GRIND Stone Arena – Part I

By Delgrieve

Here’s a quick and easy tutorial on how to make a Grind Arena. You can find rules on how to play Grind in NQ #10. My idea behind this project was to make something a simple modular arena that can be broken down for ease of storage and transportation.

Materials needed:

1/2" Thick High Density Pink/Blue Foam

1" Thick High Density Pink/Blue Foam

Toothpicks

Tools needed:

Sharpie

Ruler

Hobby Blade

A Rock from the Garden (Yep, One of my best tools)

Paints and Brushes

Construction:

Since a Grind Arena measures 3’x3’ I decided to divide mine up into nine 1’x1’ sections using a Ruler and Sharpie for the measurements.

Use your Hobby Blade to cut the 1’x1’ sections. Note: I like to use the Hobby Blade instead of my wire foam cutter on pieces like this since I am needing fairly square boards but remember to change out your blades often as they dull very quickly when used on foam. I wanted to make each section "its own piece" so I decided to add a rock border effect around each one. I used the Sharpie to draw 1" squares in each corner and then a 1/2" border around the edges. I sectioned the border off into 1" sections. Using your Hobby Blade at a 45 degree angle cut slits in areas you measured out to make the groves to give the look of the individual stones. Use the Hobby Blade to cut out some cracks in the sections – Not too many though. And finally use that garden stone to give each board some distress marks. Press and roll it the sections at random and angles to get the rock effect.

Once you have the nine sections made, take three sections and add the goals and catch in each board. Use your compass to measure, then cut and the round openings. I put a decorative "rock" border around each goal and catch as you did around each section. Note: I took the section of foam I removed from the drop point and cut it in half edgewise and put it back into the hole. I did this since I didn’t feel this section would have a deep hole like the goals.

Use your compass to draw the 2" column pieces on the 1" foam. In this case I used my foam cutter since I wasn’t as picky as to how uneven the edges looked – you will need 6 of these pieces. As with the sections above use your Hobby Blade to trim the hard edges and to make cracks and other wear. Use the tooth picks to attach 3 sections together. You can use a bit of white glue to give them an additional bond. Don’t forget to take your garden stone to properly rough up the pieces. They are pretty stable and I like the option to move them so I don’t permanently attach them to the board.

Painting:

For painting of large pieces I like to use inexpensive craft paints. For this project I am using a Black, Pewter Gray (one of my favorite stone colors) and Antique White. Cover each piece black with a large brush. Be sure to get in all the cracks. Once it dries touch up the places that were missed on the initial coverage. After the touch up dries lay on a heavy or wet dry brush of the Gray. Be sure to let some of the black show through to give the effect of several layers. Finally add some Antique White to the gray and lightly go over the edges, lines and cracks of the pieces to give the additional look of depth.

Now you are ready to play! For the next installment I plan on adding a few more removable sections with pits and traps as well as a border to finish the piece.