Grim’s Modelmaking Tips: My top 10 Cheap or Free materials for scratchbuilding

One of my friends from the DM’s Craft Forums (grinningskull aka Grim) gave me permission to reblog this article. You should definitely head over to his site as he has a ton of great articles and free stuff!

You can find Part Two of this article here.

The Grinning Skull

I know this article probably won’t be as useful to some readers here, already well into the scratchbuilding bug like me, but I would hope that some of you that may have little or no experience in this subject will find some or all of it useful in some way. I intend to put up a few of these articles using this cheapo method I have been using for many years.

To me, paying for some modelling supplies is a real pain. I begrudge forking out for anything that impacts on my budget. Call me tight, but this comes from many years ago, when I was really skint, barely scraping a life, paying bills for myself and such, I am very much into making things of all types, and get stircrazy when I get a great idea and can’t carry it out for lack of stuff to make it with…

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Switch-Back Stairs Tutorial

Projects Update: My Elementals and Tim the Roper have been clear-coated, and my completed tiles are Black-Bombed. My sewers are coming along nicely, and might actually be ready to Black-Bomb before the cold weather hits

Quick-note: My stairs are black-bombed but not painted. As soon as I get them painted, I’ll update this post

My Switch-back stairs are based upon the following method from DMG:

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Elemental Power – Earth

As you enter the clearing where the Goblin Shaman has retreated to, you see a small warband gathered around a large pile of rocks chanting “Gorginak! Gorginak! Gorginak! Gorginak!” As soon as they notice you, they flee down a nearby tunnel. The huge pile or rocks begins to shift and take the form of a rocky… thing. Roll for Initiative.

Or if Science Fiction is more your thing, there is always:

Either way, today’s tutorial is a Super-Sized Earth Elemental!

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Duneon Tiles WIP – Part Two!

Yesterday I posted the tiles I had Black-Bombed (spray-painted black). Today I want to talk about walls.

At first I was using measured and cut cardstock to cover my walls, but that was too time intensive.

Then came aluminum foil and hotglue. Again, too time intensive.

Finally there came junkmail cut into ribbons on my new paper trimmer, and elmer glue.

Anyway, here is a quick peak at how I’ve progressed!

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Dungeon Tiles WIP Part One

As I’ve already stated in Winter is Coming, October is nearly upon us and that means the temperature will be dropping outside. As I’ve stated before that means no spray-painting and no priming.

As I can do the detail painting on things inside during cold weather, my new priority crafting wise is getting stuff to the point where I can black-blast (prime and base-coat with black spray-paint). Right now I’m working on Dungeon Tiles.

I’ve already shown the tiles I did up for my second set here (my first set does not bear so much as an honorable mention, as they were horrible). While these single 3-inch-square pieces are nicely detailed and can be used to make uncommon configurations, a few dozen of these does not an easy dungeon system make.

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Elemental Power – Air

Today’s Project is an Air Elemental. To do this project I used the following tools and materials:

Materials: Heavy Gauge Wire, Card Stock or Manila Folders, a 1″ wooden dowel cut 1 inch long, with a hole drilled through the center, a Plastic Lid (mine came off of a large canister of oatmeal), and paper bags. Not shown in the picture are Liquitex Flexible Modeling Paste, Popsicle sticks, toothpicks, Primer and Paint.

Tools: Pliers, Wire Cutters, Cutting Tool, Cutting Mat, Hot Glue Gun, Small Can and Large Can. Yes, you will need two cans as tools, to help you bend your wire.

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