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Quote:N810 said:
amazing work Ableman,
the barnicles and seaweed are great,
and the octopus liiks realy good,
I was surprised you where able to
make a rowboat so quicly as well.
all around good work man.   Big Grin





@ N810 - Thanks. The rowboat was made out of two pieces a friend of mine did some experimental resin castings with. All I had to do was clean up some of the edges and glue the two halves together, thus the smuggler's boat was a really quick detail to create.

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10 DAYS...

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I had originally planned on using a long piece of salvaged mast to create a ladder leading from the shelf of rock at the base of the lone spire around the cove up to the bridge at the top. I also thought of keeping the crow's nest on the mast as a sort of lookout tower.

I tried several different designs, but they all started to dominate the map, taking away attention from the shipwreck and getting in the way of play. In the end I decided to scrap the mast and watchtower design and go for something else.

In its place I created a rope ladder. I tried several experiments to create some stakes that looked like they were hammered into the spire top and were yet not permanently affixed to the map, but none of them were successful. (Interesting discovery: Hot glue does not stick well to smooth dusty rocks.)

To give the ladder something to anchor to, I created a rough boardwalk. By crushing some of the lead airgun pellets with pliers, I was able to add a fair amount of mass to the underside of the boards so that things would stay put. To provide better traction against jostling during play, I ran a thin invisible stripe of hot glue down the bottom of each runner. Between the lead and the friction from the rubbery hot glue, things stay in position quite well.

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After painting the lead pellets to hide them and seal them from human contact, I added my rope bridge and a hangman's noose. The ropes for both were made from cloth-wrapped floral wire died with brown ink.

The noose provided a bit of visual interest and balance, as well as an explanation for why the boardwalk extended slightly over the edge. I thought of making a plank for walking-the-plank, but it did not look as good. (Having a board sticking out of some other boards just does not have the visual impact I was going for. It just looked like the engineers got carried away when they were building.)

You can see how stiff the wires are in this pic of the assembly upside down while the paint dries.

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Here is a pic of the assembly in place. I feel it blends rather in well with the rest of the area. It compliments, but does not dominate, the rest of the elements.

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Our scout trooper decided to investigate. After crossing the shipwreck, being careful not to disturb the octopus, he stepped over to the lone spire.

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He climbed the rope ladder, being careful to avoid the broken rung.

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The view from the top of the spire was quite impressive.

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The noose swinging silently in the sea breeze made our trooper ponder his mortality, and rethink the wisdom of of keeping the booty from the smuggler's rowboat for himself.

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With the shipwreck and the access to the top of the spire complete, I am done with all the necessary elements of my maps. After this I have adding greenery, glossing the water with caulk, and squeezing in as many loose pirate elements as I can in the time remaining.

This project is really growing on me. I am tempted to hold on to it, even though I do not play any games that can use it.  Smile

Back to work.   Big Grin
Quote:N810 said:
looking good, I assume you are going to varnish the water of something after making the caulk waves.   Wink







@ N810 - Actually, the caulk is clear and remains glossy forever. I will use the clear caulk to both create a bit of surface texture on the flat painted wood water and to give it a shine.

After the clear caulk cures, I will bush on opaque white caulk for surf on the wave crests and sea foam around the rocks.

I used a similar technique in my Jungle Hex Map project.

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The only downside to using silicone caulk like this is that flock and dust LOVE it. The cured silicone is a perfect match for any loose flock that falls onto the surface. Scrubbing with rags and other techniques leave a fair amount behind that has to be removed by rubbing with a firm finger. It can be a bit tedious.

To save on cleanup, I will be adding my caulk only after I am done with any flocking and have given the entire map a good going over with a brush to remove any loose bits.





Quote:Elderac said:
The rope ladder is great as are the walk and noose.

It seems like the end with the noose projects past the edge of the table and it seems to me like something that would catch shirts, badges, necklaces, etc. of people moving around the table.





Quote:N810 said:
Ahhh ok, I was thinking just white caulk for waves,
since it would be Really time consuming to do the while thing in clear silicone caulk.

