Mediterranean Island Pirate Mega-Map ReaperCon 2012
#31
Quote:TheRat said:
Have you tried gorilla glue? I have always heard good things, but never tried it.

However, I recently picked up some for a project where I was gluing thin metal sheets to mdf and I didn't have time to wait. I picked up some Gorilla glue fast cure, and it worked like a charm. But then reading the label, I noticed one of the uses was Foam.

I gave it a shot on a test piece and this stuff is awesome. Its basically water activated expanding foam, and a little works a long way, AND you don't have to worry about wet PVA glue inside your foam! This is the stuff I used, and I am loving it! here





@ TheRat - I will have to give that stuff a try. I have used regular gorilla glue before (though not on foam) and it expanded a fair bit, not something to generally be desired when trying to glue things flat but not bad for filling gaps.

If the bottom edges of these maps keep popping up, I may try some of that stuff to get them to behave.





Quote:wdlanghans said:
WOW just WOW. You continue to inspire and amaze me sir. Your dedication through adversity is nothing short of amazing   Big Grin




Quote:ForestZ said:
How are you planning on doing the water effects? If you're going to use any kind of resin like Envirotex (which has problems of it's own since you have vast open edges on your boards), then you could just rely on that and your textured cliffs to provide additional adhesion. If you were going to do something simpler like a painted texture with a gloss finish, well, you can ignore me.  Smile

And of course it goes without saying this is looking truly epic.  Smile





@ wdlanghans - Thanks.   Smile  I can always count on encouragement from folks here at TG to keep me going when I get discouraged at all I have left to do.

@ ForestZ - My current plan is to paint the water areas and then gloss them over either with some sort of shiny hard finish or with clear caulk. Clear caulk would lend itself well to waves and splashes. I could also use white caulk for foam.

The problem with using caulk is that it is an absolute dust magnet. The caulk itself stays nice and shiny, but it quickly becomes dim and dusty if you do not clean it regularly. Because of its rubber-like texture, cleaning it can take a bit of work. You cannot simple wipe it off with a damp rag.

If I do decide to go with a non-caulk hard clear finish, I will likely try to simulate waves and such with drywall mud before painting the water areas.
#32
I have started working on the causeway that leads from the ceremonial ramp at the west side of the island to the temple complex to the east.

I want the pattern of this stone to be visually distinct from that of my walls and ruins so that everything does not blend together.

I will be using an irregular pattern of differently sized rectangular stones for my causeway, a grid of large squares for the central area of my temple district, and large rectangles for my walls and dock areas.

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First step was to find a pattern for my causeway. After some searching and manipulation, I found a pattern I liked. Because much of my causeway was going to be cut in half by the separation between maps, I started with a narrow strip,...

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...then doubled it and flipped it over to create a pattern that could be split down the middle at need.

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To get this pattern transferred to my maps I first tried printing the pattern onto paper, cutting it out, securing it in place on the map, then pricking the corners of each shape with a thumbtack. My plan was to then remove the paper and connect the pinpricks with a pen before tracing over the pen line with my HotWire engraving tool.

It quickly became apparent to me that this method would take WAY too long.

To simplify things, I tried firmly tracing over the sides of the rectangles on the paper with my ball point pen to leave indents on the foam below. My hope was that the marks would be clear enough to trace over with my engraver after the paper was removed.

After I traced one sheet of pattern, I could see the marks on the foam, but they were not very clear to the casual eye. To make them easier to see I traced over the foam itself with the pen.

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Then I had the bright idea to trace over the paper pattern with my hot engraving tool instead of the pen. That way I could make my marks deep enough to see in a single pass.

This worked quite well, but introduced its own problem. When the engraving tool melted the foam beneath the paper, it also melted the foam TO the paper. This meant that when I was done tracing, I had to peel the paper away from the foam one little square at a time.

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With the direct application of the engraver to the paper proving to not be such a good time saver, I am planning to go back to tracing twice with the ballpoint pen.

