far, assembled.

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It can't express how good it makes me feel to play around with this thing and have all the pieces work like I originally envisioned. Smile
I don't know how many times I just cycled through all the mechanisms just grinning to myself.  Tongue

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Originally I was just using these gears on top as placeholders for the statues I will install later, but I'm really liking the look of them. I'm thinking of shaving them thinner, painting them to look like gold or bronze, and making them the bases of my statues. Just one more clue that the statues are supposed to turn. Smile


RE: Pyramid Power - NO PEEKING players! You know who you are. :) - ableman33 - 06-16-2016

I started mocking up the slanted walls/roof of the room.

I had previously done from measurements to see what dimensions the triangular wall pieces needed to be to duplicate the slopes of the pyramid's sides and to match up with the 10 inch sides of my base.

As you can see, there were some problems...

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I can't use these triangles and have them attach to the current base.

However, assembling all four triangles and then resting the mock roof on my existing puzzle platform shows that I might still be able to keep the slope the same if I just elevate the roof a bit.

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Seeing how things look perched on the main pyramid, it doesn't look too bad. I can imagine making a decorative strip below my metallic puzzle room roof as a transition between the main pyramid and the top.

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However, cutting open one side and peaking in, I see that letting the roof rest of the sides of the upper platform makes things too crowded. While the roof will be removed during play, I'm concerned that the statues might not fit.

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After some experimentation and tweaking, I found a variation that I could live with. By making the elevation strip equal to one inch (matching the exterior steps of the pyramid), I can create more space inside. A two-inch wall wrapping the upper platform exactly fits under the roof and can act as support. As a bonus, the low wall will help define the space once the roof is removed. Smile

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I need to push through tomorrow to get these inner walls and the roof finished so that I'll have time to install the statues and decorate the exterior.

Best of luck everyone! Smile


RE: Pyramid Power - NO PEEKING players! You know who you are. :) - ableman33 - 06-17-2016

I've got my interior guide walls built and installed.

There were a few mishaps here and there, but everything is tweaked back into place and working again. Smile

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During parts of this project I have been trying out some new tools I acquired. 1-2-3 Blocks.

1-2-3 Blocks are precisely machined pieces of steel formed into right-angled blocks whose sides are in the ratio of 1 to 2 to 3.  This lets them be stacked together in all sorts of different ways to help aid while doing machining.  

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Most 1-2-3 blocks have a combination of smooth-sided and screw-thread-tapped holes drilled through them that allow them to be bolted together.

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I chose to get solid blocks for two reasons.

Firstly, I found some cheap blocks on Amazon whose only complaint in the more negative reviews was that the interior holes did not work together well.  The outside dimensions were still spot on and square.

Secondly, by getting solid blocks I got objects that were much heavier, making them even better for acting as weights.

Since I'm not doing any precision machining where I might need to bolt these together, I grabbed some of the cheaper stuff.  Smile

They've been great so far. I can put one or more down on my workbench and have an instant 90-degree form against which I can glue pieces together.  For these wooden support walls, I needed to make sure that I installed them at 90 degrees to the base. The blocks were perfect for that. I could even push on a bock firmly to help press a wall in place while the glue set and still be assured that everything was being held at right angles. No worries that my hands might tilt anything. Smile

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On to the roof!

Good luck everyone. Smile


RE: Pyramid Power - NO PEEKING players! You know who you are. :) - ableman33 - 06-17-2016

Work on the roof is nearing completion.

I cut some 1/8 inch thick plywood into appropriately shaped triangles to maintain my overall pyramid slope. I then beveled the edges of these so they would fit together better with another new toy, a benchtop belt sander. What would have taken me a fair while by hand and been difficult to be precise was done in just a couple minutes with nice precision with the sander. Smile

Once everything was made, I taped the pieces together to check the fit.

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I then tacked everything together with hot glue.

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Even this small line of hot glue gave the roof a reasonable level of rigidity, but I needed everything to be rock solid. So, I cut three differently sized squares of 1/8 inch plywood to act as internal braces. After beveling their edges, I glued them in place with generous amounts of hot glue starting with the smallest.

