Monday, June 16, 2008

Building a Necromunda Terrain Board: Part 3

In this installment, we finish all of the construction and move on to painting. We also see how many times I switch back and forth between "I built this" and "we are building this (together).

Final Details - "Sanding"

The last bit of actual construction that needs to be done is the sanding. Not the sanding we did before, but different sanding involving actual sand and some glue rather than sand glued to paper.

Sanding is what I call the act of gluing sand to areas of the board. I glued sand to the crater surfaces and in a few choice spots around the rest of the board to break up the monotony of the tiling.

All you will need for this step is sand, wood glue, some old brushes and a place you can be messy.

First thing's first, put down a drop cloth unless you're doing this step outside. Sand gets everywhere.

In a small open container you don;t mind potentially ruining, mix some wood glue with some water. I have no idea what my mix percentages were, but I usually started at half and half and then added more glue to get to a consistency I liked. A key thing here, is make sure your container doesn't have a hole in it. I used an old spray can lid. It had a hole. Good thing I had a drop cloth.

The general idea with this is to brush on some glue in a spot you like, cover it with a small mound of sand and then repeat the process until you feel like you have enough sandy areas. It's a good idea to tamp it down a little to get the glue to stick.

Some notes before we move on: Let the sand sit for a bit before you start removing the excess to endure that some sort of bond has been achieved. Additionally, don't add too many large sand deposits in the middle of nowhere. I mainly focused on the craters, covering up mistakes on the edges of tiles, and around some of the vents and such. If and when you add sand to the middle of the tile, try to keep the layer thin and in an organic kinda shape.

Once you've finished gluing the sand down, dump the excess of the board and blow on each little deposit to get the rest of the excess. It's a good idea to test the glue's hold on the sand once everything is dry. If too much of the sand is too easy to flake off, its a good idea to mix up another batch of the water/glue mix and put a layer of it on top of the sand deposits.

In the above picture you can kinda see the areas I focused on for the sand. As an alternative or addition to some of the sand, you could mix some sand in with the latex paint and then paint on rough patches. A little more prep work, but a pretty cool effect. The sand patches ended up looking pretty good, but were not exactly what I had intended.

Finally, be sure to try and recycle as much sand as possible if that's a factor. I just lifted and moved the tarp around until all the sand was bunched up on one end and then funneled it back into the container.


All of the construction is now done, so its time to move onto painting. Before we get to the latex paint, its a good idea to prime the surface we want to paint. I used a simple can of flat black interior/exterior spray paint. Priming the surface in a dark color does a number of things.
  • Creates a flat and more uniform color for the latex paint to go over.
  • Creates a better surface for paint to adhere to.
  • Helps seal the card stock against moisture (from the latex paint)
I don't know how many of those points are real or imagined, but if nothing else, creating a flat, uniform color to cover up my brightly colored card and the wood was enough for me.

You only really need to get one coat of paint on the board for this step to be over. You're just looking for a general blackness to cover up all the original colors and provide a good solid base coat for the latex paint to go on. That being said, don't worry too much about the quality of this step. the latex paint will cover up all the mistakes you might make.

Some notes: When setting up for this, go outside and put down a tarp (if need be). Spray paint has an extreme potential for messy and also smells bad. Ventalation is good. Its also a good idea to elevate the boards so they don't get stuck to anything. I used some old soda boxes.

Once you get the base coat done and let it dry, we're ready for the real painting work.

Continues in the next installment

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