If you’re looking to elevate your tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) experience, there’s nothing quite like having a stunning terrain piece to set the scene. In this two-part tutorial, we’ll guide you through the process of crafting an impressive Orcish Throne Room for your TTRPG adventures. In Part 1, we’ll focus on creating the centerpiece – the orc throne, tusks, and a menacing banner. So, let’s gather our materials and get started!
Before we dive into the specifics of crafting each element, here are the general materials you’ll need for this project:
- Utility knife
- Proxxon cutter (or utility knife)
- Mod Podge
- Acrylic paint (various colors) – (dollar store)
- Tiny skulls (optional, for added detail)
- Hot glue gun
- XPS Foam (Home Depot)
- ReadiBoard Foam Board (Dollar Store)
- Fine tooth comb or wire brush
- Balled up tinfoil
- Sculpting tools/ballpoint pen
- Construction paper
- Wooden Skewer
Now, let’s break down each component:
Planning and Shaping
- Start by planning out the basic shapes for your orcish throne. Consider where you want the throne arms to align with the back of the seat, the depth and height of the seat, and the overall dimensions. Use a miniature figure to help determine appropriate sizes.
- Cut test shapes from readiboard foam and hold them together to visualize your final shape. Make any necessary trims until you’re satisfied with the design.
- Before gluing your pieces into their final shape, add texture by running a fine-tooth comb or wire brush over the foam. If you want to add more character, push in a design or border using a sculpting tool or a ballpoint pen.
Assembly and Detailing
- Use your hot glue gun to carefully assemble the throne pieces into their desired shape. Be sure to hide the glue in inconspicuous areas, such as underneath the seat.
- Once the glue has dried, make any last-minute trims, glue on any desired skulls for a menacing touch, and apply a layer of black Mod Podge to seal the piece.
- Choose a dark base color for your throne and dry brush on progressively lighter shades for a weathered, wooden effect. For instance, you can start with a dark brown and work your way up to lighter browns. Always end with a very gentle white dry brush for highlights.
Shaping and Detailing
- Draw the basic tusk shape on one side of your XPS foam. Cut it out using your Proxxon cutter or a utility knife.
- Rotate the tusk shape 90 degrees and draw another tusk shape, then cut it out again. This should leave you with a squared-off basic tusk shape.
- Use an X-Acto knife and sandpaper to smooth the tusks into a more natural, organic shape.
- Create bases for your tusks using more XPS foam. Ensure the bases are larger than the bottoms of your tusks.
- Hot glue the tusks onto their bases, making sure they create a framing effect, all leaning in a similar direction.
- Bevel the edges of your tusk bases for a polished look.
Sealing and Painting
- Seal the entire piece with black Mod Podge.
- Paint the tusks white. You may need to apply multiple layers to cover the darker Mod Podge.
- Paint the bases to match your terrain. If it’s meant to look like stone, use balled-up tin foil to create a stone texture before painting. Finish by dry brushing your base for added texture.
Constructing the Banner
- Shave your wooden skewer to make it slightly thinner and rougher, and cut a piece for the crossbar. Ensure that the spike of the skewer is part of your main pole, not the crossbar. If you have skulls to work with, cut off an additional piece near the top of your skewer where you’ll later glue the skull.
- Use a hot glue gun to attach the crossbar perpendicular to your main pole.
- Optionally, use acrylic paint to add some color to your skewer before gluing.
Crafting the Banner Itself
- Cut out a banner shape from construction paper, tearing the bottom for a rough, weathered look.
- Cut ribbons of construction paper in various lengths to frame your main banner. Crumple all the banner pieces to give them a weathered appearance.
- Trace your chosen crest or design onto the banner using a pencil before painting on the final design.
Assembling the Banner
- If you have a skull, use super glue to attach it to the top of your main banner pole and the skewer spike to the top of the skull, being careful not to stick your fingers to the piece.
- Create a banner stand using XPS foam and a utility knife. Carve out a rock shape, seal it with black Mod Podge, and paint it to match your terrain.
- Finally, insert your main banner pole into the stand and secure it with white glue, tacky glue, or hot glue. Paint the skull to your desired colors.
With your throne, tusks, and banner complete, your Orcish Throne Room is well on its way to becoming an awe-inspiring centerpiece for your TTRPG adventures. Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll tackle flickering, moody, braziers to complete your Orcish Throne Room terrain. Get ready to immerse your players in an epic fantasy world like never before!
Credit where credit is due – I got my inspiration for these pieces from the work of Danielle Calvill on Unreal Engine: