Monday, August 2, 2010

3D Ogre Mapboard

I was looking through some of my Ogre pictures, and found the pics of the 3D Ogre map board project, which I apparently never actually posted. So here they are, with some commentary about the construction process.

I had been thinking about constructing a 3D Ogre board, replicating the original map, ever since I had picked up a box of Heroscape tiles for next to nothing at a thrift store. The HS hexes are about 1.5" across the flats, so they are a pretty good fit for Ogre miniatures, except of course, for the Ogres.

I decided to create a quick test piece to see if the Heroscape tiles would look good painted and textured.

It looked pretty good, so I decided to proceed with the project. I assembled a hex map (15 x 22 hexes) from the Heroscape tiles, and glued them together. I mounted (lots of white glue) the assembled map on a piece of a hollow core door that was in the garage for ease of transportation during the painting process.

I formed hexes and ridges from Sculpey II and installed them in the appropriate locations. I painted the whole board with a flat gray latex paint (leftover from a home improvement project). While attempting to accelerate the drying process, I had a slight mishap with a heat lamp and melted one corner of the board and had to replace it.

I found some leftover green latex (semigloss) paint from another project, and used that to put a couple of coats on the whole board to fill in the cracks between the tile pieces, and to give the railroad ballast (next step) something to stick to.

Between coats I used more white glue to fill in any small holes between the Sculpey and the hex tiles.

I let the board dry for 24 hours before proceeding to the next step. I had some model railroad ballast left over from another project (noticing a trend here?) and decided to use that to give the board a rough, sandy textured surface. I put another coat of green on the board and while it was still wet I sprinkled the ballast over the whole thing.

I let that dry for a few hours then tilted the board up and let the excess ballast fall off. I recycled that ballast for the next step. There were a few bare patches here and there, so I sprayed them with thinned white glue and spread more ballast on them. After a couple of cycles, I had a board that looked like the surface of the moon.

I put the board away in a safe place to let it dry for a few days. When I was sure it was dry, I used a large paintbrush to "scrub" the surface to remove the excess ballast and then sprayed the whole board with more thinned white glue to hold everything together. After another 24 hour drying cycle, I got out my airbrush and sprayed the whole board a reddish brown color, then added lighter and darker highlights, attempting to match the original Ogre map colors.

This process took a fairly long time, once I was satisfied with the the base colors, I started adding washes to darken some areas and dry brushed the crater walls and ridges to make them stand out.

I painted the border around the hexes black, and then applied several coats of clear flat to seal the paint and protect the surface.

I set up some miniatures on the board to see how everything looked, I think it turned out pretty well.

A few more pictures capturing some details:

Total cost for this project was about $20.00 plus a lot of my time. I may do a GEV board someday, but I'll need more Heroscape tiles and I have to think about the water surface effect.

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