Crafting Project: Miniature Dungeon Details

September 15, 2017 at 2:04 pm (acrylic painting, Foamcore, Games) (, , , , , , , )


For an upcoming Dungeons & Dragons session, I decided it could be neat to build out some reusable miniatures for dungeon details that I could reuse from time to time. I built a treasure chest, a murky pool of water, and a few doors out of foamcore, chipboard, and acrylic paint. I figured it might be interesting for somebody to see roughly how I built them, so I’ll include some of the “work in progress” pictures I took as well.

 

For the doors, I started by cutting a door-shaped piece out of foamcore. I painted the wooden and metal details on it in Liquitex acrylic paint and moved onto the base for them. The base is made of two layers of chipboard (~1-1.5 mm cardboard), but with the top layer carved using a knife. I sliced the cracks for between the tiles in different patterns and then painted it; first a coat of black, and then some drybrushing of different shades of gray/blue-gray. I think I may have gone a bit too far with some of the colouring, but I’m happy enough with it.

Next, the doors are glued into the slotted floor tiles. After a clearcoat spray, they’re ready for action. I should note however that the solvent in the spray ended up melting away the foam; it’s only somewhat ruined, but it’s still a door. I’d suggest brushing on varnish instead, or adding a few coats of acrylic paint or PVA glue to seal it before spraying.

 

For the treasure chest, I started with layers of foamcore (I wanted it to be sturdy). I wrapped it in a casing of chipboard around the sides so I didn’t have to worry about the foamcore edges messing with the texture. Then I painted on the details with acrylic paint.

 

The last component of my project was a pool of murky water. I was initially going to use thinner cardboard for it, but I found that it warped once I started painting it, so I switched back to chipboard. I cut out the raised floor tiles and proceeded to carve it to make it look like tiles. This was probably my favourite part of the piece; it made it feel like each floor tile was worn and chipped away by wear and tear of dungeon action.

For the water surface, I wanted to make it look like it was liquidy, so I used some Liquitex Gloss Heavy Gel to build up the texture. I don’t think it ended up being exactly what I wanted, but at least at a cursory glance, it looks like there is a ripple originating from the center of the pool. I mixed up some shades of dark blue for the water to help make the ripples pop a bit more, and I painted on some gloss varnish to help make it shiny.

 

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