Tag Archives: Acrylic paint

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: You’ve made your bed, now stick it in your dungeon! Making 28mm beds!

10 Sep

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Welcome to another Dungeons of Doom article, my attempt to cover pretty much every aspect of a modular dungeon build for 28mm dungeon crawling skirmishes and RPG. Further along with the furnishings of my dungeon build, as promised I’m taking on the subject of more 28mm furniture this time in the form of beds. Every mini dungeon should have some, don’t you think? it can easily set you back a fair few quid buying metal or resin versions, so why not just make some? These are easy compared to other stuff you might come to make for a project like this, so lets get cracking!

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The build starts with our friend, the humble lollystick. As you can see above, I cut two pieces for the single bed, and three for a double version (just in case any of the dungeon denziens ever want to get jiggy!) Affix the pieces together to form the base. I used contact adhesive, but you could do as the tables tutorial, with a piece of card underneath if you prefer (whatever works for what materials you have) Measure if you want, I usually do as much as I can by eye, as I am lazy!

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Next, cut a further two pieces that’ll form the head and foot boards. (They should be slightly smaller than the width of the bed frame) Glue them on.

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Take some thin skewer type sticks and cut four lengths per bed to form the legs. Glue them on. Also don’t worry too much about how they sit flat, you can trim them later when everything is dry.

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On the single, I added a small piece of EVA foam to simulate a mattress, and a small square for a pillow. (So that it’d bulk out the next bit.)

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The Double bed skipped this step and I added a thick blanket instead. This blanket was made from some scraps of material taken from an old ripped sock (A clean one, not a smelly old one!) Most people I’ve seen doing similar beds have used toilet paper, but I opted for real material so I could capture some detail in the weave. The material was saturated in neat PVA before adding. Add more PVA if required to tidy up the scrawny edges. Leave to dry.

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On the single I added a blanket in the same way using the material in PVA. Make it form creases by manipulating the piece as it starts to dry.

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Form pillows by taking small rolled up scraps of the same material and adding PVA. Material soaked in white glue will be pliable and soft, so to some degree can be shaped, so go ahead and add your stuff, blankets and coverings and be as creative as you like.

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When the PVA has mostly dried, to achieve a proper resin feel hardness, I used really thin, cheap superglue to plasticise the pieces, by allowing it to absorb into the PVA cloth. you’ll notice a strange chemical reaction between the glues, but don’t worry, this way will achieve a rock hard finish to the cloth. Who ever said cheap superglue was no good for anything?

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Once dried, glue them onto a piece of card for basing, leave them to dry before cutting them out to your desired base sizes.

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Undercoat black in your preferred method (or whichever undercoating style you usually use) then proceed to paint up as you would any other miniature or model.

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I opted for a dirty scruffy sort, since these beds were destined for use in my dungeon, it made sense they were not clean and tidy (although, if yours are going in a castle or tavern type place, then you could make them as neat as you like) I also paid homage to the beds in Minecraft by making the single one red (since my kids play the hell out of it, it made sense since they’d be playing in the dungeon games too)

That’s all there is to it. Easy. You can elaborate as much as you’d like on the design, add a bigger headboard, chunkier legs, different material used will give a different effect with the textures etc.

Next time, I’ll be back with adventures in expanding foam, to show you how I make modular cavern walls….

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