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Dwarf Craftsmanship: DIY Tiles

Hi again delvers!

You don't need much to play Torch & Shield, but what you do need is an area to represent your underworld in the game. Typically, this is referred to as a set of dungeon tiles.

Our game developer Jacob needed a set of tiles, so we thought this was the perfect opportunity to make one, and we wanted to do it as cheaply and as simply as possible, while still getting a good result.

This is what we came up with:

We are pretty happy with how it turned out. The tiles have a real grimdark, dilapidated look to them, as if its been a long time since they were tread by Dwarven boots.

So how did we do it?


First you will want to get your basic materials. Most 'dollar stores' stock these kinds of items very cheaply, and you can probably get everything you need for under 20$.

You will need:

5mm Foamboard, EVA Craft Foam Sheet, Scissors and a Craft Knife, Paints and Brushes, Some rocks & woodchips, glue (we used both PVA and hot glue, but you could get away with just PVA


You want to beat the heck out of your EVA foam sheeting. Use some rolled up aluminium foil, rocks, wood chips and branches. The more weathered you can get it the better. EVA is quite springy, don't go easy on it. A few times I ripped straight through the foam - this is good as it adds more depth.

You should end up with something like this:

Once you have your EVA textured its time to draw out your actual stone flagstones.

This is where you want to get your measurements pretty right as you don't want the squares to be too far out otherwise as you stack them on the tiles, they will create issues.

Measure all sides and use a long straight edge to draw your lines.

We drew our squares at 30mm

Once you have it done, you can cut them out.

You will end up with a large pile of squares.

We decided to snip off the corners, to make a decorative appearance to our tiles.

DONT THROW AWAY YOUR OFFCUTS! These will come in handy later, even tiny bits.

Okay , so that is the stone flagstones done. Now it is time to cut out the actual tiles. You need to cut these out with your craft knife, and again, getting your measurements right is important, so always measure all sides.

For your base tiles these are the measurements we went with:

2x5 squares (60mmx150mm) x 4

4x4 squares (120mmx120mm) x 5

2x3 squares (90x60mm) x 6

2x2 squares (60mm X 60mm) x 6

5x5 squares (150x150mm) x 1

5x8 squares (240x150mm) x 1 - we did this one in two halves for utility

6x2 square Bridge (60x180mm + extra layers) x 1

2x3 Square Monster Entrances (90x60mm) x 2

2x3 Square Player Entrances (90x60mm + extra layers) x 2

For our player entrances we cut out an extra 2x2 and 1x2 to make stairs. For the bridge we cut out three 2x2 and a 4x2 then stacked them as shown.


Now its time to start making your dungeon come to life. Using PVA glue, glue down your stones in rows. If there is any overhang, you can trim it after the glue dries. Mix your stone sqaures up before you start to mix up the weathering.

To limit warping try not to use too much PVA. You don't need much to stick them down. If you want you can use a hot glue gun for this, but it is a lot to glue all these stones.

If you have any other warping issues, wait until the top is dry, then paint an X on the back of the tile with PVA, and this will counteract the warp.

Your finished tiles should look something like this!

You can already see the weathering we did is looking good.

Cutting out the tiles separately adds to the realism.

For your player and monster entrances, and the bridge, you will need to get a bit creative with your cutting.

Breaking up the stones again adds to the look of the stairs. For the monster entrance, we carefully cut away the top surface to reveal the jagged foam underneath. Then we carved up some squares to look like the monsters had smashed through!

We used hot glue for the monster entrance as the PVA was reluctant to stick directly to the foam.


Doorways were a bit of a design challenge, but we decided to go for a really simple option in the hope that paint would cover the sins. You could totally add more detail to these doors if you wanted to - using a pend to draw out some stone patterns etc - but we wanted this to be quick and dirty.

We decided to cut out 12 60x60mm squares as our door frames, and 12 60x30mm rectangles as our door bases.

Then we cut the top corners of each square off at 45 degrees, 10 mm down.

Save these to make little buttresses at the bottom of the frames!

Then we cut a 40x40mm square out for the door itself. Again, hang onto these to make your own doors and portcullis later.

You will need to cut a bunch more buttresses for the other side of your doors.

The finished door looks something like this:

These are very basic, but they looked fine in the end. We again decorated the bases with flagstones.

To really make these look neat you could add dwarven runes or shields above the doors.


By this point you should have a whole lotta this:

Before moving to the next step, we added some glued on sand to various places, a few skulls to the monster entrances, and some textured paint blobs. We also spread out some of our trimmed flagstones around too.

Using the extra pieces we made a couple of traps and hazards:

Two Floor Collapse markers and two Cave In markers.

Like the rest of the project, the paint scheme was uncomplicated.

  1. Undercoat Black (Important! we used water based spray paint which did not eat into the foamboard, but you could just use a big brush. Do a test if you are going to use spray paint).

  2. Drybrush with dark grey all over.

  3. Paint over sand with Burnt Umber

  4. Use a slimy green wash to make some areas look mossy or grimy

  5. Pick out any details and highlight any edges with a lighter colour

Furious painting continue into the night with only metal music and the War of the Worlds to keep us going...


So here are the pictures of the finished dungeon tiles

We were pretty happy with how they turned out. It's a modular set and will get used a lot as we continue to test and play the game.

If you have any ideas about what kind of DIY underworld you would like to make, or if you have already made one that would be perfect for Torch & Shield, please jump on our discord, or our Facebook Community and share it!

Also, if you want to subscribe to the Blog as a site member, please join at the top right of this page!

That's all for this instalment - see you soon.

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