Welcome to my blog, the story of my continuing journey into the World of Zombie Wargames.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Urban Terrain Boards - Part Two

Once all the terrain boards had the pavement pieces glued in place, a little filler was added to hide the transition from the road.
Next up was the painting of the various "sections" of the boards.
Basically there are three main parts to each board.
First, the road itself, a black base was used as I wanted a tarmac look and it gives a good definition between road and pavement.
Next, the pavement. I started with a general grey colour that was increasingly lightened.
Lastly was the expanse of what would make up the areas around buildings, alleyways backyards etc. This had to be a generic grey colour but I added a lot of browns along with the various dark grey shades.

This photograph on the left  shows the same boards as above but  from the opposite side of the table.

It is just possible to make out the various shades of colours used on the waste land parts of each  board.



Once I was happy with the general appearance of the various boards, the next stage was to paint in a centre line on each road.
To assist my somewhat shaky hands I used masking tape about 5mm apart for the centre line and the width of the masking tape as the gap between the lines. 
This left a nice gap of about 25mm between each line.
 The final masking tape effect was rather like a ladder.
Rather than actually painting the lines I used a sort of stipple approach with a fairly stiff brush.

The ladder effect of the masking tape can more easily be seen from the photograph to the left.

The test piece used in the above photograph can also be seen in the top-right of the photo.

The masking tape has been removed to reveal a straight dotted centre line which wasn't too bad in my opinion and at the very least suitable for wargaming on, even if not to exhibition or demonstration standards. 



This photograph shows the masking I used at each junction where the pedestrian crossings will be.
I've seen various designs of these and decided to go with the diagonal striped variety.
These are enclosed within two broad stripes, which alone would have been adequate as markers for the crossings.
The three pieces of masking tape that are joining the pavements at right angles provide the enclosing border lines of the crossings.
Here are two photographs that show the crossing lines and centre lines once they had been painted and the masking tape had been removed.  Removing the masking tape did take a few bits of paint with it, but these were few in number and only took a couple of minutes to fix.
One thing I had learned from the practice piece was that painting the lines a pure white was a mistake. They looked far too pristine, so I darkened them a little  as I went along and although it won't show up in the photographs, it was well worth the trouble.
The next task was to paint the diagonals on the cross-walks, which I did using a 5mm stiff nylon "chisel" head brush.

I'm not the best in the world at keeping a steady hand whilst trying to paint a straight line, nor am I that good at keeping a uniform thickness, but with another brush ready to cover mistakes I eventually got to the stage where I was fairly happy with the overall results.

As far as finishing painting I was almost done, all I had left to do was paint the edges of each board a darkish grey to finish them off.

 Here's a couple of photographs of the same board layout, showing all seven completed boards, but from opposite "ends".

You can see that the curved road still has to have its centre line completed, but that is a minor task that will be done when I'm having a steady-hand day.
The roads also had various greys and browns added to them in both washes and highlights, so they didn't appear as a harsh black.

There were a few minor problems and hiccups that I encountered when  making these boards. First up was the problem of using two different sized cork tiles, one set I used was metric, at 300mm a side and the other older set I used was Imperial at 1ft a side (about 304mm) which  meant I had to trim about 4mm overlap from a lot of the boards. (There was an unexpected bonus because of this which I'll relate in a future blog.)
The next potential problem I encountered was in trying to purchase more tiles, my two local DIY stores, either didn't stock them (B&Q) or had them at 3.2mm thick (Wickes), As my current tiles are approximately 5mm thick these won't match up too well - so its back to the drawing board (or the interweb) for my next terrain boards. I have one to finish from the above "set" and two bigger boards planned, each 600mm x 1200mm.
The final photo shows  a mock-up of the layout with my meagre collection of buildings in situ.
If I was to attempt this project again I would widen the roads to 150mm, rather than the 100mm that they currently are and I'd also plan to have all the materials I needed before I started out, probably with a few extra bits too.
Before anyone asks, I've no intention of adding  street-lamps, traffic lights, or anything else of that ilk.  The main reason being one of practicality, tall slender things tend to get knocked over if not affixed and broken if they are.   In addition, this is a wargaming set-up; it's not meant to have details to the n'th degree like a model railway layout.  If features don't add anything to the game (for example - cover) then I think its hardly worth the extra trouble of modelling them. I will however be adding the usual street furniture that one might expect, skips, garbage cans etc.

That's it for my Mark 1 Urban Terrain Boards, all comments are of course welcomed and appreciated.

If anyone is lurking out there whom I haven't already said "Hi" to then "Hi" I hope you find something here you like.

25 comments:

  1. Painting the lines and stripes are no easy task, but worth the effort in the end. They look great. If I can give a tip- I always stick my tape to my clothes before i put it down. The tiny fibers dull the adhesive just enough so it wont pull up your base color.

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    1. Thanks for that tip PS, I'll be using it in the future.

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  2. I really like the progress!

    The roads look great, they are kinda narrow, but then again, at least you got enough space for the buildings! I went for the wider roads on my tiles and ended up with 25 cm wide roads + sidewalk, which takes much of the gamin space away.

    If you're running out of tiles, do a parking lot on the same level as the roads are. It could give you nice space to put some vehicles on and save you some tiles.

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    1. Yep the roads are a bit narrow, but liveable with.

      Parking lots are on the agenda of things to do and wider roads are already being planned.

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  3. Wow! They have come out really well, Joe. I do like the last picture, showing your buildings in situ. All you need do now is fill it with more buildings and scenery. Yes, yes, I know - that's not going to happen overnight!

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    1. The city will befilled eventually, as I make the production line for them !

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  4. Superb! I really must do something like this for myself...

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    1. Thanks Colgar. Do lots of planning before you cut, glue or spend cash !

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  5. You have done a really impressive road base here! I love it! :D

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    1. Thanks Rovanite, there will be more to come in the future.

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  6. I am very jealous of your talent with scenery it looks brilliant. You should be proud

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    1. Proud ? - No, but I am very happy with it and no doubt it'll serve me well for a few games.

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  7. Very well done! I really like the look and flexibility that you have. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement Adam.

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  8. Just when I convince myself NOT to start a new project I get to see this and now I want to make one as well. Isnsiring me to start one (curses)

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    1. Hehe, it's not that difficult Clint and really didn't take that much time. Go on, start a new project, you know you want too.

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  9. Very nice my friend you have done well, it well look like a tiny world in no time.

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    1. Thanks TE, that's what I'm hoping for too.

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  10. Great work. I need to stick some road markings on my own boards and this could be the inspiration I have needed.

    If I did my own boards again, I reckon I would stick the road section to the outside, much as you have done.

    Great project. :)

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    1. Thanks Pulpcitizen, I find the off-centred roads (and especially rivers) far more versatile.

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  11. I know I will start a zombie board (or boards) eventually. but so many options too many options for me to think about at this moment. My head hurtz!

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    1. I started planning these last year, you've got no rush either, but you can start planning.

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