We who are about to die salute... ooh, are there any caramel barrels left?

I have been waffling on about this Gladiatorial arena with little explanation I fear.

Last year, a friend and I planned to make an amphitheatre for Warhammer Historical's new Gladiator rules which had real sand in it. Alas, real life got in the way for a while. But over Christmas I found myself drawn to containers of Celebrations and Roses - more so than usual! I thought these could potentially make a great portable arena, and contain the sand better than any black bin bag lined container I could make. Whilst it does limit us to the smaller end of the games, that was largely going to be the focus anyway.

I had a few notions for a slightly fancy version of this portable arena, but Colonel Scipio reminded me of the importance of simplicity, and I made some slight alterations and went back to an earlier iteration of the plan.


In the end, I selected the Roses tin, as it was the shallowest and allowed battle report photos to be taken more easily. First you will need to empty it, I find that family members are more than willing to help with this stage of construction.

However, it was still not shallow enough, so I took a left over cardboard box, of reasonable thickness, and cut out three circles to fit tightly inside. I would obviously recommend using a modelling knife, but as all of mine are in York (and I'm not) a pair of scissors had to suffice.

I placed the three card discs into the tin. There were a few small gaps due to the slightly butchering nature of the scissors, but as this was only a prototype, I wasn't too fussed. The gaps on the second and third layers were plugged with Blu Tack - does the job nicely enough, but if available, modelling putty is preferable. Even better, take your time and use a modelling knife

Next, was to try out the real sand, as I wanted to see how much would be required. The sand was "Chinchilla Sand" (1.6KG of it) picked up for £2 from the local pet shop. I placed in a couple of 2ps to ensure the sand was roughly the right height for miniature bases and poured the sand in, with a little extra for good measure. It's not entirely clear on this low quality picture that there's sand in there, but there is :P The 2ps could be easily placed on top without sinking, and I suspect will work better with miniatures attached...

That's it so far, the next stage is to decorate the interior (emptying the sand back into the bag first), covering it with a textured paper and adding doors and gateways for the Gladiators and beasts to make their entrance. Once that is finished, the arena seating will be made to go around the edge of the tin (not attached).



  1. Looking good, I take it the models are here? Ha noone will ever by GW sand for £40 a grain any more....

  2. I got an email from Foundry to say they'd shipped last night, so hoepfully the models will arrive tomorrow

  3. But the GW sand is superb stuff, each grain is individually designed by a CAD engineer...

  4. Or you could pay £80 and get a resin, hand-sculpted Forgeworld one...


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