Jared Paton
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That was what I told my wife a week ago, after our semi-monthly Heroquest session. My two friends had gone home, and we were doing an after-action report. I said, and we both agreed, that it was time I put thought to action, and made a board with bigger squares.

The challenge? Our printer is out of ink, and we just paid a $515 vet bill. Granted, the bill was supposed to be $1500, but still, it was a little much this soon after the holidays.

So, into the shed I go, and lo and behold, there is a piece of pink styrofoam insulation. 1" thick! Perfect!

So, into the house I go, with plans of slicing squares into the foam. My wife, bless her heart, said don't be stupid. She walked out, and came back with her bone folder. I think that's what it's called.


We found a meter stick, and discovered if we overlap the first groove, the distance for the next groove plus the offset of the folder is exactly 1". Things went faster after that.



After marking out the rooms


I got out our potato masher to give the dungeon hallway some texture. Worked surprisingly well, with a rotating wrist action.



We noticed at this point that some of the grooves were starting to bounce back a little, so I went over each of them, pressing a lot harder than I did the first time. This process also added some nice cracking to the surface.


I decided to spray paint the primer on, seeing as though I had a half can in my shop, and no roll on primer left. First though, the glue wash.
Styrofoam reacts poorly to the chemicals in spray paint, which I'm sure most of the DIYourselfers here know, so I watered down some glue, and painted 'er up.



Turns out I'm not that good at painting glue on a piece of styrofoam and watching TV at the same time, so after priming


I noticed some spots that I missed. All added to the texture of the dungeon though, so no harm.


Painting begins! I'm a fan of the original board, so I wanted to replicate the colours as best as I could.



(forgot to take pictures for a while here)


And here I am, up to date with the job. I've been trying to draw the square textures from the original board, and it's going well. I need something to really make the finish pop though, and I'm looking for some ideas.




I'll be finishing with a satin varathane to protect everything. Maybe some kind of wash? I've got some ebony stain, oil based, will that work? Or just ruin everything? I've got other colours of stain, oil and water based, if that helps.

I'll update when things progress a little farther.
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Aaron Morgan
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Re: Heroquest board remake, or I need bigger squares!
Very nice! I've been thinking of making a Blood Bowl field, and this has given me a few good ideas.
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Jake Staines
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Re: Heroquest board remake, or I need bigger squares! (picture heavy)
Duckster wrote:

I need something to really make the finish pop though, and I'm looking for some ideas.
...
I'll be finishing with a satin varathane to protect everything. Maybe some kind of wash? I've got some ebony stain, oil based, will that work? Or just ruin everything?


Depending on what kind of effect you're after, I think a wash could work very well.

A while ago I used foam insulation boards and fine gravel with a wash to make a desert effect for my gaming boards:
http://eviscerate.net/page/creating-desert-floor-wargaming
(There are only small ~20cm hexes featured in the article there, but I did three large 120x60cm panels more recently using the same technique which turned out equally well.)

The important thing is to make sure that the foam is definitely sealed if you're going to use any paint, thinner or other solvent that might dissolve the foam, of course!





Anyway, were I in your position I would probably lay down a coat of varnish to make sure that you don't damage the surface with the next steps, then carefully mask off each room or corridor with painter's tape (regular masking tape sometimes lets paint seep underneath it, at least the stuff we get here) and then lightly drybrush it with a light shade, then once that's totally dry - keeping the masking in place - dab a wash and spread it out in the same kind of uneven way I did with the desert floor. Once it's dry you can peel up the masking tape, which will (hopefully!) leave you with a more well-defined room; you can even darken the wash around the corners to emphasise the dimensions. Once you've done all the rooms like that, varnish again over the top.

But of course, I'd practice on a bit of scrap insulation board first, to see if it works and gives the right effect! ;-)
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jeremie geggus
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Re: Heroquest board remake, or I need bigger squares! (picture heavy)
I would get some dark brown ink, thin it out with a lot of water, and a little bit of dish soap (so it flows more evenly and really gathers in the recesses). Try a dry-brush highlight on the hallway areas before (and maybe a even a light one after) the wash. Should help the board really pop by bringing out the texturing you've done, and unifying the whole piece with a subtle over-all color finish.

