Thursday, 31 July 2014

Sewer Tiles WIP

If you've been following my recent posts over on G+, you'll probably know that I've been playing around with a few sewer maps this past week (due to me being inspired by a recent submission to the Age of Shadow wiki).

Well, I've since decided to take it one step further, and I've just begun work on a range of high-res sewer tiles for the 'Basic Dungeon Tiles' range.

However, I'm still in the early stages of the design process at the moment, but I thought I would share a quick picture of the two tiles that I've got finished...



...just to let folks know what's in the pipeline :)

Note that these tiles (when finished) will be available on RPGNow as a pay-what-you-want product - just like the rest of the Basic Dungeon Tiles rage.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Quick & Easy Wargaming/RPG Roads

If you've been following my series of cheap terrain tips (for making hedges, trees, and bushes), then here's another quick tutorial that'll show you how to make a bunch of simple road sections in no time at all.



Note that the pictures that follow have come out a little darker than I would like, but they should give you a good idea of the procedure nonetheless.

Anyway ...on with the tutorial...

* * *

WHAT YOU'LL NEED


  • A Vinyl floor tile with a self-adhesive back (I got a pack of four at these for £1 in my local 'Poundland' store).
  • Some gravel (I picked up a 1kg bag of bird grit for £1 at my lock Wilko store)
  • Some fine sand (I picked up a 1kg bag of bird sand for £1 at my lock Wilko store)
  • A cheap tin of (waterbased) wood stain (I'm using my usual 'medium oak' colour).
  • A sharp knife & a steel rule.
 * * *

STEP 1

Using the knife and steel rule, cut the floor tile into the shapes you desire.



In this instance, I've decided on a with of 4" for my roads (this is mostly due to the fact that the tiles are 12" square - so I've simply cut them into three equal pieces), and I'm also including a couple of angled pieces so that I can do arrangements like this:


* * *

STEP 2

Flip the tiles over and remove the paper backing. Then sprinkle a few bits of gravel/grit over each piece, followed by a generous covering of sand.

Once you have shaken off the excess, you should be left with something like this:

(don't worry about there not being a lot of sand on the pieces )

* * * 

STEP 3

Now all that's left to do is cover each piece with a copious amount of woodstain (letting it pool in several areas)...


...and leave it all to dry.


* * *

And that's pretty much all there is to it!

The woodstain should not only stain each piece a nice brown colour (leaving a slightly shiny 'muddy' look where it has pooled) but it will also lock all of the sand and grit in place - making it a lot more durable.

Now, admittedly, these pieces don't look like anything special if you use them on their own - but if you combine them with some of the hedges that I made a while back, they should be more than adequate for the tabletop :)

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Purple Duck Games have been nominated for an ENnie!

Now I know that my part in this product was rather minimal (as I only provided a couple of maps for the booklet), but I'm really exited to see that FT0 Prince Charming Reanimator (a pay-what-you-want adventure for DCC) has been nominated in the Best Electronic Book category at this year's GenCon EN-World RPG Awards!


So, if you're a fan of the DCC (dungeon crawl classics) system, why not check out the adventure for free (and perhaps go back and pay a couple of dollars for the booklet at a later date if you feel so inclined) ...and if it chances that you really like the adventure, I'm sure the guys over at Purple Duck Games would appreciate your vote!

Note that you can vote for FT0 Prince Charming Reanimator (or indeed any other product that you think is deserving of your vote) on THIS webpage.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Dungeon Monthly (July 2014)

Here's this month's dungeon map:


...also note that unlabelled versions for all of these 'dungeon-monthly' maps can be found in the following G+ albums:




In addition, if you're looking to build a huge megadungeon out of this year's maps, then here's a quick look at how they can be pieced together*


*note that the maps don't have to be used in this configuration - as they're compatible with all the geomorph-style maps that I've been creating/sharing since the beginning of 2011.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Small Wargaming/RPG Bushes

Following on from my HEDGE and TREE tutorials, here's a quick look at how I've made several small bushes* for use with various wargames & RPGs.


