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Industrial City Boards #2

by Tim Skipper

Industrial City Boards #2Tim's objective was to build a completely modular city board that was generic enough to be used with any miniature game in the 28mm scale.

I first began by drawing out a map of the table. I divided the 4x8 table into 32 1x1 squares on paper. Then roughly planned out how many buildings, ruins, blanksections, craters, and river sections I wanted.

In order to be sure that all the pieces were square I bought 32 very cheap self stick floor tiles. I then cut 1/2" Styrofoam and 1/4" hardboard to fit. Gluing the foam to the hardboard and sticking the floor tiles on top. This made sure all of my lines were straight (at least somewhat straight) and gave a good protection to the foam from players' handling.

Industrial City Boards #2I then cut through the tile and foam down to the board for my river sections and craters. The craters are rough circles, while the river sections are arranged so that I can have one long river or break it up into sections. One end of the river is designed to come in from one table edge, while the other ends in some type of processing engines. I chose this so that while arranging the river on the table, players did not have to have it run off the table at both ends. I then took simple flat sections of balsa wood and glued down as bridges. I did not add detail to the bridges, since I wanted them to have a generic look as far as time period goes.

The water effect of the river was created with wood putty (stuff used to fill nail holes) which I smeared on with my hands and then lightly tapped to create ripples or waves.

The craters where trimmed on the outside edge with molding clay to give them a lip. Then covered with glue, kitty litter was then used to create a gravel effect. Kitty litter is cheap, and can be used to create gravel or mud depending on how much moisture you apply to it.

Industrial City Boards #2For the buildings I got lucky in that by the time I started on them, Christmas had come. My kids got great gifts with fantastic packing foam. Hot wire cutter in hand I began cutting and gluing foam into place. I glued bits of hatch ways, doors, gargoyles, rails and extra bits on them. I also made sure I had lots of rubble piles from kitty litter, aquarium gravel and rocks, and chunks of foam. The first thing to remember in this is to leave room for players' models.

There was not enough foam to create all the buildings, so off to Games Workshop's web site I went. They had produced templates in PDF format that I printed off and drew onto foam board. These I cut out changing shape and height as needed. One piece I extended upwards to make a really tall building. I then glued a thin PVC pipe to the side and a Rhino hatch to the top to seal the hole. Again with the foam board I glued bits and pieces to the buildings to give them interesting and believable design and look. I was very careful again not to do too much that would make this look exclusively 40K or any other time or world frame.

Industrial City Boards #2In the blank squares I simply glued some gravel and sand, I also made a city statue out of balsa wood and Chronopia model bits. Rubble sections and ruins were made out of scrap balsa wood, bits, extra foam, and whatever pieces of interesting shapes I had laying around.

Before painting I went and bought spray on textures. One was Flex Stone, a spray that give a gravel look when dry, the other was spray on spackle. These were costly, but they saved me the time of having to brush on texture paint. The Flex Stone fortunately did not melt the Styrofoam. Though I don't suggest you try a heavy coat, it does give a nice texture for dry brushing. The spackle spray was messy, but did give my foam board buildings a nice stone look. I tried it on some of the Styrofoam, but it did melt them, fortunately it only melted them to a point that I liked instead of dissolving it all together.

Industrial City Boards #2I decided early on that I wanted a gray look to the city. Not wanting to have to hand brush all the foam I found a spray that I could spray paint on the foam and not melt it. The spray is named Design Master, it comes in only a limited color range, one of which is black. It is made to spray on silk flowers, but so far it has yet to melt a single piece of foam I have sprayed it on. I have tried the high density foam, the white foam with the small pebbles, and the white foam they sell to for floral arrangements. So far none of them have ever melted when sprayed with this. After the Flex Stone and spackling had dried I sprayed everything black. I then followed this with a quick spray of Shadow Grey, and finally with quick hits of white on the top edges of the terrain. I then dry brushed grays and whites on the buildings, rusted metal look on all the metal pieces, and brown earth colors on the surface of the base across the rubble piles.

The river I painted in dirty brown colors on the edges getting darker to the center. I then used a can of spay black to run along the outside edge and the center to give it the look of depth. I followed this with a dry brush of a light tan to highlight the water ripples. After the paint had dried I covered it in a high gloss clear coat to give a wet look.

Once completed I had 32 pieces of terrain that could be arranged in multiple ways. I can also easily add new pieces by building the base according to the already existing format.

Industrial City Boards #2 Industrial City Boards #2 Industrial City Boards #2

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