Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Cavern Terrain Part II - Mushroom Forest

In the last post here, I described and showed a bit of the cavern project I'd put together for a D&D 5E campaign. I have to admit that I went a bit nuts at the local Hobby Lobby picking up things to re-purpose into terrain or creatures. In a time when so many different things are commercially available I was inspired to return to the old days of conversions, kit-bashing, and just plain old DIY.

Which brings us to the Mushroom Forest. I'm not sure what got me motivated to work on this, but it was a slippery slope thing. Once I started, I just kept making them.

Here's the initial work on the first batch. All materials came from Hobby Lobby in this case. There were small and large furniture upholstery tacks, an assortment of wood pegs and dowels, and roound wood circles for basing. The shells used in my previous post to make Piercers starred again as another way of making stalagmites, and some other shells ended up in the mushroom role as well.
Some use of hot glue was added for texture in spots or to bulk out the smaller mushroom stems. Bases received some textured acrylic gel medium...which promptly dried out before my follow up batch...grumble...

Then these were sprayed with black paint/primer. I'm certainly not a perfectionist when it comes to painting models that may only see a handful of games, so some basic acrylic paint work was done.
I liked the results of the scratch built mushrooms, and decided to make up another batch, and also decided on making up some homemade Purple Shriekers, Violet Fungus, and Myconids...because I'm a fun guy. (sorry)
Those Myconids were made with fabric wrapped floral wire hot glued onto the ends of some leftover upholstery tacks.  That's what happens with leftover materials, they spawn new projects.These were coated with acrylic gel medium and below you can see them with a little paint, the bases they will be on, and the next set of mushrooms.
I did mention the Purple Shriekers and Violet Fungus plants (the ones with tendrils). I used wood drawer pulls for these and a liberal amount of hot glue for the detailing. The Violet Fungus plants I used some leftover back halves from the small  2 piece round head rivets that were used for the smallest mushrooms (in black below). Coming out of the rivet back centers were bent wire with hot glue to make the tendrils.

 And finally here's everything thrown together for a staged photo. The adventurers shown in lower right to show the scale. They certainly will have to deal with a lot to get to the far side of the cavern...

When I have time, I'd like to make up some 3D irregular cavern rooms and them incorporate these pieces into the scene. Now, if anyone is wondering why the mushroom bases are green, I intend to use them for surface world forests and can hand wave the base color as moss or other fungus growth around the larger 'Shrooms.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Cavern Terrain

It's been a long time since I've posted here, but I'm still alive and kicking. The last 4 years I've devoted more time to my SYW/Imaginations projects at my Fleisch-SpƤtzlestadt page. The past few months however (well let's say 2015) have seen my interest drift back more towards the Fantasy RPG genre and with that some new work to share.

I've been running a D&D 5E campaign. It's been a monthly thing (or every other month depending).  Psyching myself up for a game in the downtime created by scheduling conflicts has been important. My solution has been some therapeutic terrain and creature making to complement the games

Here's some things to share that I made for a cavern encounter with a Stone Giant (Otherworld Miniatures), a Roper aka Stone Lurker (Reaper), and some Piercers (homemade).
The stalagmites above were mostly made with paper towel tubes cut and turned into cones of various sizes with hot glue to hold them together. I then hot glued wood coffee stirrers inside to use as a handle. These were dipped into acrylic gel medium that was tinted with gray acrylic hobby paint. Very simple and I was happy with the results. See below with the Otherworld Stone Giant. In the game mechanics, the Stone Giant blends in with his cavernous environment.

I later tried making a second batch of stalagmites using some other techniques. I used bamboo skewers with lots of hot glue as a base for the goop. I also tried using pipe cleaners. The pipe cleaners didn't work out that well, but the hot glue was alright. Also used some gray caulk as well with decent results.

You'll also see my quick and dirty Piercers below. I'm not aware of any company making these. They really are one shot monsters. They drop from the ceiling and if they fail to kill you in that first attack, well...they aren't much of a threat after that.  I used some small shells, added mouths with greenstuff, and made the eyes with a small drop of hot glue.

I also wanted cavern walls, to give a better sense of 3D tabletop RPG play and also because I could make the cavern look more irregularly shaped on the rectangular tiles I'd made (soft hobby foam sheets sprayed with gray paint into a checker pattern.)

The cavern walls are shown in progress here. I used some some craft popsicle sticks as the base with soft foam as walls and used caulking to texture. These would later be painted, but you can get an idea here. I'll be posting a follow up of these with some newer work.

I do have several more things to show. Inspired by the cavern work, I shifted my focus to making up a mushroom forest. More on that to follow. 

For those curious on the actual game...the first time the group of 8 characters made it to the Stone Giant lair they never made it inside. They fought his cave bear pet, slew it mercilessly in front of him and sent the Stone Giant into a rage.  He went full on berserk and slew half the party one by one as they scattered in a rout down the mountainside to avoid being the next victim.  The follow up session was essentially a new group with 2 of the prior survivors.  They encountered the Roper and Piercers first and in a hard fought battle triumphed. The noise of battle drew the Stone Giant from his true lair further in the caves. They fled again, but the rear guard was engaged and drew the party back into battle. They did however have new characters with new abilities and bested the Giant this time, casting a Darkness spell on him and having a character that could see to target through the Darkness helped a bit...