Saturday, November 27, 2010

DIY Gelatinous Cube: The Quick and The Dirty

I read Michael Curtis' post on his homemade Gelatinous Cube miniature and was inspired to give it a go. For some reason I always think of gelatinous cubes as translucent green even though I know they're described as "nearly transparent" - a google image search shows I'm not alone. I really don't understand it. Part of their appeal is the fact that PCs might walk straight into them. Still, maybe translucent green wouldn't show up with infravision or as much under torch light. Maybe the green version is a peculiar local variety in my game. Whatever.

The Quick: My first thought was: why make a mini? I can just take a plastic dice container, remove the bottom, turn it upside down, and voila! This has the added advantage of allowing you to put it over the top of your players' minis. If you like a green version, get out a green marker and use it to color the plastic container. If you don't want to permanently color it you can cut and fold some green acetate to the right size and put it in the container, taping or gluing it there if you like. I cut two sheets to try this since I couldn't be bothered to measure where to make folds.

Looks a little more like a gelatinous parallelepiped than a cube though. Not very gelatinous either.

Therefore, The Dirty: I really like some of the epoxy-resin mold produced versions of the Gel Cubes I've seen on the web. But there's something about being able to take another mini and put it inside the dang thing whenever you like that appeals to me. Plus, some of that stuff looked pretty toxic at the art store. So I decided to construct my own cube. First I got a length of balsa wood, about 3/16"x3/16" by 2'. I cut this up into appropriately sized pieces (I was going for a 2" cube) and glued them together in a such way that there would be some reinforcement.
Then I cut some green acetate into 5 squares slightly smaller than 2"x2" each and glued these to 5 sides of my cube. These gave it a little more strength. Too late, I realized that I should have painted the balsa before gluing it together as its pale color would be easily seen through the acetate once I was finished. Ah well, I painted it after the fact as best I could.

Next, I took some paper clay (since it air dries) and molded this around all the edges, leaving aside the open bottom face of the cube.

Then I painted it. The whole thing came out way more green than I'd wanted. Still, I've grown attached to the little monster... Here's our hero, before and after being swallowed by the creature.


LoneIslander said...

Cube of doom!

Loquacious said...

That's super cool. You could just as easily use clear acetate...

christian said...

Very nicely done and way, way cooler that the Rare g. cube on EBay from WotC that the re-sellers list for $28.

ze bulette said...

Thanks for the kind words!
@Loquacious: I actually bought some clear acetate today before seeing your comment to possibly try again. I'm thinking of diluting the paint to try to give it a milder tint.

Roger G-S said...

Having seen this, ability to "engulf" is far and away the best part of any gel-cube miniature - lime flavored or not.

Anonymous said...

That's awesome, man.
I really like the ability to engulf another figure.

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