It’s great when you find something you think will really help you with a project, isn’t it? For me, I figured this was the foam board. After being disappointed with insulation foam, I stripped all the plywood boards bare and stuck foam board to 2 of them and left a third to one side. I learned my lesson from last time to test small before producing en-mass. The new plan was to build a hill, an open patch of ground and a river (this being the one left to the side).
The hill was easy to build as I had done several of them before in Attempt number 1. The challenge I faced this time around was “how to a build river sections that would line up with each other?”. I didn’t want bits of jagged river bank between sections because I didn’t measure properly. I wish I could say I discovered a fantastic method of how to do this, but I’d be lying. Just measure ‘x’ distance from the middle, remember ‘x’ distance for the other boards, cut the foam board to get rid of what you don’t need and glue.
The next bit is a little trickier. Without any more work you’re left with a tiny cliff for a shore line. So I took my hobby knife and cut at an angle to make it a little more realistic. This, however, is random and changes distance ‘x’ for each board… joy. I took my usually attitude of bodging it and figured that I should be able to work something out for subsequent river sections. For now, I decide to label the board as a test for other terrain making methods.
The big method I wanted to test was water! Realistic water is perhaps the hardest thing to get right. I’ve seen a number of absolutely amazing successes and some really lazy defeats. Not to be one of the defeated, I did my research (side note: if you’re not researching and getting ideas throughout your project, you’re not doing it right!) and prep’ed the board for http://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/ Realistic Water product, which was to dam both ends of the river. For UK folk, Woodland Scenics products can be found in stores like Hobby Craft.
It kinda worked. It leaked and as the water solidified cracks and gaps formed. It also looked far too smooth for a river at the 6mm scale. I had seen several uses of the Water Effects product to do different things, such as waterfalls, so I thought I’d use this to create ripples. It worked well to make the river look like it was flowing and hid and filled in the cracks and gaps too. I think the finish looks pretty good!
However, after adding paint, trees, hedges and shrubberies, basically finishing the board, I tested how it might look against the other 3 (which at this point hadn’t really been touched) and I found to my dismay that the wood had warped. For the modular master plan this was a bit of disaster as I couldn’t accept each section not being aligned and flat. Coupled with the fact that I had sourced the materials I was using, that being the plywood and foam board, from work and purchasing them commercially was either difficult or simply too expensive, I needed a new plan. Still, I kept the test river as a monument of a partial success.
Sorry for the lack of work-in-progress pictures; I got carried away in making the board!