Unable to sleep this past week, I decided to spend some time making myself a custom dice tower. With a Deadlands campaign coming up, I’ve very much been in the ‘Weird West’ mindset, so I wanted to make something that would convey that to use at the table.
I have this thing about making game components that I can feel are 100% my own. Sometimes it manifests as sculpting, sometimes it’s painting, and sometimes it’s a weird amalgam of several different crafts. In this particular case, my base was this amazing (and quite popular) 3d model I found on Thingiverse called Desert’s Kiss, created by ArsMoriendi3D.
This was printed on a Creality Ender 3 Pro at .2 layer height in PLA+, and surprisingly, with zero supports. The print took about 30 hours but I couldn’t be happier with how it came out!
After a sleepless night or two and lots of tinkering, I got it to a state where I was pretty happy with it. It was painted, the bottom and dice catcher was felted, I flocked and based it, and it had been sealed with a coat of glossy brush-on varnish and then a coat of matte. I always knew that I wanted to epoxy a little desert scorpion to the top for effect, but still it felt like it was missing something. Also, I kind of cheated a little with the scorpion. My resin printer is out of commission currently and I thought that printing something with that much fine detail would be less than great on an FDM printer, so I scored this sweet little guy from Amazon (and yes, I’m fully aware it was an absurd price to pay for a tiny toy scorpion but I was sleep deprived).
After toiling for a while I decided that I wanted to add some accessories which included a cheap fake rose from Michael’s (f*** Hobby Lobby), this old-timey looking ‘Jesse James’ revolver from Amazon (yes, another irresponsible purchase and yes, another cheat), and last but not least, this super dope Marshal’s badge that I got as an add-on in my Blood Drive Kickstarter pledge.
I’m similarly really happy with this cast metal Deadlands dice set that was also included in my Kickstarter pledge. My only obstacle at this point was to hand-sculpt a ‘natural-looking’ stand for the revolver, for which I used some Super Sculpey, and the same kit of paints and washes that I had been using from Vallejo and The Army Painter. The bottom is felted the same as the dice tower. Also, I used a trick I learned from Adam Savage on the brim of the base, which consisted of using Antique Gold Rub ‘N Buff on top of a black base coat for the really cool antique metal look you see in the image.
That about does it for an explanation of the process without getting too deep into the nitty-gritty. the last thing to do is to drop a couple more images showing different angles of the build.
I can’t wait to move onto the next project, and wish me luck on my upcoming Deadlands campaign