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Tag Archives: Dungeon crawl

Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: Modular Scooby-Doo-esque wooden stairs…

4 Jan

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Well, I hope that the new year is treating you all well, and that you enjoyed your festivities. I’m back with another Grim’s Dungeons of Doom article/tutorial this time dealing with some rickety old wooden stairs to connect your upper levels and platform risers to the rest of your other components we’ve already dealt with. Continue reading

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Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: Rising up, Easy level Riser tiles for your set up!

5 Dec

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Today’s Grim’s Dungeons of Doom tutorial is another dead easy one, level riser tiles to elevate your dungeon to a higher level! These simple to make tiles will add an extra dimension to your set ups, and will create much more options when making your set-ups.

All you’ll need for this structural addition to your dungeon set up is some cardboard boxes, cereal box card, other assorted discarded boxes, glue, textured wallpaper, lollypopsticks or other wooden type sticks (both optional), plus paint for undercoat and finishing. Continue reading

Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: Adventures in expanded foam, part 3; Cavern features

4 Oct

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Back again with the next part of Grim’s Dungeons of Doom, and more adventures in expanding foam, and how you can craft some decent scenics with this little used material.

OK, for part three, we are going to deal with cavern features, mainly hazard pools and stalagmites. I’ve opted here to create pieces that illustrate both at once, but there’s no reason you couldn’t do them independently if you wanted.

As ever, you’ll need your trusty expanding foam gap filler, some textured wallpaper, a few wooden sticks (skewers or toothpicks will do, use whatever you have) a sturdy base (MDF/Thick card/hardboard etc) and some sand for texture. Although you don’t need to go full throttle on the paint effects for the pools, you’ll need your usual acrylic paints, some inks, and some glass paint to achieve the finish on these.

A note on glass paints. Acrylic glass paint is a really useful paint type to have in your crafting arsenal. Think of it as a type of thick viscous ink or glaze. It dries glossy and clear, so you can achieve some decent effects with them. They mix down with water, ink, water based paints, so they are great to experiment with. I find them very hard to get hold of where I am (No decent craft shops anymore here) but they can be found on the web. My set currently I found at a cheap shop while on holiday, and since they were only £1, it was a great deal. Glass paints usually go for £2-£3 each so look out for them!

Right, first of all, get your textured wallpaper. The one I’m using is called Arundel I think, and it’s really great for simulating cobbles, bubbles and similar. I’ve used it before in the Walls tutorial, but its uses go way beyond just cladding stuff, here’s a look at the texture:

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This is what we’ll be using for the bubbling pools on the models. Next you’ll need to cut out a piece to stick on your base. make this any size you wish but leave some space around the edge to texturise your base and form the lip of the pool.

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When its stuck down, get out the foam filler and carefully lay down the filler around the pool,making sure you only go around the outside, leaving the textured paper alone.

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Next, spread the foam around and start to manipulate it with a wooden stick and spread it around to form interest and detail as we did before in part 1 and part 2. As you start to work it, you’ll notice that your stick will start to get bunged up with the drying foam, you’ll need this if you want to add stalagmites, so get them gunked up as you work the foam, gently adding more as you need it. As the foam dries, you’ll be able to shape it with your fingers, so shape the foam covered sticks into a rough point at one end, these will form the tips of the stalagmites. Make as many as you like of all sizes.

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As the foam dries, you can also cut sticks to size and position them into the piece. These sticks are then covered by adding more foam and covering them by the manipulation method. make sure you keep them upright as the foam dries otherwise they will set at odd angles.

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Separate foam stalagmites can be inserted into the piece easily by leaving a small peg on the foam covered wood and making a small hole in the foam. Glue them in using strong glue of your choosing.

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Add some texture by flocking with course sand or simliar, this will break up any smooth areas and create a more natural impression to the piece.

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After this, undercoat it black and start your cavern paint scheme on the foam areas only. Leave the pool, just paint the rest of the piece to match your other cavern terrain.

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Once you have done the basics on the foam areas, give the pool a good solid coat of bright yellow. For good coverage, you may want to do this 2 or 3 times to build up a good solid block colour as the base of the lava.

