Sunday, September 30, 2012

Building Sectional Terrain, Part IV

 Whew - there was a lot of progress this morning on the Terrain for my Lundy's Lane game at Fall-In this morning.  First up was the bane of any word working project - sanding.  There is in an inverse relationship between the skill of a woodworker and the amount of sanding required post fitting.  Lets just say that I buy my sand paper in bulk....

 All 5 frames were sanded down and cleaned up.  As you can see, some required a lot of sanding.  The sanding took about an hour and a half and I was able to listen to episode 44 of the WWPD podcast.  While it's ok to listen to something while sanding it's a very good safety rule to never wear ear buds when working with cutting or drilling tools.

Once sanded, I began a test fitting of the boards just to make sure everything went together well.  In the picture is my Robotic's team's favorite and most important tool - a rubber mallet which has been dubbed "The Persuader".  Many a troublesome gear, sprocket or bent frame has been "persuaded" back into place during a tournament. I used it today to make sure the locking bolts went into place.

 Here are the five, two x five frames assembled together.  While there are some minor gaps everything seems to fit well.

 Next up, is filling the gaps in some of the luan plywood.  I use a standard filler that goes on pink but dries white.  Once it's white it's ready to be sanded.

 The first test for scenicing.  I'm using Woodland Scenics static grass flock in various shades - this was what I had on hand.  The method I use is the following:
(1) Paint a patch of the board with a latex paint (very durable).
(2) Sprinkle three of four shades of flock
(3) "Jiggle" the board
(4) Repeat until the board is covered
(5) Tilt the board up and shake off excess flock
(6) Apply a liberal spray of diluted matt medium
(7) Sprinkle a bit more flock on any bare patches
(8) Set aside to dry.

One useful tip is to use a plastic sheet to catch the excess flock and use it for the next board - it's already pre-mixed!

 Here's the first board about half way done.

 First board completed (only four more to go).  In the middle right you can see a bump from some cork board I used as a experiment to add some height.  I didn't like how it turned out and so opted not to try it on any other boards.  I'll rely on hill pieces an can lay onto the board for elevation changes.

 Here's a shot of three completed boards put off to the side to dry.

 The fourth board drying.  I forgot to take a picture of the fifth one but it's looks like all the others.  Once the boards have dried over the next 24 hours, I'll go back and add some details and fill in any bare spots.  I do think I will make the green patches a bit bigger.

UPDATE: make sure you lightly "wet" the boards before applying the diluted matt medium - see post V for the results if one doesn't.

 With the boards done (for now), I decided it was time to start building the hill that was such a prominent feature in the battle.  The base is 1/8 inch MDF board and the hill will be approximately 3 feet x 2 feet.

Here's the hill cut-out (my gosh but cutting MDF makes a mess).  I'm using some 1x2 scrap to brace the base of the board and start adding the elevations.  Hopefully the hill will get completed next weekend!


Monty said...

Blimey Miles - respect!

Ray Rousell said...

Great work, this looks like a major build!

John de Terre Neuve said...

Great job, what is matt medium?


Mark Burgess said...

Wow Looking good, I hellva project you got going there!

jmilesr said...

Thanks for the comments

Matt medium is sold in art stores and is used by artists to reduce the sheen on whatever projects they're working on. It has the adhesive qualities of white glue but never cracks or yellows. I use it in a 50/50 mixture with water and a drop of soap to adhere ground cover and sand to bases and tables. It's great stuff.

It has a sister product called gloss medium with is great to use to make easy but effective water effects

John de Terre Neuve said...

Thanks Miles, it sound very useful. Could you actually spray it to put a hard coating over the flock to seal the board.


jmilesr said...

Matt medium can be used as a stiffener when painted on in a undiluted basis. For flock I do the following

(1) paint the area with my ground color (household latex paint)
(2) Sprinkle on the flock while the paint is still wet
(3) lightly spray on water to wet the area
(4) spray on diluted matt medium (50% water / 50% matt medium)

John de Terre Neuve said...

Thanks again Miles, I will give this a try, I find watered PVA sometimes a challenge to spray.