Dragonchess boards:  feedback wanted
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:32 pm 
 

My wife has just finished a first run at making Dragonchess boards out of fused glass.  I'd like to get some feedback on how this prototype turned out.

This is the earth level board.  It's built according to the specifications laid out by Gary Gygax in Dragon #100.  The board is made of 101 individual pieces of glass:  96 colored pieces cut to 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 inch squares, 4 clear border pieces, and a single clear base piece on which the others are laid.  The dimensions of the board are 15" x 21", with the playing surface measuring 12" x 18".  Those are 25mm Grenadier fighting men on the board.  After the pieces are cut, assembled, and laid out, they are fused in a glass kiln in a process that takes about 8 hours to complete.  

The surface is smooth after the pieces fuse together.  The edges are straight and even - the curvature that appears in the straight-down shot is due to my camera lens.  As opposed to the stained glass approach, glass fusing eliminates the lead border or gutter that would otherwise hold the pieces together.  There are some bubble-like irregularities on the back of the board (they resemble water droplets in the photo of the board against the window) that will be ground down.

The board is 6mm thick, and weighs about 4 pounds.  It's amazingly sturdy and robust.  

We're working on the other two boards to complete a set, and will try to get it up on ebay within the next couple of weeks or so.

Any feedback - positive or negative - would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,
Stephen

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 1:47 pm 
 

Actually I don't know the documentation you are referring to, but from a purely aesthetical point of view, this seems a very good and interesting work.

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 3:32 pm 
 

hey stephen

i think that it looks great chummer!

definately a cool way of doing things and i am sure there will be plenty of demand.

Al



  


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 4:28 pm 
 

Very very nice!  

To see the fusing of the board better, can you include some close ups of the side of the board (to see thickness), as well as some closeups of the squares, to see what they look like?

How much would your wife charge to build a set vs. going through eBay, Stephen?  

My wife and I commissioned a local artist to craft a stained-glass window for my parents' shore house for Christmas:  it's my father's Hobie catamaran at the NJ shore :D


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 5:58 pm 
 

Isn't this a non-standard chess board?  It looks too long.  Special rules?


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 5:59 pm 
 

Stephen, I think that board is wicked cool. :wink:   I especially like the red & green coloration for the squares, it is very well done.  I think that if you sell that on EBay, or privately you will do very well. :)


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 6:01 pm 
 

I like the basic design.  I think blue and gold would be better, or red and black or other color combinations.   8)


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 6:40 pm 
 

Thanks for the feedback, guys.  

I forgot to mention that this board is amber and green.  I guess the colors don't show up that well in the pics.

Gro, my wife wants to put it up on ebay for the exposure.  She's pretty excited to see what happens.  

I'll be posting more pics as the project progresses.  Thanks for looking!

  

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 6:43 pm 
 

afoolandhis$ wrote:Thanks for the feedback, guys.

I forgot to mention that this board is amber and green. I guess the colors don't show up that well in the pics.

Gro, my wife wants to put it up on ebay for the exposure. She's pretty excited to see what happens.

I'll be posting more pics as the project progresses. Thanks for looking!


so right guys, each of us has to hit the page 50 times :)



  


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:42 pm 
 

More pics, showing closeups of the edge and the squares.  You can't see the fusion of the glass, because after fusing it all becomes one piece.  Note how the colored squares look almost painted on, but in fact they're melded together.  I intend to get some shots of the next board in the making.

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When the complete set goes up on ebay, we'll be setting the reserve at between $150 and $200.  The stained-glass set that sold some months ago went for $300.  My wife tells me (and I have good reason to believe her!) that this is superior to a stained-glass board because it is inherently stronger and more stable due to the fact that it has no joints or glue/solder/came holding it together.  This is especially important in the horizontal plane.  She's setting the reserve in that range because she thinks it's a fair price.  Believe me, this would be a very nice piece of handiwork to own, if you're into Dragonchess.

One thing we've been pondering:  we'd like to build the stative to hold the three boards stacked one upon the other as their meant to stand. We're thinking of thin metal rods at the corners of the boards. However, this will increase the labor considerably.  Does anyone have opinions on whether that would increase the value of the set?

Many thanks,
Stephen

  


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 7:32 am 
 

MShipley88 wrote:Isn't this a non-standard chess board? It looks too long. Special rules?


Mark, the rules for DragonChess were published in Dragon 100 as a companion to Gygax's first published Gord story, "At Midnight Blackcat Comes" and they were also published on the WotC site for awhile too; I'm working on getting the file hosted at Canonfire!, but in the meanwhile you can download it at http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Rampart/3956/dchess.txt

This article basically reprints the rules from Dragon 100 and adds some additional pieces of lore about DragonChess in the World of Greyhawk; the additions were done by Roger E. Moore.


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 7:38 am 
 

afoolandhis$ wrote:One thing we've been pondering: we'd like to build the stative to hold the three boards stacked one upon the other as their meant to stand. We're thinking of thin metal rods at the corners of the boards. However, this will increase the labor considerably. Does anyone have opinions on whether that would increase the value of the set?


I think the stative (a word I'm not familiar with, is this a stained-glass-working term?)  would definitely add to the value of the boards, since you could play the game as-is using the set (I'd also include a copy of Dragon 100 in the lot, as well as the follow-on issue a few issues later with additions/corrections/etc.).


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Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2006 1:24 am 
 

This strand has made me wonder where the chess set I painted for GenCon 2001 has gone.  

    I put miniatures atop stacked checkers (stacked higher for more powerful pieces) and glued them together with coins in between to make them feel heavy.  When painted with metalic black acrylics the bases looked like they were metal and people who passed our booth really liked them.

   I think I gave the set to our company president, who had footed the bill for the miniatures.  I had better find out where he put them before they go the way of so many other game materials.   :?

Mark


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 11:32 am 
 

Here is the underworld board, in red and brown as suggested by Gygax.

Plus, a couple of pics showing how the pieces are assembled prior to kiln fusing.

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 5:55 pm 
 

The final (sky-level) board is in the kiln, and we're planning to put up the whole set on ebay this weekend.  I'll post it in the Classifieds when it goes up.  We're very excited to see what happens!

Many thanks to those who posted feedback.  My wife was quite surprised to see there actually is some interest in this thing.

-Stephen

  


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:44 pm 
 

They look great, Stephen.  I can't wait for them to arrive ;) :D


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:49 pm 
 

grodog wrote:They look great, Stephen. I can't wait for them to arrive ;) :D


Yes, I was taking an interest in the bidding, Allan!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 8758092558

  


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Post Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:52 am 
 

grodog wrote:They look great, Stephen. I can't wait for them to arrive ;) :D


Thanks for the bids, guys.  My wife can't believe it.

Allan, you're more than half-way to the reserve!   :D

  


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Post Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:12 pm 
 

LOL.  We'll see if my wife let's me go the other half of the way, Stephen ;)


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Post Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:07 pm 
 

Has anyone put together a set of this at all?

At the moment I'm looking for a list of what people think they should use for the pieces? I remember that in a issue not long after #100 (maybe a couple of issues I think) people talked about what pieces they would use for what... (102, 103??) I remember I bought a lot of pieces direct from ? (if someone find the article its the manfacturer of the unicorn) as a special order.... I've always wanted to put one of these sets together, I even drew a sketch of my "dream" board.. something I think that could only be made in a place like Thailand from a wood carver there...

Brette:)


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