Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Creating a demonstration board.

Well this is really some pictures of the demonstration board I am knocking up which is also the first sculpted board I have done.

Using the Relics demonstration board (that Rich T had at Triples this year) as inspiration I made a quick sketch of the layout on a bit of paper.

Then it was off to B+Q to acquire some materials - 6mm mdf sheet and 18mm x 44mm planed wood. The nice B+Q people offer a cutting service so my big sheet was divided into smaller pieces, one of which was the 600mm square used for this project.

Next step was to mark the sheet up into 4 squares to make transferring the drawing layout easier. I also replicated the drawing layout on a piece of styrofoam again 600mm square by 25mm deep.

The styrofoam was cut using a hot wire cutter and some shaping done with my trusty breadknife. The stream section was cut out as a chunk first then I ran it through the hot wire cutter again to get a graduation from the rock in the centre down to the board edge.

I have a selection of Woodland Scenics railway cutting and rock molds and this has provided with some nice plaster chunks to use as the basis of the rock formations.

I attached the wooden battens to the mdf to make the board rigid.I had to get this done quick as Craig was invading the workshop and I am sure he did not want to wade through sawdust.


Styrofoam and plaster was glued with PVA and then left for 24 hours - any project like this needs patience!

My brick collection helping to weight the pieces down. Here you can see the layers of construction so far.

One thing I have tried to ensure on this board is playability. Using a model on a 50mm base I checked that it could move easily around the board and sit on the slopes without falling over. This last part was not entirely successful and a couple of slopes received a bit more work.

As a demonstration board is intended to be transported a lot I have taken two steps to help with its durability. First is to make a box for it to go in and I will show this later. The second was to protect the styrofoam sections from side impact damage. Using more of the 6mm mdf to edge the board, I placed it against the side and drew the contour, finally cutting out the shape on my scroll saw.

With the edging in place it was time to fill gaps using wall filler. Once again with the glue for the mdf and the filler drying it would be another 24 hours before the next step. I used the next couple of hours to make the basic structure of the box.

With the first round of filler dry I put another thin layer on to make sure the edges and any bits I missed were fully covered. This new layer took about 4 hours to dry so later in the day I was able to sand it all down and give it a coat of grey emulsion to get a feel for how it would look.

This has shown a few areas I will deal with tomorrow. For now I am finishing the underside of the board with a few coats black satin to make it look neater.

So with box pieces and the base of the board stinking up my workshop with the smell of drying paint I will leave this and post up some more when it is done - hopefully for Saturday!


  1. Good lord, you're alive!

    Table is looking good, glad to hear to tested it for playability, it's always frustrating to have your models constantly sliding off hills...

    1. Thankyou Matt, reaaly should arrange some games with you and Pete, whats that forum thingy you are using now?

    2. It's here -

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