Thursday, 1 October 2015

Besenval Port. Stage 3. Urban expansion

This has taken ages, but I have finally come up with something. I was in severe need of a new board for my Besenval port ambientation. I esentially used the same technique I used for my previous board (Here and here), i.e., lots of foam:

Back again!
Its another 120 x 60 cm (4' x 2') plyboard surface to cover, once again thinking in some water involved, stairs and stuff.

I'm going for simpler shapes this time
Though I enjoyed the first board, it drove me nuts. I went for simple surfaces able to hold lots of buildings while being minimally interesting. What really got me exhausted last time was carving the whole pavement piece by piece. Brrr, I still shiver whenever I remember it...

I found this easier solution:

The use of this kind of template just made this achievable. But beware, it has pros and cons. Though being a quick way of making all that pavement, you have to be careful when pressing the mould. The thing is that you should apply enough pressure to 'carve' the foam (so you will need something like a rubber hammer), but you have to be gentle, or you take the risk of leaving crude hammer marks on your terrain. I really didn't get the knack, so my work here looks a little rough. I guess it's nice to try some surface first so you get familiar with the tools before you go for the actual stuff.

Anyway! This is what I got in some reasonable time:

Last time I used priming spray, as it was the quickest solution. I found a nice spray for that, but let's assume it, no matter how good it is, it's gonna devour your foam and ruin the work to some point. As I had saved some time in the process here, I thought I could invest it on properly painting this piece with a brush.

Going oldschool!!
Some weeks later I finally got this:

Another piece of port
I'm not happy with the quality of this board. I sacrificed proper handcraft for the easy way. So the cobble looks rough and the paintjob is not uniform. On a second thought, I think I should have sticked up to the spray plan; that way colour would have been regular all over and would have fitted with the other board. Montana 94 sprays were good enough for my purposes.
But well, all those are lessons learned! I'll take that into consideration whenever I dare to do more boards!

Here you can see the two boards together:

They could be placed in other configuration, but I forgot to take a pic.
And this is how they look with some buildings on them:

120 x 120 cm board. This begins to look like what I had in mind
Sooo, now I have more room for more buildings! And more dwellers! Yay!

It's shabby, I know, I know, but it's enough for my skills (specially given my current life circumstances) and more important, it's enough for my needs! I'm really looking forward to play something here!


  1. The complete layout looks really good. Some fun games to be had there. Once the terrain is on, the colour differences in the paint are much less noticeable.

    1. Thank you! I'm really looking forward to deploying something there and playing!!

  2. That's looking very good indeed. I agree about the colour differences not being an issue when it's up and running.

    1. Thanks! I hope I can populate this board so much that no one will notice! :D

  3. Wow ... the effort you put into get a gaming terrain done is admirable. That pavement template also looks really cool.

    1. Thank you! I hope it is fun to have some games here, I'm trying this to be as atmospherical as possible (within my budget & skills limitations!)

  4. I like it a lot! I figure terrain is largely a backdrop for the miniatures, so you can get away with it being a bit rough around the edges. As the other comments have said, once it is covered with terrain, you can't tell (and besides, docks are notoriously patchy - different ages of concrete, tarmac etc).

    It might be worth adding a few lines to suggest loading bays etc. For example, a hatched yellow box, or a white line a few inches back from the edge?

    1. Thank you very much! I've been thinking about that for a while, but I still have to come to a solution. My intention is to leave the bare board just like it is, so it can also be used for other settings (I'm thinking about any Mordheim-like game, hehe, just need the proper buildings), but I'm thinking of adding simple platforms (plyboard or maybe foamboard) with that kind of industrial vibe, so they can be removed when needed. Any advice is most welcome!