Stonework Steeps!

I know I know....."modular modular modular."
I preach that all the time.

But the versatility, storability, mobility, and playability of modular pieces is just SO much fun, and they are a constant challenge to create.
Plus, when your imagination varies from a love of all things D&D to the carnage of Warhammer 40K, having pieces that can work for both saves a bit in the "Gaming Terrain Finance" department too.

So this weeks project was creating a sense of muddler stone columns, but made to look like natural rock. I wanted these to be able to be used in various forms of terrain. anything from mountain to forest to underground cavern settings (although the end result, while nice, does slightly limit  the potential use (in my own opinion) to underground cavern settings).

I started with my standard building material, hardened, paper-backed foam core or gator board (see the previous Creative Dungeoneering post on the Battle board made from this here:

I shaped these with a thick and rough pair of scissors and then smoothed the edges with a soft sanding block, before gluing them together in equal-sized stacks with standard pva glue.

Once done, I added layers of paint over the black foam core and paper backing in the following order:

  • Primer gray-standard gray primer spray
  • light gunmetal gray: any med-to dark shade of stone gray would work (or red, brown, etc).
  • soft gray: I used a softer, almost white gray here, dry brushed over the top to create edge highlights and give the stone a worn texture. The same would apply here though for other shades of red, browns and whites.  
Once the stone work was completed I added a thin layer of pva glue to the top, and created a flocked top layer using standard flocking materials. Green hobby store grass material (think train building sets or model diorama terrain) works well, but I also use a mature of old pencil shavings, pva glue, and a light dab of green food coloring and paint and mix until dry. This gives some texture and depth too (more on this in the next post on Aspen trees and natural terrain).


Simple. Pretty fast, and these were made almost entirely in an evening-about 2 hours +/-. 
Effective for use in wargaming or table-top roleplaying as added terrain features, archways, gateways, columns, pillars, or even over-water type features.

There are a ton fo add-ons that could be done to these too:
  • Stalagmites/stalactites from some fo the small overhanging rock edges, then done in purple (Underdark or crystal-type) hues or even painted with snow flocking to represent ice or winter terrain. 
  • Extra foliage or moss on the edges
  • Water-spray, or bases of hot glue and water-type features giving them the look of being suspended in or above water. 

Just great simple little pieces with a lot of creative potential. 

As for cave terrain, I intended originally to make these modular to where they could be used for an Underdark campaign as well. But I am a huge fan of the more purple-gray hues that are found in the Wizards of the Coast and Gale-Force 9 Caverns of the Underdark sets that I currently use and match terrain too (see some of the previous Creative Dungeoneering posts on these in our archives...) so it was tough to justify the purple hues needed with the green flocking. 
As much as I love modular terrain, I love making it match even more. Thus, these are primarily for "above-ground" use. 

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