If I had a lot more of this paving to do, I might be tempted to create some sort of stamp to transfer my pattern to the foam. As it is, anything else I can think of doing would take more time and effort than just tracing everything twice with my pen.

Ah well. Back to work.   Big Grin
#33
Quote:Thumper said:
What about using an X-acto blade to transfer in the way the hotwire wasn't able to. At least the paper wouldn't be melted to the foam  Wink





@ Thumper - I actually thought about tracing these out with a sharp blade as others have done in foam that takes impressions better. In that more impressionable foam they would then widen the cuts with a pencil or ballpoint pen and be done with it.

I actually like the more organic imperfections I get from pressing through the paper with a ballpoint pen. It goes quickly enough and the marks this technique makes are easier to see than thin cuts would be. Since I need to go back over these with the engraving tool anyway to get the marks I want, this technique will do me for now. It actually surprised me how quickly the work went once I settled on a method.

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I have finished laying out the causeway on my westernmost set of maps. I like the fact that I have been able to disguise some of the joints between map sections in the pattern of the causeway.

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I am going to hold off on going over these lines with the engraving tool until I have all the lines on all my maps done.

I plan on marking the walls in regular large rectangular blocks to distinguish them from the smaller more random stones in the causeway.

The central area of the temple will be a regular grid of squares to look more formal and to help mark the transition at the end of the causeway on that map.

I have not yet decided what I am going to do about the stone dock areas on this map and the one with the cove, nor have I settled on what flat area around the cove and the ramp leading out of the cove will look like.

Back to work.   Big Grin
#34
OK, the causeway is all marked out.

I have also marked out where the large square tiles will be for the temple complex and added some more foundations for my ruined temples.

Here is a view of the island as a whole.

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This is what the central island play area will look like when it is separated from the rest of the maps.

The idea here is for there to be a fair amount of obstacles for units to interact with and search. The foundations will have broken walls and columns for players to have fun with.

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This is a closeup of the transition between the causeway and the temple courtyard tiles. Hopefully I can make these look different enough to make the areas visually distinct.

(The blue circles are where I am planning to place some broken columns marking the entrance to the temple area.)

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And finally, here are the map pieces that together would form the full main temple complex. During play, the easternmost maps will be part of the cove sub-map.

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It is getting about time for me to decide how I am going to texture my cove down into the ramp and the flat area down by the water on the cove map.

Time for bed. More building tomorrow.   Big Grin

(SIDE NOTE: I continue to have some delamination problems, especially between my plywood bases and the bottom layers of foam, though I also have some foam layers that are not sticking well to each other. This could be a big problem later on. For now I am keeping an eye on things.)
#35
More progress made.

Since the three bridges I will have on this map each span between different map sections, I will be making the bridges as separate pieces. To help hold them in place during play, I will be attaching magnets to the ends of the bridges. To give the bridge magnets something to hold onto I glued strips of metal to the foam where the bridges will be placed. These metal strips will be blended into the terrain later. I have already tested my magnets to make sure they will be strong enough to grab the metal even once the metal is slightly buried.

(The metal strips came from leftover scraps of from my Arena Hex Map project, currently on hiatus while I work on these islands. After the difficulty with my magnetic boards, I was very careful to glue these metal strips white side down.   Big Grin  )

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I have finished marking my walls and foundations where I will make grooves with my HotWire engraver later.

At the west ramp I have marked the stones for the walls and the base of the broken statue.

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I have also marked the foundations of the temples on the west set of maps...

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...and the foundations for the temples in the main temple complex.

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Around the walls of the cove, I have cut apart and installed some of my fish tank decorations to represent where the priests carved into the walls to make living quarters.

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I was careful to center the middle ruin entrance so that it would work well with the maps pulling apart.

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For the two side ruins I dug a bit into the cliff faces to make opening behind the doorways. These will be choked with rubble from when the chambers within collapsed during the earthquake, but I wanted to give some depth to play with. These collapsed entryways may also provide opportunities for little pirate details later.

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I have decided to fix my broken columns and walls to the maps permanently rather than take the time to make individual pieces and magnetic foundations.

