…forest for the trees…

It may not look like much but a lot of work went into these three pieces in order to get them just the way I want them.

First up, the large Toyvian tree from Amazon. At 12 Euros it seems both expensive and not expensive, depending on your frame of reference.

Like the three small Toyvian trees I worked on before, I had to put this tree in hot water and reshape the branches.

Then I put modeling putty in the base to give it some hefty stability.

The painting, while not difficult was time consuming as I waited for each stage to dry.

As you can see it is pretty big and I am really pleased with how it came out. Mrs. GG likes it as well which is a nice bonus!

Next up, one of the Dwarven Forge Dreadhollow Forest tiles.

This is a factory painted piece that I “product improved” with my own touches. I tried to add a lot more variety in the colors to add a deeper sense of texture. I am less concerned about it being too busy than I used to be.

And here is the second tile. It always amazes me how many details are hidden away under the factory paint. A snake, a tortoise and a large beetle have been painted by me on this. Only the snake had been painted different from the base green foliage. I changed the snake from bright green to brown. I made a few subtle changes to things like some flower colors and the vines. I also picked out more stones in grey that had originally been painted green.

Archon Studios has had their Dungeons & Lasers 3 (Woodhaven) go live. You have just under two weeks to get involved if you fancy it.

There is a lot to love with the figures and stretch goal accessories. Unfortunately it seems the buildings have not been developed as much as we expected. We have been very surprised to hear they had not intended to make doors to match the new building designs. We have reached out to them to say just how big a mistake this is, especially the door scandal of the second KS.

It feels to us like Archon just changed the focus of the Kickstarter away from the buildings. Only one roof style. No new doors. No amazing build design examples, just some lackluster computer graphics that fail to capture the magic of the original concept art.

If you are backing, and want to support the idea of new doors to match the new room styles, please voice that on the KS comments. They have reacted to customer requests in the past but we need to make some noise.

We have been trying to think of creative ways to integrate the D&L pieces with our other terrain.

It has been challenging trying to ensure all of our different pieces work together. Mrs. GG spent some time just putting a table together to see how it might look.

One of the things that I have grown more interested in after we originally pledged for Hagglethorn Hollow is playable interior space. Hagglethorn buildings have some, but not a lot of, room inside some of the floors.

I was asked if I could show my work and hobby spaces. While I have covered this briefly in the past I am happy to show folks how it looks lately.

A hallway was transformed into one of our hobby spaces by my wife. Mrs. GG is really quite good at DIY construction. Things look more cluttered than I really like but I have been busy and space is limited.

As you can see there are two work stations. Mine is the one with the comfy chair. I am spoiled rotten by Mrs. GG, no doubt about it. Does it look like a lot of paints? Every time we think we have enough paints we find there is a certain shade we need that we do not have. Yes, I know we could mix our own but I like the consistency that “right out of the bottle” offers.

We use home made wet palettes and model holders. There is DIY house paint in the jars, which we use for terrain generally rather than on minis. Most of our figure paint is Army Painter but we do use some Vallejo and Citadel.

My good brushes are kept horizontal in that rack. My “work” brushes are stored vertical into that cup. I try to keep supplies within easy reach.

If you think that is a lot of figures on those shelves (just over 500), there are more in the drawers under the desk. And even more in boxes around the room that have not been assembled yet.




…. above you can see that some of the figures I have won in auctions on eBay have arrived already painted. They just need some “product improvement” to be ready for our table.

… and..

…. everywhere you look, another project waiting to be finished…

…. we have put to use a number of things that were not originally intended for such duty but get the job done….

…. so many great figures to get to….

Things have started to spill out from the hallway…. purely for display purposes! I consider this my motivation vitrine. Every time I walk past it I feel a surge of positive sentiment towards our gaming hobby.

Moving out of the house and into our barn, our main hobby room waits. It is part guest bedroom, part sewing room and part tabletop gaming room.

It is very much a work in progress.

The big IKEA Billy cabinets work well for terrain but I prefer the wall hanging vitrines for figures.

Now you may be wondering, just how do they afford all that? We are fortunate to have a decent income but also, we work hard to always look for a savings. We try to buy used rather than new. We repair things. We get lucky, like with this auction….

Forty four 28mm resin figures from TT Combat won for 1 Euro plus 4.99 postage. The funny thing with these “Desert Elves, Halflings and Naga” is that twice before I was tempted by them in Kickstarters but both times we had to pass on them for financial reasons. I think they are an interesting niche design that will work well for our Tarnished Splendor project.

In other news, Shadow and Bone continues to deliver. Mrs. GG is now really enjoying it as well. Let’s hope the season ends as well as it has been so far at the halfway point.

My next Doppleganger photo….

… if you made it this far, thank you for your time! Time is one of the most precious of commodities. We all only have so much of it. The older I get the more I realize that, so thank you!

Questions, comments, feedback and opinions are all welcome!


