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Dan's foamy adventures. (AKA Foam based terrain)


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Ms Muffet - Spider Slayer!

Lair of the Spider Queen

EDIT (9/7/22) - I have decided to change the theme, and the piece will no longer be a Miss Muffet themed build.

 

I've had Reapers 'Miss Muffet' miniature gathering dust in a draw for a couple of years now, waiting for the right inspiration to hit me.

 

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And today it finally hit me, so I have begun work on one of my more ambitious projects to date, a spider infested subterranean cave system!   Veering away from the traditional, timid Miss Muffet of nursery rhyme fame, I want to reimagine her as a kick-broccoli (EDIT: haha the message board automatically edited this to broccoli, no I am not crazy it should read kick-a*s) exterminator of all things creepy crawley!  (I was a little disappointed to discover that what I originally thought was a giant mallet being hid behind her back is actually a tube of pesticide, but no worries, it should be an easy conversion!).  I want to produce a scene of absolute arachnid carnage!

 

I have quite a few Reaper spider miniatures of various sizes, and if any one saw my 'Smuggler's Tunnel' build journal that I posted a few years ago, I still have my trusty spider serum to hand to produce the webbing (This one is going to be icky and gross!)

 

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The cave system itself was sculpted from several 2.5 inch thick sheets of XPS foam.  These were roughly cut to shape using a handheld hotwire tool, once I had the rough contours of the cave complete I began further detailing the rock face by using my hotwire to create random angular cuts in the foam, before using a ball of tinfoil to apply a stone-like texture to the foam.

 

Once shaped, the thick sheets of XPS were glued together, and a filler applied to help hide the seem lines.  An assortment of Stalagmites, stalactites and other rock formations were sculpted and textured using the foam scraps that were produced during the last step.  Everything was then glued down into place.

 

I have based the project on an old photo frame, I just removed the glass.  Still an awful lot left to do, but it is definitely taking shape.

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Edited by Dan S
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I managed to sit down and get a little more work done.

 

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I've slowly lost enthusiasm for the original Miss Muffet theme over the last week and transitioned the piece to more of an abandoned mine (Although the plan is still to infest it with giant spiders).

 

The rock face was under toned with various browns, oranges and yellows using a sponge to stipple the paint on, before applying a range of coloured washes to add some colour variation to the stone.  I have also started painting some veins of gold ore on to stone and have some pick axes to litter around the scene at a later stage.  The small scattered rocks are just small pieces of cork that have been painted up.

 

The track was created completely from XPS foam, and I have 3D printed a mine cart which will be added once it is painted.

 

Still very far from finished, but the first licks of paint have made a huge difference.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Dan S said:

I managed to sit down and get a little more work done.

 

IMG_0333.thumb.jpg.758b1cae0153fc27080325a026c63176.jpg

 

I've slowly lost enthusiasm for the original Miss Muffet theme over the last week and transitioned the piece to more of an abandoned mine (Although the plan is still to infest it with giant spiders).

 

The rock face was under toned with various browns, oranges and yellows using a sponge to stipple the paint on, before applying a range of coloured washes to add some colour variation to the stone.  I have also started painting some veins of gold ore on to stone and have some pick axes to litter around the scene at a later stage.  The small scattered rocks are just small pieces of cork that have been painted up.

 

The track was created completely from XPS foam, and I have 3D printed a mine cart which will be added once it is painted.

 

Still very far from finished, but the first licks of paint have made a huge difference.

 

 


Looks fantastic as is! 
 

I just happened on this thread. Do you use these pieces for gaming or what are you making them for?

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2 hours ago, takai said:


Looks fantastic as is! 
 

I just happened on this thread. Do you use these pieces for gaming or what are you making them for?

 

Sadly no, I used to play a lot but not any more, unlike me, my social circle grew out of this stuff long ago.  No I actually got back into scale modelling during the UK Covid lockdown as a way of passing the boredom of being housebound for 6+ months, and the crafting bug hit me hard!

 

Now I craft for the fun of it.  As for what I use them for, I actually sell a lot of my scatter terrain and painted miniatures on Etsy.  I have no use for my projects once they are complete and I lack the storage space to store them all, so selling them on allows me to free up space and recoup my crafting expenses to reinvest in future projects.

 

 

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19 hours ago, Dan S said:

 

Sadly no, I used to play a lot but not any more, unlike me, my social circle grew out of this stuff long ago.  No I actually got back into scale modelling during the UK Covid lockdown as a way of passing the boredom of being housebound for 6+ months, and the crafting bug hit me hard!

 

Now I craft for the fun of it.  As for what I use them for, I actually sell a lot of my scatter terrain and painted miniatures on Etsy.  I have no use for my projects once they are complete and I lack the storage space to store them all, so selling them on allows me to free up space and recoup my crafting expenses to reinvest in future projects.

