It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week we’ll build super simple Barrow-downs for your undead horde.
To make this little addition for your gaming table all you need is an old CD or DVD, an egg box, papier-mâché, paint, flock, and some matt varnish.
What are the Barrow-downs? In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, they’re tombs built into earthen mounds, which became the home of the ghostly barrow-wights. I don’t think they featured in the movies, but hey, a roleplaying table can never have too many tombs.
Because of the CD’s size, the model fits well on battle maps. Barrow-downs makes a stunning centerpiece for an encounter, or to mark the entrance to a dungeon. The model is so cheap and easy to build that you could bang it out in a weekend.
Building the Barrow-Downs
Build the structure out of bits of the egg box, using your CD as a base. I used the center bits (whatever you call them) to form the standing stones at the entrance to the tomb. Papier-mâché over the whole thing to form a solid shell, then let dry. This makes for a strong, lightweight model.
Paint the earth a muddy brown, then dry brush it with a lighter brown to highlight it. Paint the stone gray, then dry brush with a lighter gray.
When that’s dry, flock over the model, leaving the stone, a path to the tomb entrance, and any cliffs free of the flock. Then spray the model with matt varnish and you’re done.
There are thousands of ways to take this project to the next level, so get inspired and have fun with it.
Till next time, stay frosty!
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.