Scratch built dungeon tiles

A while back I found myself with a few spare cork board floor tiles; 300mm square, about 5mm thick and with an adhesive backing. I knew I wanted to build some terrain with them but at the time had no specific plans.

As I painted up my RuneQuest figures for my Big Rubble Otherworld game I recalled Balastor's Barracks, an old school dungeon bash in Big Rubble and then remembered the tiles. Generally with all my terrain it must pass the following criteria: 1. cheap (I’d rather spend my limited hobby budget on miniatures & books), 2. quick and easy to make (I’d rather spend my limited free time playing or painting miniatures) and 3, robust and easy to store. 

Dungeon 01 Dungeon 02 Dungeon 03 Dungeon 04

Well the tiles were free, so I just needed a quick and sturdy solution. I started with pencil an paper and decided that I wanted to follow a basic pattern of 30mm squares with 30mm high walls. A few sketches later I had some basic idea what I wanted. The 5mm thickness would mean the walls would need to be 35mm high. I had some card stock left over from another project this would act at a base. With a few offcuts form the tiling project I realised that the adhesive side bonded well to the card and with a 5mm lip I could use a hot-glue gun to fix the walls. So far the result was proving to be quick and easy.

I like the cork pattern on the tiles and felt that with a simple dark wash would create a quick and easy stone effect. However the wall would have one sticky side which was resistance to water based paints. I also wanted to fill the inner join between the wall and floor. So before I painted pieces I pulled of the paper backing and dipped the sticky tile in fine sand. The result was quite an effective plastered wall texture. I finished up with a light PVA/water/sand mix and using a palette knife filled the join and created a look of dust and rubble kicked to the side of the dungeon wall. The whole piece was then washed with dark brown acrylic. 

Dungeon 05 Dungeon 06 Dungeon 07 Dungeon 08

The effect looked good and sturdy. Over the course of a few weeks I set up a simple production line, cutting, gluing, sanding and washing. To make sure I ended up with a reasonable selection of corridors, corners, doorways and blank floors I sketched out a quick and simple D&D style dungeon and set about following that plan one room at a time. By strange coincidence I was able to complete my map bar one small room with the material I had.

The last step was to print out a few doors and stick on some card stock. I’ll probably improve these in the future if the dungeon sees more use. For now it works great and I have enough tiles to cover a reasonable area and with a good variety of shapes and configurations. For this one I wanted a really big room with a pool to work around as the main lair. The day glow pool is just a sheet of coloured sugar paper slipped in the tiles. 

Beyond the Seven Seas

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