This week we're picking up where we left off in constructing a display board. Last time, as you may well remember, we built up the board's foundation with two simple materials: composite board, and insulation board with the use of a hand-saw, a box cutter, and some all-purpose glue.
As we continue this week, here's the tools/materials we'll need:
1. Wire brush
3. Box cutter
4. Shop vac
5. Fine grain sandpaper
5. Felt tipped marker
6. Small caliber x-acto blade
7. Plaster, I use Woodland Scenic's Mold-A-Scene Plaster, it incorporates a light weight ballast which gives the texture an integrated rocky appearance
Now that the foundation's glue seal has set for a least 24 hours we're ready to continue with the construction of the board and get started on the fun part, building terrain.
In order to create organic transitions between the layers on our board, we first need to ready the layers by trimming their edges. To do this, run your box cutter at an oblique angle to the corner, making sure that your cut pierces the foam on the lower side. What this does is remove the sharp corner on the higher layer, readying it to be smoothed to meet the layer below it.
This is what the top layer's edge should look like after the corner has been removed.
Now that there is a smoother surface, we'll continue the transition by brushing the edge with our steel brush. Apply enough pressure to shave off the foam while brushing, but don't apply too much pressure that you start creating deep grooves. After you have brushed in one direction, turn your brush and come at it from another direction. My method is to brush down the slope I wish to create, and then turn my brush perpendicular to my previous strokes and brush the face of the slope. This will ensure that unnatural grooves don't form from brushing in only one direction and a clean slope forms.
Use your shop vac to suck up the foam debris often, this technique creates a mess!
Make the slope gradual, this will keep your models from having to struggle to keep from falling over.
To finish the slope-transitions, sand the slope with your fine grain sandpaper.
For the lowest of the three levels I'm choosing to have an abrupt transition and will keep the straight up and down edge. This will effect the appearance of a retaining wall.