Friday, May 7, 2010

Workbench Update: Going Underground

As soon as the Gothic Horror campaign started moving, I took stock of the models and terrain that I had prepared for our games.  I had more or less completed everything I had set out to do for phase one of the project, but this week past, I realized that I had almost completely forgotten about one important terrain element- crypts!

As the story progresses, Sir Thrustam and company will certainly find themselves exploring mausoleums, crypts, underground dungeons, castles, and so on.  I began pondering ways to represent such enclosed environments.  I didn't want to get into anything that was too expensive or involved, so I was leaning towards making something to represent the general floor plan without getting into making walls.  After a few failed experiments, here's my simple solution... vinyl floor tiles!  I bought these at the local hardware store for less than a buck a piece.  As you can probably tell, I chose a grey, stone-like pattern so that I wouldn't have to paint the pattern on.  These measure one foot square so I bought sixteen, enough to layout a 4x4 playing surface.

I've made two experimental pieces for now.  My method was ridiculously simple.  First, I marked out the pattern of the hallways/rooms with tape.  Then, I painted the "void" area with black paint.  That's pretty much it.

Here are two tiles laid together.  As you can see, I'll be making sure that the designs match up on the edges.  I'll also paint about half of the other sides completely black to use as "filler" tiles when the rooms and hallways aren't all encompassing.

This is the Heroquest furniture I wrote about some time ago.  I'm going to prime and paint the plastic components and then reassemble them.  They should stand in nicely as cover and as scenario objectives.  I can just see it now; Prof. Alcock and Ms. Poundwood searching for clues in an underground library.

Anyway, I'm sure it will look more impressive when spread out over the table with suitable amounts of rubble and furniture sprinkled to taste.

Thanks for reading,


abhorsen950 said...

Looks good to me.

fireymonkeyboy said...

Down the road, if you get to feely frisky, pink foam insulation would do fine to fill in your "blank spaces". Plus, you can press / scribe texture into it pretty easily.

Andrew said...

You might also consider cutting those tiles into different Tetris-type shapes, and simply lay them on a black board. Then you could re-arrange for different dungeon maps.

Nice idea on the stone-looking vinyl tiles. That will save a lot of paint time.

JET (aka Jason) said...

Good idea Andrew, and I went and did just that since this entry was posted :)