View Full Version : Simple new terrain project. With wip and how to.
06-21-2010, 12:22 AM
Well, I thought seeing as how I'm building some new terrain I would share for anyone interested and hope that I can give a little bit of inspiration for others to post their works.
Before I get into the project I would like to share a few thoughts on terrain building. This may be boring so feel free to skip past to the pictures if you like.
After looking at a lot of professional terrain and prebuilt things one could buy I was very tempted to just buy some nice looking things. Though even buying those I would still have to assemble and paint in most cases and that would take a bit of time though still be faster than building from the ground up. Finally I decided I wanted to build my own things and do it on the cheep. Some of the materials I use are just because I have a great many of them, but most of the materials I'll be using are fairly cheep and easy to get. The idea is kind of I want to build something that anyone can build or make better on their own without having to spend a lot of money on special things.
To start with I'm doing a simple building. Not sure if my technique would work I started on a test bit and here is the pic.
Now first off I know the bricks are a good bit off scale. Though I believe that they can be explained away. Also, I feel that hobby game terrain is a representation of something rather than a recreation of something. So we could say that those are blocks painted and not bricks, that in this world they just use bigger bricks due to having machines that can lay them. The bricks are about 1/4 high and 1/2 long to be on O scale they should be about 1/8 high and 1/4 long (That is just a rough guideline I went by from my days of model trains.)
The materials used were foam core board and card stock. To me it worked well enough to move ahead and start on a building.
I'll be putting my structure on a 1' square using peel and stick floor tile and cork squares because I have a lot of those left over from a bulk buy. You could use anything you wish as base such as hardboard, foam board, plexi, and a great many things you could imagine. You just want to use something that should not warp. Though what I am using will bend a little it if not left flat but will go right back after sitting on a flat surface.
Here are some shots of that for the curious.
06-21-2010, 12:32 AM
Okay so the next step after having the base built is for me to cut out my building walls. I'm building a square building with a short back wall and high front wall. The idea will be a big door in the front and slanted room. It will be 8" square and sit in the middle of the tile. That will let me leave the 2" around to use for sidewalk. This building could be put on a base the same size as it and just sat on a terrain board also. One could build it any way they wish really and this is by no means the only way to build a terrain building.
Here is the photo of this stage. The odd shapes are just saved to use as braces for the walls and will not be seen as the building will be closed. Though a person could adjust the plans and have a building with an interior. I'm keeping this one simple as it is kind of a test run for the techniques I'm using here though. If all goes well then the next one should be better.
I've a good nuimber of usefull hobby tools I used on this though it could be done with a good ruler and sharp xacto knife. I say sharp because once they get a little dull they tear the foam. For some reason paper seems to dull these things like crazy. So that is a front wall, back wall, 2 sides, the base it will sit on, and some inside braces.
Making the bricks. For these I've made some marks on my board where the horizontal lines will be.
That ruler is used for working with fabric. It can be found at Wal Mart or most craft stores and runs usually less than 20 dollars. It is very handy. One edge has a lip on it to hook onto what is below it so you can slide it a long kind of like using a t-square. On one end are markings for various angles that are very helpfull as well as and being clear is very usefull. The cutting mat below is also commonly used with fabric working or scrapbooking. It is very useful as it is self healing and has a 1" grid printed on it.
06-21-2010, 12:42 AM
Once I have my markings for where my vertical lines go I start to cut them. They are 1/4 inch apart. After that we go to the vertical lines. They will be 1/2 inch apart and are staggered from one line to the next to resemble brick work. It is very imporntant not to cut all the way through the foam board. If you do it can be fixed though in a later stage. Also if you mess up on your lines a bit that can be worked in as damaged bricks or if it is bad covered with an external feature so don't get discouraged if it is not perfect because terrain is very forgiving. Have fun thats the main thing and even you think you ruin a piece save it because you may be able to use it later.
Here is a picture. The big spot in the middle is where the door will be so no need to cut there really. Also this is the front of my building.
