I was inspired to do a more elaborate entrance to the dungeon board to go with one of the scenarios I'm planning. I pictured a side entrance of a castle with a wooden door that the heroes would enter through to get into the castle. I deliberated making a full height wall with fighting positions for the castle inhabitants, but decided against it when I saw how much space I would actually have.
Using Styrofoam from a packing strip I cut it into 6 inch sections and laid it out on a square of foamcore to get an idea of how everything would be laid out. The packing material had a raised edge that worked as a partial-height wall, low enough to not cause problems reaching the rest of the room.
The same ridge, turned on it's side made a good landing for the stairs that I cut into the side of the Styrofoam block.
Next I constructed a door out of cardboard and used floral wire to attach it to a door frame of sorts.
With that in place, I started work on the inside of the castle, smoothing the floor with a layer of spackling, and gluing card tiles at the bottom of the steps.
I want the "outside" of the entrance to be visually distinct from the inside, so I began with a layer of sand and dirt. I plan on painting the sand to resemble grass, but I hope to keep the dirt's natural color if possible.
At this point I was satisfied that I was done with the base, details would still come later, but now I could start painting. Also I didn't want to glue the door in place until the walls were painted. So I started with a dark brown wash in the "outdoor" cracks to outline the squares. Then thinned black paint was applied to the walls an the "inside," making sure it went down in all the cracks. When I started to drybrush the sand green I began regretting gluing on the sand before putting a coat of paint below it. Fortunately a dark olive wash fixed things up and I can go back and do the dry-brushing later. So at this point I'm happy with how everything looks.