Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Terrain - Follow the Miniature Road (A Tutorial)

Well, in the midst of finishing up my Pink Horrors, I've been sidetracked by the purchase of a PS3 and a terrain building project, a set of 12-15mm road pieces. Most 15mm scale terrain is dominated by World War II-era pieces due to the popularity of Flames of War. While those companies that cater to that market do an excellent job of building terrain, being a Heavy Gear Blitz player means my 15-ft tall war machines look a tiny bit out of place marching up and down dirt roads past European cottages.

So here is my attempt at building a credible set of 15mm modern and paved road pieces. Here's the materials are started off with:
  • Polystyrene Lighting Panel (similar to what you'd find in your office space as a cover for florescent lighting);
  • Tube of "No More Nails" (found in the adhesive section of Home Depot);
  • Bag of Sand (found really cheap at Michaels)
  • Can of Spray Stone Finish (Alabaster for a really fine finish
  • Can of Primer
  • Masking Tape
  • Variety of Black, Grey, Brown and Yellow Paints (I use the cheap craft paint available at Wal-Mart for $2.00 a jar)
  • Mixed Green Flock
  • Static Grass
So, with the above grocery list of simply hobby materials, here's how I put my roads together.
  1. Using a pair of shears, cut very slowly (the slower the better, I learned the hard way that if you cut fast you split and chip the panel) a 4" by 12" rectangle out of the polystyrene.
  2. Using your masking tape, block off the inner 2" of the length of the rectangle (at the 15mm scale, 1" is roughly 1 lane on a road).
  3. Using the tube of No More Nails, lay down a layer of the adhesive on the outer two bands not covered and heavily cover with sand, pressing down tightly on it make sure it has a strong bond.
  4. About 10 minutes after putting the sand down, quickly rip up the masking tape, leaving a bare strip of panelling and leave to dry
  5. Once dry, spray with primer, and leave to dry.
  6. After the primer is dry, lay down a fine spray of spray stone finish along the inner band and prime again.
  7. Paint the whole piece black, and layer the sandy outer bands with brown, and the inner band with dark grey, and finish with a single line of yellow down the middle of the band to determine the two lanes on the road.
  8. Coat the brown sandy edges with flock, leaving a little bit of a shoulder, and put some static grass down on the very outer edges.

And here's a couple pictures of the finished product:

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