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2.5D Dungeon Tiles for Warhammer Quest

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Okay, so I redoing Warhammer Quest. I'm adding classic DnD monsters, wrote a program that does all the event and monster generation and tracking for me, handles custom treasure, and helps keep things fresh. I'm painting minis for the dungeons like mad, even getting to things I never bothered to paint before, like Snotlings. I don't expect to be ready to play for a while yet, but in the meantime I thought I would add one more project to my load - redo all the tiles and add some new ones, and give them custom cards. 


The tiles I'm making with a variety of methods, but they all use half inch cell foam (similar to Styrofoam) as the base, then have various things glopped on them to harden them and give them a smoother or rougher appearance. The cutting is all being done with a hot tool that's mostly designed for wood etching I guess (about $35-40 at a craft store), but works great for melting ruts into tiles. I'll go over a step by step on my next piece, but here's some of the ones I have done so far.




I looked at a ton of different methods for this, but I think a lightweight Styrofoam style appealed the most to me, I didn't want to get into casting and dealing with being limited to whatever molds were available. Obviously, I'm getting my feet wet with the more flat rooms first, but my next room is the Well of Doom, which has some depth to it (though small). I have the basics cut out and will take some pictures tomorrow when I work on it again.

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I am curious; how durable are they? Sounds like a fine inexpensive way to make dungeon tiles, but I'd be concerned with breakage from using styrofoam.

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That's the only thing I'm worried about, but I don't intend to move them anywhere, as my house is gaming central, so until I move I don't have to worry too much.


The basic cell foam is good, it's better than regular old Styrofoam for sure. I paint a very thick base coat on them with some old craft paint before I start any real color, and I hit them with mod podge before and after the base coat to up the plastic feel to them (and any time I add sand or anything). After the paint job I hit all surfaces with brush on sealer, then a standard matte spray. 


All in all, they feel pretty good. I accidentally knocked one into a side of a clip-on desk lamp and no damage, which is better than I was expecting, so I think repair work will be only for extreme cases. I know I could snap these pretty easy if I tried, but for general gaming purposes, they ought to hold up, and they are pretty lightweight, which I think reduces the chance they will take damage from a fall.

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Awesome.  Hope you're posting your how-to's and results on boardgamegeek as well!


Where'd you get the half-inch cell foam?  Is that something you get at a craft store, or hardware store, or what?

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Okay, it actually is 3/8 inch cellfoam. I picked mine up at Dick Blick's, but I don't see it on their web store. I've also seen it in person at Hobby Lobby, but same story for the web store.


It looks like this (can't believe I remembered to snap a pic):



And here's the hot tool I'm using:


Accessories are in the plastic bin to the right, though this beveled thing and the exacto-style blade are the only ones I've been using.


Here's the next room I'm tackling, I'll post some progress on it shortly.


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Sadly, the first picture I took of the room in progress was a little further in than I intended. I'm bad at WIPs.


Here's the room cut out of the cell foam, the hole metled away in the center (not very deep), and a ring of cell foam added on top for a bit of 3D effect.



I also added some brass pipes for the grate. I wasn't thrilled with the spacing on them, but I had a hard enough time getting them in there, I'm not about to take them out and replace them.


Next I carved the well up a bit with the hot tool and added a layer of mod podge over everything:



I pitted the outside of the room with a metal sculpting tool, then coated roughly in black craft paint:



First layer of color - smooth application isn't very important, in fact, the rougher it is, the more texture the eye thinks is there in the end product, so I just went over it with some dark green:



Second coat has even more variance, a lighter green, applied mostly to edges towards the center of the room, but dry brushed sporadically elsewhere as well. Going all Bob Ross and putting happy trees where I think they should live at this point:




More to come.

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Strengthened my edge lines...



Deepened the grout and room edges with some blue liner and then a mid-tone glaze to bring things back together...



Next step was probably not necessary, but I want some depth to the sludge around the room. I went with a layer of mod podge where the sludge will be...



Then a layer of yellow ink/green paint/glaze medium/water mixture over the mod podge after it dried...



That's where I'm at right now, but I'm going to add a layer of Water Effects (the stiff stuff) over that after I get the sword and chain in place.


Speaking of the chain, I'm going to use the darker one of these necklace chains I picked up at hobby lobby. Wasn't sure which one would look better size-wise, and I'm sure I can use the leftover chain on something. 



The one on the left is already pretty dark, but very shiny. I think I'm going to glue it in place and then paint it to make it look like it's part of the same world. I worry the natural shine is too much and will look out of place in the painted world. But we'll see. That's why I'm putting it in place first, then deciding if it gets paint or not.


Also - I can't think of a good way to do the skeleton - A: it's way too big in the original tile. B: you can't stand models on skeletons. So I'm thinking skipping it, or turning it into a few skulls in the corner. What do you think?

Edited by pinkymadigan
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Added the sword in the pile of goo, painted the grate:



Added the chain, added goo over the sword:



Added a pile of dirt (vallejo brown earth) to the corner for the skull (instead of the skeleton):



Painted pile, added skull, painted chain, all done!


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Oh yes please, I'm following so many wip right now, I musta missed commenting on this one. :-) I love the 2.5 dungeon terrain stuff, been following DMG and DMScotty on the you tubes since before I started painting figures.

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