On some pics you can see alternate wooden tiles (on the right here), that were an earlier attempt. They have a very rugged aspect, because not all plank has the same height, and also took much longer to craft.
For the sake of documenting my successful crafts and my less successful ones, here is how they were made.
For some, I glued ice cream sticks together, and used a screwdriver to carve the wood to make it look more like wood.
For others, I cut smaller foam planks that I textured, and individually glued.
This resulted in a weird mix of planks and also took forever to put in place.
The final look of the one made with ice cream sticks is actually pretty interesting, visually.
But adding walls to them means I needed to cut the ice cream sticks shorter to accomodate for the wall. And cutting those damn strips and texturing them is such a messy job that I abandoned this way of crafting after a few tiles.
The final result looks a bit like an abandoned house. This is an interesting look to go after, but I'm happy with my other wooden floors so far.
In dungeons, players often have to use spiral staircases to go up one level. Thankfully, this is a simple build.
The base is an ice cream lid, and the stair itself is made out of foam from a swim noodle, cut in slices.
Stacking the slices on top of each other, and adding grooves by melting the foam with the tip of a glue gun.
I added some spackle / wall filler on it, to give it some texture. Without it, the foam would absorb all the paint, and it would also be too soft.
And another coat of black modpodge to further strengthen it.
A simple drybrush, and ready for the table.
When the glass tubes broke, my players were confronted against a bunch of colored oozes. I found it pretty hard to find good looking ooze miniatures, so I decided to craft my own.
The bulk of it is made with a glue gun. My glue gun only has one setting: very hot, so the glue is pretty liquid and does not set quickly; instead it forms a puddle. To aid me in building shapes, I used rigid frames.
Some oozes split into smaller parts when hit with lightning or slashing, so I also needed smaller versions. They are mostly just a drop of glue on cent coins.
Having a bunch of shapeless blobs on my table, it can be hard to remember which is which. This is why I tried to gave them each their own shape, using various bits underneath to shape the final form.
Some were more elaborate, with bits of bones or even faces inside. Other even had sharp weapon edges.
The whole set before painting.
I did the base before painting the blobs, but in retrospects I should have made the bases even before creating the blobs, so they would have looked like they were oozing on top of the rocks.
Consolidating the bases with a second layer of highly diluted glue.
Same with the small versions, which is a very messy process.
And here we go for painting.
Ochre Jellies, Purple Ooze (from the Creature Codex) and Slithering Trackers (which aren't really ooze per se, but more of an undead kind of thing) on the front. Suppurating Ooze (again, from the Creature Codex) and Black Pudding in the back.
Eldritch Ooze and Tar Ooze from the Tome of Beasts II. The blue of the Eldritch Ooze is a silver paint mixed with blue.
Family photo, with a few layers in.
This was a very long painting process. I can't say it required any skill, but it still took time. Some of the colors didn't cover the black well, so I needed several layers.
I carefully added washes on the ooze part, excluding the bones, to keep the shiny effect. But this was all wasted when in a later phase I used a matt varnish spray.
I'm happy with the gradient on this one. The head is lighter than the bottom which looks like coagulated blood.
When the heroes explored the dungeon, they entered a room full of glass tubes full of oozes (that they of course had to fight).
From above, you can clearly see that one of the tubes is made of a Chessex dice box.
But because I had only one of those lying around, I traced a cross pattern of another one on a sheet of clear plastic.
I very slightly marked the internal grooves with a knife, to help me fold it in place.
I then glued them, adding hot glue on the interior of the tubes. It wasn't the easiest craft as the hot glue is, well, hot, and I had to put them in place long enough for it to set.
To hide the rough glueing, I cut small strips of black cardboard. I added a groove in the middle to more easily fold them.
And glued them on the sides of the tubes.
I gave them a quick silver drybrush, to make them look like old metal panes.
Added another layer of copper, for a slightly older look.
This is another quick craft, similar to the Deverin Cage one, but it did the job. Each tube was big enough to accommodate a large creature. My goal here was mostly for ease of play, and that it would convey what it is quickly. It worked.
Before reaching the last room of the Time Dungeon, my players had to go through one last trap: a set of gears and pistons moving in an haphazard manner. They had to find the right pattern and jump through. Well, actually some of them just teleported through it.
It all started with those cartoonish looking monsters. I think they come from MacDonalds.
I removed the orange and purple parts, and glued various gears, coming from other toys I had dismantled before, or steam punk jewelry. Also some plastic tokens and jewels.
Black priming, and then a gold drybrush, painting some details silver. Or silver drybrush, and painting details gold. Also adding a bit of color (green and red) on the central nose/pipe thing.
In my game, Lord Deverin is an important NPC that has been wrongly accused and sent to jail. The jail itself is actually an underground cavern filled with horrible creatures where a cage is lowered. So, I need to build such a cage.
The base structure is made with a 10cm x 10cm wood plank (I ordered them in bulk at some point), with plastic tubes as corner pillars.
The bars are made of out bamboo golf tees with their pointy head cut of. I kept the heads and glued them on the floor, between the bars.
