Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Valley of the Goblins

This is a re-post of a page from my old website.  A couple of people have asked where I've moved my site to, and the problem is that I haven't gotten around to it yet, thus my re-posting of the pics.

My Valley of the Goblins has no green-skins, or other fantastical critters.  It was inspired by the rock formations at Goblin Valley State Park in Utah.  The park may be overlooked due the number of amazing national parks in Utah, but is well worth the stop if you have opportunity.  The photos below may also seem familiar as it was the site of the not quite abandoned mining colony in the movie Galaxy Quest.

The goblins for my tabletop came in two phases.  The first was done as part of a contest for an online discussion group.  I used the photo below as inspiration for the project...

...and built the following.

The contest called for the construction of a religious site, so I added the walkway which lead to idols, including a "giant" birdlike idol that stood in the cave.

I always try to make terrain as flexible as possible, so the various parts of the terrain piece were made in a modular fashion , breaking down into the separate pieces shown below.

A couple of years after doing the original piece, my daughter (aged 9 at the time) and I sat down and added some more goblins to the valley.

The project isn't really done yet, as there are several other unique goblin formations that I still want to add, as well as some more of the lesser "troops".

All were constructed from  blue extruded polystyrene insulation foam.  Small pieces of foam were glued up into blocks with spray adhesive (3M Styrofoam adhesive, or Florabond brand), then cut to rough shape with a hack saw blade, further shaped with a surform tool and coarse sanding block.  Deep cracks were added with the Foam Factory stylus, and the final shapes were sanded relatively smooth with a small orbital sander (Minicraft, old Black and Decker mini sander, Mouse sander, etc will work). 

They were then "primed" with an artist's acrylic paste, and painted with acrylic artist's paints, and then coated with Testor's Dullcoat.

The Goblins have served well in 28mm near future, alien world, and fantasy games in both desert and jungle settings.