This is a continuation of my posts Adding Some Color where I mentioned DM Scotty and his DMs Craft channel on YouTube. In particular these two videos:
Crafting an Alien Planet
Building a Planet with Scotty Part II
I still have not made my large battle mat yet but I did pick up the recommended paint colors and did a trial paint job on a piece of cardboard. I’m happy with how it came out even if it is a bit different than Scotty’s. The sample piece shown is big enough for small photo ops until I get a larger piece of material needed for the full size mat. I’ve also started replicating the paint scheme onto my mini and terrain bases but it will be a long side project in order to switch over my hundreds of already made up sand only bases to this new look.
“What the heck are those weird pod things… they are giving me the creeps!” Yes, that is what they are. Just something to add a weird alien feel to your battle scape. Or, depending on your game rules, they can be a kind of hidden ambush encounter location or an objective marker for a particular scenario. These were also inspired by Scotty from TheDMsCraft. The particular YouTube video “What the @#$% is it?” can be found here. It is a super quick video, about a minute long. Not any dialog telling you how to do it in step-by-step fashion, or even what colors to use. It is super simple. So simple that after watching it, I thought I could do it, so of course I set out overconfidently and messed it up. Well, messed it up is likely too strong. My pods were made slightly differently but I still love them. I missed that he used packaging Styrofoam tube shapes. I used half a cotton ball stretched out some for each one instead. Because of that, mine vary in size/shape a bit more which I like. However, they were a pain to cover with the hot glue so I cannot recommend my construction method. The extra rigidity of the Styrofoam makes for a much easier build. Speaking of which, this is very quick and easy. Once your martials and tools are gathered (which is not much), these 6 were made in about a half hour just using scraps from around the house. I think they add a lot to my alien planet (with fish tank plants in the background).
I know that it looks like ‘a lot’ right now but it is all very crowded together in a small space for a photo op. Once the full battle mat is done with some hills, roads, buildings, etc. and these are spaced out among the other things to designate areas of “woods”, I’m sure that I will be happy with it. Stay tuned to watch this game table set grow. I really hope to be able to start work on the battle mat soon.
To make the pods you only need a base (I like to use a metal washer for weight), some sand or similar to cover the base, a Styrofoam packaging peanut or tube (or a cotton ball if you want to struggle more like I did), a hot glue gun (w/glue sticks), a paint brush, and some paints. Oh, and you can use some pva glue to hold the sand to the base but I just just paint. Assembly goes like this:
1. Paint or pva glue on top of the base/washer and cover with sand (leave it to dry).
2. Hot glue over the Styrofoam/cotton ball, full coverage then add the veiny pattern.
3. Hot glue over the base to add the root pattern and then a glob in the center to attach the pod part.
4. Paint in your desired color scheme. I used a spray can of red as a base coat. Then blue and purple for the pod followed by what is now my standard base color scheme based on Scotty’s vids: stippled navy blue, aqua, burnt umber, bronze, terra cotta.
A tip for painting over sand: When applying the first color, add a lot of water to the brush. The watery paint will soak in around all the sand pieces very quickly. After that, the following colors will go on pretty easily since the sand is no longer so dry and porous.