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Ancient Worlds $5.45
Publisher: Lord Zsezse Works
by Alastair M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2013 06:38:51

Temple, mausoleum, alien UFO garage, concealed entrance to a missile silo - the 3D centrepiece of this set could be any of those things, or far more, while its PDF layer options mean you could have three near-identical structures waiting for your adventurers in completely different parts of the world, each with a slightly different surface colouring and design. And each with an architecture that's not quite like the ancient buildings from any of those places. If that's not enough to worry them, maybe the monolithic door-slab, with its skull and curvilinear design will help!

Construction is straightforward, and the final models robust (I used 200 gsm/110 lb card for mine), though as always with card and paper kits, attention and care is needed in places. The designers have thoughtfully continued the surface colouring beyond the folds and edges so minor mistakes don't show as much, and the usual edging with a felt pen will hide any white fold lines once the glue has set. My one small gripe would be the dashed black "fold here" markings are sometimes a little too obvious on the finished objects. Oh, and you might want to think about adding some weight to the inside of the door-slab before gluing it up, as it's free-standing if you want to leave it able to open, so is prone to on-table breezes. No such problem with the slide-off roof though.

The complete set includes four PDF pages of detailed 2D surface mats, layered to match the kits, again beautifully designed, and with an optional square grid that can be toggled on or off before printing. Each of the full mat sets is available without a grid as a single 200 dpi poster-sized JPEG image additionally.

Having placed your main structure in its tabletop landscape, you can then add from a selection of eight different columns and two arch-tops, all available in each of the three matching formats, to increase the hinted-at size of the original complex, providing cover and concealment as well. The columns have separate bases and tops, adding to the potential for variation, and come in three fully intact and upright forms (though one has nailed-on metal patches over some damaged areas), all of which will support the arches, three angled and partly buried/sunken ones, and two broken styles, one with a rounded-off top that looks tricky to build on the printed sheet, but which largely slides together on its own once scored and cut.

Customization is very practical. Simple changes, such as placing the door-slab inside the building rather than outside as shown on the photos (to really irritate your party, why not add two, one outside, one in!), or using one or more pieces printed out using a different layer colouring, need little effort. However, there are plenty of other ideas to explore. For example, one of the two alternative building bases has a 2D printed staircase leading down in the middle of the floor. This could be easily cut out and recessed below floor level (assuming you use thick card or foamboard to mount the base upon), with a new stone "trapdoor" covering the hole cut out from the other building base. As a temple, an idol of your choice could be added inside, but why not use that round-topped broken column instead? Some of its surface markings could look like an eye, and ancient temples from the real-world Classical Mediterranean civilizations actually used stones as idols in places, some perhaps originally meteorites. Plus with other matching colour scheme models available in the Lord Zsezse Ancient Worlds range, such options expand still further.

However, make the most of this kit too, and don't think it's "just" that temple building!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Ancient Worlds
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