I cut through mine in a few places but not too bad. Also you'll notice all my lines are not totally straight. It is more imporntant to keep the horizontal lines straight than the vertical ones for how we will make the bricks.
So I spent the next hour or so cutting out bricks.
If you've made it this far you've gotten through the hard part. Now you have to get the paper off the brick side of the foam board. Only the brick side as we need it on the back to hold it together from carving out the bricks. The best way I've found to remove the paper is to soak the foam board. I lay it in a dish of water for a good while. The longer you soak it the more easy the paper comes off and that is both good and bad, because after a while the paper will slide off on its own and we need it to stay on the back.
Here is the soaking set up.
Now you can see bits of paper in there. That is because I took the picture after I started to remove the paper. To get it off I just start to rub my fingers over it and it kind of just rolls off. You have to rub a bit hard as I'm not soaking it long enough for it to come off too easy.
06-21-2010, 12:48 AM
A bit more on the removing paper. Once it is all about off I take it out and lay my board on a paper towel or such to help dry the back side of it. At the same time a take a rag and rub over the front of the foam where the bricks are to get off the last of the paper.
It should look something like this when done.
A few things here. One you'll notice my foam board curled. That is normal and it will do this every time. That is not a problem though and will not matter because we will be making it flat again. Also you can see some damage to the board in a few places. That was already there before I made my bricks. It was kind of hidden because the foam board had gotten bent a bit or something. I don't know what but it was not viisble when I started. No matter we can work with that so if you have a similar problem don't worry. The bricks will not be perfect with this technique, if you need perfect bricks there are textured styrene sheets one can buy of bricks and stone work but we are doing this on the cheep.
The big spot in the bottom middle is where the door will be. It is not going to be cut out but rather added to the outside.
Now the bricks look okay but they are not ready to be painted just yet we still have another step.
06-21-2010, 12:58 AM
To finish off building our bricks we can use a burnishing too. These are often used for applying foil or embossing. Pretty easy to get from a hobby store, however if you can't find one anything with a smooth round tip will work. We just go over all our brick lines and any place else we wish to add some damage. Also during this stage you can cut out bricks add cracks and broken corners and such. Those miscuts from the beginning can be turned into damage here as well to help hide that they were mistakes. Here is the tool and a few bricks started on.
This is the building front after all the bricks are done.
I don't think the damage looks too bad at this point. I would also like to add that you don't have to just do lines of bricks. You can add bigger bricks, such as at the top or bottom for other features or frames around doors and windows if you like. Anything you can draw on the foam can be carved into it so long as the detail is not too small.
Now about getting rid of that curve.
On the back I glue a smaller pannel of foam core board as seen here.
Once that is done I press the two under a book or such just to hold it flat. Nothing very heavy just something to hold them there. Anything real heavy could squash our foam and kill our wall. No need to show a book laying on my table so I'll skip that photo.
Anyhow you get the idea. Do the same thing to every wall. That is all for today I'll do painting and assembley in the next big update.
I hope you can find this of some use and would be happy to hear any ideas to improve you may have.
06-21-2010, 03:54 AM
good succint tutorial, keep it up! like how you've flattened the card
06-21-2010, 09:44 AM
You know, Midwest Products makes paperless foam somewhat similar to something between the foamboard stuff and the pink insulation, in thicknesses similar to the foamboard, and for the very purpose you are using these. It's called Cellfoam, and you can find it at hobby shops all over the place.
You can get about the same amount of this stuff for the same price, or less, as buying foamboard at your basic Michaels or Staples price. I'm betting you could glue construction paper to the back and still do the whole thing in less time than peeling these, and cheaper or just as cheap.
Sorry, just as "cheep."
06-21-2010, 11:20 AM
Yeah there are a few other companies that make that. I actually have some but not enough at the moment to build anything very big. If you use the thicker stuff you would not need to add card to the back. Also it holds paint and glues very well but it is a little harder to work with in some reguards. Over all it is a good product. It holds detail better when carved also, though it is a bit harder to carve into.
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