Thursday, December 15, 2016

Dungeon Furniture, Walls, & a Monster

Hi Everyone,

Very cold here tonight, so there was no way I was going to be anywhere but home, so I got some work done on my little wooden fellows.  As I posted a few days ago, I'm trying to build my collection of dungeon furniture.  When I was looking at the braziers I made recently, all I could see was "magic sundial."  I'm a lover of old school D&D and Holmes has a magic sundial in the dungeon that is included in the Holmes version of D&D.  So here is a magic sundial for my dungeon, and my tribute to one of the most important people in the early years of D&D.
The construction is identical to the braziers.  The only difference is I cut a piece of tile spacer in an attractive shape and glued it on top of the sundial face instead of putting hot glue in the same place to create the fire like I did for the braziers.  The paint for this one is interesting, I found a fairly expensive ($8.00 for a little bottle!) professional grade acrylic paint and I decided to give it a try.  It sort of shows up in this picture, but in person you can really tell that the paint is very glossy.  Normally, I don't like that, but I wanted more of a magical metal look to this piece, and I'm okay with it being as glossy as it is.  It's too thin, though, to be used for the figures.  I'll stick with the American paints for them.

I prefer not having walls on my dungeon all around it, but at the same time having the flat floors only does lack for some visual interest when you get a big dungeon on the table.  I decided to make some "walls" that I could slide up against the walls of the hallways and the rooms every now and then just to give the impression of walls without blocking the player's view of the board (which is what I don't like about 360 degree walled dungeons, that and the fact that you can never see what's in the corners of the room!).
Sorry, the picture is a little fuzzy but you get the idea.  This is a single piece of precut wood from the craft store, about 2 inches tall and 3 inches wide.  On the back I glued a small 1/2" I think cube flush with the bottom edge of the piece of wood.  Then I glued a precut rectangular piece that comes in a big bag of wooden pieces in a variety of shapes and sizes flush with the small cube.  The important thing is to leave some of the rectangle extending forward from the wall.  The reason this is important is that you will slide the wall piece up against the hallway or room tile so that this rectangular piece slides underneath the hallway or room tile.  This will give the wall stability and keep it in place.  Painting is very simple as you can see, I used a lighter and darker shade of brown to break up the look of it, and to create "depth."  The lighter color bricks indicate a pillar flush up against the wall, with the darker bricks in shadow slightly from the pillars.
Here are two of the wall tiles in the corner of a room to give the room some height and depth without blocking the players' view of the room tile too much.
Here is how it would look on one of my hallway tiles. 

A larger project I am working on is some tribute pieces for OD&D, Holmes D&D, Moldvay D&D, 1st Edition AD&D, and Gary Gygax in general.  The sun dial piece is a tribute to Holmes as I said before.  The image in the next picture should be recognizable to all old school D&D players.  Love it or hate it, this is a wall piece depicted in the classic Gygax module, the Tome of Horrors.  If you haven't played the module, I won't spoil why this is such an iconic image from the module.

Construction was pretty easy, painting was a pain.  It's just a regular wall like I described above with the large lady bug shape glued onto the wood.  Then I used small beads to make the horns on the head, with the two pieces of horn pointing "down" accomplished by splitting one of the beads and gluing one piece on each side, giving the illusion of horns pointing downwards.  I based the painting off the following image of the wall piece from my favorite D&D artist of all time, Erol Otus.
Thank you Gary Gygas, and thank you Erol Otus for this iconic module, and iconic image, from my youth.


  1. Cool stuff. The painting of the wall piece is just fantastic. Reposted to DM Scotty's Facebook page.

  2. Thanks for reposting, Dale! I really need to get a Facebook page.




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