Monday, March 3, 2014

Wading in to rivers. Pt 1

At the end of the month I'm off to Hotlead , a convention in Stratford, Ontario.  I'll be running a  large napoleonic game on a 12x5' table, using a heavily modified version of Field of Battle(1.0). I've removed what i saw as the greatest flaws in the system(such as extreme randomness), while retaining the things I feel make it great, one of which is the card system.

anyway, I realized for the specific scenario I picked, i need roughly 17 feet of rivers. now I have been thinking of  making a modular river system to go with the teddy bear fur mat I have made(I want to make another without integral roads, but have been somewhat stymied by finding a source with a big enough piece for a reasonable price).  I was having some trouble deciding how to make the actual river, as i have many times over the last 20 years.  then I saw a video on youtube which i no longer seem able to find. it displayed a number of ways to get a water effect, including using acrylic medium gel.  so I decided to get it done, and set about maing 17 feet of rivers plus curved sections.

I laid out 2 pieces of 2x2' MDF, and 1  1x1' piece of MDG, and started drawing.  i decided in a common base width and a river width, and started measuring and drawing.  I made sure all the joints have the same distances of base edge-to-bank and  bank-to-bank distances the same across all pieces. I then cut all the pieces out Saturday afternoon.

river cut up into 2foot sections.  only 3 of these were left this long.

other smaller and curved sections
Sunday afternoon/evening(it took longer then I had anticipated) I  began building up the banks with LePage interior/exterior pigmentless wood filler.  then this afternoon I began gluing sand down to all the banks. took about 2 hours today, finishing up right around 8pm.

River sections, all with wood filler applied, and all but 2 with sand glued down.

Later tonight I will do some painting of the banks, and tomorrow I'll paint the river, and maybe start applying the acrylic medium gel. depending on how heavy a coat I apply, it can take up to 4 or 5 days to completely dry.  I'm not planning on applying a thick coat, but I have another playtest this coming weekend, so I'm trying to leave enough time for a full cure.  although it will by dry to the touch in 24 hours no matter what.

Some people think I'm nuts for running a game at a con and to still be painting figures for the game this late in the game.  but I've made a habit out of it.  this time last year I still had only just finished  my teddy bear game mat for my Napoleonic Peninsular war Skirmish game at Hotlead.  and I had not yet finished painting all the forces.  last year I was playtesting the last 2 weeks and modifying the order of battle up until 2 days before the convention.  that's just how I roll!

More progress on the rivers to come!

*EDIT*  found the video i used on youtube. the bloke who made it posted on TMP which is how i found it again.  Link .

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