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Chaosheads stuck in the desert this time! (LOADS OF PICS!)

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I just remembered that, long ago, when I was looking for advice on what kind of glue might work on plastic storage containers most of what google turned up was stuff designed for actually using insulation foam as insulation during construction.   The crazy ideas people have using insulating foam for insulation.  As if.


I thought I might be able relay some advice, but having just looked into it, wargamers were far from having any kind of uniform opinion.  Some said that PVC was fine while others pointed out that it didn't even dry except for the edges.  The "professional stuff" works but is hard to work with once dry, i.e. it's much harder to cut than the foam.  A particular type of Liquid Nails made for foam was mentioned as was Gorilla Glue.  Anyway, here is the TMP thread I was reading.


Good luck.

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I will recommend wood filler for the bad joins. Cut first, then apply. It even sands roughly like the foam. I used it on my bigger projects to blend in joins and cedar wood chip rocks. As price is a factor, it is also very cheap.


Just make sure you get the non-shrinking kind...or it will dry smaller and pop out.


As for gluing together I used hot glue and PVA for my hills. Works well with plenty of weight (much more than you put on - 50 lbs plus normally.

Edited by hosercanadian
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Thanks guys!


I thought that I had updated this a couple days ago but I guess not.  Two little updates combine to make one medium sized update.


@malefactus  @lowlylowlycook  --  Yeah, there are better adhesives to use on foam than liquid nails but it is what I had on hand from another project so it is what we used.


@hosercanadian  --  Great minds sir, great minds.


As far as the cost of this project goes, I am only trying to keep it down because this is a joint project between my son and I and I told him he has to split the costs of everything we buy for the project.  Along those lines though we have had a discussion about the project and have decided that we will probably go with some of the more pricey materials to save time and effort.


Here is the BAD dune after being clamped for a few more days...as you can see it did not help at all, in fact it actually got worse!  The adhesive dried pretty much completely without even forming a bond of any sort.






So, we cut another piece and threw it under a bunch of weight.






The other three multi level dunes turned out fine so we trimmed and sanded.






I played with the "rocky face" of the one dune, went very old school "stylized" rock face.  I played with pushing a rock into a small part of this and decided I am not really a fan and this foam may not be the right type for that application of texturing.  I was applying quite a bit of force and was still only making little dents and scratches.






I am pretty sure I have been looking at the GoMo stuff a little too much lately because I am pretty sure I was borrowing the look from the game itself.




I like the look of it so I think that is what we will be doing.  My son didn't have any ideas other than to use pine bark for all the rocks.  I told him to go ahead and make one to convince me, I haven't seen anything yet.


We moved onto the craters next and instead of just building up from the base I had the idea to dig down into the base to get some "depth."  I tried one to see how it would look.




We both liked it so we did all of them that way.








The only thing I am worried about now is the bases warping when we apply clay or glue or however we decide to raise the lips of the craters as there is not much of the foamboard left.


I think we are leaning toward using some air dry clay to build up the crater rims before adding texture.


Here is the "BAD" hill with its new level, bonded this time.  It will need to be shaped and sanded like the rest to bring them all to the same level of completion before we move on.




I am not sure why this dune hasn't made an appearance yet so here it is, seems to be the only pic of it however....




The dunes that were cut and sanded received some spackle to smooth them a little.  Yes, I know that the sand would have smoothed them out quite a lot, probably more than enough actually, but I wanted to make sure we have smooth flow-y sand dunes.




More in the next update.

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The other piece that we tackled was the mine.  We decided that we would like a vertical mine shaft instead of a horizontally dug shaft, which was the original plan.


One layer of foam and we immediately knew we needed another.




Second layer of foam added because we knew we needed it.




Not bad...More foam!


Three layers of foam and we agreed it was good.




The depth looked pretty good and we figured we could end up getting enough "darkness" down the shaft that it would look cool.





I pushed some wooden skewers through all three layers to hold it together a little better while the adhesive dried, just snipped off the ends slightly below the surface, these will get covered by spackle anyway so not that worried about it.




We have been thinking about this a little bit since we left it to dry, we are pretty sure we want to add some sort of mechanical arm or hoist or something straddling the mine shaft.


I carved out a little of the foam at the bottom of the shaft to sort of make it look like the mine runs a little away from straight....I guess I didn't get a pic of this before it was all glued together.  I will have to see if I can get a shot of it now that it is assembled.





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Thank you gentleman, progress is slower than I would like on this project because our work schedules are not lining up as they usually do.  ALL the part timers at my job quit in the span of a week leaving all the full timers to pick up all the night shifts, I haven't worked a night in close to ten years so it is a bit of a wrench in the home and hobby life.  We have hired at least two part timers so in a few weeks when they are trained my sched should get back to normal.


