A Busy project weekend....
Here is what this started out as in the previous Dragon's Head Post:
-An incomplete thrift store toy catapult - $.75
-Plastic bicycle cassette holder - free/recycled
-Cardboard construction paper tube - free/recycled
-Additional elements included paint, glue, and an old thrift store plastic dragon ($.50). Everything else was from recycled or re-purposed bits of scrap, wood, metal, chain, and paper.
The key to this whole project really was the plastic bicycle cassette holder. I am an avid and long time competitive cyclist, and geek-crafts and table top gaming were always the perfect way to spend recovery time growing up. A bit vintage now, and no one would ever guess at my "secret life" as a hard-core D&D geek and collector, but its amazing what bits of plastic, metal, wood, and paper can be made into given a slight "twist" to the perception.
Some background on the Dragon's Head project:
From the depths of the Ursus templars Tower I found an old plastic Red Dragon; chubby, a bit "fairy-tale" looking, and spouting a long plastic lien of poorly painted fire. The perfect candidate for "adaptation." Originally about $.50.
My compiled parts list then became a conglomeration of a discarded red dragon's head, an old plastic bicycle cassette holder, and a cardboard tube. When blended together with some old plastic decorative teeth beads, a few small wooden barrels, and some bits of discarded jewelry chain draped over a small wooden dowel of wood, the form of The Dragon's Head began to truly take shape.
The cardboard was first lightly sanded, then scored with a small metal pick to give the deep grooves of tree bark and wood grain.
It was then painted to look like a huge heavy battering ram with a solid base of wood brown and dry brushed with a darker shade of chocolate brown.
An end cap of cardboard was added to the rear to flush out the base of the ram's trunk and the dragon's tail was adhered with epoxy to the back for a decorative effect. Perhaps to be used for pushing the ram forward into large wooden castle gateways and portcullis's.
When parted out, the front claw of the dragon also proved useful to add a decorative hook for the front of the ram as well. Again, decorative utilitarianism was the look I was going for here. A fantasy device to be sure, but one that had seen heavy use and some descent amount of ware and tear.
Such minuscule details are thought out and planned, but oft do not come out as visible as I would like in the photos. But ideally, these contraptions are for players, in person and at the table, where these minuscule details can add a sense of realism and wonder to the tabletop universe when viewed with the eye.
The detail on the "wooden" ram made from the cardboard tube shows the effect of the dry brushing over the sanded and shaped cardboard beneath.
The frontal chains fit eerily well into the raised slashing claws of two trolls from the WOTC D&D line, followed by the Human Torturer mini with raised whip. Background noise aside, the device is just a bit large for a small room tabletop battlefield such as this one, but creating story hooks from the advancing horde is easy enough...
From the outskirts of the small forest Castle, the Orc army begins to emerge from the barren hills beyond.
Darnehelm Lord of Mur Crag balks at their initial advance, paying no heed to the hordes beyond, or their giant war elephant...