  1. Another nice post and always good to see how others have chosen to organize their collections and workspaces. I know I have a desk to work on (but it is usually always covered, So use the game time right next to it for current ongoing projects, since those often take a lot of room at once when painting larger sets (some shots can be seen on the DF forums)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I really like the tall tree, well worth the time and money put into it!
    The use of spools to hold models while painting is an idea I might steal, of course I think my wife has gotten rid of her wooden spools by now.
    Mrs. GG really has an eye for putting tables together. I think I might have mentioned that one on the first times I replied to your blog, the terrain makes sense vs just thrown ramshackle onto the table. New cover for your table? Not the usual green.
    Watched the first episode of Shadow and Bone, I enjoyed it more than my wife and will continue, it had me when the group were cartographers!
    Followed with interest your thread on LA about ethics and morality in gaming, made me go back and look at several rule books and scenarios in a new light. I think Battle Companies might be the easiest to incorporate those ideas, as those scenarios usually aren’t to the death but to a breaking point. Will need to look into that aspect of gaming more closely.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks mate!

      I have two of the medium sized Toyvian (called Sobor on Amazon for some reason but look just like Toyvian) trees to do next.

      Mrs. GG is better at putting tables together than me… and she has more fun doing it! That is why she loves the modularity of Dwarven Forge.

      The mat is the Deep Cut savanna mat. We got it for arid region gaming. Mrs. GG wanted to see how the colors worked with the Hagglethorn Hollow predominantly brown tone. I want to add more gray tones but she is a bit hesitant.

      Yeah, we finished Shadow and Bone last night. It was great. The idea to have a cartographer unit is a brilliant role play group concept. Lots of the show looked like it would role play well.

      The morality in gaming discussion certainly drew more interest than I expected and we have only scratched the surface of the topic.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. With all of the new tree products coming out now I think at some stage I am going to have to upgrade. Your ,look really great. As most of what I play now is small scale skirmish on 6X4, 4X4, or 3X3 I only need a half dozen or so. Hmmmm so many project ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are a lot of options, depending on what aesthetic you want. You may have to Wade through some disappointing products to find the gems but it is worth it.


  4. Fantastic to see how the vision is really beginning to come together. Great test build, Mrs GG!

    Very inspiring and encouraging to see your workspace. I have the challenge of a non-rpg-playing partner (fortunately he loves boardgames) so most of my collection is out of sight behind the plain white doors of our Ikea Besta cabinets. But I do have my craft worktable and am bringing that up to 3 HobbyZone modules in height with the space on the top for works in progress. Really need to weed out more old cupboard items before DF Wildlands ships so I have room for more terrain. 😄

    Those wooden spools as mini holders for painting are great. I use the tall empty pill bottles from my immunosuppressants. I take 5 tablets a day so I have PLENTY of those. 🤣

    I have that same lovely set of children with the woman carrying one child and holding the hand of another in my to-paint section. Never going to run out of projects!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Really nice work on the forest, mate. I’d say that was time well spent! The amount of terrain you have now is truly jaw-dropping! But then you followed it up with your workspace and hobby storage. If you saw how modest my collection and hobby desk is currently, it might make you blush!

    Just out of curiosity, how far away are you from getting some more games in? It seems like it has been quite a while since your last game so I commend you for all of the terrain making you’ve been doing since then. I couldn’t do it as I find I can only work on terrain here and there before I get tired of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks again for the supportive comments mate.

      If you think we have a lot of terrain now… wait until our Dwarven Forge Wildlands Kickstarter pledge arrives (currently estimated for late this year). I am very aware of how fortunate we are to have this much space. But then I have lived in Army barracks, one room bedsits and a 27′ gaff rigged cutter…. So I know how to truly appreciate living space!

      Game time has been difficult with the lockdown and my son not being in school. If the Covid numbers keep improving locally he should be able to go back to school on Monday. If he does, Mrs. GG is considering taking a couple of days off work so we can get some gaming time in while he is at school. By the time we get him to bed at night we are both generally too tired to game… and I have not yet set anything up to solo game… not when I have so much to do getting things ready to game with Mrs. GG.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. That’s one impressive set of hobby spaces you guys have got there. You’re both lucky to have the interest in common, which is seemingly quite rare. Seeing your keen interest in terrain, both here and on Dakka, I would suggest that a filament 3d printer might be in your near future? Overall it’ll give you the option for “unlimited” terrain (well, limited by space moreso than $$) but certainly the ability to crank out whatever it is you prefer at the time, whether it be dungeon tiles, modular and/or internally detailed buildings, or whatever else in terms of terrain. I’m looking at getting one myself, limited only by space (to put it), er… space (to put the printed goods) and finally… space (for the final painted product).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment Azreal, it means a lot to me to hear what people think.

      Several people have recommended 3d printing to us and we have researched getting into it. It is a pretty extensive branch of the tabletop gaming hobby with some interesting potential but it also has its own issues. It is a yet another set of skills to develop, from software to hardware as well as raw material handling.

      We have also gotten various pieces printed by others but been disappointed with print lines. Sometimes we can work with print lines, we have a tree and a couple of boats where the lines appear almost as natural artifacts of the wood.

      Perhaps a day will come when we get into 3d printing but it is not this day.


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