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Now everything is nice and rigid. Smile

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Next up, finishing the support walls. After that, we can finally get to decorating! Smile

Good luck and happy building everyone!


RE: Pyramid Power - NO PEEKING players! You know who you are. :) - ableman33 - 06-17-2016

To support the roof physically and visually, I filled in the rest of the space around the inner support wall with extruded polystyrene foam. After trimming it to size, I taped strips of heavy card around the perimeter to serve as a guide for beveling the edge to match the 1:1 slope of my pyramid (hotwires won't cut cardboard or wood).

Once the foam was all set, I melted in some holes and hot glued some ceramic magnets into the beveled tops. These will help hold on the roof. I chose ceramic magnets because I didn't want them to be so strong that they would rip themselves out of the foam when the roof was removed.

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To make sure the magnets set flush with the surface of the foam, I placed scraps of flashing over them as the hot glue cooled. The magnetic attraction kept the magnets perfectly aligned and in place.

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While the hot glue was cooling, I attached some strips of flashing to the underside of my roof.

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Everything went better than I expected. The magnets hold everything in place, but it is still easy to remove the roof.

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I had originally intended to fill in the 45-degree gap between the bottom edge of the roof and the side of the foam, but I've decided to keep it. It gives a nice grip for removing the roof. I'm sure I can incorporate the gap into my decorating.

Now to finalize statues, and start decorating surfaces. Smile

Good luck everyone, and happy building!


RE: Pyramid Power - NO PEEKING players! You know who you are. :) - ableman33 - 06-17-2016

I've selected my figures for my four smaller statues.

I tried to pick ones that captured either the spirit of the symbol or the element associated with it, all while finding miniatures that had an Egyptian deity feel. I also tried to pic miniatures that had a clear front to help the players know which way they are facing, though not all my choices made that cut.

For bases, I stuck with my LEGO Technic gears, though I did make two modifications. Ideally I would have used medium sized gears that closely matched the size of the miniature bases. Unfortunately, those gear rubbed a little bit against the nearby stairs. Rather that try to shave down the gear teeth (which are the whole point of using these Technic pieces), I made two layers of gears with a smaller one on bottom. I also sanded both gears flat with my belt grinder to keep things from getting too tall.

Here are all my statues ready to be primed in gold paint.

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And here are close-ups of Ka/Water. I chose this figure because it has two outstretched arms like the symbol does, and because it has an animal face.

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Here are close-ups of Ba/Air. I chose this figure because the symbol is of a human headed bird. This is close enough, and with it flying and this being the statue for air, it was too perfect a match to pass up. Smile

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Here are close-ups of Ib/Fire. I chose this figure because it's clearly pointing and is wearing Egyptian-ish robes.

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And here are close-ups of Ren/Earth. I was originally thinking of using some sort of anthropomorphic insect because it is found on some famous seals, but this just looked like an Egyptian deity royalty, so that worked for "name" which is what Ren means.

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These have all been hit with gold primer. I'll let them dry overnight, then see about hitting them with some black washes to tone them down and bring back out the detail.

For my middle "statue", my GM has requested a sarcophagus. It's REALLY hard to find a sarcophagus around 2 inches high/long. There are a lot of choices in the 4-6 inch range, and a bunch of jewelry bits in the 1 inch range, but precious little around the size I need.

I have found some promising pieces that I've ordered, but the best one won't arrive until the day the competition ends. Blush

This may end up being a photo finish, literally, with me trying to take and post pictures just before the deadline.

Here's hoping everything times out right. Smile

Happy building everyone and good luck!


RE: Pyramid Power - NO PEEKING players! You know who you are. :) - OrientDM - 06-17-2016

Ableman said:
And here are close-ups of Ren/Earth. I was originally thinking of using some sort of anthropomorphic insect because it is found on some famous seals, but this just looked like an Egyptian deity royalty, so that worked for "name" which is what Ren means

Also, the snakes/lizards of the desert are typically ground dwellers (of earth). Big Grin

I like the feel of how the extra elevation of the capstone makes it even more prominent.  

(Haven't seen any sarcophagi at Origins, although I have managed to get something like 32 miniatures to populate the Oriental/steampunk part of the world, a few elemental types, and two Egyptian "avatars"!)