I have a love/hate relationship with Worldworks Games. I love them because they make the most beautiful cardboard models on the market, but I hate them because their kits always reveal the shameful limits of my ability to make things with my hands. I once bought one of their kits, printed the whole thing out, and got so frustrated just reading the instructions that I boxed the whole thing up and shoved it to the back of a shelf.

Granted, that probably says more about my psychology than about their models. Most of the difficulty of making their stuff comes from the fact that so much of it is modular, so you must construct every piece with utter precision so that the doodad can fit neatly into the slot and the whatsis can swivel freely on the thingamajig. Unfortunately, when I feel that I have made a part of a paper model “precisely,” it usually means that I managed not to glue the X-acto to my face in the process.

It was therefore with a bit of trepidation that I bought the Roll Arena. I LOVE this kit–it’s a little dice-rolling table with awesome divided drawers underneath that hold cards. I could certainly see a GM using it for his dice and, say, a critical hit deck. It gets better, though: the bottom of the rolling surface has several interchangeable inserts, all of which are divided differently and decorated with unique imagery, and the kit comes with blank cards that correspond to the imagery on the inserts so you can create your own dice games. The piece’s rather Warhammery look and its Unblinking Eye-esque insert pushed it from the “that’s cool” category over into “I’ll buy” for me.

I spent a couple of hours on it this morning, but didn’t complete it yet because work I’m actually paid to do got in the way. I’ll save the rest of the construction for another day when I have less work to do. Suffice it to say that like all WWG products, this kit presents a challenge, but it doesn’t seem insurmountable.

Here are some pictures of my process this morning. (Do head over to Worldworks Games to see the results of a competent model-maker building this.)

Setting my stuff out neatly (ie, throwing everything on the table in such a disorderly fashion that Tzeentch himself would be proud):

Feel the imprecision (and the cat fur!):

The structure of the top partially completed:

I may actually end up printing and redoing this part of the model again now that I know how it works. As you can see, though, it’s decorated with lovely graphics. I’ll let you know how it goes as I finish it up–and of course, I’ll be completely truthful about gluing my hand to the floor or whatever mishap will inevitably happen.