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Dystopian Wars: Islands (easy!) - WestGamer
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:59 pm 
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When I decided to make some islands this time last night I did not expect to be undercoating four islands tonight, and thats only because I went to town on detail, and was out all afternoon.

I had some Parfix expanding foam left over from a previous project and thought that might be good for whipping up some islands. The can says it can be painted, sanded, etc. Well, I was amazed with the results. This stuff is sticky as, but makes some great islands!

I started by cutting out the basic shapes from MDF. I'm lucky enought to have a jigsaw and a workshop. If you don't then CnC workshop do a pack of "scatter" terrain bases that are both rounded and more irregular. After cleaning the bases up I just sprayed the foam on... keeping in mind it's going to expand 3x the size, so you don't really need much.

That netted me these four islands.

Image

To be honest I reckon you could just start painting at this point. However, I had a plan in mind for at least 2 islands you can get land forces on. So, after much deliberation (because they looked pretty cool as is) I lopped the top off the two larger islands.

The problem of course is that this stuff expands because of air bubbles, so once you cut into it you start getting holes in the surface.

Image

I'm going to cover that in plaster, and show you how I did that slightly different for the two islands, and finally talk about the last two that had no cutting done, this skipped two steps

Island #1
Here's the size compared to a EotBS Battleship.

Image

The top got carefully sliced off. Carefully so I can use it as another island!

Image

As you can see theres some fairly big holes left behind. To cover this I made up a reasonably thick mix of plaster. Basically add plaster to a small amount of water letting it soak in until the water cant soak anymore plaster up. I then poured it over the area I had cut. Finally, I gently tapped the island to level out the plaster. Some did pour over areas that were not cut, but as it's going to dry smooth you won't be able to tell on the final product. This also cause the plaster to pool around the "beaches" creating some flat areas out from the slopes that look quite natural.

Image

Once the plaster had dried it was roughed up a bit with sandpaper and covered with PVA and sand. I also added a small tower (from the Firestorm Armada Military installations set!) to one end as a lighthouse.

Image

Island #2
Pretty much followed the same process. The top was lopped (and kept to one side).

Image

Then the cut area was covered with plaster. However, this time rather than taping it for a smooth surface as it was drying I roughed the surface with my finger.

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That roughing meant I could sand down the peaks at the next step resulting in less work to create a rough surface for the sand. This worked out better as the first island lost a lot of sand after drying. I also added a small facility to this one with a couple of AA guns, some landing pads, a generator looking building and a accommodation building. Again, all from the Firestorm Armada Military installations pack. Theres also a couple of EotBS tiny flyer casualties crashed amongst the rocks :)

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Island #3 & #4
These two skipped the cut and plaster steps as I wanted them to be "impassable" kind of terrain. So, they just got a coat of sand.

Image Image

These are the easy islands. Spray on foam, wait for it to dry. Add sand and paint! Once dry I will be adding some flock to make it look over-grown, and then it's done!

All four are now undercoated and drying, and I'm hanging out to start painting. At this rate I will have them ready for the table for my game Monday night.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:41 pm 
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Expanding foam is great if not a bit messy for making terrain, another idea for islands and one i used for Uncharted Seas was using "Vice" this is a polyurethane glue available from Bunnings. I stretched a piece of GladWrap (though any plastic sheet will do) over a board in this case a MDF offcut, and just squeezed differnt size splotches on the plastic, left them to dry and peeled off - this really is a very cheap and easy way to make islands for any naval based game. I have thought of using a release agent and using latex molds similar to the woodland scenics type.
They look really good good work!!!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:14 am 
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Great job Dave! I can't wait for you to post one finished up to see the results!

Joel

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:39 am 
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I seriously enjoy all these hobby threads - nice work Dave. :D

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:10 am 
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Are they painted yet Dave?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:16 am 
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These will look great when painted. Are you planning any larger islands or coastlines for ground forces to use?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:27 am 
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This makes me want to eat icecream :D

Looks awesome and effective!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:21 pm 
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@Gambit: Stupid paint drying time... not not finished yet. Here's an update / WiP shot for you.

Image

@Hutch: No plans yet but the mind is going crazy on the potential. A board like the Hanburg Tactica 2012 now seems possible without spending a fortune on cork. Storage may be an issue.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:34 pm 
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Those are looking awesome! Think I need to take a trip to Bunnings to get some expanding foam and a Jigsaw....

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:20 pm 
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Now with added vegetation. Unfortunately I ran out of clump foliage so am mid way through making more.

Island #1
Image

Island #2
Image

Island #3 & #4
Image Image

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:32 pm 
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Only concern I have (and it's only a minor one), is that I think there needs to be more contrast between land and sea in island 1 & 2. I'm surprised that you went for grey rocks and land, rather than brown.

Mind you, could just be the photo, as the earlier shot seems to show a much greater contrast.

Other than that though, brilliant idea. :D

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:55 pm 
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First rate indeed!!! Oh my FSA amphibious Land Ship would love crawling over those islands! well done, well done!!!

question, what thickness MDF? 3mm or 6mm? I can never seem to get my MDF from warping what is the secret?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:11 pm 
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@lethallee: Could be the top quality smart phone picture ;) I really struggle with remembering to adjust the light settings... auto should be automatic! I did get carried away with the white water this time around which has made the sea a fair bit lighter. I struggle with brown rocks for some reason. I just can't get a look I'm happy with.

@VonPickles: 3mm MDF. I don't seem to have too many issues around warping unless I'm using a lot of PVA. In this instance, I didn't use any as the sticky-as-goop just took straight to the base.

Something I keep forgetting to mention is for islands 1 & 2 I did get a little too much of the goop on and had to shovel it off the edges and pile it back on the top with a scraper (easy as trying to pile shaving cream thats as stick as ... well something very sticky). I think this led to a lot of the overhangs and cliff faces around the edges. I am hoping thats a repeatable process!

Also islands 3 & 4 are deliberately free from water and and D-wars features so I can use them on land and across different game systems and scales.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:25 pm 
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I really like those. So simple yet so perfect.

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