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.
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;
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.
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!
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.
Once the door is affixed, the foaming begins. Get your foam and carefully spray one side first.
once the first side is done, carefully turn it round and cover the second.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fold it inwards and affix. Once glued, cut off the ends. Now you have a corner.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Clad on the top and side using textured wallpaper (as in the cavern wall article) and get ready to undercoat.
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.
Black bomb the piece(s) and paint to match the rest of your dungeon/cave.
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.
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…
See you next time….