Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Terrain, part 2

After a break for lunch and to let glue dry, I went back at it.  I'm trying to think of a good way to get the corner halves to join up into a single piece.  Dowels seem like a good choice, but I don't want a big hole in the side.  Magnets could work, but that seems like a lot of trouble to go to.  I'll continue to ponder.  In the meantime, I covered the first island in Elmer's to see how it would work out.  Like a lot of these glue pics, the picture doesn't really do a lot to convey what the piece actually looks like, but it's better than nothing I think

The glue didn't adhere too well to the top.  It kept running off like water on waxed paper.  In the future I'll scuff up any untouched edges to try and avoid this.  I had expected a noticeable layer of glue to form, but on further inspection it's kinda hard to tell that there was glue on it in the first place.  Obviously I have no idea whether this is normal or not.  As noted the tops were troubling, but the sides and edges all took a good layer.  I even made sure to work the glue into the crevices for maximum coverage.  I'd be hesitant to spray the piece down as it is for fear of melting it with the paint, but that's still a ways off.  I have to texture it still, and how I'll do that is also under consideration. 

In the meantime, I decided to make use of some of the scraps I had made in constructing the first island.  I put together a lonely rock.  I thought a frame of reference would be good, so I took a pic of the rock with the island and an ID cruiser.

The island is going to be fairly large, about as large as the largest island we currently use.  I want to do some real big islands with room for settlements and fortifications, maybe even a harbor, but I'm worried they'd take up too much table space.  Something 4-5 times the size of this island would be big enough for the scope of building I want, but it would also take up 1/4 of the table which seems like a bad thing.  Guess I'll add size considerations to the list.

I wanted to try out a two-tier island, so that's what I did.  I had originally thought about making an island with two peaks on it, but I thought it would be a little cluttered, so I went with a single peak.  The constituent pieces:

I trimmed down a toothpick, then ran it through the bottom tier.  I put some Liquid Nails on the peak, then stuck it onto the toothpick and squeezed the two together.  Then I glued the base and the island together.  This is the result/

I decided to do a little bluff on the island, so I rant he file around the back of it to create a harder edge.  I'm thinking of doing most of these as forested islands, so the bluff on this one would be a bare stone.  I took a picture of the bluff in particular, though looking at them now I think the above picture gives a better look at it.  Still, options never hurt.

I wanted to leave more room on the base for this one.  The base is a bit irregular though, so I'll keep that in mind for the next one.  The jigsaw doesn't really like to cut in curves, which leads to some of the irregularity.  All the same, I think I'll try a standard circular one next, or maybe a nice kidney shaped one.  I want to fit a lighthouse in somewhere, plus an island with a built-in wind direction tracker for when we actually have to worry about wind.  Plenty of ideas and lots of materials.


  1. You may want to buy some of those scouring pads I showed you. They run $2-3 at Wegmans (or whichever grocery store you prefer). They'll smooth out the sharp angles around the top of the hill's edge, and rough the top up just enough for texture / glue you desire. Use glue-all or better yet wood glue. The regular Elmer's will NOT work right!

  2. Also:

    A sanding block (the spongy ones) from Home Depot will do wonders for those rough edges on the hardboard.