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Tag Archives: scenics

Fine Furnishings Volume 1 Paper-kit, now available on Wargame Vault!

28 Jul

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Yet another shameless PDF plug for the latest Grinning Skull studios publication, Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: Fine furnishings Volume 1 is now available from wargame vault and sister sites. This is yet another fine paper kit in the Dungeon Builder series and will add on more detail and use for your Arcane library set ups and complexes.

It’s 100% compatible with everything else in the Grinning Skull paper-kit range and contains all sorts of items, all scaled to 28mm miniatures. Tables, Chairs, Rugs and more are all included in this kit, as well as full instructions and pics of how to print out and assemble your very own interiors.

This is a Pay-what-you-want product, meaning that it’s basically free, but any donations/contributions are welcomed. So please help support the Grinning Skull by spreading the word about our products and share this to any of your friends who might be interested in it!!

Get your copy here at: Wargame Vault, Fine Furnishings Vol 1 

As ever let me know what you think, or have any comments or suggestions!!

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4xD: Paint it grey; The Monotone Monologue

13 Jun

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Now, there must be some of you out there thinking to yourselves that I seem to favour the colour grey quite a bit. Maybe it may be a subliminal reflection upon myself and my psyche, but there is method in my madness.

Sure, I have to admit that a great deal of my terrain work features the colour, but I think it is reflective of the world around us. Grey surrounds us in the form of natural rocks, the cloudy skies, the urban tarmac below our feet, and of course, the endless municipal 20th century buildings and dwellings we seem to have in the western world. As depressing as it sounds, grey is everywhere.

St Georges Minster Doncaster: One of my towns local landmarks. For as much as it’s beautiful architecture, it’s pretty darn grey!

Ok, so where is the colour? Why should this real life dredge apply so much to terrain building and my stuff primarily when I have all the colours in the world to deal with in these imaginary worlds that I can create?

The grey monotony of the stark and austere dungeon terrain is broken by the colour of the individual figures and models.

As much as I like garish and bright colours, I believe that terrain should not just look pretty on the table, but should reflect the world imagined around them. More importantly, since I’m dealing with miniatures, as much as I want my terrain to shine, it’s them that are the primary accent of colour on the table, the battlefield and terrain are secondary. I feel that everything else should be muted, that way the focus is on the action and the models, and making sure that the figures are not lost in a blur of colour. Monochrome terrain helps the colourful figures pop and stand out from the scenics. Now I’m not saying that everything should be grey on the table, but my preference allows for highlights that draw the eye, not to bombard the eye with far too much busy colour that might not be needed unless it’s really called for, hence making the important figures and objectives the centre of attention.

Grey everywhere, yet the lone blue creature stands out from the scene.

Now this is just my own opinion, but I much prefer this to overtly busy and incorrectly used colour palettes. I would however like to know your thoughts. Do you think that I’m talking bull? or do you think there is some truth to this?

Whatever your opinions, let me know in the comments section and give your side!

Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: Realm of the dead; Cemetery Gateway

11 Jun

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Hello everyone, it’s me Grim. In my absence, I at least have been amassing a fair bit of material here to continue on with both this series and the blog. I hope you’ll forgive my leave, but shit happens.

So, it’s been a while since posting the last dungeons of doom article. With that in mind, I present to you a series of new load of themed tutorials that deal with the realm of the dead. Over time we’ll be concentrating on a different theme at a time, focusing first with the graveyard/cemetery starting with this creepy skull encrusted cemetery gateway… Continue reading

Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: Dem bones, Dem bones: Bone Pile Respawner Markers

3 Dec

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In this edition of Grim’s Dungeons of Doom, we are going to deal with the creation of bone piles for our mini dungeon. These can be used as debris or even better (as I plan on doing) as undead respawn markers. Every respectable dungeon should have a few of these to warn those pesky adventurer types, just how they might end up by delving too deep within it’s tunnels…

This is a dead easy and quick make, and will get you some nice looking pieces for really minimal effort.  Continue reading

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….

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