Mushrooms Anyone?

So for those of you that don’t know, Dwarven Forge had a kickstarter not long ago for their updated cavernous sets using their practically indestructible dwarvenite miniature terrain, that is perfect for RPG’s like Dungeons & Dragons. One of the add on packs they were offering in their kickstarter, was a set of mushrooms to use as dressing for the cavern terrain.  I had already exhausted my funds for the Kickstarter campaign, so I opted out of the mushroom add on pack, but decided to improvise, as I REALLY thought they made a great addition to cavern tiles as dressing; so I decided to make my own.

When we first moved in our house, some 9 years ago, one of the things we needed new, was kitchen cabinet handles/pulls.  At that time, I remember walking through home depot or Lowes and seeing a whole host of knobs, including a wooden one that I thought looked exactly like a mushroom. VOILA!  There was my base. So, for the mushrooms themselves, I picked up some wooden drawer pulls at home depot and also found something similar, but smaller at AC Moore. The pulls in Home Depot were inexpensive, at $1.17 each.  AC Moore had a bag of about 20, though they weren’t called drawer pulls, (I can’t remember) that estimated about $3.00.

wooden drawer pull

Home Depot Wooden Drawer Pull

I also picked up some acrylic paint from AC Moore, (small bottles of approximately 1-2oz), and tried to get a good variety of colors to work with. I also grabbed a set of paintbrushes which were meant for smaller jobs.

Some tips I found while painting:

  1. Always make sure to shake your paint well before each extended use.  I noticed that if I didn’t shake the paint, I would get a translucent look to it.  After mixing, the paint seemed thicker and required less additional coats of paint.
  2. You don’t need a lot of paint on the brush, so just coat half of it, lightly wipe on the sides of the bottle mouth and you’re ready to go.
  3. When switching colors, I recommend cleaning the brushes in water (obviously), but make sure that you dry them on a paper towel until none of the previous color comes off.
  4. Use like 3-4 cups of water,  First one to clean off most of the gunk.  Then progressively move down the line until your brush is be cleaned in practically clear water.  Maybe it’s just my OCD, but I felt like the painting went really smooth and quickly, just following these steps.
  5. For the larger pulls, I could easily hold the top or the bottom when painting, so I just had to wait for one side to dry before painting the other half. For the smaller pulls found at AC Moore, I used a pair of needle nose pliers to get a good grip on them, as my fingers were much too large to hold the base or top, while still painting the opposite side of the mushroom.  Keep in mind, these pliers will get paint on them, so make sure you have a pair you don’t care about or don’t mind getting dirty.

Other than that, it was pretty straightforward. I would paint the bases first, usually with white and in some cases black, then let them dry on a paper towel while I moved on to the next. After painting the tops of the mushrooms and letting them dry, then came the scales. The scales are the round circles we all typically picture on the top/cap of the mushroom.   I didn’t develop any good method for painting them, but I will tell you that I tried to let a ball of paint drop the small distance onto the top of the mushroom and it didn’t have the perfectly round bubble look I expected and wanted. Instead I just painted the scales on and they came out okay. I wish they were rounder and more consistent, but they satisfied the need.

Here are a couple of pictures with my final results.

SDC16867 SDC16864 SDC16863 SDC16862

Anyways, I hope the post was helpful to someone looking to dress up their caverns with some mushrooms, or even to use for a child’s fairy garden.  Best of luck and if you have any tips or advice on those scales, please send it my way!

Jinx

About jinx_the_bard

Longtime Dungeon Master, tabletop and video gamer. Been playing D&D and Shadowrun on and off most recently. Ran a post apocalyptic, paragon, 4th edition D&D campaign for a couple years. Running a 5th edition campaign now called "The Fall of Astia". Enjoy Borderlands 1, 2 and even the Pre-sequel (which I tend to play with fellow author Ness), Fallout 3 and 4, Bioshock and Skyrim. (Games this good never get boring) I also indulge in Magic The Gathering, mostly in the Legacy and Modern formats. Please feel free to contact me at dungeonmaster.bm@gmail.com for any questions, thoughts or things you'd like to see featured on our site.