Friday, November 2, 2012

Rollin' down the river...Constructing the Fortress Falls display board

We we last left you, I was starting to build up the island in the center of the board.  I was also using my scraps and shavings to create those shale outcroppings.

As you can see here, those same pieces work just as well to make sections of rock that are in the process of eroding away from the face of the island cliff.  Some of the more triangle shaped scraps worked well to make the largest boulders in the water, where the masonite is visible.  You want to do those in a more realistic pattern.  That is, lager rocks nearest the source (the cliff face), gradually getting smaller

Once you have that ready to go, it's time to grab the 'real' rocks and get those glued onto the board!  I have three different sizes, from construction gravel (yes, that's true!) to various ballast sizes.

You can see the fallen boulders piled up where the waterfalls will hit...

As for gluing the rocks, you put down your wood glue, and then place the largest rocks.

The next grade of ballast is applied...

Then the fine grade, or even sand.

For some of the lager gaps, I used my Oxide paste.  I love that stuff!

It acts like glue, except that like flex paste, it holds it's shape, and it even has a sandy texture built in!

This is a great example of how those various techniques can make an awkard looking joint seem quite real!

The same principle is used on the river beds, but I use less of the mid grade ballast.  It is mostly very big rocks, with sand or fine ballast

Here are more examples of the use of oxide paste.  Since it holds its shape, it does not simply run down the surface.  If it is thick enough, you can hide those seams between layers so perfectly!

The process continues all across the board.  I did the lower levels first, As it can be very tough to apply glue to an area that has all sorts of loose gravel and sand sitting in it.  More to come!  Stay tuned...


  1. I cant wait to see it...I thought you were going to just use masonite and paint it. But that is why you are an artist and I am a hack! Rich

    1. Well, I thought not making this would defeat the whole purpose of coming up with the story, the "training session" of making the board at the Dragon shoppe. Plus, it gives us something really cool to play on!!

  2. This is cool when it's done. Can't wait to see the finish product.

    1. It's already finished... you can find the other posts in Terrain Building :-)