22
Oct

Silverbeam Creations Review

For my last birthday, my favorite (only) sister gave me a monthly subscription for roleplaying goodies in a box from Silverbeam Creations. It’s a small company run by one dedicated game-lady named Eileen Bowen who has a passion for 3D printing, miniatures, and all things geeky. Here’s a short interview from the Pinshape blog about her. Silverbeam has sent me piles of gaming accessories over the past several months and we’re going to take a look at a sample.

 

TINY TOY TREASURES

Feast your eyes on this spread! This isn’t even all of it, as some of the components are currently deeply embedded in my game bag, ready for play. Oh, and did I mention that this represents about half a year of the Game Master Pack by itself? There’s also a Player Pack option which contains more dice, props, and minis, or you can get a Combo Package with bits of both. Let’s review what we see.

In the back, there’s a handful of small, label-less maps on thick paper which would be suitable for crumpling, scroll-rolling, and/or inking to your table’s needs. Above them are initiative tracker tabs that would fit well on a GM screen. On the upper right we have the box content lists and mini newsletters that explain the theme of the month, the items in the boxes, and special instructions for components like LED lights or reversible terrain props.

Center left: handy healing potion counters on a key-chain with what dice and modifiers you roll for each, as well as a little pouch with red d4’s and a brass cage for publicly shaming a single, misbehaving die. Following along the center to the right are colored banner markers that stand about one inch tall, an invisible cloak miniature to represent ghosts or other vanished characters, a pair of secret-compartment columns with handy torch sconces on the back – perfect for puzzles, and a snap-together floor-tile and archway – part of a series of plastic, modular dungeon tiles. The boat on the right came with oars and a stack of boxes and barrels for dockside and ship scenes. On the edges of the picture, you’ll also notice a sturdy tree and some bushes. These have been designed with perfectly flat bottoms for ease of use on the game table.

Zooming in to the center, we find a yellow, flaming sword charm that could either dress up the game table or be used as cosplay jewelry. Little pedestals have swappable components to customize the look – a crystal ball or a red LED light can be placed inside. The glowing green sphere on the black tile also has a light-up LED ball in the center which cycles through various colors and can be used for a number of different special effects. The furniture collection here consists of bookcases, thrones, benches, side tables, a main table, a bed, assorted jars, containers, and other adornments – I’ve left them unpainted so you can see what you would get in a box, but they’re very well made for a 3D print and it would not take much more than a quick hit from sandpaper and a touch of primer to get them ready for the brush.

Here’s my personal favorite – the treasure horde! On the left side are actual, double-terminated and needle-like quartz crystals (they’re heavier than they look). The flat, glittery pile is a map marker for piles of gold coins and she’s included an extra bag of loose coin glitter so you can make your own caches of cash. It’s hard to tell from my poor photography, but there’s also itsy-bitsy little gemstones in that bag in assorted colors. Translucent dragon eggs are ready for paint and the pièce de résistance: the articulated, wingless, black dragon! Yes, all those little spine joints move. It’s one of the best 3D prints I’ve ever handled and I can’t figure out how she did it. It’s my most-prized monster in a collection of many minis.

PRACTICALLY PERFECT IN EVERY WAY

The Game Master and Player Packs arrive monthly in 4-inch by 4-inch by 6-inch brown cardboard boxes that are small enough to fit in a standard mailbox. They contain a double-handful of themed goodies, a content-list with a newsletter on the back, and usually a map or other piece of artwork on good-quality paper. Tiny pieces are always enclosed in small, zip-top baggies and packing paper to avoid jostling. The 3D prints are extremely detailed and durable, both in the grade of material and in the design – she doesn’t build items with little bits that can break off easily. Smooth surfaces have only a slight line-texture from the print process that can be sanded flat with ease. Any remnant wisps of plastic, of which there are few, can be removed by rubbing your thumb against the item.

Silverbeam Creations monthly subscription boxes start at $12 per month for either the Player or Game Master box, or $24 for both in the U.S. You can prepay for several months at a time or up to a year and get a discount. Also, you can skip months as you need to. There’s usually a little preview of what’s coming up if you sign up for the email newsletter, but the full contents are always a surprise! The items are crafted with versatility in mind – imaginative gamers will be able to find multiple uses for everything. You can shop for individual products (or extras of things you like best) on the website, or on her Etsy store page. She also has a Shapeways shop where you’ll find some of her cosplay props and unique, ball-jointed dolls.

I love getting these boxes in the mail and growing my collection of game-table manipulatives. They’re small enough to avoid exorbitant shipping fees and their size makes storage simple. Everything is made with durability, playability, and customization in mind. I would need pliers and leverage to do damage to most of the prints. The terrain items are universal enough to be useful in many settings but specific enough to be recognizable on sight, even without paint.

Overall, I highly recommend Silverbeam Creations if you’re looking for a regular source of inspiring gambits. This is a good price for the quality and quantity of items, and she knows what tabletop gamers need. She’s also an endless font of creativity, as you will be able to tell from some of her social media pages:

So, keep Silverbeam Creations in mind for yourself or if you need a gift for a gamer in the near future. I’m going to buy it for myself as soon as my gifted sub runs out. Supporting creative artists who help our hobby makes the world a better place!

Award Winning!

Gold ENnie for Best Website 09'-11'


Silver ENnie for Best Website, Best Podcast 2012-2013
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