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Quote:bugbait nz said:
Spectacular as usual! Such a massive project!  Big Grin  
Now stop stuffing around on the internet and get back to work!  Smile

Bugbait out

Quote:Eldarac said:
It keeps looking better and better. What is to become of these pieces once the convention is over?

Thanks you two.

As to what is to become of these maps after the convention, that is unknown to me.

I am being reimbursed for some of my time and materials, but I do not know who will own these afterward. I am hoping they will go to a good home with folks who can use them (and store them). One of my friends suggested they might be auctioned off after the convention, but I just do not know.


I am still having issues with the wood base boards pulling away from my foam in places. I have at least isolated the cause. These bases are so thin that they can flex over their 2' length. While the wood can bend, the foam is much more rigid. This means that anytime the maps are handled by the wood edges, the wood bases flex and are effectively peeled away from the foam. Even the hot glue could not resist.

I am going to try some gorilla glue combined with countersunk screws drilled in from below. While the screws themselves will not have much purchase in the foam, I plan to coat them liberally with hot glue before drilling them in.

Hopefully, between the glue melting and sticking to the foam and the length of the screws resisting sheering during flexing, the screws combined with the gorilla glue can do the trick. If not, I will likely need to reinforce my wood bases so they cannot flex.

I got some of the faster setting gorilla glue TheRat suggested. I am going to do some experiments on some scraps first to see how well this will work in my particular situation. One of the difficulties will be that none of these surfaces are easily accessible. They are just narrow gaps several inches deep which makes getting water in there a challenge (moisture being necessary for curing the glue).

Wish me luck.   Big Grin

Quote:Thumper said:
Good luck Man Thumbs Up

I normally use the 1/4" luan using PVA and a pile of books until dried for about 24 hours. Never had warping or peeling up problems.

I wouldn't have thought your use of the spray adhesive would have produced any different result than you normally do, and really wouldn't have expected it to warp the luan if that's the case causeing the peeling up as I didn't think there was the shinkage thats associated with PVA?

@ Thumper - The boards lay flat when on a table, it is when they are picked up that problems occur. The wood is flexible enough that if you hold just one side it bends enough under the weight of the map to peel away a bit from the foam.

I do not know why I am having such difficulty with the spray glue sticking the foam to the wood this time around. Maybe they changed the formulation. Maybe I forgot to dust off the wood. Maybe it has always been this way but all my previous bases have been stiff enough for it to not be an issue.

I will just have to keep plugging away at potential fixes until something works.

Every project is an adventure.   Big Grin

Quote:Thumper said:
Now I understand ... the areas where the base representing water meets the clifface. Not your cut areas where the foam comes to the edge of the base.

Without adding a frame to prevent the flexing, I'm not sure how you'd eliminate the problem.

Possibly a bead of caulk around the foam, that will remain flexible and double as waves beating up against the cliffs?

... even more so, I wish you Bon Chance!
My tests are done. It looks like the gorilla glue will work.

I tried applying it to wet and dry wood and to clamped and unclamped surfaces. The glue seems to hold well in all four situations.

(In the test samples I did not wipe away any of the excess and just let the overflow dribble out and expand to see what it was like. For the real maps I will be wiping most of the excess away and covering the rest later.)

[Image: 15999843661_f0187a7f07_o.jpg]


My first round of re-gluing is in progress, clamps and impromptu weights helping keep the expansion to a minimum. Once this batch is cured, I should be able to get the rest done.

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While waiting for the glue to cure, I went ahead and ripped off the original dock in the cove area and replaced it with one covered in 2 inch square tiles like the rest of the developed area of the cove. Because the dock is constantly eroded by wave action, I made it a bit more damaged. This helped cover the seams where the separate map sections pull apart.

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Back to work.   Big Grin
I am about 75% done with adding my pre-PVA details. For now that means that I have installed most of the pillars in my ruins. The main temple complex is pretty much done (at least the gross details that are going in before I coat everything in PVA).


Originally I was going to follow real world Greek temple floor plans, but after looking at playability and the scale of my temples, I decided to let historical realism go.

I also decided against placing any broken walls. Instead I used vertical and horizontal pillar pieces to provide the necessary details.