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Once it’s dried, start drybrushing over it with bright orange up to bright red as the base of the lava. Lightly drybrush the area around the edge too, this will give an eventual glow effect. Once they have dried, give the area a light drybrush of black as well, before moving onto the next step.

The effect here was achieved by firstly giving the lava pool a thick yellow wash to get the area wet enough for the glass paints to flow realistically through the channels of the texture detail. Use the combination of the thick viscous glass paints and acrylics to build up the appearance of runny lava flow, go yellow, then red, yellow, red until the layers look to your desired effect. Also take a toothpick and try and drag them into each other while drying to add even more detail. Keep adding layers until your satisfied. You may need to build up 5 or 6+ before you get the effect here. When totally dry, retouch the burnt black exposed areas, then seal in with a nice clear gloss.

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The green ooze effect is exactly the same technique, only using a combination of greens and yellows in ink, acrylic paint and green glass paint.

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There are lots of other results you can get from this technique, blood pools, sludge brown and so on, use your imagination!

It’s a great end look, that isn’t too hard to get, albeit a bit time consuming! It’s easier than one would think to get the effects, so give it a go!

So, I hope that this section of Dungeons of Doom has shown that Foam gap filler is indeed a great material to have in your craft supplies, and I’ll be featuring it in conjunction with other makes in the future. I know that there’s a few out there that have commented on how foam filler looks like what it is and that it could be a poor choice, but I disagree. Try experimenting with it to see what other uses it could fit, and you’ll be surprised if you think out of the box!

I’ll be back next time for more Dungeons of Doom…

Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: Adventures in expanded foam, part 2: Cavern Doorways and Corners

2 Oct

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Before I begin with this weeks Grim’s Dungeons of Doom article, I would say that it would have been sooner,rather than now, all down to SD formatting blues, and that I had to try and both find some lost pic files, and recreate a good few to make these next two parts! Many Bothan spies died to get you this article….!

Ok, last time we were talking about straight modular cavern walls, nothing fancy there,just the basics to transform expanding foam filler into a more valid terrain making material. This time we’ll be going a little more advanced (Still easy) and dealing with doorways and corner connector pieces for the cavern walls.

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Here we’ll tackle doorsways first I think, we are going to create a decently detailed empty arch to simulate a natural looking cavern opening.

Here’s where we’re aiming for;

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Right then, lets get started. Get some cardstock, scissors, thick card for the base, expanding foam.

Start by deciding on how big you want the cave doorway to be. You can make small ones, medium right up to huge cavern entrances this way, it’s totally up to you. I’ve gone for a large doorway here.

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Next you’ll need to cut it out. Also cut out a rough base using nice thick card. I’ve been using pages from baby/toddler books that my kids have grown out of. These thick card pages are similar in size to the thickness of cakeboard, Its a great material to seek out, try going to your local charity/thrift stores and looking in the book section, ours usually have tons going for less than 25p, so keep an eye out for them!

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Next cut a small line in equally on each side. Make sure you allow a little extra height when you cut out your doorway, as the cuts are made to provide a tab so you can stick the doorway down on the base before using the foam. Glue the doorway down centrally on the base, allowing a bit of room on each side also.

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Once the door is affixed, the foaming begins. Get your foam and carefully spray one side first.

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once the first side is done, carefully turn it round and cover the second.

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When the whole lot is covered, get stuck in there and move the stuff around as it starts to dry (as mentioned in the previous article) Use a disposable stick to manipulate the foam into interesting shapes, pop the bubbles as the foam expands and it’ll create pockets and texture in the foam. You can even stick things into it as it dries, this doorway got a skull bead at the top of each side. Get creative and get as crazy as you like, bones, heads, whatever you like. Make sure as it cures, to make it stand up right, keep your eye on it as if it dries bent or at an angle, you won’t be able to rectify it easily once its solid.

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Leave it to dry and cure fully (which doesn’t take long) and now trim the foam flat at each side to allow the cavern wall sections to be connected modular. Once you happy with the fit, you can flock them for texture with some sand of whatever you like before black undercoating and following up with your chosen cavern paint scheme and weather them up to match.

