Monday, 20 August 2012

Terrain: Home made dirt/muddy roads

This weekend, after looking at various blogs and methods of making home grown terrain I was inspired to attempt to try my hand at making some dirty roads suitable for Flames of War and Heavy Gear.

A quick trip to Lowe's and some shelf browsing and I had bought the following.

2 - 12 x 12 Linolium floor tiles. (I got the expensive 88c ones as they were nice and stiff and they were textured to help the filler grip adhere better)
1 - small tub of dry wall filler.
1 - tube of Elmers wood glue.
1 - cheap paintbrush.

Total cost: $9.47

First I measured the width of the tiles using a FOW Tiger tank as a guide. I then cut up the floor tiles into the shapes I wanted. In this case it was 8 long strips, a T-junction, a cross roads and a short straight. This gave me approximatly 8,5 feet of roadway.

Next I applied the filler. Just lathered it on and mixed it with some sand from outside. I used my fingers to spread it which gave it some nice corrugations. I also used the Tiger to put some track impressions into the semi dry filler. I then waited for it to dry before hitting it with a layer of watered down elmers glue. This is a critical step as the filler is brittle and easily chipped. The glue soaked in and made it far more robust.

I havent factored the cost of the paint in as I already had these. However this would only cost about $4 as I used a 95c tin of black spray from Lowes as well as some Americana craft acrylics which run around $1 each. I used 3 colours. The nice thing is that you can use whatever colours you want depending on what terrain you are modelling for. After the paint was dry I hit the whole thing with a layer of cheap matt varnish to seal it and and add more protection vs chipping. I then used the elmers to seal the edges, again to prevent chipping when the roads come into contact with each other.

Lastly was some flock to make it all pretty and blend into the table.

And the final product: Shown here with some staights as well as the various junctions.

I am very pleased with the result. All told, excluding drying. Maybe 3 hours work as the very most. All for a very cheap price and the result is very good. The best bit is that there is still plenty of filler and glue left over. Enough for at least another tile if not 2. I plan to come back to this in the next month or so and do some curves etc.

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