 

 

 

I can identify.

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23 hours ago, Dan S said:

 

Sadly no, I used to play a lot but not any more, unlike me, my social circle grew out of this stuff long ago.  No I actually got back into scale modelling during the UK Covid lockdown as a way of passing the boredom of being housebound for 6+ months, and the crafting bug hit me hard!

 

Now I craft for the fun of it.  As for what I use them for, I actually sell a lot of my scatter terrain and painted miniatures on Etsy.  I have no use for my projects once they are complete and I lack the storage space to store them all, so selling them on allows me to free up space and recoup my crafting expenses to reinvest in future projects.

 

 


OMG your shop. I feel like minis painted to that level should be more expensive. That’s really good quality. I’ve got an etsy shop as well but I’m not being very serious about it. I tried to set $80 per hour as that feels adequate compared to the skill level you need and I’m in Switzerland. Miniature Wizardry is easy to find,  mine is DanielsFigur.

 

I relate to your pandemic story, I also got back into painting during the lockdowns. Great escape!  But now I’m facing that storage problem and I’d like stuff to move out.

 

Anyway. I’m happy I found this thread. Fantastic inspiration for me - thank you so much for sharing!

 

 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, malefactus said:

 

I can identify.

 

Sadly I think many people can.

 

3 hours ago, takai said:


OMG your shop. I feel like minis painted to that level should be more expensive. That’s really good quality. I’ve got an etsy shop as well but I’m not being very serious about it. I tried to set $80 per hour as that feels adequate compared to the skill level you need and I’m in Switzerland. Miniature Wizardry is easy to find,  mine is DanielsFigur.

 

I relate to your pandemic story, I also got back into painting during the lockdowns. Great escape!  But now I’m facing that storage problem and I’d like stuff to move out.

 

Anyway. I’m happy I found this thread. Fantastic inspiration for me - thank you so much for sharing!

 

 

 

Thanks, it is just a fun little side gig that I have been enjoying alongside my regular job.  I do not like to charge much as some other shops for miniatures because competition is fierce, and as I mentioned previously, I am really just painting this stuff for my own enjoyment at the end of the day, so long as I can recoup the cost of the miniature and cover my Etsy fees I am happy to take a smaller profit for my time.  

 

Your stuff looks pretty good.  I think half of the battle is making that first sale, and receiving your first positive feedback, as people can be dubious buying from newer untested shops.  Mine started off slow, but started picking up over the last couple of months as my feedback grew.

Edited by Dan S
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I've started work on some of the fine detailing.  The mine cart, lantern and pickaxes were all 3D printed.  As I want my mine to have been abandoned for years, I applied some heavy weathering.  The mine cart and pick axes have been rusted up quite a bit, where as the copper lantern is in a stage of advanced oxidation.  The rust and verdigris were both achieved using acrylic paints applied with sponges as opposed to a paintbrush (which always gives a more authentic look in my opinion).

 

I am trying to graduate on from the tealight candle that I have come to rely on, and try my hand at wiring in my own LEDs.  I plan to hand the lantern over the lower right cave opening, which is where I plan to place my Spider Queen.  Hopefully it will give the queen some nice ambient lighting when taking pictures in low light.

 

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I also started work crafting some subterranean mushrooms and fungus, which were crafted using greenstuff and cocktail sticks.  They have come out a little shiney and so I will need to apply a dullcoat at some point.

 

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Finally I have just about finished painting up the big bad herself, my centre piece the spider queen (the mini is the Death Spinner Spider by Reaper).  I struggled for a while to settle on a paint scheme, in the end I went with a blue into red blend (red on top, blue underneath), with bone coloured legs to match the boney protrusions along her back and sack (If that is even what you call it).  The miniature is quite big, and it is certainly a tight squeeze getting her into the small cave opening, but I am pleased with how she turned out.

 

I still have a few more smaller Reaper spiders to paint up. 

 

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I think we are finally nearing completion.

 

Today I started building an acrylic framework on which I will apply my spider webbing.  The frame was created by melting acrylic rods with a candle and then stretching out the softened plastic to create long transparent strands.  These were then trimmed to size and carefully glued and pieced together to form a web like pattern, once I've applied the webbing fluid they should look quite realistic.

 

I also managed to take some detailed close up shots in natural sunlight.  The one thing I am most pleased about with this project is my stonework, but my previous photos had failed failed to capture all of the subtle colour variation I had worked so hard to achieve with my sponge painting technique.  Taking the pics in direct sunlight really helps to display the stonework as intended.

 

 

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I got the LEDs wired in and the lighting looks pretty decent.  I also started applying my webbing, I think this will likely be the last progress update before I finish the build, so only a couple of photos as I do not want to reveal too much just yet:

 

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