Dungeon Accessories: Beds

So I’m still on the Dungeon Command Tyranny of Goblins “bedroom” tile (as I have come to call it). Last week, we did the broken mirror, and this week we’re going to tackle the bed. (The rug was covered in this article.)

This was a quick and fun little project that I was actually able to make out of things I had lying around. I will admit that, as I was putting it together, I mused upon the overlap between what I do and what dollhouse makers do. Although I doubt most dollhouse makers know the difference between a mace and a morningstar… but maybe that’s just what I was telling myself to make me feel better…

For this project you will need:

  • 1/2″ wide by 1/8″ thick balsa or bass wood. (Balsa wood is easier to cut and cheaper than bass wood, but not as sturdy.)
  • Some wood stain. I’m using a dark walnut for this project, but pick whatever color strikes your fancy.
  • White crafting foam
  • A small scrap of fabric for the bed cover
  • A bit of Sculpey for the pillow (also, another pillow option is discussed below)
  • Misc: Wood glue, a toothpick to apply it with, a utility knife, and some fine grain sandpaper
  • Optional: A crafting miter box and saw. If you don’t have this, definitely go with balsa wood.

Cut a length of wood about 1 1/2 inches long, and two lengths about 3/4 inch long each. I ended up eyeballing the lengths. So long as it fits in 2 squares by 1 square, you’re fine.

Cut the long piece and one of the short pieces down the middle the long way. (So, now all but one of your pieces of wood should be 1/4 inches wide.)

Take the remaining short piece and turn it into a headboard: cut two of the corners off, and then sand it down until that edge is nice and rounded.

Sand any rough ends.
Now, you may be asking, “Why cut the pieces down the middle? Why not just get some 1/4″ wide wood?” Good question. Two reasons. First, if you got 1/4″ wood, you’d need to get two pieces – a 1/2″ piece for the headboard, and the 1/4″ piece for the frame. You’ll see that the final product does not suffer from the way I did it. Second, by cutting the long piece down the middle, you’ll have two sides to the bed frame that are exactly the same length (or you should, unless you really botched the cut). This will pay off when we put it together.

Use your toothpick to apply the wood glue to the ends of the wood. Be very careful in applying the glue – less is more because any glue that ends up on the wood surface prevents the stain from soaking into the wood; this creates obvious bare spots. I glued the bed frame into two “L” shapes, and once those were dry, glued the whole thing together. It helps to use legos or something else to make sure you’re assembling the bed frame relatively square. Note the configuration that I glued the pieces together in.

Let the glue dry, and then stain it. If my model is small enough (and this one is), I usually just dunk the whole thing into the stain container. Be sure to have some newspaper and paper towels down. Once the bulk of the excess stain gets soaked up by the paper towels, I’ll wipe the rest off (gently!!) with another paper towel. Let the bed frame dry.

While it’s drying, you can make your pillow with your Sculpey. Make a ball and then flatten it into a vaguely pillow shape. You can even add an indentation from where a head rested if you’d like. Another option for a pillow is a grain sack from Showcase Terrain. They’re a tad big for my taste, but can certainly stand in as a pillow if you’re allergic to Sculpey, or if you want to make it look like the goblin uses a burlap sack for a pillow. The Showcase Terrain piece is pictured at the top (painted in black primer).

Now, take the bed frame and trace the shape of it onto your crafting foam. Cut two pieces of foam this size, and stack them/glue them together to make a sheeted mattress. It’s better to start with a piece of foam that is slightly too big, and trim it down.

Take your scrap of fabric, fold a bit back, and glue it down. Then, trim the fabric, and glue it to the mattress. While the glue was drying, I kept the fabric pressed against the crafting foam with some spare Hirst blocks. Just use whatever is lying around.

Once all that is dry, the mattress should fit pretty snugly into the bed frame; you don’t need to glue it. However, if you do choose to glue it into the frame, apply the glue to the mattress, not the frame. Because of the bed covering, you’ll have to slide the mattress up into the frame, and you don’t want to get glue on the top of the bed cover.

That’s it! There seems to be a lot of steps here, but really, everything comes together pretty quickly. Letting glue and stain dry is probably the most time consuming part of the project. For this reason, it’s a really good idea to make a bunch of beds all at once, if that’s what you need.

I will also note that I’m not going to put a footlocker at the foot of the bed since there’s a treasure chest so close to it already – on the dungeon tile, there’s a treasure square right next to the bed. It would be confusing to have two chests. And here is the completely furnished Goblin bedroom! Next week, I hope to post pictures of the completed set. Stay tuned.

This is what unpainted Hirst Arts tiles look like
(Click for big)


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2 Responses to Dungeon Accessories: Beds

  1. Philo Pharynx says:

    hmmm…. I wouldn’t think that goblins would be the kind to make the bed every day.

    Excellent work on the modelling!

  2. Pingback: Friday Knight News - Gaming Edition: 5-OCT-2012 | Game Knight Reviews

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