The top is another such wood plank, covered with plastic squares. I tried to put a dip of glue in each square corner to act as some kind of rivet, but the glue didn't keep its shape and formed more like a blob.
The cage floor is made out of the same materials, but I kept them separate to be able to open the cage to put miniatures inside.
I then used a textured spray (used for polished glass) to add some texture to it. Not sure it worked well or not.
This added a matted texture to it.
I didn't find the texture grain big enough, so I added some Vallejo Ground Texture to it, to create small rocks, like old rust.
And applied the same treatment to the whole piece. I should have added this texture before the black priming though.
Started painting, with a silver overbrush, then a brown coarse drybrush and a sepia wash.
I added some more yellowish stamps, and painted the rivets in silver.
And here the final result, drying. It does the job, it conveys the old rusty look I was looking for but is still very rough. I need to practice on my rust effects.
For the top chain, I found a plastic chain in an old toy. I added a bit of rope at the end and dipped it in glue, hoping it would solidify it in place. Didn't work.
So I wrapped a small metal wire in it, covered it in the same texture I used on the cage, and attached it to a fake plastic rock. I glued it all on a washer for weight.
In one of the last rooms of the dungeon, players entered a room full of moving gears, with a ship help in the center, and a wall made of moving gears at the back. Behind the wall they heard sounds, but before they could explore it, one of them turned the helm and they all got transported back in time, at the entrance of the dungeon.
The base of the wall is made of plastic "chicken" mesh.
I glued ice cream sticks in a rectangular frame on it, on both sides, and trimmed out any remaining part.
I added some vertical separation on top.
To hide the separation between the sticks, I put some superglue and sprinkled it with baking soda, to both strengthen the bond, but also make it look like old rusty parts.
I glued steampunk decorations on the mesh, as well as on the frame. I also added a heavy dose of gravel on the base, to force it upright. The mesh is flexible, and it was distorting my frame, so I need something very heavy to put it in place and prevent it from falling forward.
First silver overbrush on a black priming.
Copper drybrush on the frame, and picking individual cogs in various metalic colors.
The last step was to add a black wash and let it dry.
Similar to the Stone Floors, you sometimes need to lay some large wooden floors. Here, I needed a way to represent the mansion of the Kaijitsu family, that my players befriended, and where they first encountered their evil twins from an alternate dark future.
Instead of multiple wooden tiles, I opted for full room boards.
I started the boards in a similar fashion that the stone ones. Each square is made of three planks, but the alternate order allows for visually distinguish them in play.
For the wood texture, I used the tip of a used pen and draw squiggles in the direction of the plank, to simulate wood grain. It has a bit of a cartoonish look, but in play it does look like a wooden floor.
Paint scheme starts with a coat of dark brown. You can also see that I added small holes at the top of each plank to symbolize nails.
Lighter brown (almost orange) drybrush.
And same treatment applied to a larger piece.
The wash did warp the board a little, but one night under the weight of the PHB, DMG and MM fixed it back.
While exploring the dungeon, I could put on the table 2x2 squares to symbolize the corridors and room. This was very versatile and helped in representing the tortuous corridors. This is similar to Dwarven Forge (but way cheaper) and to Wyloch tiles (but without the excruciating cardboard curtting).
I already have a post where I explain how to make those tiles. This time, I needed to create a bit more, and also to have the wall width to be consistent across all the tiles.
So I started cutting strips of 1cm wide foam.
I cut them into smaller strips of about 3.5cm long, and draw a brick pattern on each.
I then setup to carve the brick pattern by creating grooves over the pattern. I used a black sharpie to mark which face was supposed to go up (and I continued the brick pattern on the other side).
I glued them on my wood planks, and trimmed the parts that were over the edge.
I glued on the texture wall paper tiles.
Applied a first coat of black modpodge. My mix was too liquid, and didn't cover much. I had used black china ink instead of black craft paint, which indeed is more black, but also more liquid.
So I ended up spray painting on top.
Lighter Grey drybrush
Wash (still drying)
And with a last tan drybrush
Dungeon tiles are great, but sometimes you need to put one large room on the table, in one go, without having to fidget with 9 moving pieces. In that case, having the the whole 6x6 floor room ready is best.
I start with a fine layer of foam glued on a sheet of foamcore. Many online tutorials talk about the "cheap foamcore from the dollar store, where the top layer peels easily". Well, we don't have dollar stores in France, and all the foamcore I could find had their top layer well glue. So instead I'm adding my own foam layer on top and carve it.
I draw the squares with a pen first, then go over them again with an exacto knife to break the top layer tension. I then go over them a third time with a criterium to widen the grooves. I also cut some random angles, and added random cracks. Finally, I rolled the trusted aluminum foil ball over it to create the stone effect.
Black modpodge layer at the bottom, and some already painted at the top.
First grey overbrush on the left, and lighter grey drybrush added on the right.
The wash added some imperfection, made the stone darker in some places because of where the water stayed.
A last drybrush, made a bit randomly to lighten it a bit.