When "breaking" my pillars, I chose to have them come apart at right angles. I did this because many of these real world pillars were made by stacking low cylindrical sections on top of each other.

At first I tried using my jigsaw to cut my fish tank pillars, but it was slow going and I was constantly worried about snapping the very thin blades.

I then tried clamping the pillars down and cutting them apart with a hacksaw. This worked better, but the fine teeth still made for fairly slow going.

Finally I switched to my hand miter saw. The wider teeth and rigid blade proved perfect to the task and I was able to make my cuts with ease in just a few seconds.


When it came time to attach my pillars to the maps, any pillar that was more than about one inch tall received some reinforcement. I drilled out a hole in the bottom and hot glued a piece of heavy gauge ceiling hanger wire (about twice as thick as coat hanger wire) into the bottom. I then stuck the wire into the foam map and hot glued the pillar in place.

The heavy wire resists both pulling and sheering forces. Their main purpose is to resist the pillars being ripped off the map when they are hit sideways.

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Here are some overview pics of the main temple complex. There may be some more pillar fragments scattered around the ground later, but the area is mostly complete.

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My scout trooper then decided to go in for a closer look.

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Hopefully I can get the rest of the pillar pieces scattered around the remainder of the map done tomorrow morning so I can start covering everything in PVA.

Once the PVA layers are down, I will be able to start work on the rubble.

Back to work.   Big Grin
Quote:HobbyDr said:
You were right to cut the columns into 'coins' like you did. They look great. What are they made of, that made them hard to cut?

I am enjoying watching your progress.


@ HobbyDr - The columns are made of a kind of dense plastic resin. They are not that hard, similar to fiberglass but without the threads. All three of my saws could cut the material. It was more the thickness of the columns and the tendency of the fine dust to clog the teeth of the saws that caused the problem.



[Image: 16001803665_ca759471fa_o.jpg]

My powered jigsaw works really well for cutting thin sheets of material, but these columns are over 3/4 of an inch thick. Combine the column thickness with the fact that jigsaw blades are extremely small to allow for tight turns; that the protruding caps on the ends of the columns made holding them level a challenge especially when dealing with only half a column; and that since I have to hold the columns with my hands and move them through the blade they have a tendency to vibrate up and down you can see how I was lucky not to snap a blade.

As it was, during my two test cuts, the thin blade deflected quite a bit, even after I switched to my thicker more aggressive blade.

A better tool would have been a band saw, but I do not have one of those.



[Image: 16001126832_717f5559d7_o.jpg]

Switching to clamping the columns to the table and cutting them with a hacksaw solved many of the problems. The columns were held rigidly in place so binding was less of a problem, however, the fineness of the hacksaw teeth meant it took a while to cut through the dense plastic.

The fineness of the blade meant that the cut through the columns was very narrow. Powdery plastic sawdust tended to clog up the fine teeth and fill the cut making cutting slower and binding more of an issue. While the hacksaw blade is much thicker than the jigsaw blades, it still has a tendency to twist and bind if you do not cut very carefully.



[Image: 15976033636_e3bfef7b88_o.jpg]

The miter saw proved ideal. It has larger more aggressive teeth than the hacksaw so it made a wider channel in the columns and cleared out the fine plastic sawdust efficiently. The miter saw is also designed to be extremely stiff and straight so binding was a complete non-issue. I was able to rip through the columns precisely and quickly without having to give my cutting much thought.


Sleepy time is over. Time to get back to work.   Big Grin
Quote:HobbyDr said:
That resin can be troublesome, that's for sure. And the fine dust.......I should use a mask, but never do, and always regret it. Speaking of resin dust, here's a tip I've never used myself, but hear is very effective. They say if you mix resin dust in with your super glue, you get a much stronger joint. I keep meaning to try it.

In all my years of mis-using tools, I've found that of all of them, the hacksaw really only works for the action intended.........cutting metal.  Big Grin


@ HobbyDr - I will have to remember that trick about mixing the resin dust with super glue.

I hear you about the need for a mask.

Regarding hacksaw use, I have made use of them on occasion when I wanted a very smooth cut in a hard wooden dowel, and a bare hacksaw blade in a handgrip was great for rough cutting my foam sheets to size and making decently tight turns, but other than than you are right. They work best cutting metal.  Smile

Have fun and happy building. Back to work for me.   Big Grin

Quote:Caleb said:
This project is coming along really nicely. If nothing else, I continue to admire the sheer scale of this project.

