A Frugal GM is always on the lookout for ideas and products that will help with running a game. When not running events or hanging out with friends I scoured the dealer's hall looking for the next thing I could try. One booth I visited a couple of times was the Acheson Creations booth towards the back of the hall.
Asheson Creations hit my radar last year at this same con and I bought a small handful of items thinking I was getting a better-than-normal good deal (more into that later). Craig Acheson, the owner, had a booth of resin models. There were an assortment of buildings, embankments, and terrain pieces ranging from ancient to futuristic. Available both in ready-to-paint and unpainted, these resin pieces were available at a good price.
I simply love the pre-painted terrain pieces from the likes of Dwarven Forge and Miniature Building Authority, but they can be extremely expensive. If money was no object...well, I doubt you'd be visiting www.frugalgm.com. The models from Asheson Creations aren't as highly detailed as some of their competitors models, but they are pretty good and much more reasonably priced.
The real bang-for-the buck comes from accessories. There are a lot of options for larger buildings and terrain pieces, some of which have been or will be reviewed by the Frugal GM. When it comes to the smaller accessories however, you are usually stuck with building them from scratch. There are some great items available for sale.....for a pretty price.
Last year, when I first noticed Acheson Creations, there were a couple bins of small accessory items priced from 50 cents to $4.00. I scooped up a number of small items that were either 50 cents or a buck each:
This stone lined campfire
A row of barrels
I know I bought more stuff, but it has gone MIA. This year Craig had the same bins and got even more of these small accessories, mostly at 50 cents per piece.
The top-coat I used wasn't listed as being satin or glossy, but it came out glossy. Normally you can go over the figures again with a satin spray and that will take the edge off. A couple of additional sprays later and all these pieces now have a good eight coats...and a bit of shine still. Eight coats is already a bit much, so they will have to be used as-is.
Remember earlier in this post where I stated I thought I was getting a special deal buying all these pieces at the con? I didn't get any special deal at all. These pieces are normally priced inexpensively. For fifty cents a piece you can't go wrong. If you wanted to build these things from scratch you could, but I doubt you'd find the raw materials for this price. If you factor in just the time it would take to gather the raw materials, much less put them together, buying these pieces direct from Acheson Creations is a no-brainer.
There is a $20 minimum order for online purchases, which isn't hard to do with so many great items for sale. If I get any birthday money this year I already know where some of it is being spent.....
Most of these pieces I painted on this go around were shipped off to a friend. The postage cost almost as much as the pieces.