Friday, February 3, 2012

Modular Gaming Table: Part 6a

Finally, some materials have arrived all the way from Los Angeles! I've ordered Foam Fusion, Foam Coat and Styroplast from the Hot Wire Foam Factory. For those not familiar with these products below are some review videos done by Terranscape:

I'm planning on using Styroplast on the hill-sides and the Foam Coat for the flat areas. But, before I can apply these materials I need to do some preparation work and various tests to get familiar them.

First, I continued with the river panels. Using a sharp knife I carved out more detail into the river borders, then I sanded the whole panel and poured modeling plaster into the river. Not too much, just about 3 mm thick. The plaster functions as a ground surface and helps to smooth out the borders. It also allows you to put some stones in place, like this:

When the plaster completely dried I sanded it again and made sure all connecting points matched. At this stage the river panels are ready for the Foam Coat. I'm planning on combining the Foam Coat with Latex wall paint and various stone materials to create the required surface. Normally the Foam Coat dries within 10 minutes, adding Latex will extend the drying time, furthermore it allows me to apply a thicker layer without wasting the three pounds of Foam Coat.

As for the hills, I wasn't quite sure yet on how to make them. I knew the basic shape and size, but didn't want to cut-out the cliff-sides with a knife or foam cutter. So, while working on the river panels I tried out different tests with plaster. If you combine the foam with plaster you can mould all kinds of intricate details into the plaster with some simple cutting tools. So, the plan is to put blobs of plaster on the hill-sides, mould the cliffs out of it and put the Styroplast over the plaster to give it a rock hard surface. Something like this:

Having worked out which methods to use for the hills, I started out by cutting the foams boards. I glued these together with Foam Fusion and created two pieces of 40x40x4cm and two pieces of 40x20x4cm. I placed them on the panels and outlined the initial shape of the hill with a marker, then I cut them out with a foam cutter and sanded the entry points of the two hills, like this:

Dutch mountains
As you can see I've cut out the sides of the hill in a 45 degree angle. This will serve as a bedding for the plaster. Maybe I'll remove some more foam later, a curved angle would be better than a straight one.

Just like the panels, the hills get a wooden border for protection. Incidentally, the hill border is a bit smaller than the panel borders. This has mainly to do with the fact that I ran out of materials than anything else. In this case only the hight and length are important. I made the hill borders a bit shorter than the actual hills, the plaster will straighten this out in the end.

Don't mind the markings, they're incorrect
All four hill panels with hill borders in place
The plaster takes awfully long to dry. When it does, I'll take you through the process of the actual moulding of the hills. After that, we're on our way for some serious foam coating.

1 comment:

  1. That has to be the best designed board I have very seen. A bespoke masterpiece really. I am intrigued to see what you do with the painting side of things - will the techniques be just as ingenious?