Any views expressed within media held on this service are those of the contributors, should not be taken as approved or endorsed by the University, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University in respect of any particular issue.

The Gradara Model Gaming Project

The Gradara Model Gaming Project

Creating a playable diorama of the fortified town of Gradara for 28mm-wargaming, role-playing gaming, or any other kind of gaming


We are producing and populating a playable physical diorama of the fortified town of Gradara as it looked in the fifteenth century. It is meant for historical but also fantasy or even sci-fi wargames and role-playing games, using 28mm figures. Other ideas are also welcome, as we welcome collaborations with game designers, companies, gamers and associations who wish to populate the model or use it for their games.

The project was inspired by gaming tables for wargames and role-playing games, as well as also by dioramas from museums and heritage sites. Frustratingly, museum dioramas are not usually interactive or touchable! Why not playing with them! That is what we are going to do with our diorama, the interior of whose buildings will be playable too!

We selected the 15th-century because it was the heyday of Gradara, when its fortifications took the shape they they mostly maintain to this day, and when several impactful historical events took place, from the pillage of 1421 and the siege of 1446, as well as a brief coup in 1481, among others.

There were certainly changes to the buildings in the intervening centuries, and especially in the houses inside the walls, most of the current ones not being medieval structures. You can partially see that by comparing current images to the 16th-century painting by Francesco Mingucci.

However, our project is working with academics from the Universities of Edinburgh and Urbino in order to produce as diorama that combine historical accuracy with playability.

The model will be roughly 3×4 meters big. but it will be modular in order to make every part of the model reachable by players.

The current estimated completion date for the diorama is the end of 2023, and we plan to organise an inaugural event in Spring 2024.


A Brief History of Gradara:



Gradara is placed in the Marche region, at the border with Romagna, between Pesaro and Rimini. The castle started with just the current south-eastern keep in the twelfth century and was gradually expanded in the course of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The Malatesta family acquired it towards the end of the thirteenth century and kept it until the late fifteenth century, when it first passed to the Sforza, then briefly to the Borgias (including a visit by Lucrezia Borgia), and the Della Rovere. In the sixteenth century papal administration took over until the unification of Italy in the nineteenth century.


Below you can find the coat of arms of some of the lords who ruled Gradara from the late Middle Ages to the early modern period.







1 reply to “Welcome!”

  1. Hi, this is a comment.
    To get started with moderating, editing, and deleting comments, please visit the Comments screen in the dashboard.
    Commenter avatars come from Gravatar.

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Report this page

To report inappropriate content on this page, please use the form below. Upon receiving your report, we will be in touch as per the Take Down Policy of the service.

Please note that personal data collected through this form is used and stored for the purposes of processing this report and communication with you.

If you are unable to report a concern about content via this form please contact the Service Owner.

Please enter an email address you wish to be contacted on. Please describe the unacceptable content in sufficient detail to allow us to locate it, and why you consider it to be unacceptable.
By submitting this report, you accept that it is accurate and that fraudulent or nuisance complaints may result in action by the University.