3D Battletech Hexmap - Jungle Ruins
I'm so glad I signed back up to forums when I did. I am awaiting every post with the same anticipation I enjoyed, while following your Pirate/tropical island themed build, years ago. (I think you mentioned it earlier). Can't wait for the next!
OK, I have everything dry stacked and laid out.

I find that when I'm in the middle of doing something like painting or gluing that I can be quite clueless as to the overall situation of a piece. I get focused on the details and the rational/linguistic part of my brain is disengaged. With that in mind, I try to give myself as many clues as possible so that my working brain doesn't have to think.

In this case, it means laying out and outlining ahead of time where everything goes so that in the heat of the moment of gluing, I don't have to figure out where stuff goes. I just stick each piece back in the outline it came from.

Here are some pics of the dry stacked and labeled maps. (Note, the bridge pieces will be made out of wood later and are not present.)

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And here's an attempt at a "fly-over" video.

My apologies for the sound. I was listening to some soundtrack music and didn't realize my camera was recording sound.

Dry Stack Fly Over

Now to gluing! Big Grin
[+] 3 users Like ableman33's post
Love the fly over! Especially the soundtrack! Big Grin
I think the soundtrack made "The Flyover" much more epic! Big Grin
I mean, it would have been cooler if it had been the soundtrack to "Airwolf," but still pretty neat.  Big Grin
[+] 1 user Likes Munin's post
Heh, thanks all. Smile

I'll try to play some appropriately dramatic music for my next vid. It sort of worked out this time completely by random chance. Smile

Just about finished gluing down half of the maps, but had to stop due to a mini-migraine. Hopefully I'll complete the gluing tomorrow.

Oh, and happy solstice everyone! Solstice

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[+] 1 user Likes ableman33's post
All right. The first round of gluing is done.

For gluing my foam sheets to each other or to my wood boards, I use Super 77 by 3M.

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Again, just so I don't accidentally spray glue onto the wrong side of a piece, I mark the bottoms of each piece with red marker (even the giant pieces, voice of painful experience here). A little bit of extra prep here saves lots of potential frustration later.

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For all but the largest pieces, I stick skewers into the bottoms so I have something to hold while I spray the glue on. These holes will be covered so it's not an issue.

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For the best adhesion, I should spray both surfaces and allow them to get tacky before touching them together. But spraying both surfaces can be a pain, requiring masking that really slows down the work. So, usually, I just coat the bottom of the piece I'm attaching. I do hold each piece in front of a fan to accelerate the drying process until it's tacky.

Sometimes the foam is bent just a bit too much and pulls itself apart after I've stuck things together (especially if I'm only coating one surface). In those cases, I try putting some weight on the pieces (here some of my solid 1-2-3 blocks). If that doesn't hold, I'll come back later with angled tooth pick "nails" to lock disobedient foam layers together, or screw up through from the bottom with dry wall screws coated in hot glue to lock the foam to the wood.

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I did make a few modifications to the maps while I was gluing. I found a few pieces I'd left off while dry stacking, and I added a couple more pieces to one of my "mesa" maps so that the two mesa tops both had some level 4 cover and more level 3 standing options when facing each other.

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With everything glued into place, I can show a few of the possible arrangements.

Here are some for all six maps together in a 3x2 mega-map.

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And here's a 6x1.

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The four "corner" maps by themselves make lots of cool arrangements.

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Two maps together make plenty of room for games. Most Battletech games quickly collapse into action that would only cover a single game board anyway. There are lots and lots of possible two-board combos. The two mesa maps can make either a battle over a central valley or a king-of-the-hill type scenario.

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They can also be placed side-by-side for a high/low fight, or a long running escort mission.

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The next step will be making the bridge sections, and creating and attaching all the hexagonal flagstones.

Happy building everyone!  Big Grin
[+] 2 users Like ableman33's post
This is really amazing. I couldn't deal with having to cut out all of the little hexagons. I would go nuts.
Heh, this is just the start of all the hexagons! Tongue
I had originally planned to use 3/16 inch luan plywood for my bridges. However, I wanted these to be thicker. Not only would that make them more physically robust, but it would also give them some visual weight. So I switched to 5-ply 1/4 inch birch plywood. Way stiffer and stronger. And with the additions I'll make later, a more proper visual weight.

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When doing my layout, I did make a mistake. I forgot to outline one of my hexes. But the time I noticed my error, I had already laid out other pieces over the space where the missing hex should have gone. So I had to draw out the piece again elsewhere on the wood.

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The tool for this job is my scroll saw. The narrow blade is designed for making super tight turns. I didn't need that ability for most of this job, but it came in handy in a few spots.

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It didn't take long to cut out my pieces.

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The hex to be cut out in the center of one of the bridge pieces required a bit more work. First I needed to make a hole in the wood so I could pass my scroll saw blade through. I could have just drilled any old hole big enough for my blade, but I decided to pull out my forstner bits so that I could make a clean hole that removed as much material as possible to make my cutting easier.

Forstner bits are designed to cut flat-bottomed holes. I didn't need that for this task, but the bits do make nice clean edges and keep themselves centered as they drill.

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Once the hole was drilled, I released the blade on my scroll saw, passed it through the hole, and reattached it.

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Once my hex hole was cut, it was time to see how these looked on the map.

The idea is that there used to be a couple of bridges/causeways connecting some of the ceremonial platforms. one of these has completely broken while the other is still partially intact.

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They give lots of options. Smile

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The bridges provide some interesting elevation and framing options when playing with only the "corner" maps.

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To break up the long linear lines of the bridge segments, I plan to place a few strategic half walls along some of the edges. These will not only give the bridge sections a more interesting profile, but they will provide partial cover to mechs from fire in certain directions. These spaces will be the only partial cover available at this height, making perching up on the bridges (where everyone can shoot you) more appealing. Mechs up on the bridges will be able to ignore partial cover penalties from most any other location on the map.

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I'm going to make a couple modifications to the maps before I attach these bridge pieces. Firstly I want to trim down the foam by the thickness of the wood where the bridge pieces will be supported so that the tops of the bridge pieces will be exactly level 4. Secondly, and more importantly, I want to make much more secure attachment points for these wood pieces other than just gluing them to the foam. I have some ideas, but I'm going to need to do some experimenting.

More building tomorrow! Big Grin
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