Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Make: 3D Dungeon Tiles Pt 2 - The Build

In Part One I discussed the design. However, I didn't give you any detailed plans with measurements, mostly because I didn't know how accurately I could cut the foamcore.

After a bit of trial and error, with different construction methods, I settled on the overlapping laminate design for each corner (as seen in the picture to the right).  This means that each tile has an outside measurement of 6" x 6" and they will tesselate quite nicely without any annoying gaps in the floor.  The downside to this design is that any opening which doesn't have a door or wall in it has an obvious slot in it's edge.

Cutting List

For each base you will need:

1 x Base (5mm Foamcore) - 6" x 6"

4 x Long Corner (2mm card) - 43mm x 1"
4 x Short Corner (2mm card) - 41mm x 1"
4 x Long Corner (5mm Foamcore) - 36mm x 1"
4 x Short Corner (5mm Foamcore) - 31mm x 1"
8 x Tabs (2mm card) - 10mm, 1"

Don't worry too much about getting it absolutely accurate to the mm as the foamcore is quite forgiving.  The card on the otherhand needs to be quite accurate as this is going to provide your overhang and ultimately a slot into which you can slide your door or wall sections.

All the corner sections are glued up with PVA (or Elmers) as in the picture above.  I used masking tape to bind the corner whilst I finageled in the foamcore, again the foamcore is quite forgiving so if the corners fold out, don't worry too much as the foamcore will compress back to 90 degrees when you glue each corner onto the base.

It's a good idea at this point to draw over the pencil lines on the base with a ballpoint pen, otherwise it'll be trick to get a straight edge in the confined space once you've glued on your corners.

My trial and error provided me with several abortive boards with good square corners, so I just used one as a jig.  This was invaluable and I would recommend making one.  The corners are then hot glued onto the base.  This is a bit of a messy job, but hot glue is way stronger than the foamcore's paper backing and provides a great bond.
Once all 4 corners have been glued onto the base, take some time to trim off any excess glue particularly around the join between the base and the overhanging card which forms one of the inside faces of the door/wall slot.  If there's any splodges of hotglue in the slot it will prevent your door or walls from sliding all the way to the bottom.

Then you just need to cut some 10mm x 1" tabs and hot glue to the opposite faces of the foamcore at both ends of each corner.  It took me a while to develop a technique of sliding the tabs towards the open end to get them into the correct position to prevent any hot glue seeping into the slot.

Once this is done the doors and walls can be cut from foamcore.  Doors are 3" x 2" and walls are 3" x 1", but can be trimmed down if they don't quite fit into the two slots at either side of an opening.  This gives you the option of having a door or a wall in each side.  Just cut more doors and walls as you need.

Eh Voila, three 20ft square dungeon rooms.

In my next part I'll be tackling the painting and decorating.

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