Monday, April 27, 2015

Sectional Terrain: Advances and Minor Setbacks

 A few steps forward and a few backwards on the test pieces.  I wanted to test out a different way to apply texture to the board without adding a weight.  My usual method involves sand and such and that adds too much weight to the boards which are designed to be transportable.  I saw a interesting method on a youtube vid from Mel the "Terrain Tutor" which looks very promising.  Its a three step process that involves spackle or joint compound.  Step one involves pouring a little water into the spackle containers and painting on a light wash across the surface.  Steps two and three involve taking the same spackle once the water's been absorbed and stippling it across the surface to add texture. The picture shows the board after the first stippling pass.  The board needs to dry before applying the second stippling but the results look promising.  I do need to test it resiliency by dropping the board a few feet to see if the plaster holds.  I think it will but let's find out.

Here's a shot of the joint compound I'm using.  There's nothing really special about it but I wanted to keep track of the materials that are being used.

 There were a few setbacks yesterday, which are good things as it always better to fail small when testing than fail big in production.

The first failure was the adhesive I used to attach the foam to the frame - It didn't hold which I realizes after applying the wash of joint compound. It reapplied some of my trusty yellow wood glue and relighted the boards with paint cans.  The glue took this time but you can see where the cans were and that will be easily cleaned up.

I'm also not happy with the test plowed field I added to the board.  I used Durham's "Rock Hard" Water Putty but forgot to throw in a little sand for texture.  Durham's is fantastic stuff but dries very smooth.  It also lives up to the name and will be need to be chiseled out if I decide to redo the field.  I may be able to hide the texture by adding some crops and a little sand to the paint.

I do recommend adding Durham's to your scenery tool kit.  It's intended to be a wood filler but serves as great tool for scenery and is astonishingly durable.  It also sets fairly fast so work with small amounts at a time.  Also remember to clean any tools immediately after use or they'll carry around reminders of the stuff forever.   When cleaning up don't do so in a sink, do it outside - this stuff will clog your pipes very quickly.  Trust me - I've had to redo the pipes for a sink because of that mistake.


Chris said...

I use pre-mixed tile adhesive/grout. It is textured, cheap and rock hard. It can also be tinted with paint while you are working it to avoid white showing through. Perfect for roads and fields straight from the container. Very tough too.

Sean said...

Interesting series on terrain boards, thanks for sharing. Your mention of magnets in your budget post peaked my interest. I will be curious to see what type and how you add them to the boards. I had thought to add them to my styrofoam boards, but have gone to game mat and will probably convert the boards into hills.