Fantasy – Doors

Fantasy – Doors

This week we have the “D” I put on hold from the earlier “B&D” post. I’ll get to the great mystery behind this in un momento!

First off, we have a whopping three plastic Portcullis terrain pieces from Mantic.

I’ve been meaning to do these for quite some time and seeing Kuribo post some nice wooden doors on his site, reminded me all about them. I still haven’t tackled the wooden ones as I have to experiment to find a somewhat quick method that I will be happy with first. But these are simply stone, metal, and rust, which don’t take as much mental work on my part.

Another couple views and a scale shot. I bought these to be used in dungeon crawlers, mostly Heroquest and a home-brew dungeon crawler game. Unfortunately I forgot to include them in the pics below, but I’m sure they will pop up in a future game pic at some point.

Speaking of games, in our D&D game we have been using game mat with dry erase markers. Simple enough, but I had remembered that I had made a ton of dungeon tiles awhile back and they could also be used to recreate dungeon module floorpans. I probably need some diagonal halls, but that should cover just about everything.

And here’s where I bombard you with pics I don’t know why I never took pics and posted them on the blog before?! Maybe I was waiting for a terrain challenge to get them done.

I made all of the following from pink insulation “XPS” foam sheet. Cut, weathered, primed, painted, and varnished. The more colorful rooms are painted with Contrast paints.


Small Rooms (top and underside). I only painted one side in case I wanted to use the stone colored flip side for other games (Frostgrave, etc.).

More Small Rooms, all painted in different patterns.

Large room (Quest room)

Walls (mainly for Frostgrave), Corner corridors, Columns, Junction corridors, Stairs, and rubble pieces.

These two are plastic minis I painted. But they are stored with the dungeon tiles as some rooms have special features like “The Tomb” or “The Fountain”.

Spiked walls. I made the walls the same as my others (XPS foam cut into bricks and then glued together). I then clipped toothpicks and stuck them into the wall, painted them metal, added rust and some blood.

Lastly, I will round up the post with a few shots of what a dungeon might look like. I have tons more tiles than I have shown here. I believe there is the same amount (likely more) of rooms, corridors, etc. as you would find in a boxed set of Advanced Heroquest (contains about 50 rooms/corridor pieces).

While making these I took a bunch of the spare bricks and glued them in clump to make “rubble”. These can be used to mark cave-ins, end of passages, or cover for skirmish games.

There’s that rubble! Plus the stair tile.

The construction part was something new and fun for me. The painting was a bit of a chore, but in the end I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. I hope to find the time to make some diagonal corridors next and I’d also like to make some corner building structures for Frostgrave at some point.

Next up: More B’s!


22 thoughts on “Fantasy – Doors

  1. Excellent work on the doors Brian, they look very effective. Your home made scenery is awesome, and very versatile for Dungeon quests, look forward to seeing the buildings you make for Frostgrave.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Dave! Quite the compliment from a terrain architect such as yourself! 😃 Yea, I’ll have to play around with the buildings to figure out what works the best. Whatever I choose, will have to be easily storable.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great looking custom floors and rooms and walls and spiky walls. They look particularly good all set up together – far more immersive than the dry erase marker maps would. The Mantic doors work well with them. I’ve got a bunch of those still to paint one day (in theory, anyway). I did paint a bunch of Mantic floor traps of various kinds that would work perfectly with these from their pvc terrain line.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Azazel! Yea, the Mantic doors are perfect. I forgot to mention that I glued them on top of some square bases I had. Then added a flat washer underneath for magnetic storage. I also picked up those same Mantic dungeon traps you mentioned. I think I only got one box, and even those were hard to find in stock at the time. I’m sure eBay will have them if I decide I really need a second box.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ya. Re-reading your post here made me think about techniques that might work for painting the wood. Maybe a mix of the usual drybrush with some “sponge-weathering” style stippling of lighter browns to add some additional texture/colour. Hm….
        I find the tricky thing with doors like this is that depending on the game they’re being used for, the doors can either be used as individual squares dividing rooms and spaces like corridors or halls, or go in between those individual squares. Of course, mounting them on bases as you have here makes them a LOT more stable… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I wonder if it would work better to stipple then drybrush. Food for thought either way! Great point on door placement. I think in Heroquest games they were between squares? I know in old D&D modules, the doors are usually between squares too. I could do one of two things I guess. 1. draw a line down the middle on the door base. This would help show where the door base lines up with the existing dungeon grid. 2. Trim off one side of the door base, so the door’s backside would sit flush with the grid. I’ll have to give them a look and see what works!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I think stippling would work well for those doors that have very “flat” texturing and/or wood grain (or none texturing/wood grain). Probably wouldn’t need to draw a line, I’d guess since you have the actual doors themselves to place on the “door-line”. It’d just mean that half of the base overhangs each of the rooms. Like a little step to the door.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Oh yea, I just looked and there is no room to paint a line as the doors extend to the ends of the base width. I might be tempted to build a ‘stone frame’ to set the door inside of at at a later date. That would also double as an ‘open door’ by removing the actual door once opened. But that’s something for another day.


  3. The doors look great! Its always neat seeing someone else you know paint the same sculpt. I like how bright the stones are on yours but the metal is still rusted and dark. It has a nice balance. While I don’t play any RPGs, I think having your own dungeon is really cool and visually impressive so I loved to see the tiles you’ve made, especially with some miniatures on them!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Jeff! Yea, it’s pretty interesting to see how people make different choices when they tackle the same mini. Or better yet, how different styles come into play. The stone turned out how I like it, but the metal ended up a bit darker than expected. Not totally sure why. I started with an AK steel, but then dry brushed with an AK silver. The silver should have really brightened things up, but it didn’t. I’ll have to keep an eye on that when I get to the hinges on the wooden doors. Yea, I should have included a pic of all the tiles stacked together but I didn’t have time to dig them all out of the box and put them back. I’ll have to get a pic at some point, maybe next time we play.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. No worries on not showing the tiles! I’ve definitely been there myself. Having said that, if you get ’em all out and take a picture later on, I’d definitely like to see them 🙂

        The only thing I can think of and this is probably a dumb suggestion is maybe the paints weren’t mixed up well enough? That can definitely cause any metallic paint to look darker than expected. Having said that, I’d be surprised if the solution were that simple!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It was just a bit of an oversight on my part, not showing the tiles. It was a really rushed post anyways, so I’m not surprised I forgot a thing or three!

          I have a Vortex mixer that usually does the job with mixing the paints. I kind of think it has something to do with the material. I noticed it doesn’t seem to want to take paint really well,
          Maybe the details being shallow. I just used the same paint on a different mini and it seemed to be fine, so who knows. Maybe it was the mixing?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Totally understood. It sounds possible. I know metallics (especially Citadel) really require some good mixing or they don’t do what they should so its possible that the mixer isn’t working with those. I’d say give ’em a good shake with your hands (a funny thing to say!) and see if that doesn’t deliver the expected results!

            Liked by 1 person

  4. The doors look great, Brian, and the overall scenery is awesome! XPS foam really is the dog’s bollocks when it comes to making stuff like that and you’ve done a fantastic job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Matt! Yea, when I first started playing around with XPS foam, it was a whole lot of fun! I haven’t had much time lately, but hope to tackle it again.


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