Here we continue the adventure of turning six shiny, grey battleboards into a grim chaos ravaged landscape of awesomeness.
When we last left off, technically in part 1, we were sculpting accessories and details for casting resin bits to be used all over the boards. I wanted to be sure that anything we attach to the boards will be strong enough to withstand years of play and shuffling around in their case.
Scultping in progress.
Much of the stone pieces I sculpted in Super Sculpy and textured realistically with natural stones and pebbles from out in the desert. Higher detail pieces like skulls and bones were done in Green Stuff. Everything gets glued down before casting begins.
Many days later…
What is this?
Along with the sculpted bits, I had another item I needed to cast in resin. Due to its unique shape, the mold was a bit odd looking for the sake of conserving silicone. This thing got some curious looks before I revealed what it was. Then it got some really curious looks once I cracked it open.
Yep, it’s the gear cassette from someone’s bicycle. It’s made of titanium or dylithium or something expensive. It was a pain to remove, and I hope the owner manages to find the bolts I dropped in the gravel outside and can they get it back on safely. Hey, sometimes sacrifices must be made for the sake of artistic inspiration. Why did I cast a bicycle gear cassette? All will be revealed in time.
A gothic arch from another project hitched a ride with this batch.
Resin after pouring.
Casting could begin after the molds were cleaned and trimmed. For one part molds we cut sheets of plexiglass to press against the curing resin for a smooth back to the pieces. Two part molds use a slightly different technique, which we’ll show later.
Also a handy technique for making trick bicycle gears cassettes.
When the resin turns white all the way through, it’s almost ready to pop out and repeat the process. We use tons of mold release all over everything, so every piece has to be washed by hand to get the grease off.
There are plenty of guides out there for how silicone molding and casting is done, so I’ll spare all the tedious details. Imagine this is like one of those cooking shows where the host finishes mixing ingredients and says “I prepared one earlier!” and whips a finished pie out from under the counter.
Instead of pie, we cook with 2-part liquid polymers, and after several days we had a HEAP of pieces that needed to be cleaned and trimmed carefully.
Hard to tell right now, but this is a pile of skulls. And yes, we all have band-aids all the time.
This is a gothic style arch that MisMuse had designed for another project she’s focusing on, but it also fit with some of my plans for the battleboards, so we were able to kill two birds with one stone.
I know we showed you Pedro bathing with the boards on previous posts but we realize after washing the taint of those who shall not be named we now need to wash off the taint of Pedro. This is the actual prep before the boards went under the knife. Dawn liquid soap is the best degreaser , saving sea gulls and birds from oil spills are among its credentials.
Once thoroughly cleaned, the boards were ready for surgery.
The victim patient.
My plan going into this was simple, and by simple I mean insane and somewhat complicated. Most of these board will have at least some kind of minor modification or two carved into the plastic in addition to the details we’ll be adding, and for the most part we’re leaving the basic structure of the boards intact for playability and storage. However on one of the “mountain” boards, I wanted do something special.
The basics of the plan involve pools of “liquid” flowing from a couple of culverts near the top of the hill, and a handful of ruins crumbling into (or rising out of?) the pools. In order to keep accessibility for troops, I would be making a bridge where the slope is currently, and that would mean making a few changes.
I used chalk to mark where I would be cutting, and where certain details would be, and once I was finally confident with my layout, I fired up Mr. Dremel and got to work.
It doesn’t cut so much as melt through the plastic.
GW makes these things tough. I made a nice, deep cut and the plastic didn’t even budge. So I made a few cross cuts and pried at it a little. Still nothing.
Seriously, what the heck is under this thing?
A few more cuts, and some muscle, and finally I started to get it open…
Okay so that’s their secret. I figured it would be best to get this thing covered as fast as possible, since the howling cacophony of madness emanating from the rift was rattling our shelves and made Mikey jump out a window clawing the flesh from his face. I proceeded to shape a few sheets of plasticard and wedged them into the opening with a combination of epoxy, plastic glue and holy water.
With the basic patch nice and secure, it was time to make it look natural, and for that I use Milliput.
Milliput is great stuff. It’s gummy and and can be sculpted, it smooths easily with water, can be textured to look like stone or brick, and sets extremely hard.
I finished blending the edges smooth and then filled the bottom with Squadron white putty. I didn’t try to blend the bottom perfectly, since it would all be textured and then painted and submerged under “liquid”. While this area set up solid I started working on building up the other areas of the board.
Some of the slope needed to be built up a little to accommodate the bridge and the look of the ruins and to provide some unique dimension. This was done with a combination of Sculpy, Milliput and resin accessories.
Another feature we’re adding to all of these boards is the rocky cliff faces. Don’t get me wrong, the GW boards are very nicely detailed, but the cliff faces are smooth enough that if they were real you could slide on them. In order to stand apart and look suitably dangerous for a chaos-scape, I wanted to make the exposed rock look sharp, detailed and realistic. Cork and bark bits together look exactly like sharply weathered, and perhaps earthquake shattered strata. This is a look I’ll make as a theme across the boards.
Things are starting to come together, but this board has a ways to go.
Next I wanted to define the “shore” of the pool, which has to have raised edges to contain the resin liquid we’ll be pouring at the end.
Okay, I’m going to take a break here I have some catching up to do on the site and then lots more pictures to take and work to finish!