About Rocky Mountain Bog Monster

Lifelong student with interests a mile wide and an inch deep. Autodidact. Pedant, hopefully of the slightly more pleasant sort. Sharer of things learned along the way. Lately of a creative bent.

XPS modular cave entrance tiles complete

Warts and all, my first attempt at modular XPS tiles is complete. There’s things I’ll do a bit differently next time. All part of the learning curve, right?

One of these days I’ll get a better camera. I’m not certain what prompted the color shift from cool white to first a yellow cast and then a pinkish cast.

WIP posts are here:



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WIP: modular XPS cave entrance

As much as I’d like to be painting and flocking, there’s no choice but to let the glue dry. Everything looks a bit cattywampus because I’ve got each piece perched on a thumbtack stuck in clay to keep the glue from sticking it to anything else.


I’ll be tinting the earth tones in a black wash tomorrow. Once that dries I can add just a wee bit of flocking and some shrubbery and that’s all she wrote.

WIP: Cave entrance XPS modular set piece

First, I decided to widen the set piece by one to balance out the cave entrance itself. Since I’m going for 2″ high walls in this piece, I glued the 1″ thick segments together. I might have to look into a better glue for the task. TiteBond II is amazing on a lot of things, but doesn’t seem to really take to the foam. When I find a better thing, I’ll be sure to share.

Meanwhile, it was time for fun with razors. Lots of shallow, angled cuts on all the surfaces. As an afterthought, since I’m using this for a set piece, the pieces would be far more flush with each other if I hadn’t treated each one as a kind of stand-alone block tile of some kind. S’okay…I’ve plenty of spares if it’s worth re-doing. For now, I’m content. As one might tell from the absence of dried brown stains, I kept my fingers intact, so I’m thrilled, even. As a method, I find it fun, but I’d be hard-pressed to suggest it lest someone ends up with flayed fingers.


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Modular cave entrance XPS tile kit

One of my goals for this project is to make products that others might find useful. A cave entrance that only covers a 2×3 tile array might be a bit small for someone’s needs. What if I expanded it to nearly a hundred pieces, instead of just what I need for my small set piece? Right off the bat, let’s go from six to a dozen 2.5″ x 2.5″ x 1/4″ thick field tiles to start with.


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Cave entrance set


And now for something completely different.

With all the emphasis I’ve put on field tiles so far, I’ve completely skipped one of the most important pieces for In Search of the Unknown…the cave entrance. As the first thing the players see, maybe it should be especially detailed compared to the dungeon and cave tiles they’ll be seeing from there on out.

What would I like in a cave entrance? Continue reading