It’s Mini Monday, and this week we’re going to do something completely different. I’ll show you how to make the PJ Masks HQ, impress your kids, win fame and glory, and do it all on the cheap!
My post about DIY Gaming got me thinking that I could do a whole series on crafting your own games. I freakin’ love it! Make a game just for yourself and — if you’re lucky enough to have some — your friends? Nobody else, no fans, no gaming clubs? No big budgets for art or marketing. No Kickstarter campaign. Just you, the cardboard, and a few dice. Sign me up!
But that’s for the future. And now, as Mr. Cleese would say, “for something completely different.”
The PJ Masks HQ
If you’re here, you know what the PJ Masks are all about — or you’re hopelessly searching for an RPG angle to this article! My kids love the pajama-wearing heroes and were lucky enough to get some of the action figures for Christmas. Dad here — overzealous idiot that he is — decided the toys needed a home. It wasn’t like Dad needed to do actual work or anything. Besides, the PJ Masks HQ is just a pipe with wings and funny ears… what could be so difficult about making that?
How Not to Lose a Finger
Sawing PVC pipe in half is easy. Cutting square holes out of PVC pipe without sacrificing an appendage requires the dexterity and nerves of a bomb technician.
I started with a thick PVC pipe and marked out three “doors” for each of the heroes’ rooms.
A hand saw will get you started, but gets messy. The trick is to cut many horizontal lines — top to bottom in the picture above — while sawing over a bin. You can then use a drill to cut off these thin sections, and a vacuum cleaner to pick up all the white dust that misses the bin. Repeat until you have enough space to use your saw vertically, which is left to right in the picture.
Finish off the holes with a file and sandpaper.
On a Wing and a Pr(Ear)
I formed the ears with the sections I’d cut from the holes, forming them with my saw, file, and unwavering determination. We don’t need to mention the leg wound incident. It’s not important. Move along!
The wings were made from hardboard, more sawing, more filing, and even more cursing. The fact that Jesus never used the swears he picked up from papa Joseph just proves his divinity, let me tell you.
The wings and ears were then glued to the main pipe of the tower with PVC cement. It’s miracle stuff, and considering how often the darn pieces were smashed off, I can tell you it’ll get you as high as a bat, but it works.
Next Floor, Lingerie and PTSD
The floors and roof were made with the bottoms of tin cans, hot glued into place. A tin opener will get this job done, but there must be a better option. There must be. I still have nightmares about sawing, puncturing, drilling, bending, scoring, and doing whatever else I could to get the darn things off.
Each of the faces on the front of the tower were drawn on cardboard and cut out. I did the same for the detail on the wings. At this point I also superglued foil onto hard, clear plastic to make the eyes, which were stuck onto the PJ Masks HQ at the end of the build.
Miniature painters, beware. A creation this size takes a lot of paint. I’ve suspicions that PVC is really just dense sponge. I threw five cans of paint at this, and it still seemed to want more!
I painted the faces and the wing details with poster paints, then, when everything was dry, stuck on the eyes. I then used a permanent marker around the eyes, faces, and wing detail. Finally, I painted the whole thing with gloss varnish.
Then I stood weeping as my kids ignored this magnificent new toy and played with the cheap tealight I’d planned to install in the HQ’s ceiling. (Stick a magnet to the base, so it’ll stick to the tin ceiling like a spaced-out bat).
The final thing was an impressive abomination, like a kiddy version of Sauron’s tower. The symbolism isn’t lost on me.
More Occult Misadventure
And now for that RPG angle. Masters of the Occult: Play Manga d20 is the perfect companion to the best-selling Play Manga d20 ruleset, which builds on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
Inside you’ll find archetypes and options for the occult classes, based on popular manga and anime franchises.
Open your mind to the possibilities of the world beyond the veil of reality!
The Rising Phoenix Games dude.
Rodney is a writer and editor of tabletop RPGs and a painter of Orks. He is worryingly fond of mill decks in Magic: the Gathering and a self-confessed Japanophile.