Mediterranean Island Pirate Mega-Map ReaperCon 2012
12 DAYS...


More progress on the shipwreck.

I scored grooves with a bamboo skewer into the 1/32" balsa covering the deck to form planks.

(I was a bit of a fool earlier when I cut the piece for the deck near the bow. I did not orient the grain of the wood along the ship but rather cut things at around 45 degrees to make maximum use of my scrap wood. This made creating planks in this piece much harder.   Tongue  Lesson learned.)

After the planks were marked out lengthwise, I cut slits to make the ends of the boards. I then teased some of the edges up with the tip of a knife.

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To keep the ends of these loose boards standing up, I stuck a blob of hot glue under each one. I held the boards up until the hot glue hardened so that they would be lifted up by the glue.

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After the deck was done, I made some scuppers for the main deck out of square stock balsa.

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I then cut some 1/2" wide strips of my 1/32" balsa to use as the boards on the sides of my ship.

One of the nice things about making a wreck is that you do not need to keep everything nice and neat. Any slippages or distortions can just be passed off as aging and damage.  Smile

To attach all my strips and other pieces, I used hot glue. Using hot glue gave me quick solid attachment without having to wait until PVA glue or the like would dry. It also meant I could quickly attach things to rough uneven surfaces.

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On the side of the ship with the hole, I switched to basswood strips for the planking around the hole. This wood, while harder to bend, is much stronger than balsa and will better handle player interaction with the extended broken edges. Basswood also makes nicer broken edges than balsa.

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I then added broken bowsprit and snapped mast. In both cases I drilled holes into the foam and used generous portions of hot glue to secure the dowels in place.

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To secure the splintered end of the mast, I soaked the splinters in diluted PVA twice, letting the glue dry between each soaking. This made the bunched splinters much stronger and much less likely to snap off from casual contact later.

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The friend that originally connected me with this project gave me some metal railings. I used these to create some interest up at the bow. These were hot glued to the deck and the individual pieces were tacked together with super glue.

These pieces are not as robust or securely attached to the rest of my ship as I usually like to build, but they were just too cool to pass up.   Big Grin

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The ship is getting close to complete. Here are some overall pics of the progress.

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And here are a few to get an idea of what it will look like in place.

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Next I added some metal to the bow to cover up where the sides came together.

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I have decided to make all my pirate elements separate pieces to maximize the future utility of the overall map.

Since the ship will not be glued to the board, I will add some weights to the bottom to help keep it in position, It is currently a little top heavy.

Back to work.   Big Grin
Quote:N810 said:
An amazing abount of progress on the ship man.   Smile

Quote:Elderac said:
The railing on the forecastle really adds to the piece. It would be cool if you had a stray female miniature suitable for use as a figurehead. Also consider having a few stray ropes hanging from the mast and bowsprit as they might not all have been salvaged.

It looks great and I'll continue to watch this eagerly.
11 DAYS...


To give some weight to the bottom of the shipwreck, I hollowed out a section of the base and acquired some lead airgun pellets.

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After inverting the ship, I poured in a bunch of pellets and tacked them in place with some dilute PVA glue I let dry overnight.

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After the PVA was dry, I sealed everything in place with a generous amount of hot glue.
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Once the ship was nicely weighted, I split up some balsa stock and created a frame around the open cargo hatch. This gives it a much nicer look I feel.

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To help disguise the end of the wreck I made some seaweed out of hot glue. Not only did this cover up the artificiality of the straight edge, but it helps cover the gap between the deck and the ground. The flexibility of the seaweed drape will also sag down to help cover any unevenness when this wreck is placed on the map.

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Given that the wreck has been in place long enough to have seaweed grow on it, the ship needed some barnacles. A bit of hot glue and a dip in some pre-sifted fine pieces of cat litter, and we had barnacles.   Smile

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This wreck is getting pretty close to ready for painting. I am of two minds about having a couple of old lines draped here and there. On the one hand it would look cool, but on the other, they would likely get in the way of play.

I will likely come down on the side of playability.

Back to work.   Big Grin
Quote:Elderac said:
I like how you made the barnacles. When I was working on my (unfinished) lighting comp entry, the buoys, I was wondering how to put barnacles around the base. When I get around to finishing that model, I'll give this a try.

@ Elderac - At first I tried to make barnacles just using dabs of hot glue, but it was too liquid and organic to get the look I was going for. I thought about using small beads, but I did not have any and thought they would look too regular anyway. Then I remembered my cat litter and the sifter I had created as part of my Canyon Hex Map project. That gave me just the look I was hoping for. My plan is to dry brush some gray or white over the barnacle areas after I am done painting to make them show.
I decided to go ahead and put on a figurehead on my shipwreck.

I wanted something that might strike the player's attention, something with a more potentially dark or disturbing look than a traditional figurehead choice.

To that end, I choose a stylized fish. It could be a menacing fighting oriental carp, or some deep sea creature signifying the darker side of piracy, or the symbol of a cult involving elder gods and things sailors were not meant to know.

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Off to hit everything with a base coat of spray paint.   Big Grin
Quote:Shakandra said:
A couple pages back, someone mentioned the scenarios vs. the terrain; there's no fear on that front. I'm the scenario author, and I am keeping a close eye on both maps are doing with their projects. If it becomes necessary, I will make adjustments and perform minor re-writes to the scenarios to make sure that things makes sense and are balanced for both sides on each of the sub-tables of the 3 islands.

The table looks brilliant. I can't wait to see it in person at the con!


Quote:threewolftats said:
that fish as the figure head is the proverbial dogs danglies mate, i love how this wreck is turning out....

keep it going fella, almost finished...


