Saturday, January 28, 2017

Kitbashing some fantasy buildings using cheap dollar store toys

I've noticed that the dollar store has these really really cheap sword and shield toys for kids..

Something between $1.25-$4 for plastic crap for kids to play with..

Crap indeed, but something I can salvage for terrain building... at least for fantasy like Frostgrave.

I have a lot of styrofoam, so I decided to scratchbuild two buildings.

Building # 1 .. A Fantasy Gate

I was looking at this shield and was pondering what to do with it.. It only cost $1.25...

The face in the centre is the piece de resistance as it can be used to adorn a building and it was painted "good enough" already.. 

I thus cut it out carefully, as the plastic was sooo cheap and brittle, I risked breaking the face.


What if I made a circular door with it I asked myself...

I thus traced out a gate with it..

I hate priming by hand, but I dared not use spray paint on styrofoam..

I added some brown paint and gesso and made sure I etched in wagon ruts..

Afterwards, I felt I was missing something... so I decided to spice things up by adding some height so miniatures will overlook the enemy in future skirmish battles..

I cut out the horse head on one of the play swords and added it to the wall so the hilt wouldn't go to waste..

and voila.. finished the gate.. Good enough for tabletop play..

I made it look like the face rolls on and off to secure the walls..

Building # 2 .. A Ruined House

I built some walls first..

And then added, also from the dollar store, this large sticker that could look like tiles from a rich man's villa..

I broke the walls further and added tables, chairs, dresser and finished the ruined villa soon enough.. I didn't want to make it too crowded though, as I wanted minis to be able to move around in there.

I used the broken dragon emblem from one of the cheap shields.

I also cut out the hilt of one of the toy swords to look like a fallen pillar, and parts of the other shield as a fallen roof.

Well, that was fun.. I get a strange sort of satisfaction when I use cheap crap for better uses.


I cut out the dragon emblem of this shield, but I don't know what I will do with it.. a future WIP..

I also glued the toy bracelets together.. I guess it could be a Fantasy something or other but I haven't decided what yet.  It could be standalone I guess.



  1. Clever. I´ll Keep an eye out for stuff like that. The bracelets? Add a platform (floor) and a door at the bottom ..a guard Tower?

    1. A guard tower.. hmmmm.. thanks for the tip.

    2. Or a bit of cotton and a tea light could turn it into a beacon.

  2. Great find! Never gave them much thought before.

  3. Super creative stuff. Nice work! I never thought they could be used this way. Shows you what I know.

  4. This is very creative nice job!!!