Tag Archives: grim’s tips

Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: Scraping the barrel, making mini barrels.

25 Oct

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Every self respecting cheesy stock fantasy dungeon environment needs barrels? Right? Well, in this part of Grim’s Dungeons of Doom, I’m going to show you how to create whatever barrels you need for your games.

Me personally if I had loads of spare cash to buy my terrain bits, I would get lots of them, in all shapes and sizes, but why buy them if you can crank them out at a cost of mere pennies? Let me show you…. We’re going to have a barrel of fun….(Pic heavy…)

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Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: Need storage? Help yours(h)elf! Creating Mini Shelves.

5 Sep

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Back again with more tiny furniture for your own Dungeons of Doom. This time we are going to tackle bookshelves. Again, this is not a hard thing to do, and does not require lots of time, money or effort. As well as the tables we talked about earlier, these beauties are ideal for showing off the books and items found in the free PDF (as you can see in the pic)

On a side note, it’s been mentioned to me that this is virtually the same as making dolls house furniture. Well, I agree that the skills you need are not too dissimilar, although it’d be a case of scaling things up, so you’d also need to change up the materials somewhat as well. When I start making things of that nature, I’ll let you know!

While we are going to deal with bookshelves in this article, this build will be slightly different in that, this one has a built in bottom cupboard. There are many other articles and videos that detail basic shelving in 28mm, so I thought I’d do it slightly different and throw it out there. The principle is the same in construction if all you want is basic shelves (but I’ll tell you later in the article) as are different sizes and shapes, all you need to do is follow the formula.

Anyway, lets get started with the things you’ll need for this build.

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You’ll need lollysticks, cardstock, glue (white, contact adhesive, superglue) EVA craft foam, your books, scrolls and maps pieces from the PDF and additional oddments or bits to add to the finished shelves.

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First, take your lollysticks and cut three identical lengths to form the bottom, and middle shelves, and another two identical pieces to each other that will form the sides. It’s up to you how wide the shelves will be on your build, just ensure they are the same. The two sides will dictate the rough size of the unit, so again its up to you.

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Assemble the rough frame as above and affix it directly to a piece of cardstock. I used Contact adhesive, but PVA or even superglue would do.

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Cut another piece of stick to form the top, and attach to the piece. Make sure it overlaps like the pic, dont worry about it being uneven or too big, you can trim the sides later if required.

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Take a piece of cardstock cut the size of the bottom shelving area and glue it on. If your making a plain shelf, leave  this step.

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When dry, cut out the piece from the card, trim it up, and add a bigger base to stabilise it when standing up.

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For the bottom cupboard detail, take some more card and start glueing on thin strips of card, leaving a millimetre gap or so. Dont worry about the uniformity, as long as they are roughly similar to the pic, it should be fine.

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For the back, again glue on strips to form faux planks. Trim off the excess when dry.

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Trim the cupboard piece to size, and attach it to the bottom at the front.

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Take two thin strips of card and cap off the top and bottom of the cupboard area.

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Cut two small hinge shaped pieces (like the ones used in the chunky doors article and opening doors article) leave a gap as in the pic, you’ll be adding more detail capping bits later.

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Next, take some EVA craft foam and cut into small varying shaped rectangles These will form some stacked books on the shelves. Glue them in, but remember to leave plenty of room to add other stuff you have and the books, scrolls and maps later.

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Next, cut a small cardstock lever catch arm shape,  glue this on at a similar angle to the picture shown.

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Take some nail art embelishments (found cheaply on ebay or similar) and add them as the studs of the hinges and catch.

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Take a drinks straw and cut a few small bits to make beakers/cups. Add them to the shelf (totally optional)

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I added a few thin wood pieces, stacked them up and glued them on too. Again these bits are optional, So if you have bits of your own (like weapons, items etc) add them now unless they are already painted, as you’ll need to paint them along with the main unit.

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I then took some thin wood strips and added some more trim detail. its up to you how much, just that its there to hide any edges and neaten them. Also it adds a bit more raised detail, as plain shelving can become a little repetitive. I also added another lolly stick piece to the top to make the top fill out more symetrically.

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BLACK BOMB!! Yes, get undercoating to the finished unit.