I should look pretty awesome tho.





@ Elderac - The end of the walk does project a little past the edge of the map in the above pics. If this is ever a problem, the position of the piece on the spire can be easily adjusted as it is not attached to the map.

@ N810 - Yeah, putting down that much caulk will take a while, and it will definitely be a "high-ventilation" event with all that acetic acid in the air. It will be an adventure to be sure.
Time for some more piratey details.

This time around, I am making some rusted iron hanging body cages. To do this I am using some small plastic curlers from the $1 store. A couple of zombies from my Bag O' Zombies will stand in for some skeletal remains of former guests.

The curlers come with a grid of just the right size and the spikes on the curlers give just the right nasty look I am going for. The first step was trimming off the tops of some of the curlers and removing some of the internal cross pieces. To get the right shape, I left the bottom four rows of the grid intact and kept three more rows worth of strips cleared of cross braces. This gave enough room to gather the strips together to form a nice looking top.

(In this pic, I have not yet trimmed the stripped parts down to the proper length.)

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A bit of fine wire stripped from inside a large twist tie holds the trimmed strands together and binds a length of cheap necklace chain to the top.

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Rinse and repeat twice more to get three cages.

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A bit of rust colored primer helps unify things. The granny grating will become the gridded floors of the cages.

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A bit of white dry brushing on the zombies gives them more of an exposed bone look before sticking them in the cages. To vary things up a bit I used my heat gun to soften one of the zombies and rearrange it into a more sitting pose before dry brushing.

A bit of contortion with some fine tipped jewelers piers got the floors into place, although not without a bit of damage to the paint. (I touched up the paint on the cages and "skeletons" after these pics.) I left one of the cages empty for future visitors.

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These cages are going to hang under the arches around the cove. Rather than make single attachment points, like with a hook, I decided to give future gamers lots of options.

I hot glued over two dozen tiny powerful magnets into the hollows and crevices of the underside of both arches.

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To place these cages on the map, you simply tap the end of the chain against the underside of an arch until it sticks near where you wants it. If you want the cage to be higher, you can push more chain against the magnet. These magnets are strong enough to hold the entire length of the chains in a wad up against the roof out of sight.

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This was a fun little project. The rest of my piratey elements will likely consist mostly of piles of goods that can be scattered anywhere around the map.

I will likely switch to adding greenery next, doing pirate stuff when I need a break.

Back to work.   Big Grin
Quote:Elderac said:
That has to be one of the most creative uses of a curler I have seen.





Quote:ForestZ said:
If you had a nickel for every time I've said "wow" while viewing one of your threads, you could probably fund your next project.  Tongue  Love those cages, and absolutely love that you put magnets to hang them from. You never stop coming up with cool little tricks to take your boards to the next level.





Quote:stubbdog said:
Just letting you know that I am totally stealing some of these very awesome ideas, calling them my own, and will show up in my next WIP of my island that , cough cough isn't just a couple steps behind yours cough cough...





Thanks everyone!  Dancing As I have said before, your enthusiasm and ideas are deeply appreciated. They keep me inspired and motivated through these projects.

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@ stubbdog - Steal away!   Smile

I see terrain building as a collaborative process and the main mission of TerraGenesis being to support and facilitate the sharing of ideas between eveyone.

I look forward to seeing your work. I know you have the greater job in that you are responsible for creating two islands. I have the luxury of focusing my efforts on just this one. (Even so, I still feel pressed for time).

Thanks again everyone.

Back to work.   Big Grin





Quote:stubbdog said:
Well, I heard that you are coming up on that Thursday... Bring all of your hotwire tools with you.. other than your table of course (unless you can figure out a way to pack that too   Big Grin  Big Grin  Big Grin  )

The third table is going to be a crazy quick build that is going to be the "polar" opposite of these two tables. These two have been built on relative realism but that table is going to be what I can only describe as Dramatic Icey Cataclysm... I think it will end up being pretty cool in its own way, but it wont be like these first two.. Cause I agree with you that they should have approved this a year ago instead of the short time ago that they did. But, its all good.