Quote:Eldderac said:
I love the figurehead. It is almost as though the ship were named Dagon's Dream or (or Fhtagn which is sort of the same thing), or Star of Ryleah. Hmm. Trying to come up with something suitably piratey and Lovecraftian at the same time.

Maybe she was just homeported in Innsmouth.   Wink

Yeah, I really like the figurehead too. It was a lucky find from a bunch of pre-painted plastic miniatures from a game whose units were dreams and nightmares. I never played the game, but the pieces I traded for have come in handy multiple times.
Things keep moving along.

The same friend that gave me the metal railing pieces also gave me two halves of a rowboat. A bit of fiddling and I have something to form the foundation of an Easter egg in one of my cliff sea caves.

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Using some differently sized square dowels I made some crates and treasure chests. Some beads will form barrels to join some larger pre-made barrels and some spools. These will provide bits to form little piles of piratey gear.

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I took the shine off the glossy beads with some sandpaper and stained the rest of the pieces by shaking them around in a container with some brown ink mixed with alcohol. Two coats with some drying time in between gave me a decent set of brown pieces that match the tone of my bridges.

Depending on time, I may score and/or draw on these to make some more details.

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By now, the base coat spray paint on the shipwreck was dry enough to handle. Here are some pics of the results.

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Part of me thinks I take this many WIP pics so that at some point in the future I can look back and say to myself, "You see this pic right here? It was right after this that you messed things up. Maybe you can make things look this good again, if you are lucky."   Big Grin

Knowing that I can always look back at how good things look now helps give me the courage to keep fiddling with things to try to make them look better.  Smile

Off to try dry brushing some gray onto the shipwreck.   Big Grin
Quote:pendrake said:

Quote:ableman33 said:
I am considering making all my pirate details separate pieces. If I do so, it would make future use of this map much more flexible. Any ideas or feelings about that?

A grand idea. Especially if all this is going to stay in Denton [?]. Whoever ends up storing it will thank you. Plus little piratey details as loose pieces could be used on their own on small(er) tables. Plus next year (or some year) this table could support a Graeco-Roman Valley/Island of the gods theme if the Piratical bits could stay on the shelves.
OK, the shipwreck is painted.   Smile

I went for a moderately heavy drybrushing of gray over the spray painted brown to get a generic weathered look.

I then did a light brushing of green ABOVE the barnacles to represent algae growing on the wood in the splash zone. The seaweed fronds at the sunken end of the ship were pained dark green with some greenish-yellow on top to differentiate it from the algae.

The barnacles were hit very lightly with pure white to make them stand out against the overall gray brownness of the ship.

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I hit the interior of the wreck with some green to represent general algae growth. This may end up getting covered up, but I went ahead and painted it in case any ends up showing.

The detailing inside the ship is not all that great, just enough to give and impression of what should be there.

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Some of my fine kitty litter pieces came loose from the hot glue holding them to the ship. This turned out to be ideal as the little depression in the hardened glue they left behind look even more like barnacles. If I had thought about it, I would have tried to dislodge a lot more of them before painting.

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I am not all that pleased with how the coloring on the mast and bowsprit came out, but I can live with what I have.

I could keep fiddling with this shipwreck, but I am going to call it done except for the Easter egg that will be hidden inside. (Although I do plan to add some flaked off weathered gilding on the figurehead once I get hold of some goldish paint.)

As having a shipwreck as part of the map was a feature specifically requested by the convention organizers, I wanted to put extra effort into making it nice. For never having done anything like this before, I am quite pleased with how it turned out.  Smile


Next up, I need to start on the other piratey elements, including the repurposing of a broken mast to create a ladder to the top of the lone spire around the cove.

Back to work.   Big Grin
I finished my rowboat and my shipwreck


Here our vigilant scout trooper comes across a smuggling operation hidden inside one of the sea caves along the southern coast of the island. Crates of contraband and a barrel of rum are bad enough, but the treasure chest full of ill-gotten booty will certainly get his superior's attention. That is, of course, unless our scout trooper decides to take a little boat ride himself...

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I decided to go ahead and completely finish my shipwreck (other than gilding the figurehead).

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I could not stand leaving the unfinished top of my snapped mast alone so I wrapped the ship in a plastic grocery bag, cut a small slit in the plastic and stuck the end of the mast through the hole, sealed the plastic to the mast with tape, hit the mast with spray paint, and dry brushed the mast after removing the bag.

Now it looks properly sun faded, and like it has served as a perch for generations of seagulls.

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While I was in the area, I added a few real seashells to the seaweed to represent the local sea creatures living in and snacking on the weeds.

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Finally, I was ready for my shipwreck Easter egg. Using hot glue, I secured some gold glitter made out of circles instead of squares to the floor and walls inside of the wreck. The glue let me get some nice mound shapes to the treasure piles.

I then placed a guardian giant octopus that I spray painted to look more natural. (It was originally bright white with orange and fluorescent pink shading.)

You can see the treasure and its guardian from above through the open cargo hatch and from the side through the hole smashed by the rocks.

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I had a lot of fun making this wreck. Hopefully players will enjoy checking it out and the convention organizers will be pleased.

I have started making a rope ladder that will hang down from the top of the lone spire to the little shelf of land at its base. I will likely secure the ropes at the top to the legs of a small lookout tower. The plan is for units to be able to cross from the peninsula to the spire using the shipwreck as a footbridge to access the base of the ladder. The gaps between the shipwreck and the rocks on either side are less than the width of the smallest unit base.

If I find out that units in the game cannot do this, I will make a plank foot bridge that can lay across the wreck to connect the two pieces of land.

Back to work.   Big Grin

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