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Brown base coat applied. You can use any darkish brown colour you wish.

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Paint in the wood shades until your desired effect is achieved.

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Next, paint in the books. Use a variety of colours of your choice. Add small bands and a thin white/yellow strip to simulate the paper edges on some. Also paint in the hinges and catches black to prepare them for more detail later.

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Paint in the catches and hinges using whatever metallic shade you prefer. Also use the same to paint the cups on the shelf. The strips are painted as scrolls/candles (they are quite ambiguous) by using light brown up to white. Don’t forget to paint the base to match your decor too!

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Take your books and items from the PDF. Add them as you wish to create more detail.

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At this point,  I added a white skull bead (from ebay very cheap) and superglued it on the shelf. These are the howlite ones, so need fixing securely. Add some Nail art embelishment jewels to the eye sockets to make the skull stand out and sparkle!

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You should now have a nice detailed shelving unit, fit for any dungeon or gaming interior or game. These are easy to construct and are much cheaper than expensive resin pieces. Vary the widths and sizes to create other units with variety.

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Well, thats all there is to it, and I hope you get chance to make some yourselves. I’ll be back next time with a basic beds make.

 

Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: The tables are turned (or constructed…)

1 Sep

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Now I’m back off my recent holiday, I wanted to get back into the further adventures of fleshing out my dungeon creation. Since my last related post was the Free Books PDF, I wanted to show you how to make stuff that you can display your newly constructed pieces upon.

This project is easy-peasy, really simple and will get you loads of nice tables for your dungeons, RPGs and Wargaming. This is just one simple way out of many. Remember we are just creating a flat top with four legs, I’m just putting the creation of tables here, because its for completists sake (Plus there would be those out there who ask me to give a run through, so here they are.)

For this, you’ll need some lolly sticks, cardstock, glue (PVA, Superglue) and something to form the legs (we’ll get to those in a bit)

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First,cut your lollysticks to form your tabletops. I used 3 lengths here,but you can use two. It depends on just how big you need the tables. You don’t need to measure, I do this by eye, but if you prefer measure them if you like (if they are uneven you can trim them after the next bit.)

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Cut a piece of cardstock and white glue it on to join the slats.It should be smaller than the width, but still wide enough to glue all the slats. You can join the pieces side on, but this way is quicker and makes the tops sturdier (Plus, you wont see the underside anyway) You can trim them up when the glue has set.

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For the legs, I’m using skull beads that I got for a couple of pounds from over on ebay. Stick on the legs with strong glue (superglue I used here)

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Since the height wasn’t sufficient enough, I added some little glass squares I had, taken from a christmas bauble that was destined for the bin, although its up to you what use as risers or legs for that manner,use what you have (matchsticks, dowel, cigarette filters, junk etc) Since theres not much to the tables, adding character to the legs is a good move.

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Now, stick them down with superglue or any strong glue to the base (cardstock) and leave to dry.

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Next, Spray/paint them with a black undercoat (or your preferred method) and leave to dry.

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Base coat with a dark brown (mine was Burnt Umber) or your choice, and slowly build up your desired wood colour to lighter shades.

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When the basic table is finished, paint in the base to match your set up.

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Now its time to add your decorations. I added my patented homemade mini candles since I’d imagine if there were something being used on them, they’d need light to see! Then just add your books, scrolls or maps to your hearts content! After this, they are ready to go. I made a few tables, and from the PDF I got quite a few variations as you can see below.

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The table above is straight out of Fighting Fantasy! A dungeon map and a map of the FF gameworld Allansia. A few scrolls and maps and books and its all ready for any dungeoneers to come across it on their adventures!

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This arcane table has magic books and tarot. I think Mr Crowley would approve!

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See, easy as pie. You can add all sorts of bits and pieces in addition to the books from the PDF, Skull beads can be used, as can weapons or anything you like. Its an easy and quick project that can give a great end result,so why don’t you give it a go?

I’ll be back next, with more tiny furniture, and more to stick your PDF books on, so I’ll see you then!

Grim’s Modelling Tips: Fake Grass Freebies!

