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Ship Board: Part 2

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

In our last Ship Board: Part 1 article we left off having made significant progress in building two scale ships for our “Ship Board”.  This article will start off where the last one left off and it will take you another large portion of the way through this process.  It has honestly turned out to be a huge undertaking and I don’t think we knew what we were in for.

Large Steps where added to get up to the top of the captains quarters

We opted for large block steps that are functional in terms of miniatures rather than make actual steps that match the scale of the ships.  This is something we strive to do with all of our terrain, make it usable.

Foam Core used to help build a sturdy hull on the ships

In this case we used foam core and slit the inside to give it the right amount of bend so that we could fit it to the front of the ship.  We used two of these pieces to create a proper front end to the ship.  This was an easy way to cover up the somewhat uneven foam surface that we cut.  Plus this will go a long ways towards our final product having a somewhat armored hull.

Applying liquid nails to hold the foam core hull to the ship

Smoothing out the liquid nails to an even coat

Using the slit foam core to help bend to fit the front curve of the ship

Tape to hold the foam core in place, not pictured are the boxes used to help hold them in place while the liquid nails sets up

As you can see in the pictures, this gives the ship a more definite shape and a smooth surface, this is what our goal has been and it looks pretty good thus far.  Something we also didn’t consider was the weight of each ship, it grows every time we work on them.  Liquid nails adds a good amount of weight, and their size is also a factor.

Finished product on the front end

Same process on the back of the ship

This article is best shown with pictures, there isn’t a whole lot of explaining I can do, but it shows our ships essentially in finished built up form.  We are pleased with the results thus far and we have two identical ships up to this point.  In the future articles we some plans to make them each slightly different to make each ship unique.  At some point we’ll need ship names too…..this could be interesting…..

Click here to see Part 1

Fancy Bridges for Sartosa Board

Monday, January 18th, 2010

So, not to be outdone by our Simple Bridges, Paul decided to one up me by making fancy bridges to go along with our Sartosa terrain.  One of the reasons he wanted to do this was because he likes sculpting in pink foam and likes the challenge of creating curves, something that I try to avoid because of it’s difficulty.  We figured it would  add a bit of a different look and function to our Sartosa terrain, in that it would provide a means for cover and also not be a simple wooden bridge.  This whole project was made with pink polystyrene, toothpicks and liquid nails.

Profile of the Bridge

Bridge Platform

All 3 parts of the bridge together with stones being drawn on them

Assembly was straight forward using toothpicks in the sides to hold the platform level while the liquid nails were used for the adhesion.  The tricky parts are after there.  It started with the drawing process with a ball-point pen to sketch in some masonry lines.  This can be seen in the pictures above and below.  There was no rhyme or reason to it, he just sketched them on there, you can be creative in this area, you could make it look like small bricks or larger field stone type like ours or whatever works for you.

Base coat + drybrushing completed

Detail painting complete

Painting was pretty simple, we started with a black base coat, a dark grey dry brush, a lighter grey dry brush and then the fun part.  As you can see in the last photo some of the stones are colored to represent wear and tear and some of the different stones that might have been used and I think moss/mold/etc.  Either way, the effect he got turned out pretty neat and really….we don’t have color in most of the terrain we make, just look back at a few articles and you’ll see lots of brown and grey….and sometimes green.

The Modular Pier / Dock

Monday, January 11th, 2010

In our ongoing Sartosa campaign for Mordheim we’ve been using a lot of our Venice style terrain and this was one of the components to our Ship Board.  At some point a ship has to return to a dock right?  This is where our modular Pier/Dock system came into play.  So far it’s been comprised of 4 12″ pier pieces that will easily span across a 4′ board.  Each piece has the following components:

  • 6 3″ dowels (Dowels are 1/2″ in diameter)
  • 1 12″ platform built from craft sticks and bass wood (pictures do a better job of explaining these, see below)
  • 24 washers with a 1/2 hole in them
  • Hot Glue to hold the worst of it together

Dowels cut to 3" lengths

Dowels attached to washers to act as the pier's pylons

You may be wondering why there is blue tape on the bottoms of the pylons, well, if you take all the washers and stick them to the blue tape, it gives you a surface that isn’t going to adhere to the hot glue.  After you put a couple of the washers in the tape you can put a drop of hot glue into the washer hole and then stick the pylon right down into it.  This will force the glue to the edges and allow it to stick to the washer.  Once dry, you can peel the tape off and you will have a smooth surface on the bottom of the  washer.

Planked surface ready to be mounted to the pylons

Pylons attached

Each deck is about 6 inches wide (give or take).  I found that Hot Glue was easiest to work with, but offered some problems because the deck weighed enough that it wanted to slip as I was attaching the pylons.  It was a tricky balancing act,but I was able to do it.  The top of the deck is 1″ below the top of the pylon, I drew markings to help me line the deck up and keep things level.  The first one I did was less than level and had to be redone, but that’s neither here nor there.

Example of two pieces and how they looked when joined up

All 4 peirs lined up across the table

Black Base-coat

Beastial brown coat + black wash over the whole thing

It’s safe to say that these are nothing terribly complicated to do or paint.  I didn’t put a whole ton of effort into the paint job as, well….it’s wood.  I’m very happy with the way they turned out and their functionality is great.  They also work well as along side of the Simple Bridges I made to either connect up to one of our ships or to land.  Our goal is always going to be modularity as it gets the most bang out of your terrain, and really, if it means I have to make less to get more  out of it…I’m fine with that!