Tabletop Thursday – The Quest for the Gelatinous Cube!

In my next D&D session, my players are about to enter a series of warrens that have a gelatinous cube wandering around the hallways. Not having a mini for it, I was just going to take a dice cube and put that on the map and be done with it. I’ve done lots of substitution before, goblins for kobolds, orcs for hobgoblins and the like.

But I’m not really happy with this plan. I wanted something that looked a little cooler, something to surprise them when I plopped it down on the table. So I went searching to see if there was a mini from the D&D minis game. Sure was.


Next step, hit Ebay and see how much they are going for. Hmm. With shipping, they are running around $30. No thank you!

Well…what about a Lucite cube of some sort? Fake ice cubes? No, they were too small, and didn’t really look the way that I wanted. Hmm. Found a 2″ cube golf ball display at the Container Store for $2. That should be OK. Oh! And I could stick like some skeleton bits and swords and shields and junk inside of it, like the cube actually consumed it! That would be neat!

Then I started thinking…I should go ahead and cast my own using clear resin! That would be really cool! And I could have the skeleton bits suspended inside of the cube! Someone has to have done this! So I did a google search or two, and found a few ideas from people that had created these. Looks pretty straightforward, but I had never worked with clear resin or with mold making compound before.

Yesterday, a quick trip to Michaels to price out the components to pull this off. I had my list…Sculpey to make the cube model. Mold making silicone. 2 part clear resin. Mold release. Browse through the aisles, find the stuff. Ye gods and little fishes! This stuff is expensive!

First off, the mold making compound was going to run me about $20. The casting resin was about $15, oh, and you need to buy the catalyst that hardens it separately…that was $8. Mold release was another $5. Sculpey was the cheapeast part, I would need about $4 worth of that to make my mold. I was looking at $50 to get started! I left the store, dejected. It was such a cool idea. But I wasn’t going to spend that much money on a single use project.

I went to the Container Store and got my golf ball holder for $2. And am unsatisfied…

I haven’t given up the idea, but I am running out of time.  I need to have this table ready by Monday night, so that gives me a few days to do it.  One page I saw they used aluminum foil to make the mold for the model, and that I have in abundance.  Another idea suggested to me was to use clear silicone caulk and let that dry out.  That would certainly be cheaper than the resin, but I don’t know how hard it would actually set.  But the I could make the mold out of Legos lined with Sculpy, and squeeze the caulk directly in, and not worry about a mold release.
I’ll let everyone know next week what I settled on.  I’m going to be dropping by Michaels again, as well as Home Depot, and see what I can see.
But more likely than not, my intrepid adventurers will be fighting a golf ball display cube on Monday.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: