Fantasy – Gelatinous Cube

Fantasy – Gelatinous Cube

Here we have the Gelatinous Cube. The D&D monster that eats you, instead of vice versa!

Stock image of the Mini.

It’s a pretty nifty mini from WizKids. It could have been a simple transparent block for $7.99, but they added some nice surface details and another little surprise.

The Gelatinous Cube is described as being transparent, and adventurers have to make a roll to see if they happen to notice it. I guess it’s sort of like walking around the corner into a wall of glass, though in this case it’s a Jello cube that swallows you whole and eats you via digestive acids.

D&D Monster Cards – Gelatinous Cube

Oddly enough, it’s not pictured in the original Monster Manual. I scoured a bunch of the old books and this was the earliest image I could find. If anyone knows of an older pic, please let me know.

Okay, so we have a mini and it’s transparent. All done, right?!

Not quite…

It looked fine out of the box, but I thought it needed something more. It reminded me of how I’ve been wanting to tackle the transparent bits that show up on some of the WizKids minis (usually transparent spell effects they have added). I just wasn’t quite sure how to approach it. A few videos, and a post from Azazel showing how he painted up a transparent fire bit, and I was on my way.

Yep, there is a crunchy center.

The main considerations were finding the right paint. Applying the paint. Protecting the paint. Also, making sure the paint was translucent enough that we can see the “surprise” in the center. Yes, we’ll be getting to the “surprise”.

Yep, that’s one of my hand-painted stone bases that showed up in a previous post.

Finding the right paint proved to be easier than I thought. People have tried a few different approaches to this, but I happened to recall Azazel mentioning a thin paint called “Ghost Tints” a long, long, long time ago. So long that I don’t even remember what he used it for or why there was a talk about it.

So fast forward to me receiving the paint in the mail, and I promptly try it out on a little transparent spell effect on a WizKid mini. Yes, always try on little things before big things! It worked like magic, simply brushed on. Onwards to the Gel Cube!

How to apply the paint? Brush didn’t seem like a good idea and most people seemed to be using an airbrush. So, I went with that approach. I used two colors, Green and Plasma Fluid. I started with the Plasma Fluid, thinning it down quite a bit, but it didn’t work so well. It often left little spray dots which you might be able to make out on the top view. It kind of gives a ‘things floating in a cell’ effect, so whatever. The green however, went on swimmingly and I was pretty happy with it.

Surprise!

So, inside there is this piece. It represents the floating leftover remains of bones and metal that the creature can’t digest. I thought it was pretty cool that they include that in the mini.

I just had to make sure that the inner piece had enough contrast to show through the outer transparent shell, I painted the interior of the floating mass with some Nighthaunt Gloom to up the background contrast. Nighthaunt has been sitting around for a good long while, and this seemed like a decent excuse to try it out.

There’s a gap in there, just big enough to place a medium sized mini. So you can ‘trap’ someone’s mini in game, I guess. Interesting idea and I wasn’t sure if I’d just glue everything down to the base or not. I was also very careful to use the glue sparingly and make sure it was well ventilated to prevent any hazing of the plastic.

I marked off a guide for the centerpiece, glued it on, leaving plenty of air around it. Checked. No hazing, so far so good.

Then I added small magnets to the base and small magnets to bottom of the cube. Drill, glue, no hazing, all good.

Magnets are strong enough to hold up the base with a mini inside. Even if I don’t ever use it like that, it’s still kinda neat to have that option.

All in all, not bad. I think it looks more translucent in person, than it does in the pictures. I probably could have still gone less, for a ‘just noticeable tint’ that would have been truer to the monster. But I can live with it.

The hardest part was probably getting coats of gloss varnish applied (Pledge Floor Gloss). I painted several layers, one side at a time. The Plasma Fluid started to run off with floor gloss each time. So there is something definitely different in the composition of that paint versus the green.

Either way, it’s another iconic D&D monster done. I now have a Mind Flayer (early painted mini), the Beholder, Green Slime, and a Gelatinous Cube. I’d like to get a Rust Monster painted up someday. I have the mini, so I imagine that’s on the horizon.

Up Next: The Quick and the Dead.

20 thoughts on “Fantasy – Gelatinous Cube

  1. Great work Faust, I know a lot of people can be put off painting clear or translucent resins or plastics. You can also use washes glazes and inks depending on the effect your going for. With a piece like this, I would have added the colour on the inside, so you had clear to colour transition, and then carefully picked out the shadows on the outside detail

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Dave, and great tips there! I had initially considered spraying the inside with the airbrush, but a couple factors there. All the painters I saw online, sprayed the outside. Not that it makes them all right. 😉

      But I think in this case, the curved opening in the bottom would have made it tricky to get a brush (or airbrush) in there to cover all the interior. It’s possible, but I’m not completely sure it would work. But yea, ideally you would paint the inside, because you get the nice outer transparent layer, which would also protect most of your paint by being in the interior.

      If I ever get a second one or a similar model, I’d be willing to give it a shot for sure!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. That looks great, and you’ve achieved a very cool effect with the multiple layers and “interactive” components. Thanks for reminding me about the Ghost Tints as well – now you’ve got me wondering how they’d behave with a brush and something like Contrast Medium. I see more experiements in the future! 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks Azazel! Once I found the videos, and got going, it was a breeze. Getting to that point took a good long while though.

      Awesome, look forward to seeing your experimentation! Work has been hell lately, but I’ll hopefully catch up on yours (and other people’s) posts soon! I’ve glanced at some of your stuff in the Reader view, and can’t wait to check them out.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ooo, this is awesome and looks fantastic! I have to admit to not being a fan of transparent minis but the way you’ve done this make me want to give it a go. Nice one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks AB! Yea, that does make me wonder if they had thought about people painting it. I guess since they included transparent bits on a lot of their minis, they probably had seen people paint those. Even after watching videos, I wasn’t 100% sure it would work. It hasn’t been used in games yet, but I have a feeling the varnish should hold up for a good while.

      Like

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