In late 2005, Klaus Teuber gave me one of the beautiful Catan 3D Collector’s Editions. During the following years, this fascinating work of art inspired me to create my own add-ons.
It all started quite innocently when I modeled a volcano as an April Fool’s joke in 2006. I got hooked, and – suggested by the soccer world championship that had taken place in Germany in 2006 – the next thing in line was a soccer field for the permanent champion of Catan, the soccer club Catania Elasund.
This was quickly followed by the gold river, where gold-hungry adventurers could dig for gold. Then the river grew longer and became the great river that opens into the Catanian delta.
Soon the island was too small for all the ideas that came up, so I had no choice but to give the seafarers a chance too.
For the ships I used the German 2003 edition of the Seafarers Expansion with plastic game pieces. I painted the ships with acrylic, giving them a dark brown hull and individual coats of arms on their square sails. The motifs for the coats of arms were partly borrowed from the Catan Card Game – for example, the mill of the Catanian Merchant Guild and the sun of the event “Year of Plenty.” Since that time, my favorite soccer club’s coat of arms embellishes the sails of the players with green game pieces.
Modeling the citadel hex required the most work. With this hex, introduced in The Settlers of Catan – Buch Zum Spielen and the “Atlantis” expansion (both in German), the wizards had found their way into the board game. A lot of Catanian filigree work was involved here. For the drawbridge it was necessary to drill 0.5 mm holes through the tips of toothpicks, which was quite a problem, because there are no drill chucks for drillbits that small. Players who settle adjacent to this hex receive a Development Card or a Progress Card if they roll a “7″ via a combination of the die roll numbers 1 and 6.
When the Traders & Barbarians came to Catan in 2007, I started working on a 3D version of this expansion. Among other things, I wanted to make it possible for players to transport their goods to three-dimensional castles, glassworks, and marble quarries and provide them with colorful knights on mighty war horses to fend off the barbarians.
You can find a detailed description of the different scenarios with more images and crafting tips on my website www.redpiranha.de (in German).
In 2007, I dedicated myself to a new task: the Catanian Highlanders; this will be the topic of my next posting.
Dr. Reiner Düren