How to build a working door for Dwarven Forge

In this tutorial I will guide you how to build this working door for your dungeon scenery.

You need a small piece of insulation foam, an old gift card, foam core (3mm), coffee steering sticks, thin card board (eg food packaging), a lollypop stick, and a toothpick. I used the following tools: an x-acto knife, a hand drill, clippers, a wire brush, and a pen. You will also need glue (I love to use Pattex Kleben statt Bohren), and a brush and paints for painting.

The project consists of three components:

  • a stone wall,
  • the actual door,
  • and a base.

1) Stone wall

Basic shape: Let’s start with the wall. Take the the x-acto knife and cut a piece of insulation foam by 40x40x8 mm. When cutting foam make sure that you have a sharp blade. Measure a rectangle 20×30 mm as shown and cut it out. This will be the frame for the door.

Stone work: Now take the pen and carve the stone work into the foam. It is quite easy. For realism make sure you have a large stone directly above the door. Continue carving the stone work on both sides and all around the piece. After you completed the stone pattern, take a stone and start to press it into the form. This breaks up the smooth surface of the foam and will give a more realistic look.

Painting: Now it is painting time. Give the piece a nice black base coat. After this first layer of paint is dry, we can go for the actual stone work. For the stones I use a grey and mix in a small amount of ochre (in fact I am going for a lazy version of my master maze coloring scheme).


2) Door

Basic construction: Now let’s focus on the door. The mechanism to make the door open and close is the key part to this project. The mechanism consists of the toothpick and the lollypop stick.

Cut the lollypop stick according to the door height. Next prepare a small piece of foam core. Make it 1mm less in height than the lollypop stick. So the door can freely move and doesnt touch the base. The width is not so impotent as you will fit the door into the frame in the next step. Take the lollypop stick and glue it onto the foam core as shown below.

Now we will fit the door into the frame. Just take the stone wall and place it above the door. Ensure that there is 1mm between the lollypop stick and the side wall. Take your pen and mark where the stone wall overlapps the door. Use the x-acto knife to cut the door.

Wood planking: Now we need to prepare the wood planking for the door. Take your coffee steering sticks and the wire brush. Drag the wire brush along (not across) the steering sticks to carve in some wood grain. Take the x-acto knife and cut along the edges. This will add some realism and let the wood look more natural. Now take your clippers and cut the steering sticks to the height of the door.

Glue the planking to the door. Start with the side where the lollypop stick is. Glue the first plank down. Before we proceed with adding wood planking, we want to determine the exact position for the door. Take the door with the one plank and fit it into the opening in an open position (see below). Put the tootbpick in and press it into the stone work. Now you should try if the door can be closed. If not, you need to adjust the door’s width with your x-acto knife.

When everything is fine, continue with adding wood planks. Thereafter paint everything black.

Hinges: Take some thin card board like a cereal box or some other food packaging. From this card board cut four thin strips.On one end cut them like a „V“ so that the look like an road sign. This will be the hinges. Glue two of them on one side of the door and two on the other side.

Painting: Now we paint the door. First add a layer of black to the newly add hinges. Take a brown paint and drybrush the wood. Afterwards take a silver or gunmetal and drybrush the hinges.


3) Base

The last component is the base. Take an old gift card and cut out an shape of 40x23mm. Add a black base coat and paint the base with the mixture of grey and ochre.


4) Assembly

You have already finished all three components: the stone wall, the door, and the base. Now we will assemble it.

Trimming the shaft: First of all you need to transfer the hole we made earlier from the stone wall to the base (see below). Then take your hand drill and drill a hole into the base. The diameter of the drill should be smaller than the one of the toothpick.

Put the toothpick into the door and the door into the wall. The flat side of the toothpick should face towards the wall and the pointy end sticks out. Slide the base over the pointy end of the toothpick. Now measure the distance between the base and the bottom of the stone wall. This is exactly the length you need to cut off the toothpick (from the flat end side).

Gluing: Put everything together as shown. Glue the base to the stone wall. Take your clippers and cut off the pointy end of the toothpick.

Drybrushing: For a finishing touch drybrush the piece with a bone color.


Done and ready to go! I would love to know if this was helpful for you. Just send me a comment. Furthermore, if you have any questions dont hestate to ask.


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