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After that, you have your very own cavern doorways. Nice and easy, make them any size. i have done these random sizes, you can however measure them to fit a particular size (as I’ve done my other smaller door sized entrances) Also, you could affix a chunky wooden door within the construction or even the mechanism for the opening door can be hidden inside a foam doorway structure if your careful, however it will be tricky to get the opening and closing right, but not impossible.

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CORNERS

Maybe this should have been done first, but no matter. To make the cavern wall sections work in a nice organic way and look, corner connector pieces were needed to obtain the shapes and curves such a cavern set up would need. The easiest way to tackle this for me, was to make a piece that would fit the other modular dungeon wall sections too, then I could create more deviations in a basic dungeon/cavern set up on the table.

These sections are easiest by taking either the corner of a box the same height (as in the cavern wall tutorial) or by making one the right size. Here I am using the box corner idea, but by cutting away some of a similar sized box to form one. Make sure the size of the corner matches up to the size of the walls or the pieces will look odd.

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As you can see here, I have a box of pretty much the same size of one of my other corner sections. I need my section to be a little bigger to create the curve, so I’ll cut down the middle leaving the back uncut. That will form the bend on the corner. Cut off the front too as in the pic.

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Fold it inwards and affix. Once glued, cut off the ends. Now you have a corner.

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Now, fill this corner with expanding foam. As before start manipulating the foam to interesting shapes. Try and keep a curve within the interior and not let the foam expand just to fill the gap totally, keep popping the foam bubbles to create interest.

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Once you achieve a curved cavity and it’s set, trim the sides with a sharp blade to fit against the other pieces. Also trim the top and bottom in wibbly organic shapes for more of a natural look.

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Here, you’ll see another take on a different piece. The structure on the left of the corner is made from one of the sticks I used to shape and stretch the foam about. Covered in the plastic foam they make great stalgmite type add ons to add more variation.

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Now, get your sharp blade and cut off the corner. Make it quite straight so that this new flat edge will form yet another area to allow wall sections to be placed. This way you’ll end up with a total of 5 separate positions that will give you maximum variation for set up.

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Clad on the top and side using textured wallpaper (as in the cavern wall article) and get ready to undercoat.

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The above picture shows another type of entrance which is a cross with a normal wall section. This is done by the principle of the wall section card trenches stuck together on each side, with a small entrance cut in ( as the doorways) and foam filled on both sides.

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Black bomb the piece(s) and paint to match the rest of your dungeon/cave.

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The addition of these corners give more of a natural appearance when creating table set ups compared to the square right angled brick walls. As you can see by the cave set up picture, they look fine either way (due to the textured paper) that is providing your paint scheme matches.

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So, there you have it for this episode. Next up is part three to the Adventures in expanded foam series, Cavern features (like the one in the above picture)

Oh, and this…

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See you next time….

Crowdfunding Spotlight: Burrows & Badgers: FreeLances Oathsworn Miniatures Kickstarter

26 Sep

It’s seems like it’s been ages since I highlighted a good crowdfunder, so in respect of that, i’ve decided that this weekend I’m going to, starting off with Oathsworn’s Burrows and Badgers Freelances campaign.

For fans of anthro type minis with a fantasy theme, these are a fantastic addition to their growing range. There’s Foxes. rats, cats, rabbits, otters, and more. Especially cool highlights include the adder mage, armadillo warrior, and slave badger amongst the new selection.

On a side note, Warhammer players (or age of sigmar) will find the rat figures a perfect match for Skaven forces, as I am sure that other games will benefit from these too, or simply download the Burrows & Badgers rules, free from Oathsworn.

I love the look of these figures, and are lovely sculpts. Unfortunately as per usual, I’m skint so can’t take part, which is a pity, but no doubt in the future I’ll be buying them direct when funds allow when they are on general sale.

This project is fully funded with only 9 days left, so if you want to get involved, go and check it out via the link below!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/oathsworn/burrows-and-badgers-freelances-anthro-animal-minia

 

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