*Note that I've seen something similar done with a ball of wool in the past - but I can't seem to find the website where I saw it - so I'm unable to give them proper credit for my inspiration at this time (however if I do rediscover it, I'll post the link here).

Anyway, on with the tutorial...

* * *

WHAT YOU'LL NEED


Top Row (from left to right):
  • A wire brush
  • An old toothbrush
  • Something with a sharp point (I'm using a sculpting tool)
  • Cheap acrylic brown paint
  • Woodstain (I'm using an inexpensive 'medium oak' colour from my local 'Wilko' store)
  • Hairspray (spray-on glue would be better, but anything 'sticky' should suffice)

Bottom Row (from left to right):
  • A roll of twine (costs less than a pound)
  • A miniatures base (I'm using a 2p coin - but a metal washer or anything roughly 1" in diameter will do).
  • Basing material (a mixture of  'javis' flock in this instance)
  • Super glue
  • A pair of scissors

* * *

STEP 1

The first thing you'll need to do is wrap the twine around two of your fingers, or a ruler, etc. (making roughly ten passes), to produce a small circular coil of twine. Then, simply squash this coil together and tie another piece of twine about the centre to produce something similar to what's pictured below:


* * *

STEP 2

Take a pair of scissors and cut through all of the 'loops' either side of the knotted twine, and spread the pieces apart and into a (roughly) circular shape.


* * * 

STEP 3

Take a wire brush and start 'roughing-up' the twine - so that it looks a little more fluffy/fuzzy (essentially making something that looks like half a 'pom-pom'). Then, once you're reasonably happy with the shape, glue the twine to whatever base you are using ...and give it another once over with the wire brush so that you are left with something that looks similar to this:


Note that now is a good time to trim the bush (with a pair a scissors) to obtain a more desirable shape if you're not entirely happy with the way it looks.

* * *

STEP 4

Once you're happy with the shape of the bush, apply copious amounts of woodstain to the entire piece (i.e. so that is soaks into as much of the twine as possible).

At this point your 'bush' will probably have transformed into a messy pile of brown goo - so to make the twine stand upright again, I first use an old toothbrush to coax everything back up into an upright position. I then take a small sculpting tool (though a toothpick or something similar would suffice) and drag it up from the bottom of each piece of twine to separate and/or reposition most of the strands*

All of this is done while everything is still wet - and should leave you with something that resembles a large grassy tuft (as seen in the image below).



*Note that although this sounds like a long winded process, in reality it doesn't take more than a couple of minutes to complete.  Also, be aware that when you pull the sculpting tool (or whatever it is that you are using) through the twine, you'll probably get lots of little undesirable 'wisps' (like those pictured above) - but don't worry too much about that for now.

* * *

STEP 5

Once the woodstain is dry (note that I usually leave it overnight) you can cut off all the undesirable wisps, and give the base (in this instance a 2p coin) a coat of brown paint.



This should leave you with a pretty rigid structure - to which we can apply some foliage.

* * *

STEP 6

To apply the foliage, simply spray the piece with copious amounts of hairspray* (making sure to cover the entire piece), and sprinkle your flock all over it. Then, once you've shaken off the excess foliage, give the piece another quick blast of hairspray to help seal the piece.


*note that it's probably best to buy a tin of you're own if you plan on making a lot of these - rather than 'borrowing' one from the bathroom cupboard ;)

* * *

And that's pretty much it!

However, it's probably worth noting that hairspray isn't a great adhesive (as I was able to rub the flock off the edges of the base with just a wet finger) - so it's likely that these pieces won't stand up to repeated abuse. That being said, if you happen to have a can of clear (spray) varnish in your possession (i.e. the kind of thing you'd spray on your finished miniatures) - then giving these bushes a quick blast of that will certainly help toughen them up!

Friday, 4 July 2014

D.I.Y. Wargaming/RPG Trees

A little while ago I posted a quick tutorial on how to make cheap wargaming/RPG hedges (which you can find HERE) from basic household items - and since then, I've been wondering if I could do something similar to make a bunch of small trees.

