Getting it planned out and the build
Alright, time to start. First I need to get the basic floor plan laid-out and figure out where all four knights are going to go on the board. I think one will be sitting on the skeleton’s out stretched hand, while the other three will be arranged outwards below at various heights.
The form sheets I am using are very light weight, but not density board. I am concerned about the over-all weight of the board. Add in the knights and it can get heavy fast. A lot of density board can get a bit heavy as well so I am using cheap blown foam boards. They have a lot of air holes, which is a drag to fill, but they are very light weight and rigid.
Another good thing about these boards are they fit the wood under-board just right. I just have to cut one board to fit the whole thing. Once done I glue it all down with white glue and let it sit overnight.
This base-board will give me plenty of space to work with and a foundation to glue and pin everything into place.
The next day I find that the under-board has slightly warped. Ugg.
No problem, I re-glue down those edges that have pulled away and cut the second level of foam. These I start pinning with toothpicks which I have found will really create a secure bond between levels.
Continuing with the build. I am starting to te-think the column at the center. I might not use it after all. We will see.
So as I work on this board it’s concept has changed more and more. First off I am dumping the columns. Too heavy and takes up too much room. Second, the skeleton. I am keeping the skull, but dumping everything else. Again too much room is being taken up. I have to, in the end, fit the knights on to the board and be able to pull them off without effort.
I think though, I might add some cool waterfalls that all lead to a pool. Might be cool. Meanwhile I have glued all the walls together for the temple and fitted everything together.
Alright, spent the day hot-knifing the form into a rock like surface. Once that was done it was time to seal the styrene. I also used the time to cut a pool for the waterfalls and the pool edges into a chaos symbol. I think I will I use this board for many different chaos armies.
I generally hit the whole thing with a watered down coat or two of white glue. Why? Two reasons.
First styrene, if you hit it with any kind of spray paint, like primer, the aerosol in the can will eat the foam. So you have to seal the surface. Everyday white glue works best.
Second while styrene is stiff, it can be dented with everyday use. If you apply a coat or two of glue the glue forms a hard shell over the foam. You can use plaster to do this as well, but plaster gets heavy and can chip in use.
After the glue dries I will hit the surface with the texture paint from Vallejo. This and the glue will form a good seal over the styrene and protect it from damage in use.
Seams and gaps? Best way to seal these up is with a bit of paper towel. Yep it’s easy and works great.
Paint the surface around the seam or gap with glue and then either stuff the gap with paper or on a seam, lay the paper over the seam. This will tack the paper down. Next apply another coat of glue over the paper. When it drys it will be stiff and hard and cover the seam or gap great. On seams brush off the edges with the glue to transition from paper to surface.
Pro tip here… if you rip the edges of the paper to make a rough edge, you will be able to paint down that edges so they blends right in to the surface, you will never know it was there. If you leave the factory edge, you will see the transition from the paper the surface.
You can also use this technique to create textures on a surface, foams for waves in water, stone or rough first, ooze and vines or roots and other stuff. Cotton balls can be used to create foam in water and white caps on waves.
Next up is a backing board for the sides of the display boards. These I just glue on using chipboard and seal the seams with glued paper. I will paint it all black when done.
Side note, cut the crap out of my finger trimming the backing boards. Guess I have to sacrifice some blood to the blood god if I want this board to look good. The cut was deep so I had to finally glue it shut with some super glue.
Once I have all the levels cut and glued I will start to hot knife the foam to look like stone. The plan is to then coat the foam with white glue to seal it and then apply a layer of Vallejo texture over the stone surfaces. Prime and then paint will be the last step.