Introduction: Light-up Dice Tower
Ever been playing Dungeons & Dragons, and your dice just keep rolling off the table? Here is a simple solution that will keep your dice contained, and add a neat prop to your next tabletop game. You guessed it. Its a dice tower.
Step 1: Gather Materials
There are a few things you'll need to go get before you can begin. Most of these items can be bought at your local supermarket! Here's a list of what you'll need before getting started:
Construction foam https://www.amazon.com/Craft-Foam-Block-Rectangle-...
Hot glue gun
Dark grey paint
Forest green paint
Cream colored paint
Cobblestone texture tiles https://www.amazon.com/Fondant-Impression-Mat-Set-...
Cylinder object that matches your desired tower width
Thin popsicle sticks
4 finishing nails
Step 2: Cut Up Bricks/cut Out Base
First things first, you're gonna need foam bricks, and a lot of them. I used a Proxon hot wire foam cutter to cut my foam. Feel free to use another method if you see fit!
Cut bricks to 3/8''x3/8''x3/4''. Cut enough of them to stack up your tower. If you don't have enough, you can always cut more!
Next, go ahead and cut out a piece of cardboard for your base template. Remember, It has to be wide enough so that you can place the cylinder on one end and have exactly 3/8'' on the sides and back. The length is up to you!
Once you have your rectangular piece of cardboard, tape it on top of a piece of foam and use it as a template to cute out the foam base. Then plane down the foam base so its a little thinner.
Once you have that, go ahead and use hot glue to glue your piece of foam right on top of your cardboard template! Use the cobblestone mold and press it onto the base to give it a cool look!
Last, place your cylinder on top of a foam piece and trace the circumference. Cut out 3 of these circular pieces (these will be the platforms of the inside.
Note: Look at the picture of my prototype for reference. The white board underneath is the base. The red cardboard represents where your cylinder is going to sit when you're stacking bricks. Remember you need 3/8'' on the sides and back of the cylinder when its placed at the end like it is in the photo.
Step 3: Stack Wall and Beginning of Tower
First thing we need to do before we begin building is texture the bricks. This is really easy to do! Simply put the bricks in a grocery bag and squeeze them and mash them. This will make them look a little more worn (which is what we want).
Place your cylinder at the end of your base (be sure to wrap your cylinder in wax paper so glue doesn't stick to it) and stack a half circle of bricks around the back of it. Follow the sides and stack up a wall with 2 layers of bricks. Remember to offset each layer so you get a brick pattern. Leave a small opening at end of base for the dice to be slid out of.
Continue building up the tower to about 6 rows. Space the bricks by the opening so it looks like the dice burst through the tower! (See photo).
Note: You may need to cut some bricks with scissors to make everything fit right.
Step 4: Build the Archway
Using some scrap foam, set up a platform for the cylinder (just high enough so that your next row of bricks will rest on top of it). The pieces of foam are going to hold up the next few rows of bricks while you get them glued in place.
Step 5: Circuit Playground
Time to take a pause from building! Using the Circuit Playground, we are gonna get a cool light effect everytime someone rolls a die!
Using MakeCode, go plug in this code to the Circuit Playground:
Note: If you want, you can customize this light animation however you want. Different colors, different animations; whatever you want!
Step 6: Placing Platforms and Circuit Playground
Keep building up the tower till it's your desired height.
Take those 3 circular platforms you cut out, and use some scissors to cut out a crescent shape like you see in the picture! This will give a space for the dice to roll out.
This next part can be a little tricky! First, glue the back of the circuit playground to the underside of one of your platforms. Using the photo as reference, position this platform low in the tower (just above the archway), with the crescent side facing the wall (not the opening). Angle the platform slightly down. using the hot glue gun, put lots of glue between the edges of the crescent and the wall. Once it's dry, stab a finishing nail through the wall, into each side of the platform. This will give it the extra support it needs.
Do this one more time with the next platform. But this time, make sure the crescent is facing the opposite way. The last platform will be on the very bottom to help the dice roll out. But we will worry about that one later. Just cut out a crescent shape, and set it to the side.
Step 7: Place Wood Planks
Take your thin wooden sticks and paint them brown. Cut them to size and glue them in place till you've covered up half of the opening! (leave the half with the platform under it exposed). Now build one more layer of bricks so it covers where you glued the sticks! Take just a few more bricks and place them spaced out to give an archer tower look!
Step 8: Prime and Paint
You're done with the building! Pat yourself on the back. Now comes the cool part! Time to start making this tower look like stone.
Pour a half cup of Modge Podge into a container and mix in some black paint. The amount of black paint doesn't matter. Just as long as you get your Modge Podge to be a nice, dark, near black color (it wont be perfectly black. That's okay). Now paint this EVERYWHERE (except your wooden planks and the circuit playground). Get this between the cracks and all around. Even on the inside and on the platforms. This is going to give a hard protective layer to the foam, and act as a primer for our paint.
Once dry, do the same thing with your dark grey paint (no Modge Podge). Be sure to get between all the cracks. Get this everywhere.
Note: Don't forget to do all these painting steps to the platform you set to the side as well.
Step 9: Black Wash and Drybrush
These last 2 steps will really give it that real stone look!
First is the black wash. Take a cup of water. Mix in some black paint, and a little green paint. Now add a drop of dish soap. Mix it together. (you can test it on a paper towel. You want it to leave a fairly dark stain). Now you guessed it, paint this on EVERYTHING.
Last step. The cream colored dry brush. Use just a little of your cream colored paint. Get some on your dry paintbrush, stroke it back and forth on a paper towel till most of it is gone. Now roughly go over your whole tower with this, repeating the first 2 steps when needed. Don't worry about it being even (real stone doesn't all look the same).
Turn on the circuit playground. Place the extra platform in the bottom of the tower, covering the circuit playground battery pack. This last platform will act as a ramp to help your dice roll out into the courtyard.
Step 10: Finished!
You're done! Call over your friends and start rolling dice! Everyone will be impressed with how cool this DIY project turned out!
Note: Many of these painting techniques can be used in the future on other models and projects.
If you need extra instructions, I took a lot of notes from this tutorial here: