Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sectional Terrain Planning

The time between now and mid July will see me embarked upon a rather large sectional terrain making project - the building of 8 2'x4' terrain sections and 5 2'x'2 sections (one of the smaller 2x2's is picture to the left). I'd like these to be two sided - the primary side land and the flat underside sea.

The goal will be to have these completed to use during my two games I'll be putting on at Historicon this summer (July 16th - 19th) in Fredericksburg VA.

I'm trying to plan this out as best I can so as not to meander during the build process when some shiny concept pops into my mind.  I really like making terrain but can be a but undisciplined about it and that's not so good when there's a schedule to keep.

The basics of the terrain sections will be 1/4 in luan or maple plywood bottoms with a 1x2 pine box frame attached to provide stability.  There will also be a 1x2 piece (laid flat) running through the middle if the frame for the larger 2x4 foot sections.  I've already built (but not added scenery) the 5 2x2 sections so at least construction concept has been tested.  To provide a bit more stability when in use, I will be adding some rare earth magnets to "bind" the sections together.  Using magnets limits the ability to combine sections given the requirement that + only go with - but I think the gain in stability is more than worth that tradeoff.  (Be prepared for me to constantly screw up the polarity alignment during construction, it's just inevitable).

I've priced out the cost of materials for each 2x4 sections as follows

Lumber (1, 2x4 plywood sheet & 2 1x2 8' lengths of lumber)      $19.59
Foam (2 2x2 1" foam project panels)                                             $ 8.84
Magenets (6, 1 on each short end & 2 on the long sides)              $  0.90

Scenery Materials (flock, plaster paint, etc)                                 $10.00
  Total cost per section                                                                   $39.33

Total cost for 8 2x4 sections                                                        $314.64
Scenery costs for existing 2x2's                                                   $ 27.25
  Total Project Cost                                                                      $341.89

Cushion (i.e. screw-up factor)                                                      $158.11
  Total Budget                                                                               $500.00

Sunday will see the project started as that's when all the needed lumber will be purchased.  I think I have most of the other materials "in-stock" but I suspect there will be some things that will still be to be purchased.  I'm really looking forward to getting started on this project.  There will also be some side projects for additional terrain (roads, forrest and some hills).  At least all the mini's I need for the game are all painted up.

One of the bigger decisions I have is what color to make the sea side of the sections.  I'm leaning towards a blue-gray with hints go green but lets remember my EPIC FAIL on selecting a water color last year:

Ugggh - that was wayyyyyy to blue!


Martin Cooke said...

That looks like a fantastic project and plenty to do.
If you use 2 magnets at each location you should be able to get over the N/S issue. In a=each position have both N and S, side by side in same orientation. Works in my head but not sure

Martin Cooke said...

Actually that won't work but what will work is this.
If you stick a washer or something similar at the bottom of the hole where the magnet is going then the magnets can stick to those and then they don't have to be glued in place.

Monty said...

I doff my hat to you once again, Miles; inspired sir, inspired!

Der Alte Fritz said...

I'm confused by making a frame and sticking the foam inside the frame: how do you cover up the wood frame pieces on the finished board?

jmilesr said...

You just add the scenery materials on top of the wood frame - it will hold on well and not be noticeable.