We are still trying to figure out what to do with the top of the mine but we like where it is going so far.


For the most part this set of terrain is moving along fairly quickly as most of it is fairly simple, we have really only worked on the stuff for maybe eight hours total so far.  It's desert and it's orks, nothing complicated here.

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Alright, a little bit of progress.


First, @TGP, we bought a can of the spray texture paint to give it a try and see what it looked like, how we felt about it as a sand substitute.




We will let you know our thoughts soon-ish.  As TGP stated, unlike other sprays it does not melt the foam which is a good thing.


The last dune was carved and spackled.  I guess we are going for the old school look and feel as this one ended up the same.




The mine was also carved and spackled, it needs another coat of spackle in a few spots before we move on with it.






This was probably the best shot I could get of the inside of the shaft where I tried to carve it to look like the tunnel turned.  Hope we can do something with it during painting.




That's it, nothing major this time still making slow progress though so that is good.


Pretty sure we both have tomorrow evening off, we may get some more done then.


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Alright, some things were accomplished...some more questions were raised....no new answers are given.


So firstly we decided to do a little comparison experimentation with the spray texture, foam and some coarse sand.


One piece of sand covered foam with a smooth side and a rough side.  The two far pieces each have one coat of spray texture, the right one was sanded smooth first while the left was left rough.  The two front pieces of foam have two coats of spray texture each, the left one is rough and not sanded, the right is smooth.




Two coats, smooth.  




Two coats, rough.




With shadows so you can actually see that the roughness was not filled in by the spray texture.




One coat, smooth.




One coat, rough.  With shadows to show the "detail"




Sand, smooth side.




Sand, rough side.




So, why did we do this?


Well, we really were pretty undecided on which way to proceed with the textures for the rocks as well as the sand dunes.


What did we learn?


SPRAY TEXTURE  --  The spray texture is very thin and provides little to no coverage of any irregularities in the foam so if it's not smooth you are going to see it.  Even with two coats the coverage is minimal and leaves the details showing through just fine.


The texture itself is fairly fine but doesn't look like sand, the texture particles are actually long (really just a few mm length) and thin, almost straw or hair like.  (I was completely unable to get a good enough pic to show this, sorry.)  The texture does adhere to the foam pretty well but seems to remain somewhat tacky to the touch, even after three days of dry time.  It also can be rubbed off fairly easily with just a few rubs of your finger so I am pretty sure that unless you seal this it would come off with regular use. ( A good coat of paint may keep it on but I am unsure of this at the moment, a test may be coming as we decide on colors for the desert.)


SAND  --  The sand was pretty much exactly what we expected as we have worked with and used sand before.  Wood glue was used to adhere the sand to the foam and left to dry overnight.  Then a second layer of thinned wood glue was applied and left to dry overnight.  If you don't do this it is just going to rub and fall off, there just isn't a way around this...AND you will probably still get some that falls off even after paint and sealer.


The texture is good, looks like sand, although to be honest the stuff I have at the moment is a large grain sand, probably four to six times the individual grain size of real sand.  It covers smooth surfaces fairly evenly and looks pretty good as a flat surface.  Rough surfaces can be filled in if the sand is applied too heavily or in multiple layers.  It will hide any sort of small details if you are not careful...BUT it can hide any SMALL imperfections if you don't want to take the time to cover them up.


Where does this info leave us?


Well, the only thing we really honestly decided on was that the sand dunes need to be sand and the rocks need to have as little sand on them as possible.  The spray texture didn't do it for us as far as appearance goes for the sand dunes.


We are leaning toward using the spray texture on the rocks and cliffs, however, this is still undecided at the moment.


We are now looking into colors for our desert so these test pieces will be the subjects in the next test as well.


Hopefully this little experiment helps someone decide on textures in the future.



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Okay, more progress was made on the terrain itself during all this experimenting and pondering of textures.


The dunes were examined and some were given a second spot treatment with some spackle to get rid of any large dents, cuts, scrapes or dings.  This should make them ready for the sanding they should be receiving soonish.




We did a test piece of the craters to see if/how bad the air dry clay will warp the foamboard.  This will dry for a few days before any sort of decision will be made on this.




The tar pits and the rad pool were given the same basic treatment and left to dry.








We made a run to the local arts & crafts store for a few supplies, foamboard being one of them.


A few quick outlines and we have some difficult terrain bases marked out.




A few more minutes and the bases are cut out and supplies are gathered to begin creating some difficult terrain.




Just a few more minutes later but eight tubes of the super cheap dollar store super glue later we have the larger chunks of the difficult terrain in place and drying.






All of this will get painted to be a nice desert rough spot of course.


When we finally decide on color choices that is.


More in a few days.

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