Chris Palmer I recently constructed an illuminated fountain to use in the Frostgrave “Well of Dreams and Sorrows” scenario, and I thought I would share a step-by-step process of how it was assembled.
It all began during a trip to the local Dollar Tree store, where I found this nifty battery operated LED light set and these crystal snowflakes. They gave me an idea for some sort of courtyard with glowing crystals growing in it.
It didn’t take long for those two ideas: the crystal courtyard, and the wizard fountain, to come together as a single plan in my mind.
I began construction by making a cork base out of two 6"x 6" cork tiles. I then glued tin foil on it to help with the reflection of the LED lights. I then added cork walls on the sides and made a divider for where the battery pack would sit. Next, I added cork risers to support the floor of the fountain’s courtyard.
I made the courtyard out of foamcore, and scribed paving stones on it. I also cut out the well for the fountain from a roll of thin cork sheeting I had, and glued that in place. I had earlier glued the wizard to a plaster disc, and sprayed the combined pieces with gray primer.
I made a deck for the fountain, to cover the battery pack, and scribed that as well. I then punched holes in the courtyard for where I was going to put the crystals, then glued the courtyard and fountain deck into place. I then cut a semi-circular piece out of a translucent surface cutting protector I had, to make an under-surface for the fountain’s basin.
I made a fake cork wall to fit in the back of the battery compartment, to finish this part of the build.
I then worked on the turning the wizard into a fountain. First, I drilled a small hole in each of his hands then ran thin clear filament through them, (I don’t know if its specifically fishing line, as it is what came with a string of beads on it that my wife bought at the craft store for jewelry making. But it looked close enough to fishing line for my purposes!), and glued them to the hands with super glue. I then looped the lower end of the upper filament around the lower filament and spread superglue over the joint.
At this time I also made sure all the seams around the courtyard were well sealed with glue, so no light would leak out. I spread a sand and grit mixture around the edges as well, to help seal them up.
|Shown with Reaper’s Anirion, Wood Ef Wizard, for scale.|
Here’s a look at the finished fountain illuminated with the room lights turned off.
And here, with the lights in the room on, you can still see a bit of the illumination
Here’s a look at the hidden battery compartment door.
I’m really please with how this turned out. It’s very much as I had envisioned it to be at the start. I can’t wait to get to use it in a game.
In case anyone wants to do something similar, here are a few things I’d do differently if I was to do this again: First, I’d pay more attention to making sure the LED lights matched up with here the crystal holes would be; I just kind of jammed the lights in and hoped for the best. I would also line the underside of the courtyard deck with foil as well, to help get more light reflection underneath. Lastly, I would paint the inside of the fountain before I sealed it up with the translucent under-surface I glued on. It doesn’t look bad, but I wish I had panted it the same gray that I painted everything else, or perhaps black. As it was, I didn’t think to do this until too late.