Every now and then I seem to get a compulsion to “do something”. Usually it’s nothing productive or useful, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the compulsion. Frequently the “do something” is related to an existing hobby of mine.
Well, that compulsion has hit again. This time the compulsion is all about making stuff for playing role playing miniatures games.
Of course, I’ve commented on this before, the last time I had a compulsion, which was to make my own miniatures, as shown in this post:
This time it’s similar, but in this case I am wanting to make three dimensional terrain to make the combat encounters more compelling and interesting. Typically RPG combat encounters are played out on battle mats with either drawn in terrain, or using commercial terrain mats which have pre-drawn terrain on them. Occasionally a GM will use a few 3D elements such as stairs or a small cardboard building. Really rich GMs might purchase some of the expensive 3D gaming kits that allow you to make entire castles or dungeons out of modular 3D pieces, usually made out of plastic or resin.
Of course I’m never satisfied with the store-bought stuff. Not that the stuff I make is even remotely as high quality, or remotely artistic, but it IS exactly what I need to create the encounter I want to create. One thing I really don’t like in playing RPGs is when an encounter is forced to be done a certain way because of the lack of physical artifacts. I’d rather have a crude troll on the mat than an ogre that I say “pretend this is a troll.”
So, I’ve been working on creating my own terrain elements. So far I’ve created a couple of things that I think have come out pretty well. In one case I’ve simply used styrofoam which I’ve cut to shape using a hot wire styrofoam cutter. In another case I’ve used polymer clay to create a stone wall which I then baked in the oven and painted. Both came out very well.
But what I’m thinking about now is taking some of the elements I make myself, especially the polymer clay ones, and using them to create latex molds and then cast multiple copies of them in resin so I can create my own modular construction kits.
Just wondering if anyone who reads this blog has ever worked with molds and resin. It seems pretty simple, but I’m sure I’m missing something. I’ll be trying out my first attempt as soon as I can get my hands on some clay. I’ve got the latex material and the resin from a project I was going to do years ago, but which I never competed. All I need is the clay to create the two-part mold so that I can mold reasonably complex shapes.