Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sectional Terrain: WTF? The Heartbreak of Vegetarian Measles!!!!!!

WTF - as in "What the Flock?"  I'm sure that's what you thought too...

I had a few hours free yesterday so decided to add some ground texture to my test sectional boards.  The first picture shows the materials that will be employed - a selection of ground covers from Woodland Scenics and Scenic Express.  An old kitchen strainer will be used to apply the materials.  The binding agent is some diluted white glue (50/50 mix with water).  Not pictured is another important tool - a spray bottle filled with water and a few drops of dishwashing soap.

I do need to make two very important points
(1) When in use store the dry components to one side of the project and the wet ones on the other - just trust me that this is a good idea.
(2) If my wife asks any of you if you've seen her missing strainer, you don't know nothing - capiche?

I've learned to work in layers when applying ground coverings.  I put down a think coat of the dilute white glue and then the static grass mixture via the strainer.  Once that's down I'll sprinkle a very light coating of ground foam to add some color variation.
Once all the ground cover is down, I spray the area with the water (the soap breaks the water's surface tension and helps it flow into all the crevices in the foam) and then hit it with some more diluted glue from an eye dropper.  The water helps convey the glue through all the materials.  While it takes a long time to dry (24+ hours), it will be rock hard and very durable.

A shot of the field board with all the material down.  The light colored streaks are where I put the glue down but these will spread and then disappear during the drying process.

Artistic disaster strikes!  While the field board was drying I got a bit bored and thought it would be really neat to add some crops to the field.  I took some clump foliage and broke it up into small chunks.  This is one of those ideas that seemed great when there were 6 of 7 "plants" down but the end result looks like my board has contracted a case of the "Vegetarian Measles".  It really looks awful.  Idle hands....

The field will need to be redone.  My apologies if this photo upset those of you who are sensitive to these kind of things...

A close up of the ground cover after 12 hours of drying.

I did choose NOT to apply my static grass with out the electric applicator that makes it stand up.  This was a choice where practicality won over appearances.  While the grass does look better standing up, it's far less durable and these boards will see a lot of transporting.

The next board will see a little terrain height variation - in this case the board will gently slope down from the left side and end in a exposed, slightly curved rock wall on the right (I still need to carve the rock face).  Depending on how the board is oriented it can be used either as a defensive position or a maneuver obstacle.

Why all the 1/2 inch thick pieces of extruded polystyrene?  Is my planning that intricate?  Nope, I was practicing cutting dimensions of scrap polystyrene 'cause I got a new toy:

A Proxxon Thermocutter - think band saw for polystyrene!  I got the idea from Anton's Wargame Blog and his fantastic fort project.

I purchased mine from Amazon Prime.  The list price was a bit higher but the free delivery made the total cost cheaper.  Now here the cool part - Amazon is testing same day delivery in my area (DC / Baltimore) so I ordered this beauty on a Tuesday morning and received it Tuesday evening.  All hail Jeff Bezos!!!

It's a really useful tool but I'm still figuring out how to use it effectively.

Edit: As I go along in this project, I'll keep adding to the list of "Stupid Terrain Maker Tricks" - here's the first:

(1) Ground foam crops look awful when they are both different sized and not spaced evenly enough - take the time to add details the right way and don't rush


Peter Douglas said...

I believe that Vegetarian measles is a common effect of an overdose of Quiche and not enough sea water in your shorts.

Cool little tool from AMazon. Given my handy skills, the best feature is that it looks like it will cauterize the stumps when I cut my fingers off!
Cheers, PD

Ray Rousell said...

The field does look a little..............bare???