Nice work!
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Re: Heroquest board remake, or I need bigger squares! (picture heavy)
Actually a normal spray primer might have made some great textures in the foam! I used it to weather tombstones. But now, you need protection.
Minwax has a waterbased spray varnish you might be interested in.

http://www.google.com/#q=minwax+water+spray+varnish&hl=en&pr...


Looks good!
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Jared Paton
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Re: Heroquest board remake, or I need bigger squares! (picture heavy)
So, I went ahead and finished the board. The outside has been painted with a "wrought iron black" acrylic paint that turned out really, really well. It's a semi-gloss, and it does have an iron look to it.

The board itself was slathered in an oil-based walnut stain, I believe minwax. I didn't bother sealing the board before I stained, as there was enough paint on there already to seal the foam in. The stain was put on excessively, and then wiped off of the high areas with a rag. Odd thing was, I left it to dry, came back 30 minutes later, and the stain had migrated out of the cracks, and formed rings along the surface of each square. Very weird.

After wiping again, I waited for the stain to mostly dry, and applied a General Finishes Satin, water-based finish. I applied liberally, though not enough in some places, because the stain did brush off of a couple rooms. I'm not too worried about it though, it's my first main board, and is meant as a stop-gap until I build one that can collapse.

Who am I kidding, this'll be our board for years to come.

The stain is hard to see in the pictures, but everything is much darker than the previous pictures, and all the hollows have a nice brown colour to them.







We'll have to increase the size of the furniture to match the new bigger squares, but for now, it just fits.
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Mathieu Perreault-Dorion
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Re: Heroquest board remake, or I need bigger squares! (picture heavy)
All this work and you're still playing with unpainted minis shake

Great work by the way, I might have to steal your design.
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Re: Heroquest board remake, or I need bigger squares! (picture heavy)
Oeternalis wrote:
All this work and you're still playing with unpainted minis shake

Great work by the way, I might have to steal your design.



Naw, what you need to do is get actual colored tiles and recess/grout it into the kitchen table!
No, it's just a pattern honey, honest!
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jeremie geggus
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Re: Heroquest board remake, or I need bigger squares! (picture heavy)
Nice! Looks good and dungeon-y!

If you want to darken the cracks between tiles, try the ink/dish-soap thing I mentioned earlier. It does exactly what the stain doesn't- creeps into the recesses and settles there. You can hit it with a spray dull-coat to reduce any shine.

Could you maybe just slice the board into quarters with an rolling knife, to make it (if not foldable) stackable? Cut in the cracks between "tiles", so there would be no gaps when assembled?
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jeremie geggus
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Re: Heroquest board remake, or I need bigger squares! (picture heavy)
Nice! Looks good and dungeon-y!

If you want to darken the cracks between tiles, try the ink/dish-soap thing I mentioned earlier. It does exactly what the stain doesn't- creeps into the recesses and settles there. You can hit it with a spray dull-coat to reduce any shine.

Could you maybe just slice the board into quarters with an rolling knife, to make it (if not foldable) stackable? Cut in the cracks between "tiles", so there would be no gaps when assembled?
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Jared Paton
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Re: Heroquest board remake, or I need bigger squares! (picture heavy)
Oeternalis wrote:
All this work and you're still playing with unpainted minis shake

Great work by the way, I might have to steal your design.


My wife is big on my not spending too much of my off time working on board game stuff, considering the unfinished state of our house. Painting that many minis... I think that falls under the category of "not a chance."

Alternatively, we had talked about a more serious board at some point, but then my wife mentioned we'd probably be playing a more serious game, so probably no tile dungeon table.

If I wasn't playing the game this week, I'd give the ink method a shot. I don't happen to have any ink on hand, and the project was entirely done with on-hand materials. Another day, maybe.

My thinking was to cut it into quarters, add a rabbet to the underside, and fit velcro into the space, so the board stays together. The problem of course with styrofoam is that it's rather light, and if you bump the table, everything shifts dramatically. So when I find a method of keeping it together, I'm not worried about cutting it.

Thanks for all the kind words.
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Re: Heroquest board remake, or I need bigger squares! (picture heavy)
cut it like puzzle pieces.
rabbet isn't the word you're looking for. I think you mean dovetail?
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Re: Heroquest board remake, or I need bigger squares! (picture heavy)
No, it's rabbet, a close ended L-shaped groove between the different square sections, an inset for a piece of velcro, so the board sits flush on the table, rather than bulging up because of the thickness of the velcro.

