Slice & Dice! – Handmade Dice!

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This week’s entry is going to be on the short side, as it was written while Tangent Artists

The 1-sided die!

The 1-sided die! Get them now, before they tear a hole in the fabric of the universe.

were while at Marscon. This is our 4th year at the Williamsburg-based sci-fi / fantasy con, and we’re delighted to once again showcase our comics, books, and gamer stuff. Also, we’ll be offering up one of our signature impulse items: the One-Sided Die!

In our webcomic CRIT!, we poked fun at wizards, gaming, and a little bit of breaking the fourth wall. Afterwards, we started wondering: could you actually make a one-sided die? A little bit of Sculpy modeling clay, twist it into a mobius strip, and voila! You have an affront to time and space!

The first con we debuted them, we got a lot of people who chuckled, more who didn’t get it… but when a a math teacher bought six, we knew we had a winner. While we’ve sold a number of them over the years or given them as freebies on top of larger purchases, their greatest strength comes with their ability to draw people over. Crying “1-sided dice!” aloud is enough to get several con-goers to about-face and come closer to see what the heck you are talking about. As we say, “a critical success AND a critical failure with every roll!”

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Sculpey: Looks like gold, smells like toxic death.

Since then, I’ve made a few other hand-made dice. They are not perfectly balanced, and thus I stay away from the most commonly used dice, sticking to odd things that players would seldom or never use. Here are a few close ups:

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Why, yes, that is a D5 in the back. Poor D5, you get no love.

I actually have a rough mold for the three-sided barrel dice, which I’ve found work best with a “menhir” motif. The design gives tons of space on the sides for non-functional runes and swirls, but painfully little room for the “number.”

For the four-sided barrel dice, I like using either the

I fart in your general direction...

I fart in your general direction…

pointy Cleopatra’s needle-style obelisk,or with the castle tower.

The towers are fun, in that they use the number of windows as the number on the dice face.

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Greyskull shall be MINE! Bwaaahahaha

Most of my towers use expensive stone clay, so I thought I’d appeal to the seven-year-old in me and make a few towers in Skeletor-Purple.

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They’re more impressive when they’re not wet and gooey… like babies.

To finish and to help accentuate the texture, I always give them a quick wash. Black works for most of the dice, but the yellow and off-white dice need brown.

This time I experimented with sparkly black. I like the finished look, but it changes the texture. The sparkle paint I used has a more plasticy “feel.” This might be a drawback, or mean that it has a thicker coating protecting it. We’ll see.

For your dungeon raiding pleasure!

For your dungeon raiding pleasure!

Here’s a final shot of the sales box, including some older dice. Feast your eyes!

Happy conning, my friends!

Tangent Artists in their natural habitat.

Tangent Artists in their natural habitat.

 

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