Next steps are to engrave my lines, add broken columns and walls, and decide how much of the shipwreck along the edge of the cove I want to build before I paint on layers of PVA glue everywhere.

Back to building.   Big Grin

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P.S. I was able to solve my delamination problems by injecting hot glue into the problem joints. The glue cooled quickly and set while things were pressed together forming a quite satisfactory bond.
#36
Quote:pendrake said:
One small tweak to suggest (area outlined in red):

[Image: 15379553614_292e5c9a7e_o.jpg]

At the point where the upthrust occurred the paving slabs might have acquired additional damage or cracks. (I have PhotoSlopped some in as examples.) I kinda doubt the slabs would shear cleanly, but you may be planning a rubble pile there anyway ??   Huh

But overall, as everyone else has commented: Epic   Big Grin





@ pendrake - Thanks for the suggestion. I do plan to do some transitions where the land has broken/shifted. I will likely do a combination of missing paving stones, tilted/upthrust stones (using glued on pieces of thin foam), cracked pavers, and debris.
#37
I have finished "engraving" my first sub-map. I decided to do the west ramp section first as it had the most engraving that needed to be done and it had three different surfaces that I could practice engraving techniques on (causeway stone, large wall stones, and a foundation).

I made the engraved lines deep as I want them to still be noticeable even after several coats of PVA glue.

This took a lot longer than I thought it would, not least because it is difficult to keep my HotWire engraving tool sufficiently hot while I have a ventilation fan blowing across my work.

(I will be covering up the holes in my foam left from inserting the reinforcing rods with drywall mud/PVA glue mixture later. The flat areas of my maps will be covered in a mix of sawdust and mud/glue mix to simulate gravely ground and/or turf.)

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In addition to melting the edges of my wall stones and simulating broken pieces falling off, I also removed some of the stones from my causeway to make things look a bit more aged.

The second image highlights the missing stones in the pic.

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As always when melting this much foam, I have a great deal of ventilation and use my chemical respirator mask. The ~$30 spent on the mask was some of the best modeling money I have ever spent. The mask, an open garage door, and multiple fans keeps the old brain cells alive.  Smile

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Time for bed. More building tomorrow.   Big Grin
#38
Quote:nealcrankshaw said:
This is really really fascinating to watch develop. Thanks for taking the time to keep us updated with all the WIP shots.... please keep it up.





@ nealcrankshaw - You are welcome. I sometimes worry that I use up too much of Andy's resources with all the pics I put up, but I find making detailed WIP posts keeps me focused on finishing my work in a timely manner. That and I enjoy sharing my work. (I am a teacher after all.  Smile  )

On a personal level, it is hard to state just how much having access to TG helps me. Even putting aside all the inspiration, advice, and encouragement I receive every time I visit here, having hundreds of fellow terrain enthusiasts watching over my projects makes sure things get done on time and with quality.

I will often get up and work on a project I would rather be goofing off doing something else simply because I know I have started a WIP thread about it that others are watching.

That said, terrain projects have a way of taking my attention at the oddest times.

Last night I dreamed that this project was due in three days and that I was busy for two of those days when in fact the convention is in three and a half weeks. Sometimes I think my brain is trying to kill me.   Big Grin

Ah well, back to building.   Big Grin

Thanks for keeping me on track. Glad you all are enjoying the journey.   Smile





Quote:Eldarac said:
If you need more motivation, just point your browser to the Reaper Miniature page and watch the clock counting down.   Big Grin





Quote:wdlanghaus said:


Quote:ableman33 said:
having hundreds of fellow terrain enthusiasts watching over my projects makes sure things get done on time and with quality.

Yes, yes we are   Tongue





Quote:MUMSY said:


Quote:ableman33 said:
On a personal level, it is hard to state just how much having access to TG helps me. Even putting aside all the inspiration, advice, and encouragement I receive every time I visit here, having hundreds of fellow terrain enthusiasts watching over my projects makes sure things get done on time and with quality.

.... "Sometimes I think my brain is trying to kill me."

