Saturday, 24 June 2017

Warbases Silo/Dice Tower

A recent episode of the Meeples and Miniatures podcast mentioned a new range of sci-fi buildings in 15mm from Warbases ( Of particular interest was a silo that doubles as a dice tower. I'd been thinking about terrain that could be used to keep dice rolls 'tidy' on a cluttered gaming table, so after a quick look at the photos on the Warbases Twitter feed, I sent them a quick email to see if they'd send me one and bill me. (The new range isn't going live until the new website goes live in July.)

The model is a miniature architectural wonder and the pieces fit  together very snugly. I've made a few mdf kits already, and it was relatively simple to work out how it all goes together. There will be a pdf available when the kit goes live, but I thought I'd take photos at each stage to illustrate the process. There are a few moments when you need to build things in the right order or orientation.

With the weather almost reaching 30 degrees, it was just too hot to paint. Thankfully, that's ideal weather to  seal mdf and apply a few layers of paint, and still have it dry to allow me to assemble the kit from scratch in one evening!

A single coat of silver paint to the parts that will be metallic, and a couple of coats of matt varnish to seal the mdf were applied as shown in the first two photos. I picked up the matt varnish trick from Christine Rigby on the 15mm sci-fi Facebook group. Hopefully it will prevent the mdf from sucking up the paint.

The parts in the next picture will form the body of the dice rolling tower. I painted the sides that will form the interior with a dark brown craft paint. It took pretty well, so the varnish trick seems to work!

First assembly involves attaching the swinging door where the dice emerge. This comes attached to the body of the tower and needs to be pushed out. I also gave it a light sanding around the edge to make sure it swings freely. Two tiny little hinge pieces (that it turns out didn't need to be painted silver!) are placed around the protrusions at the top of the door and then slot into the wall from behind. Make sure you don't accidentally glue the door shut...

First proper piece of assembly involves gluing the two triangular pieces that guide the dice to the door.

For the next stage, the assembling of the tower, it's helpful to arrange the pieces in the order they'll be assembled in the finished piece. Keep all the horizontal slots at the top and make sure the long edges of the sides are adjacent to the front face with the door.

The two dice baffles and the rim for the top of the tower are then glued into one wall and the front panel and the ther two sides are added before the glue has set so that it can be adjusted whilst fitting it all together.

 Whilst it's setting, the bottom piece can be fixed in place.

These are the pieces you'll need fr the dice collection tray.
The wider piece forms the bottom of the tray. Fit this piece to the struts first.

The lid of the tower with handle.

The outer cage is just as simple. Test fit the pieces first to make sure you have the right pieces for each level.

The rectangular piece with hexagonal edges can be glued around the rectangle marked on the base. This will keep the dice collection tray in place on the finished model.

When it comes to the top level, make sure it's the right way round. There are notches for the ladder that need to be aligned with those on the lower level.

The ladder and safety railings are in place. All that's left is to slide the tower into place.

I didn't glue the tower in position. It's a good snug fit and doesn't really need it, and i need to remove it so I can paint it all properly.



  1. Very nicely done, sounds great and realistic!

  2. Great work as usual mate.
    Very nice model
    Wonder what the cost would be ?
    Pity I just scratchbuilt one.
    Keep it up

  3. Thanks Gents!
    Z, they cost £15. I just emailed them and asked if they'd send one and invoice me.

  4. Did you glue the dice collection tray to the base or leave it loose?

    1. It's loose. It's a snug fit in the frame, so it's held securely.
      I've discovered that it works best with 12mm dice. 16mm dice are a little bit too big.