February 26, 2013 by catomighty
Last December, I started stocking up on cradle boxes using a stack of 50% off coupons at the big craft stores. I found a few different brands and sizes and acquired ones ranging from 2″ deep 8″ x 8″, 8″ x 10″, 10″ x 10″, and 12″ x 12″; and a big 1″ deep 16″ x 20″.
Overall, I prefer the 2″ deep Artists Loft brand found in the Arts section at Michaels. This is the more expensive of the brands, but I like the height of the walls and the thickness of the floors holds up nicely to any minor mishaps with the Skill Saw while cutting out doorways. Michaels also has a different brand in the Wood section that is 1.5″ deep. A.C.Moore has some 2″ deep ones in their Wood section; these have thin walls which are nice for allowing more space inside the room; but also thin floors, so doorways must be cut with much care.
The first trio is a suite of basic 8″ x 8″ chambers. Used a skill saw to cut out the door openings. Double doorways are 2.75″ wide to accomodate the Warhammer Quest portals. Single doorways are half that. I’ll be making various other doors to put into the openings too.
Drew/scored the floor spaces with a ball point pen. The movement space are typically 30mm square. If there’s some excess room available, the squares along walls and obstacle are a little larger to allow plenty of room for miniature figures in excited poses.
Used a woodburner to add some dimension to the vertical joints. Sprayed the walls with a couple of colours to get the speckled stone, Then brushed thinned craft paint onto the floor tiles and wall joints, the sprayed effect still shows through.
Next up, a pair of 12″ x 12″ super sparkly rooms working with a new medium for me — glass mosaic tiles from the craft stores.
I built the Hall Of Glass first to test the strength of the Mosaic Tile Adhesive. At the bottom of the hollow glass towers, I glued a fitted piece of 3/16″ wood to the floor in the center to provide extra angles and gluing surfaces. It’s all holding together quite solidly.
Next, did the Sauna Room. Beware the dangerous malfunctions with the under-the-tile lava heating system! These tiles got glued down, and then grouted. The mosaic grout is a powder which is supposed to mix with water to make a creamy consistancy. I was very dubious that this mix would be durable, so I picked up the Mosaic Grout Sealer and coated it. I’m pretty sure this will hold up to use now. And the sealer confirmed my early dubiousity. As it set, some sink holes appeared in the big swatches around the lava tiles where the original grout mix caved in. The sink holes work fine in the lava holes, so I won’t fill those in.
And for clever adventurers who can make their observation rolls, these 2 rooms have special features — a pair of actual secret doors in each one!
More elaborate rooms will follow, and hallways.