I do like the crossword puzzle idea though, I like it a lot. Just have to make sure that any single pieces hanging off by themselves are good and strong.
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Have a look at this guy (but don't wet your pants)! goo www.damienthevenin.com
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Duckster wrote:
No, it's rabbet, a close ended L-shaped groove between the different square sections, an inset for a piece of velcro, so the board sits flush on the table, rather than bulging up because of the thickness of the velcro.

I do like the crossword puzzle idea though, I like it a lot. Just have to make sure that any single pieces hanging off by themselves are good and strong.



Ah.... that is a good idea! I didn't think of velcro. How would you get it to stay on the foam tho? Maybe a lip might be better to lock them together.

I was thinking something like this:


But yeah, if you followed the squares, you'd have a few "t"s that would lock it together really well. You could also just get a "frame" that would go around the whole thing and cut them all square. The frame might be even better, as you'd have no chance of breaking off locking parts. But making it and storing it...
WAIT! Got a painting on the wall the same size? Put the foam inside the frame, and glue the painting to the back. Just hang it on the wall!

Screw that, hang the board side out and claim it's art. Sign it and hang it over the sofa. She'll be so happy... honestly, I'd hang that. It's cool looking and I've seen WAY worse stuff on people's walls.
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Jared Paton
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Ha, yeah, I said that to a friend of mine over for a game night on Friday. "yeah, it'll look good enough, we can hang it on the wall." My lovely wife replied "maybe in a game room. Maybe."


The dovetail is a good idea, though carving foam isn't very easy, and I can't think of a way to do it so I don't lose any painted surface. A bowtie type reinforcement might work, but then I'm getting into a lot more effort. My original thought was to band the whole thing in maple, and then I thought I could make the maple banding collapsible/lock together, rather than keeping the whole thing intact.
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If you go to a frame store, you can have a metal one cut to size. they slide together and are held with a screw on each side.
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You could get a roll of cork sheet, and use white glue to adhere it to the bottom of each quartered piece. It would prevent a lot of the wiggling the board might normally get on the table top, without having to carve the foam any more.

This might work especially well for you, since an HQ board would have to be "quartered" in a way that caused the 4 pieces to be cut into two sizes. This would be helpful because the four pieces would be two @9x13 tiles, and two @10x13 tiles. Just cut down the middle of the "2 tile wide" hallway, and the horizontal cuts would be on either side of the "1 tile wide" hallway. The one tile offset will result in the pieces interlocking a bit at the center, with two of the tiles touching three other tiles. Sounds confusing, but sketch it out on grid-paper, and it makes sense.

I've used the thin cork sheet with all of the resin dungeon tiles I've made over the years. The resin bits are much smaller and lighter than your foam board, and it takes a proper effort to wiggle my tiles when we play Descent with them.

If you wanted to add a bit of weight to the foam, you could get several packs of lead fishing weights, or even ball-bearings, and insert them into little cores cut into the bottom of the foam- then lay the cork over the whole bottom, concealing them and sealing them in.

I also like the idea of making a frame that would go around the edge of the board, locking the pieces in. This could be made pretty quickly and cheaply with some nice looking trim-wood from a hardware store. This is what we're doing with our WH40k terrain table to hold our foam squares in place. The only problem I see with making one for a HQ board, would be all the trouble you'd go through to make the board more portable only to wind up with a massive empty frame lying about when not in use. You could make joints with pins or something, I guess. Comes down to how much time you can justify on the project, I suppose.
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Niels Kjær
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I have had the same problem with styrofowm corners.
During development of my (ongoing) project with a 3D Formula D track, my wife accidentially kicked the corner and some of it fell off cry
Some glue later it looked ok, but I knew I needed to do something about the sides, since I am expecting to transport it.

I bought 5 x 33 mm floorboards for mounting along edges around ceilings (I think, what do I know about that stuff anyway?), sawed it to size and mounted it along the edges of the styrofoam.
Now the board can take a beating from the side without any part of the landscape making a bid for freedom

Pro:
- Cheap
- You can get this type of wood in almost any width and depth.

Con:
- Slightly increased weight
- Time to build and wait for paint and glue to dry.
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]-[arby
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Great write up and pics thank you!
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