But of course, there is much more than that. Watching as you develop something more freeform than hexes or grids is quite neat.
I am glad you figured out your separation issue. Flexible and rigid play together in rather specific, and limited, capacities.  Wink

Quote:BaronW said:
This is exceptional work in the size, execution and time scale you are working in. You don't seem to need the praise, but I am impressed and watching this thread with a keen eye.

Thanks Caleb.  Smile  It has been fun making terrain away from the constraints of hexes.


One thing I could use everyone's help with is coming up with ideas for "piratey" embellishments for the map after I am done with all the Greek stuff.

I already plan to have a shipwreck along part of the cove that has been canibalized for parts to make a ladder and lookout post on the lone standing spire around the cove.

What I need are some other ideas I of things I could do to give all three map sections a pirate feel.

Some stuff I have already come up with:
  • Some hanging "body cages", perhaps one with skeletal remains, suspended under the northern arch of the cove.
  • A rowboat in one of the southern sea caves.
  • Stacks of barrels here and there. Pirates have to have rum after all.
  • Making strewn fish nets out of mesh or window screen to decorate with.
  • The odd pirate flag, possibly with emblems from the factions that will be involved with the game.
  • Converting one of the smaller caves into a brig with iron bars.
  • Treasure chests.
  • Impromptu defensive positions/lean-tos made from crates etc.
  • Some tentacles reaching out of the water along the coast/from a sea cave.

Ideally each of the three sets of maps will have several pirate touches. The cove area should be fairly easy, but I need stuff to scatter around the rest of the maps.

Any help all you creative types can come up with would be fantastic.

Thanks in advance.   Big Grin

Quote:Elderac said:
Perhaps a deck gun set up as a shore battery, either functional or ruined.

Quote:Shajandara said:
I have a ridiculous number of barrels, crates, chests, etc. from the HA molds. I am working on painting up as many as I can for use as touches around all 3 of the islands. I can either get them over to Todd to get to you, or I can just add them on to the island after the fact. Since some of them as actually destined to be used as part of the scenarios, the latter may be better.  Smile

@ Shakandara - Thanks for putting those bits together for us.

Considering these maps will be getting to the convention just a few hours before they are needed, it would probably be best that anything that does not need to be left loose for play purposes should be passed along early.

Anything that is going to be left loose to be picked up or moved during play might could wait.

Can you post a picture of some of the pieces you are talking about along with some sort of scale reference for me? I would appreciate it.
Ok, I have finished adding my pre-PVA details.

I scored some super cheap saint statues at the local $1 store. Some of these were broken up to make the remains of Greek statues scattered about the maps.

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Here are some pics of the newly added details.

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A bit of a break, then I will start covering things with PVA.   Big Grin
Quote:Zaboobadidoo Sr. said:
Big Grin  Great idea with the statues. I love the idea of a bunch of broken Greek statues to go with the columns, and that was a great way to pull it off. Makes me think I need to do more with statues myself...

Can't wait to see everything painted.

Quote:Shakandara said:
Probably the easiest way to see scale is to check out the images at the Hirst site. Here's a couple that I snagged from there. The "grid" of the following pics is 1"x1" squares, and you can see the various crates, barrels, etc. scattered around. (Click on them to see them bigger for more detail)

[Image: 15999847341_4c7b22abbc_o.jpg]

[Image: 15816071177_79b0490eef_o.jpg]

Although Todd mentioned trying to bring some of the table up, I'm planning to drive my truck up on Wednesday. I'll take as much of the table as I can fit, if that's ok with you.

@ Shakandara - Thanks for the offer to help with transport. Hopefully I will get the maps done in time to take you up on it.


A last few tweaks before coating the foam in PVA.

I ripped out the central column in my largest temple and added another statue.

[Image: 15976037816_81d8800c04_o.jpg]


And I added some upended paving stones and tile fragments where the fault lines cross the causeway and temple courtyard. These upthrust pieces will be supplemented with cat litter rubble after the initial PVA layers are applied.

