Tuesday, August 30, 2011

DIY Dungeon Walls



Back in 1987, I purchased a copy of Game's Workshop's Warhammer 40,000.  This was my first big foray into the miniatures world.  

Sure, I had some D&D minis that we mostly used for marching order, but when you need to build an army -- you paint a lot of minis...

...and you paint a lot of terrain.

The original WH40k book encouraged you to build your own terrain (and even vehicles!)  Here are some pics from that book that show you how I caught the mini/terrain bug...





Bottom line, once you start building terrain for your WH40k army, you never look at a plastic cup, margarine tub, or toilet paper tube the same way again!

In fact, McDonalds drink holders are PERFECT for a set of four linked pillboxes.  You just flip it over and paint it...  Here... see for yourself...
It even has "T" shaped slots that orks and space marines can stick their bolters out of and stay in cover!!!
I told you all of that so that it would come as no surprise what I am going to tell you now.

You see, I work in the Tech Services department and this year we bought about 300 new HP laptops for our schools.  Each of those laptops has two sturdy foam "bumpers" that protect it during shipping.

Each of those laptops was removed from its box and the cardboard was recycled.  The foam "bumpers" were put into trash bags and that is where I stumbled upon them.  FIVE bags of them.

Well, the first thing I think of is, "what can I do with these?"  Certainly there is something...  Let's have a closer look...  Rough texture, layers, lightweight...  I have an idea.

Here are some pictures of what I decided to do...
these are the foam bumpers
you can tear the end parts off with your hands
this is a LOW TEMP glue gun; the high temp one melted the plastic.  I also bought some gray acrylic paint ($0.39 each) and a bag of plastic skulls (it's almost Halloween!)
glue them together two high
this is what they look like from the top.  You can see that I made a knife out of a razor blade and some tape...
it's long enough to cut through in one slice...
You can see that there are a couple of different places you can cut these.  You can make long straight walls; C shaped sections; L shaped sections; etc.  I might even make some claustrophobic narrow dead ends...

Here are the pieces that I cut out.  You can reuse some of the tops you tore off to make some pillars too!

Here are the first three pieces I've done.  I haven't experimented with spray paint (it's really hot here in AZ right now and I've no good place to spray at the moment...) but that might be a real time saver.

Of course, I plan to do some architectural elements (like those skulls) and I might paint some graffiti or runes on some walls.  Some green slime here and there would be a nice touch too...




The pictures really don't do the walls much justice.  They do look pretty good.

Special bonus: you can buy little plastic champagne glasses at craft stores.  They are PERFECT to use as flying bases.  (see the wizard in the first pic!)

3 comments:

R.W. Chandler said...

This is freaking awesome! I think I could probably scrounge up some of these at my job as well. Thanks for the tip!

Lasgunpacker said...

Great idea! Foamed polypropolyne is pretty durable too.

You might want to test the spray paint before you use it though, as it could melt the plastic. If you do have that problem, you could use an airbrush or paint sprayer to paint it with acrylic or other emulsion paints.

Ravenseye said...

Yep, you are not the only one who hordes "stuff" to make things out of.

I miss that about old school Games Workshop. They were much more about the hobby, and not so much about the product, and that was what got me hooked into their games back then!

I still like their games, but don't feel the need to jump up and reset my armies to conform to whatever the new rules are. Leads to a lot less gaming stress! :)