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Miniature Figure Terrain Building Advanced Techniques

Article by Paul Nortness

In this installment I will teach you how to create the hallways and corner pieces that you will need to connect the rooms you learned to build in Part 1 of this miniature figure terrain modelling series. We will be repeating a lot of the techniques learned in Part 1, so to save some time I will be glossing over them. Please refer to that tutorial for complete details on those techniques.

Let's focus on the hallway first. The hallways serve as connector pieces between rooms and they also lock the pieces of the dungeon together. Let's make a hallway that is 8 squares long and 4 wide. Remember, we are using Dungeons and Dragons rules so each square is one inch. The first thing we need to do is remove the corner squares, so we have an outer row of 6 squares on each side and the ends are 2 squares. This will provide a "tab" when fitting the pieces together.

Now, cut out two pieces that measure four inches by six inches. These will be the walls. Trace out stone patterns and cut out the stones with your hobby knife. Give the stones texture and paint them black, then dry brush grey over the black.

dungeons dungeons 1 dungeons 2

Paint the floor section grey and apply a thick black wash. After about five minutes, remove the excess wash with a paper towel. Then, paint the tabs black. It is not necessary to paint the sides as the walls will be attached there.

dungeons 3

Once your floor and walls are complete, it's time to glue them. Put down some parchment paper to catch any excess glue. That way you won't permenantly glue your hallway to your workbench! Apply 5 minute epoxy glue to the bottom of each wall section and attach it to the unpainted sides of the floor.

When dried, you can paint the exposed foam black. This is not a required step, but makes the piece look much better and helps the illusion during play. It also helps with any gaps that may exist when the pieces are together.

dungeons 4

Alright, now we turn our attention to a corner piece.

dungeons 5

The floor section of the corner is a bit of a trick. First, we need to cut a 5 square by 5 square piece. Then, "notch" two sides with 2 squares between the notches, as seen in the picture. These notches will give the tabs on the hallway piece a slot to fit into. Once you have cut your notches you can detail the floor with cracks, etc. Paint and wash the floor as we did with the hallway. The idea is to make everything look similar so pieces aren't mismatched when the dungeon goes together.

dungeons 6

Now, we need three wall pieces. We will need to cut a six inch by four inch piece, a five inch by four inch piece and finally a one inch by four inch piece. With your walls cut, apply stone detail to them. On the six by four piece, make a one inch mark on the right hand side of the wall and stone detail to the remaining five inches. Detail the entire five inches of the five by four. The one inch by four inch piece should be detailed on two sides that share a corner. Once your walls have been textured and painted, it is time to attach them to our floor.

dungeons 7

First, attach the one inch piece in the corner. This is the easiest piece to attach so it is a great starting point. The piece should be fit so the textured sides of the wall face the rest of the piece. Once the corner has dried and is solid, it is time to attach the other walls.

dungeons 8

Attach the six inch wall so it is flush with the notch. Now, glue the five inch wall to the other end of the six inch wall and join them in the corner. You are probably wondering "Where are the archways?" and that would be a very good question. I have opted to leave out archways on my dungeon so it will be easier to get to the miniatures during D & D games and sometimes those larger monster miniatures have problems fitting underneath archways. When building yours, you can easily add archways if you want to.

Now I just need to coat the exterior with black and the corner is complete!

dungeons 9

Here is the corner and hallway fitted together:

dungeons 10

You can really see the advantage to painting the exterior black here. There is a small gap between the two pieces, but the black paint helps close the gap and make it look like just another tile.

dungeons 11

Now you have the basics of building hallways and corner pieces. That along with the rooms you learned how to make in my previous tutorial will give you all the skills you need to make an entire dungeon. Using the tongue and groove system here, the only limitation is your imagination. In my next tutorial, I will show you how to make props to decorate your dungeon.

Until then...

Have fun and happy building!

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