Anyway, over the past week or so, I've been experimenting with a few different techniques (some successful, others not so much), and as you can see by the picture below, the style I've settled on doesn't look too bad ...and so I thought I would post another quick tutorial to show how I made them.*



*note that by sheer coincidence a similar tutorial has just been posted over on the Beasts of War website ...so it looks as though my idea is not so original after all :) - though I suppose (like the hedges I made previously) people could have been doing similar things for years, and I've simply not been aware of it :)

Anyway ...on to (my version ;) ) of the tutorial...

* * *

WHAT YOU'LL NEED



Top Row (from left to right):
Cheap acrylic paint (yellow, brown, & green)
Woodstain (I'm using an inexpensive 'medium oak' colour from my local 'Wilko' store)
PVA (white) glue
A wire brush
Something with a sharp point (I'm using a sculpting tool)

Bottom Row (from left to right):
A dish scourer (roughly 6" x 4" in size)
A miniatures base (I'm using a 40mm round mdf circle)
A golf tee (I'm using the biggest one I could find - approx 3¼ long)
Basing material (green flock/static grass)
A small glue gun

* * *

STEP 1

The first thing you'll need to do is glue the golf tee to the base, and draw a line (roughly one inch from the base) around the circumference of the tee.


It's also worth noting that you can vary the height of the trees by cutting the golf tee down slightly (thus making it shorter) - but if you do, be sure to keep the part you cut off, as this can be glued to the top of a different golf tee to make it taller (which is exactly what I have done to achieve the three different size trees you can see at the top of this post).

* * *

STEP 2

Run the hot glue gun up & down the tee (up to the line you drew previously), and out along the top of the base to get a basic 'trunk' and 'root' texture.



Note that this doesn't need to be neat and tidy - in fact, the messier it is, the better it tends to look!

* * *

STEP 3

Rip the scourer up into various circular/oval shapes and poke a hole in the centre of each piece (I'm using the sculpting tool for this - but anything sharp and pointy will do the trick). Then rough up these pieces with the wire brush (to make them a little more 'fluffy' looking), and start stacking them on the golf tee*



*note that it's best to dry fit the pieces first (stacking them in a roughly largest to smallest order) so that you can try various configurations and/or orientations before settling on a shape that you like.

* * *

STEP 4

Once you're happy with the shape of the foliage, glue each piece into place with a blob of white glue*



*at this stage I remove all the foliage and lay them out on the table in the order/orientation I'm going to stack them, and then glue them in place one at a time.

* * *

STEP 5

Once the glue is dry, paint the base and the trunk with the brown acrylic paint, and give all of the foliage a heavy coat of the woodstain (so that it soaks into as much of the scourer as possible). Then leave it to dry overnight.


Note that the purpose of the woodstain is to seal the piece (making the whole thing a lot more solid) and to take away some of the bluish tone of the scourer itself (though you can, of course, leave it as it is if you prefer).

* * *

STEP 6

Once the woodstain is dry (and the scourer has hardened nicely) give the foliage a heavy drybrush of green paint, followed by a regular drybrush of 1 part green & 2 parts yellow, and then a final (very light) drybrush of yellow.


For the trunk I have applied a drybrush of 1 part brown & 1 part yellow - followed by a light drybrush of 1 part brown & 3 parts yellow.

Once that's dry, apply your flock to the base - and that's it!

* * *

As you can (hopefully) see, the trees are very easy to make - and if you've already made some of the hedges from my previous tutorial, there's a good chance you've already got most of what's needed to produce them (but if not, then the most expensive thing you'll need to buy is a small glue gun - but even these can be had for as little as £5 on ebay.).


A final picture showing a 1:72 scale figure on the left
and a regular size (28mm) wargame figure on the right.

So, there you have it, another quick tutorial to help spice up the game table without breaking the bank :)

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Dungeon Monthly (June 2014)

Here's this month's dungeon map:



...and if you're looking for unlabelled versions for any of  these maps (perhaps to use with a VTT) then you can find them in the following G+ albums:



In addition, here's a quick look at how all of the maps from this year's project can be pieced together*



*note that the maps don't have to be used in this configuration - as they've been designed to be compatible with all of the geomorph-style maps I've been creating/sharing over the past couple of years.