Well said. I completely agree with your sentiment. And I think my brain is trying to kill me too! Hah!   Big Grin

I always enjoy your WIP updates. They are interesting, thorough, and you share mistakes along with success's. I physically cringed with your "falling off the crates" story. Happy that wasn't worse than it could have been.   Cry





Thanks everyone.

@ MUMSY - Yeah it was a bit scary there for a moment. Luckily most of my garage workshop/floor is covered in foam squares (and my elbow into the terrain slowed my fall   Smile  ) so no real damage done.

Getting up I could only laugh what with the universe arranging things to maximize the potential damage to my terrain. Luckily I am adaptable, and I build my terrain with typical distracted gamers in mind so the damage was easily repairable. Smile
#39
I have finished my first round of texturing with the HotWire engraving tool. The causeway stones are finished, as are the tiles of the temple complex courtyard, the various foundations, and the stone wharf in the cove.

A couple of overview pics.

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The completed causeway.

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Some transition prep work for the where the causeway and courtyard tiles cross breaks in the terrain. These areas will be supplemented with debris and protruding stone pieces later.

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And some of the foundations. These will have crumbled wall sections and broken pillars added later.

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While I had the engraver out, I melted the top edges of all my crumbly cliffs. This helped ease the transitions and the melted foam toughened up the edges as well.

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I also made visible cracks wherever changes in the terrain level met a visible cliff face to better show that these level changes were due to cracking and settling of a once fairly flat island.

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The next step is to mud over the reinforcing holes and any remain gaps then add features that should be in place before my first coats of PVA glue like column pieces, loose stones, and wall remnants.

I plan to add the bulk of my texture and scree piles after the main PVA coatings so that the fine details do not get lost in the drying glue.

Back to work.   Big Grin
#40
I have finished applying my texture to mask my reinforcing holes and where the boundaries between foam layers was noticeable.

I decided to use concrete patch for this job instead of a drywall/PVA glue mix for several reasons. Firstly, not using the PVA mix meant I did not have to worry about potential shrinkage cracks. Secondly, the sand in the concrete patch gives a nice texture where it is applied. And thirdly, the concrete patch in much thicker, making it easier to cover cracks with a single application. It also clings well to horizontal surfaces.

My main application tool ended up being the tip of my index finger. After most of a day sliding around gritty sand-filled concrete patch, I am ready for a life of crime. No fingerprints for me.   Big Grin

(Not really. While my finger has been exfoliated VERY well and it is a wee bit tender, my prints are still there.)

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Closeup shots from underneath still show some of the unnatural horizontal boundaries I was doing my best to cover up, however everything looks well covered from above and from about a foot away. Hopefully PVA layers and paint will help disguise the remaining flaws even more.

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While I was at it, I covered over the metal attachment points for the magnets on my bridges. The magnets still have plenty of attraction so no worries here.

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I still had not made up my mind what I was going to do with the flat area around the cove. I had pretty much made up my mind to cover it with the texture I will use for the bulk of my island when I decided I needed a more constructed look for this area.

I ended up tiling the area with large square tiles in the same style as in the temple complex courtyard.

(If I had it to do over again, I would have made the dock tiled in the same way. I could still rip the old dock up and rebuild it. I have not decided yet.)

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I wanted a contrast between the manufactured stones of my walls and foundations and the rock that was carved away to create the ramps and the residential area around the cliffs.

I coated the carved away areas around the west ramp with concrete patch. While this did provide visual distinction from the walls and cobblestones, it looked too much like concrete to me.

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Dissatisfied, I decided to keep this look for my main ramp, but wiped the concrete patch off the walls before it set.

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The more I looked at the rough cuts left in the walls by my hacksaw blade, the more I liked the look as they were. They remind me of how the walls of a quarry look. Considering that I imagined this is exactly how the walls were created in the rock, this seems like the perfect look to keep.

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I can always change my mind later, but for now, I am going to see how these rough cut sections look after a few coats of PVA glue.

Next step, adding broken columns and walls.   Big Grin


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