Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Highway to the Imminent Peril Zone!

With TCOW's Market Garden event at FlamesCon, I needed over 30' of highway for the five tables I intended on using.... And I needed it in less than a week's time.

Imminent Peril!

So I got with Patrick and we came up with a plan. Pat had recently purchased a road set from Toshach Miniatures, which is a printable PDF version. I had some cork flooring tiles kicking around and I put two and two together.


Using Photoshop, we merged two road pieces together to form a length of highway about 14" long and printed them on an A3 sheet of paper (11x17). I then cut the cork into 12 x 3" strips. I then beveled the edges of the cork to create the illusion of a raised surface.


With PVA glue, I applied a thin layer on the top of the cork and then stuck the road strips on top. Using a piece of cardboard with a flat, straight edge, I made sure to iron out all of the wrinkles and air bubbles between the two layers. I then let that completely dry.



After the glue completely dried I flipped them over and cut the paper ends off with a very sharp knife.


Next up, I painted the edges brown using cheap craft paint (burnt umber in this case). After this dried the expected warping came in, curling the edges up a bit. I ignored that for the moment.



Once all was dry I applied a quick flocking regimen to the road edges, in this case I used the standard GF9 green, dark green, and meadow flock blend.

Once everything was dry I flipped the roads over and gave them a PVA layer on the bottom. This counter-warped the roads and once that was dry all I needed to do was apply a very light bend to straighten the road piece out.



Presto! 30' of road in 5 days...

In the end I did about 20 feet in 12" sections and 10 feet in 6" sections. That seemed to be a good mix.

The main challenge with these roads is that I doubt they will be hard wearing. They are ultimately paper, so I am predicting some damage to the surface and scratches. I've also ignored intersections, curves, and transition pieces, so that's somewhat limiting in terms of what you can do with them.

Finally, I'm sure that the PVA will yellow over time, so I don't see this set as a particularly long-lasting or universal road solution. For that you're much better off with the standard resin flexible types such as those from Battlefield in a Box. However, if you need roads quick, here's a fast solution.

Thanks for stopping by!
-M



8 comments:

  1. Those look awesome. Thanks for the idea. I posted a long comment but I think it got lost... I may have to try these myself. DId you try some matte or urethane varnish to increase the durability?

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    1. I considered a varnish, but I was a bit hesitant to use my precious supply!

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  2. Great result with these! A pretty cheap way to make a large amount of roads. Will be interesting to see how they wear.

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    1. Thanks! Well worst case scenario I can rip up the top and, in keeping with the metaphor, resurface it ;)

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  3. Looks really good on the table.
    cheers

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  4. Have you tried coating the roads with a clear spray varnish to protect them?
    Jon

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    Replies
    1. There is a product that you can cover wallpaper with to protect it, I think it is Dead Flat by Polyvine.

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