Friday, November 2, 2012

Construction of the display board continues: rocks, tiles, and buildings

When I last left you, I was gluing rocks and gravel into river beds, and filling in gaps between foam layers.  That process continued for a while..

Once that was finished, I needed to put some simple square tiles down where the Khandish chariots would be positioned.  They also had this texture on their bases.  The idea was to keep the chariots on the outer edge of the board, demonstrating the reason why the elves had retreated to this redoubt.

I did the corner on the right first to get the technique down.  These squares are a little bit bigger than those on the bases, but it gets the point across :-)  You can see that I started to lay down some broken flooring on the left side as well.

Then it was time to create some buildings.  My original plans were for something way more elaborate, but time said otherwise.  Since ruined buildings take way less time to make, I put together some damaged buildings using foam kindly donated by Rich.

That foam was surprisingly easy to work with.  It could be cut easily, weathered and textured.  I could take a simple scoring tool to make cracks and tiles, etc., in no time at all!

Instead of an entire set of fortifications on the upper level, I had to find something else quick.  so, I made a slightly larger ruined building to carry the theme of the watchtower on the island.

The view from the upper building...

These next few images show the floor laid out in every section.  I used matboard scraps for this.

So, by this stage, it was ready to paint after all the excess rocks and gravel were dusted off the next morning!

Stay tuned for images of the painting process!!

Please note... I may not have the time to make posts of the tournament itself until after it is completely over.  I will finish off the posts of the army board and the painting of the minis.

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...

Fortress Falls: constructing the display board

OK!  You can't have a tournament army without a display board, so we have some WIP images of the construction.  If you recall the story line, the Knights of the Blood Rose have been pushed back to their last redoubt, the Fortress Falls.  I will be using techniques very similar to those used on the terrain board that we made for the Wandering Dragon Shoppe.

I started out with a 2 x 2 piece of masonite.  The rocks would be built up with layers of pink foam.

To make each level have more complexity and smaller levels, I first cut out the basic shape of  what I wanted.  Note the extendable exacto blade.  Those knives are perfect for this!  I have a hot foam wire, but it was way too cold and way too late to be using that outside.  Plus, I don't have the attachments that I really need. so, you go with what you know!

By cutting horizontally with the extended blade, you can cut out parts of each level to create various hieghts for your outcroppings.

This can be easier and quicker than piling up many layers of foam!

If you save those pieces you cut out, as you saw in the previous terrain post, you can make some very nice slate style outcrops!

You can see that I kept building up, layer by layer, making sure to vary which way my cuts went to make more interesting textures

These images give you a real sense of where the water will be flowing...

Layering continues.  I had a different idea for the tops of the cliffs, but time is not on my side, and I have to scale way back on those plans.  Bummer!  

One thing I wanted to keep from the original plans is the island watchtower.  I started to lay that out at this stage, as well as the outlying flatter terrain, on which the Khand and Easterling miniatures will be placed.  Remember, the chariots are the key weapon that turned the tide in the long war between the forces of Rhuin and the Knights of the Blood Rose.  They were able to defeat the cavalry, thus pushing the elves out of their ancient cities...

Once I had rough cut everything, it was time to glue it all together, using standard wood glue.  It is very strong, and dries relatively fast.  Blue painter's tape was used on each level to keep them from shifting or warping, and giving it lots of extra strength!

Now I start to build up that central island.  This guards the entry into the final undamaged elven cities.

The island built up to its highest point.  Our next exciting episode will show the texturing of all the different areas of the board!  Stay tuned...