Dec 012009

Here are some pictures of the third grassland terrain board in progress, along with some shots after it was finished.


The surface is coated with brown-tinted hydrocal. I used a very thin mix on the rock surfaces, and applied it with a brush. Over the grass areas a soft-serve ice cream consistency of hydrocal was used and applied with a spatula. I sprinkled some sand around the edges of the rocks, and fixed some large, irregular stones with a hot glue gun.  The road surface is a mix of sand, glue, and spackle.

The road and rock surfaces were painted with craft paints. I used about six colors on the rock surface, with a base color that was a dark chocolate brown. Three tones of gray dry brushed over that, and then some spot drybrushing of reddish brown (same color as base for road) and green for a final touch.

The base coat of flock is Woodland Scenics blended turf, sprinkled in sections on top of Liquitex Matt Medium. Once this dried, I shook off the excess and liberally applied another layer of matt medium on top and let it dry for another day. Then I added some spots of coarse turf and clump foilage, then some yellow and light green drybrushing here and there on turf and foilage.

Click on any of the pics for a slide show!

One more board to go.

  5 Responses to “Third terrain board ready for action”

  1. can i ask what you mean with: brown-tinted hydrocal? I want to make a board but i don’t know where to start 😛

    • Hi Bart,

      Hydrocal is a powder that you can buy at hobby/craft stores like MIchaels or Hobby Lobby. Here is what I use. Many people use hydrocal to soak paper towels in, then they lay the wet towels on the board and shape them to make terrain features. When the hydrocal dries, it is super hard. For these boards, I spread the hydrocal directly on the foam surface of the boards, just to give the surface of the boards some added strength. I could have skipped using hyrdocal and just painted the surface of the foam and then flocked it, but foam boards tend to get damaged over time, and I’m hoping the hydrocal will make them last longer. I tinted the hydrocal by just mixing in some acrylic paint from a tube with each batch of the hydrocal I mixed up (you mix hydrocal with water to make a paste). That was easier than painting the hydrocal after it was on the surface. There are a bunch of different ways to make terrain boards. If you have never been to the terragenesis site, there are a number of them described there.

  2. Thanks for the information :).
    So you didnt do it like all the other people with just the graffel and flock?

  3. Hi Bart, the order I did things in:

    Sculpted the foam hills and glued them on

    Spread a thin layer of brown-tinted hydrocal with a spatula over the surface of the boards, and an extra thin layer of hydrocal (watered down) painted with a brush into the sides of the hills / cliff faces. I did not use hydrocal on the roads.

    On the roads I used a spatula to put in drywall filler / spackle compound mixed with sand and pebbles. I like that texture for roads.

    Once hydrocal and spackle dried, I painted and drybrushed any cliff faces that would not have flock covering them and painted and dry brushed the roads.

    Sprayd a glue onto the dried hydrocal / unpainted surfaces and sprinkled a mixed green flock.

    Let it all dry and sprayed glue in patches, put on different colored flocks lightly (some yellow, pink, etc.).

    That’s it!

    There were a couple of small places usually on each board where I did use some gravel glued down on the surface (around roads, sometimes in the middle of the grass). I painted and dry brushed these, and tried not to spray glue on them before flocking so they would kind of stick up out of the grass. I just did a few spots like that to break up the appearance of the flock a bit.

    Many people don’t use hydrocal for these kinds of terrain boards, they just put glue on the foam and sprinkle flock. This works fine and is simpler. I used the hydrocal for these reasons:

    – When you spread it with a spatula over the board, it leaves little ridges and irregularites that show through the flock. It looks less “flat”, and I like that appearance.

    – It adds some strength that is distributed over the surface of the boards. When you pick them up they are less likely to tear up on the edges.

    – The watered down hydrocal hides the texture of the foam in cliff faces / rocky areas and also strengthens those same features.

    My advice: Get a small one foot by one foot section of foam and experiment on it. Find an approach you like on a small piece of test foam before you do a bunch of boards.

  4. one word: wow
    thanks for the description and for just awnsering this will really help.

    have a great life,

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