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It will probably be a while before my next set of updates. Even I cannot make pics of drying glue look interesting enough to temp myself to post about it.   Tongue
Quote:N810 said:
The crumbling pathways look great.   Big Grin

Quote:havre said:
This piece is EPIC. Nce find with the statues. And Sir: That workshop should be mine. Don't be surprised if you find your garage locks changed and a Norwegian grinning in the window someday.

Quote:stubbdog said:
Looks great!

I need to get one of those hot engravers. I have a hot knife (butter knife like) that I really like using and a really poor hot wire thing that i almost never use cause it is so limited. I know I would get a lot of use out of the engraver.

Quote:Munin said:
What, all those statues and no Buddy Christ?   Tongue
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To help keep my edges nice and square while applying the texture over the flat areas of the map, I made some temporary walls out of painters tape wherever a flat edge would meet another flat edge of the map. I did not need to tape where there would be no texture, such as in the middle of the causeways.

Hopefully this will reduce the amount of trimming that might be necessary after everything has dried to get the maps to fit together flush again.

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I made my texture from a bunch of sawdust (obtained from wooden cat littler as described in my Jungle Map thread), PVA glue, some drywall mud, a container of powdered HotWire Foam Coat I bought several years back and never used, and two boxes of cornstarch.

Basically I kept adding more stuff to the sawdust/PVA mixture until I had the right consistency. I was shooting for an oatmeal feel, something that would would not run across the map after it was put down.

[Image: 15815814699_318a1fa011_o.jpg]


I am using this texture to represent rocky ground. Pretty much the entire map that is not covered in manufactured material will be covered in this texture. If I choose to add any plants, I can do it over this texture later.

I like how applying this texture really makes the human made areas stand out. When everything is painted, much of this color contrast will be lost, but hopefully the texture differences will help keep visual interest going.

(In some of the pics the texture looks blotchy or smooth in patches. This is because parts of the texture had already started to dry by the time I took the pics.)

[img]-----<br /><br />I am using this texture to represent rocky ground. Pretty much the entire map that is not covered in manufactured material will be covered in this texture. If I choose to add any plants, I can do it over this texture later.<br /><br />I like how applying this texture really makes the human made areas stand out. When everything is painted, much of this color contrast will be lost, but hopefully the texture differences will help keep visual interest going.<br /><br />(In some of the pics the texture looks blotchy or smooth in patches. This is because parts of the texture had already started to dry by the time I took the pics.)[/img]

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Using the texture, I added a beach in front of the natural steps on the west side of the island.

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More pics of the texture application process.

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I want to distinguish between the natural surfaces of the island and the places where humans carved down into the rock. To that end I used the finer grain of the concrete patch covered in PVA for the ramp to the cove instead of the larger graininess of my sawdust mixture.

[Image: 15814555160_ceedbfe6c4_o.jpg]


I took a chance with the top of the arches around the cove. To get a more rounded look for the upper surface I piled on the texture mix instead of brushing it on thinly. Ideally I would have made several thin coats brushed on top of each other as the previously layer dried, but I am trying to reduce time spent waiting on drying to a minimum.

It retrospect, I wish I had used concrete patch to round over the edges of my plywood reinforcement on the top of the arches, and possibly used the concrete patch to mound up the top flat surface as well. The concrete patch would have dried as a single thick mass fairly quickly with few issues, but I wanted to keep the weight of the map down so I hoped that my sawdust texture would work just as well.

I am hoping that this thickness of texture will dry (and not take TOO long to do it) rather than form a dry skin with a gooey center. Any cracks that form during the drying will fit right into the eroded stone look I am going for.

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In the places where I installed metal plates for the magnets on my bridges to attach to, I did not add any sawdust texture. I did this for two reasons. Firstly I want to make the bond between the magnets and the metal as strong as possible and so want the keep the thickness of any covering material to a minimum. Secondly, I want there to be a mild visual indication to help the players know where the place the bridges.

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Finally, I dabbed a little bit of texture over the exposed hot glue around my inset fish tank ruins pieces to help break up the smooth surface of the glue when they get painted.

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It is going to take a while for this to dry completely, a full day at least. While I wait, I can see about adding traditional clay litter along the bottoms of my sea cliff edges.

I might also get a start on the shipwreck that will be part of my cove.

Back to work.   Big Grin
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