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Perils of the Underworld WIP

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Good day everyone, I will share here my progression on a project I wish to do for a long time. I already know all the parts I'll be using for this diorama. Starting with the carefree 03082 Ingrid sculpted by Derek Schubert (I'm converting her as a svirfneblin prospector), accompanied by her faithful familiar the 14453 hunting cat sculpted by Sandra Garrity. They are taken as prey by a 03602 stone lurker sculpted by Kevin Williams. I will also add a 02018 bat from the familiar pack 1 hanging somewhere on the rock wall. I already worked on Ingrid. I removed the base and give her a pickaxe. I made her tool with a paperclip and a piece of scrap metal. This all-project idea started with the gemstone she’s holding in her left hand.









Edited by Metalchaos
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Thanks for your support guys.


Here's more behind the scenes action. Some time ago, I printed a paint bottle support. It a nice support, except after realizing how much filament it would take to print enough supports for all my bottles... I give up on printing any more of them. So, I was left with that lonely "useless" bottle support. Anyhow, I kept it. We always need the stuff we throw away the moment we get rid of it.


I just found a use for it, I cut it into pieces with the hacksaw to use it as an internal structure for my rock wall. Man, that 3D printed plastic is much stronger than I was expecting. I’m also using wooden craft sticks and two-part epoxy glue to fix everything together.


Then I realized the stone stalker would look great if it were upside down, hanging from under that stone ledge. After the epoxy was cured, I covered the plastic support with aluminum fold and secured it in place with transparent tape. On the last picture, you can see the recess that will be the bat’s perch.


Now it putty time!















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I went out of Milliput while covering the base and supporting structure. I knew from the start I didn’t have much left, so I mixed Milliput with Jovy plastilina. Still it was not enough, so I used green stuff to complete the top of the wall. I also mixed the green stuff with Jovy, and realized afterwards it was not a good idea. The green stuff and Jovy mix take much longer to harden, plus the color smells bad... I don’t recommend mixing green stuff and Jovy and won't do it again.


To texture the surface, I simply used a “ball” of crumpled aluminum foil and pressed it randomly on the surface. It’s a fast way to get things done and the result is convincing. While the epoxy was still soft, I also pressed in some stones and sand to add more textures.



















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Here’s an update. I glued some more sand on the base, that was the easy part.










I then worked on figuring out a way to fix the lurker solidly to the rock ledge. I first removed the aluminum fold where the monster will be glued. And, since there is a big hole under it, I decided the put a screw in the structure, so it will help anchor the glue firmly.
















Edited by Metalchaos
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Also, I applied green stuff along the display base and around the cat’s tail to fill the gaps.






I worked on figuring out how I’m going to connect Ingrid to her riding cat. I’m thinking of crafting a saddle and some saddle bags and maybe some more prospector tools or other gears.






Then, I prepared the bat nest and some stalactites to furnish the place.








I also started working on the scene of the crime, so to speak. I drilled the tip of one of the monster tentacles and glued a piece of paperclip to it.




I drilled a hole on the cat’s back, so the tentacle will be attached to the cat.




In D&D, a roper’s "lurker" strands can sap an opponent’s strength. Anyone grabbed by a strand must succeed on a DC 18 Fortitude save or take 2d8 points of Strength damage. The creature can have up to six strong, sticky strands at once, and they can strike up to 50 feet away.



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More update. I cut the stalactites I prepared yesterday at their base to create a flat surface and glued them on the display.




I glued two small stalactites in the bat’s niche.




I glued a root along the rock wall. I used super glue and sprinkle fine sand on it, so the roots look like their rooted to in ground.




I glued all the lurker stalks and waited for the glue to be completely hard.




Meanwhile, I started working on the cat saddle. I made two straps with green staff and I made sure the rider could sit properly by pressing her into place where she will be seated.




Again, I used the mixed green stuff I had left to make more stalic-things.




I made the choice to glue the monster on the base before painting it. It may be harder to paint this way, but since I wish the fix the tentacles to the wall and ground, I guess it will be least messy to glue everything first.




I prepared a generous amount of epoxy glue, filled the hole under the creature and put it in place.