I will be laying my "oatmeal surprise" ground tonight. Also found a spray based sealer that works on the foam so I can spray paint without fear as well. I will post some pics related in my WIP soon.





@ stubbdog - Heh, I can only imagine what kind of shape I will be in after getting this map done and driving up to Denton, but I will see what I can do to help out when I get there.  Smile

Hopefully things will already have progressed a bit on your third map and we will not be trying to build it from scratch in a couple of hours the night before the tournament.   Big Grin  Let me know if I should bring anything other than basic tool and some elbow grease...
8 DAYS...

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I have started on the greenery. First step was to add some moss growing in the cracks of the man made structures.

I used a 50-50 mix of water and PVA added to a spot one drop at a time. I then dragged the glue around with the tip of a toothpick until it was where I wanted. I then sprinkled some Scenic Express - Grass Turf Blend over the glue and waited a day for things to dry completely.

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The next day I used a shop vac and an old toothbrush to remove anything that was not stuck on really well.

And here are the results.

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Next step is to add clumps of scrub and low bushes. I will be going for a lighter dusty looking green for the rest of the plantings to better simulate the Mediterranean inspiration pics.

I cannot believe I have only 8 days left. I am going to have to speed things up here.

wdlanghans proved a little too prophetic earlier. Looking ahead I am not going to have as much work time as I would like the next few days...   Sad

No use fretting. Back to work.   Big Grin
Quote:Elderac said:
The moss looks great. I know you are driven to make a fantastic board, but really, it looks fantastic already. Anything more you add will just put it over the top. If this were a comp entry, I'm sure you would have a winner, even if you don't have a swamp.





Quote:HobbyDr said:
That second to last pic looks like a real location shot. I like how you didn't go overboard with the moss, there's just enough. This project continues to amaze.

Don





Thanks all.  Smile
The look of the bare rock on the island has really grown on me so I decided to keep that as my main look rather than cover much of the surface with green. To that end, I added a few strategic bushes here and there to get a bit more three dimensional color, but only along cliff edges and building foundations. (To make the bushes I used some Woodland Scenics Clump Foliage held in place with hot glue.)

Overall the map looks pretty much the same as it did, but as you look closer in here and there you find a bit more detail.

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Next step is to cover all the water areas with brushed on clear caulk. That will take a while, and because I want to do it all in one pass and I have teaching and tutoring much of the rest of the day, it may need to wait until tomorrow.

I might fill the odd moment between now and then with some more scatterable piratey details.

Back to work.   Big Grin
Quote:Caleb said:
A few tricks with caulk and vinegar: You can use vinegar to smooth out wet caulk and slow curing time.
You can also use water to make it cure faster.

Perhaps worth experimenting with for different water textures.





Thanks Caleb, I will try a few experiments before I get started.
I did manage to get a little more work done today.

I found this cute little guy on sale at the discount rack at the local Toys R' Us as part of an underwater adventure pack. A nice score for under $5.  Thumbs Up

(Isn't he just adorable?  Big Grin )

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The main tentacles moved a little when the button on its back was pressed. First step was to secure these pieces with hot glue injections.

I then cut off the two lowest downward facing tentacles and reattached them around the underside of the mouth. This not only made it easier to cut the body how I wanted to, but it gave the head a more menacing and anatomically correct tentacle arrangement with the tentacles surrounding the mouth.

After the hot glue hardened, I sliced the body at an angle so that it would look like the kraken was reaching out of the ocean. I then stuffed as many lead pellets as I could into the open body before hot gluing them in place.

The weight was not quite enough to keep all the heavy upraised tentacles from causing it to tip over. It works fine if it has something to lean against. I will likely add a tiny little kickstand out of its tummy so that it can be placed anywhere, possibly disguised as a wave. (In the pic under the bridge bellow, I have a small object hidden behind the kraken to help prop it up.)

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If it were not for all the visible hot glue, I might almost be tempted to leave this as it is. I will have to see if I can make it look a bit more menacing when I repaint it.

Off to bed. Tomorrow is pretty full for me, but hopefully I will be able to get the caulk done (or at least started).
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