13 Jun

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So, I have found something out completely by accident that is excellent for us scratch builders & wargamers, yet the best thing is, it wont cost you a penny!

A while ago, my missus and I were talking about turfing a few patches of bare earth in our garden and discussing options. Rather than shelling out for real grass turf, we thought we’d explore the artificial astroturf route, being that our kids are kinda destructive at the best of times and that real grass would take a real beating with their antics. I decided to get some prices & info about it, and discovered that most suppliers of the stuff, actually are willing to send out small samples of the various grades and styles of it.

This lead me on to thinking, just maybe this stuff might be useful as a potential free modelling material. Soon enough I was using my Google-fu to track down any places I could snag plenty of the sample freebies for my, Ahem’ “garden design research” (Which is what I told the wife!!) knowing full well that when she’d had a good look at all the info etc, all the left over samples of the stuff would be mine to butcher and create some new wargaming scenery!

Sure enough, within a week I was inundated with a variety of sizes and styles of the wonder turf, to be honest I hadn’t expected just the volume of what I had managed to blag in the way of sample bits (There are lots)

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Ok this pic is just a few pieces that I have now, as you can see there’s a 15mm Pliim adventurer for scale of the bits. They do come in a lot of different sized samples, from A4 page sized, to smaller squares, rectangles and circles. At this moment of writing I have two full to bursting large plastic carrier bags, stuffed full with every style and thickness of artificial turf! Not bad for nothing, delivered free to your door!!

Now not that I’m going to encourage you lot to start blagging every available fake grass supplier in your nation (Even so, if you really wanted, I couldn’t stop you….!) but these are great materials with plenty of terrain making potential. To further just how good these could be for wargaming, I even spotted a trader at the recent Sheffield Triples 2013, selling offcut bits of these to use as fields and crops !

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You can see from the close up, the length of the fibres for each type would suit many different options, from the short cheap stuff (Ideal for just grassed areas) to the longer more expensive “realistic” types being suited for things like long grassy unkempt fields, jungle undergrowth, and even cut into strips, stuck on bases with added flock/scatter to create quick and easy bushes and hedging!  Even cut into little bits to add tufts and scrub to other stuff, the things you can create from this with a bit of imagination are myriad!!

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As you can see from these pics, you don’t even need to do anything to it to make use of it (Although I would recommend adding stuff like bases, flock and bits to really make it come to life a tad more) I’m sure that you could really go to town with this stuff and create some pretty impressive bits with very little effort. It can even take some haircutting to trim if it’s too long, or you need some barer bits etc.

So those in the UK will be easily satisfied with a quick google search for free samples, and those in the rest of the world will need to find suppliers where they are and enquire for free samples from their end. You could even try DIY/hardware/Garden centres and just ask for some offcut samples (although you’ll need to blag a bit, so don’t tell them you want to use it for wargame modelling materials! Tell em’ you can’t decide what kind you need for your lawn or something! You know, make it up!!)

Anyway, if I have inspired any of you to create something using the info, please let me know, show me some pics and i’ll post them up here (and I’ll show you my efforts too, that is, when I get around to it, busy, busy, busy….!)

Peace out Freebie hunters….

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Grim’s Modelmaking Tips: My top 10 Cheap or Free materials for scratchbuilding

2 Oct

I know this article probably won’t be as useful to some readers here, already well into the scratchbuilding bug like me, but I would hope that some of you that may have little or no experience in this subject will find some or all of it useful in some way. I intend to put up a few of these articles using this cheapo method I have been using for many years.

To me, paying for some modelling supplies is a real pain. I begrudge forking out for anything that impacts on my budget. Call me tight, but this comes from many years ago, when I was really skint, barely scraping a life, paying bills for myself and such, I am very much into making things of all types, and get stircrazy when I get a great idea and can’t carry it out for lack of stuff to make it with. This has lead me to become very inventive in my use of mundane junk from all over the place. Now I can’t abide good stuff I could use to make models or terrain from going to waste . All you expert scratch builders will know how just one cool bit of junk can make you inspired to make a fantastic model, and I thought I would give my top 10 best free (or at least lowest cost) things to collect for your bits box (You might need to get a box to start with to collect up your finds if you don’t have one(or several like me) already!)

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