This two-part epoxy glue cures very fast.




After 5 minutes the glue was hard on my mixing plate, so I knew I could turn the display upside down without any risk.




Here’s what I've done so far. I will eventually bend the tentacle so that they will look like roots coming from above.



Edited by Metalchaos
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Again, this morning I cut the stalactites I prepared yesterday at their base to create a flat surface and glued them on the display.




This big stalactite will fit perfectly here along the back wall.




Since the tentacles are not that rigid, I glued them on the wall after giving them an interesting shape.




Here, I hold the strand in place while the super glue hardens.




While the glue is still liquid, I sprinkle fine sand on it. This will create a stronger bond.




Here’s a view showing how the stone lurker uses its strands to furtively attack his unsuspected victim.




I also attached two stands along the left side wall and the last one will be crawling on the ground.




I was going the fill the gaps at the monster base using green stuff, then I found stone that will look even more natural and improve the creature camouflage.




I filled the gaps with fine sand. I’m really enjoying this project.




Here’s a side view of my progress so far. Once again, I glued to fix a small stone to fill gap at the monster’s base and completed the with fine sand. I’m using super glue to fix both the rocks and the sand; this will help create a solid bond between all the elements.




Here’s an overview of my progress for today.




If you made it this far reading, you deserve a little story.


Let me tell you the tale of an unlucky halfling rogue named Nills. He met a tragic end, victim of a hungry roper. The little fellow had only recently started his adventurer life with a group of friends. He didn’t know ropers have exceptional perception abilities.


When his friend returned to the village without him, they said he had committed the recklessness of getting too close to the monster. They said he thought he could hide from the magical beast, sneak behind it and stab it by surprise. The roper waited patiently, these cursed stalagmites are utterly mean and smarter than most people would expect.


Poor Nills got stroke by the creature sticky strands and even before his companions had time to react, he was dragged to his doom. His strength was weakened by the burning effect of the strand attached to his ankle, his companions related, horrified by the vivid memory. His head, his arms and entire upper torso were shredded to pieces by the crystalline teeth of the gaping maw.


The party dissolved that day. The remaining young folks went their own way. The moral of this story is simply that it's dangerous out there, you need to be strong and ready and not act recklessly. Dare your life, only you will live it. Who will live will see, who will die will lose. Be careful and stay safe.

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I added more roots along the back side of the display. Are they tree roots coming all the way from the surface or are they giant mushroom roots? An in-depth investigation will be necessary to find more information on this subject.




Mushrooms, toadstools, and molds are abundant in the Underworld. In fact, fungal forests are common environment for the subterranean dwellers. It was a no brainer, I had to added fungus on my display. Here are the ones I selected; ripplebark on top, nightlight fungus on the left, timmask and glowcap mushroom on the right.


Ripplebark are edible fungus that can grow on plant material, including living or dead wood, so I will place some on the roots. Nightlight are naturally bio-luminecent fungus, timmask are a very rare, odorous hallucinogenic mushroom and glowcap are edible luminescent fungi.


All these mushrooms and many more are described in the Forgotten Realms Underdark lore.




I used paper clip to reinforce the stems.




They're made of green stuff. These ones will be the glowcaps.




Once it's all set, I’ll glue each parts together and figure out where to place them on the display.



Edited by Metalchaos
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I glued the ripplebark mushrooms on the roots.




I drilled holes in the display base to anchor the nightlight mushrooms.




Here are the nightlight growing on the rock wall. I will add smaller ones to complete the cluster.




These are the timmask, head on stipe.




I glued fine sand on top of their head to create a spiky appearance.




I planted the timmask on the back side of the display.




Completed the upper part of the glowcap.




I glued the head on stipe of the glowcap together. I will fix them on the base only when they are painted. It will be easier to paint them separately.




The I added more two stalagmites on the ground. I also added more rubble and broken stalactites under the lurker. I told myself that the monster must have broken stalactites when he crawled his way up there to set an ambush near the gemstone vein.




Then, I worked on the riding cat saddle blanket.




I added some texture on the blanket and made a simple fringe.



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