It may have become obvious to anyone who reads this blog that I've been interested in Frostgrave for some time now. One of the things that I like about this game are the many & varied scenarios that are contained within the main rulebook. Most of these scenarios require some special terrain and I've seen a number of other model-makers & gamers write about how they make such pieces.
One scenario ("The Keep") describes a ruined building where the internal magical transport system is still working - at least, after a fashion! By standing on one of the magic portals, a wizard could be transported instantaneously to a different portal and could gain much-needed experience from the travel. Alternatively, it might not work at all, or it might deposit the sorcerer in the middle of an enemy warband!
This scenario seemed too good to miss, since it provides a great opportunity for mayhem. I decided as soon as I had read it that I needed to construct some of these transport portals. I've not come across anyone else's versions, so I had to start from scratch.
The Magic Portals
|2.5" ring glued to a 2.5" disk of thick cardboard|
In "The Keep", portals are described as 2" circles (i.e. about 5cm). I started to make my versions by cutting out 2.5" rounds of mounting board (thick cardboard). Every second such disk had the central 2" removed thus leaving it as just a thin ring, which was then glued to a complete disk.
|"Stone slab" markings added|
Once the glue was dry, I used a triangular needle file to mark out different stone slabs on the upper surface. I added a few cracks and slabs with broken corners, just to break up the monotony.
|Undercoat, wash, drybrush|
Painting was very simple: I sprayed my portals with grey undercoat, coloured them with a dark wash and then drybrushed the edges lightly with pale grey. Nothing to it, really.
|Add snow & grass, then varnish|
Further detail was achieved by the addition of a little static grass growing out from the cracks & gaps between the stones and some snow (baking soda/sodium bicarbonate). The disks were then sprayed with anti-shine varnish.
|Add the magic circles|
Now comes the funky bit. To make it into a magic portal, I gathered some suitable patterns. I found the version I liked by searching Google images for "psychedelic swirl" and downloading some of the results. I printed my favourite onto paper and cut out a circle from that.
As an optional extra, I also cut out some circles of the same size from clean plastic packaging (fruit punnets, if I remember correctly). These transparent disks would help to protect the printed paper design as well as making it more reflective & therefore more "mystical". If I could have found some "cloudy" or translucent plastic then I might have used that rather than the see-through stuff that I had available..
|4 finished magic portals|
The paper pattern and the plastic covering disk were glued in place - I used just a bead of glue around the edge, rather than putting any on the image itself. I did need to weight down the centres while the glue dried, to keep everything flat.
And there we are: 4 magic portals, for very little effort and virtually no cost!
With a change of colour/texture for the outer rim and a change in pattern for the paper insert, it would be just as easy to make sci-fi transporter pads, missile silo doors or any of a number of other items. Of course, this would be much easier if the mounting board was available laser cut to shape!