I’ve decided to cut out flagstones for the upper and lower ground levels by hand, inspired by Psycosm’s awesome Malifaux table on WargamerAU, and Pete the Butcher’s city board on the Privateer Press forums.
I’ve tried a few test pieces of road using the blue foam, and while it holds a cobblestone texture very well it’s just a bit too soft for a horizontal playing surface that will have metal figures on it. I learned my lesson a few years ago when I made a shallow water terrain piece using the one-part Woodland Scenics polyurethane water – it stayed slightly soft, and after a metal Leviathan was parked on it during a game the swamp retained a base imprint for almost two years… I’ll use the textured foam surface for walls, stairs etc, but will go for something more hard wearing for the surfaces that have models sitting on them.
When I get a chance to go through my old No Quarter magazines, I vaguely remember seeing this technique used on one of their terrain pieces. After the flagstones are glued down, you can paint a thin layer of PVA on top to seal them – and then sand the whole lot back a bit once the glue has dried. That smooths them out a bit, and removes incongruous-looking point edges on what should look like a well-worn road.
I also found four of these stashed away in my box of random modelling gear, bought on a whim in an earlier order from Back 2 Base-ix… I think they’ll work well for breaking up the street paving a bit, and adding some more detail. It’s all too easy to end up with large slabs of bland repetition that prevent you from seeing the scale of a large terrain piece.
At 3mm (cut from MDF) they’re a bit too thick to just sit on top of things. I picked up a roll of thin (2.4mm) cork sheet from Riot, and it looks pretty much perfect for raising the road up to match the ornamental gears. The picture above shows some holes roughly cut through the cork, testing out the idea. I’m planning to add some fine gravel or model railway ballast to fill the internal detail up to road level.
One bout of insomnia later and I’ve ended up with this to show for my weekend…
Now it’s starting to look more like a piece of terrain, and less like a collection of random components 🙂