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Hey you might need a raincoat
Dreams walking in broad daylight
Three hun-dred six-ty five de-grees
Burning down the house

So yesterday, considering several board building ideas I was offered, I decided to sleep on the issue for a couple of days, revise the plan and start the project in earnest over the weekend. Instead, I bought some flour and some salt (and a little beef "jerky"1) and set about on a different project.

You see (and this will explain many things), for those of you who don't know, I play Warhammer 40K. Next weekend I'm having a match at my place against someone from San Antonio so I'm preparing for it. Unfortunately, I don't have a board surface large enough (hence the carpentry question) and I don't really have any terrain to speak of, probably because I don't have a board. So last night, I set to making terrain. I decided to begin with a staple of all wargaming of any kind, sandbags. It's actually quite simple. Mix 1 part salt with 2 parts flour and then slowly put in 1 part water and you have a thick dough that will stand molding and shaping and whatnot. Start rolling them into cylinders or appropriate size with your scale and then flatten them out and place them where you want them. Do this enough times on top of one another and you have a wall of sandbags. I have it on good authority that it can also make good adobe for small buildings but that's for another time. Finally bake at around 375F (170C for the Canuckistanis) for a few hours and they come out a golden brown. Paint and Bob's your uncle.

So I mixed and kneaded and liquefied and rolled and shaped. I placed them around the underside of a heavy duty paper plate so I could get a rounded emplacement look. Finally when I had two sandbag walls done, I warmed up the oven and turned it to low heat.

Here's where the problem comes in. You see, I don't exactly have the most high speed oven on Earth. In fact, if you remember back that far, when I moved in, it was missing knobs. But those have been replaced. Not by the best knobs, though. The numbers on the the oven knob are pretty much unreadable. I can see where the markings are supposed to be, I just can't see the settings. Well, simple enough, I thought. All the other knobs on the stove all go approximately from OFF to HOT to MED to LOW. So I'll turn the oven knob all the way so it's not too hot, right? And since it's a fairly low heat (325F isn't all that hot for an oven), the paper plates I have as bases should be fine. I'll even move them to the top rack so they get less direct heat. I set things in motion and then sat and vegetated a little in front of the boob tube, contemplating what I was going to field in my upcoming 2000 point battle.

With the first bit of smoke, I dismissed it. I've never used the actual oven, just the stove tops so I thought a little burned dust won't kill anything. Little by little it got hazier and smokier until I thought to myself "Do I smell something burning?" I went back to the kitchen to find it almost filled with smoke. I grabbed the oven mitts and through my smoke induced tears, I pulled open the oven. Well, apparently, it was on high because the back halves of both plates were both half paper and half ember that was quickly winning the battle against it's paper nemesis. I turned off the oven and opened the window over the sink. Smoke flew out and fresh air blew in. Unfortunately, hot fuel + fresh air =FIRE. The remaining plate halves burst into flame. Now I know what you're thinking. "Atreides, you could have been killed!" Well, no. Being the cool and collected chap I am, I used quick action. Dirty glass + water faucet = doused fire. Disaster averted.

The best part is that the dough itself, while singed and probably still a little soft in the very center, was just fine. I gave it a new less burnt base, threw some paint on it and now I have two sandbag walls. Woohoo!

So I've started changing my thinking about the board. I thought maybe a hard foam would work and then maybe put wall veneer on both side and then felt over that. Anyone ever look at insulating foam? Is it dense enough for this kind of thing? I'll go to Home Depot this weekend and check it out.

I think that's about it. Go be good to each other or some kind of crap like that.

That is all.

1Well, jerky in that it was drier than most meat, but not in any other literal sense.

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All Wet | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden)
From my childhood by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 06:37:04 AM EST
You can make realistic mountain ranges, houses etc with plasticine, Vaseline and papier mache.

Basically mould a big lump of plasticine into the shape you want, smear a light coating of Vaseline on it, and then lay up sheets of newspaper soaked in a flour and water paste onto it.  Do a depth of 4-5 sheets per session, and allow to dry overnight.  (Not in your oven though!).

You can then paint/varnish etc and you're away.

Sand bags.. by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 06:41:05 AM EST
buy a 1x1 or a 1x2 board. Cut into small (2-3") long pieces. Sand down corners/edges. Lasts longer, stacks a bit easier, paints better. Unless you want really rolly polly edges etc. Then better off with a mould and some moulding compount, plaster of paris etc.

Styrofoam by calla (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 06:44:26 AM EST
Styrofoam works. (I just saw some Styrofoam offered on my local freecycle) I haven't tried flocking, but it looks easy.

p.s. If anyone ever doubts your geek cred - show them this diary.

Honey... by atreides (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 06:56:45 AM EST
I read Latin and Russian, play D&D and 40K, idolize a 19th Century San Francisco bum, spend more time talking to people online than in real life and know more about the Byzantine Empire than anyone not in college has any business knowing.

I don't think my geek cred was in question. I'm not sure I still qualify as an Uber-Geek now that I've got myself a girlfriend, but I certainly rate Uber-Geek Emeritus for my comic and gaming history alone. :)

Have you seen The Passion yet? Here's a spoiler for you: Jesus dies.
"...compassion is more than a 16 point word in scrabble." - MostlyHarmless

[ Parent ]
They should doubt your geek cred! by calla (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 07:20:12 AM EST
You don't look like a geek! At least not at HuSiStock. I think the military may have dulled your geek look.

Ok, maybe no one would have looked like a geek compared to the folks at HuSiStock.

Yeah, I said it.

[ Parent ]
I don't look like a geek? by atreides (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 08:13:37 AM EST
Well, I'm a little pudgy, have glasses and an ever-present contemptous sneer on my face. I guess that could be mistaken for a politician... Besides, geek is made up of stuff on the inside. I don't always like to wear my geek on my sleeve, but I can't imagine that someone who spent more than 15 minutes with me wouldn't figure it out.

But you're right, the rest of the contingent were a bunch of geeky-lookin' fuckers. :P

Have you seen The Passion yet? Here's a spoiler for you: Jesus dies.
"...compassion is more than a 16 point word in scrabble." - MostlyHarmless

[ Parent ]
hey! by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #12 Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 12:28:55 PM EST
i wasnt even wearing my star wars shirt...
Send me to Austria!
[ Parent ]
byzantine by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 12:28:28 PM EST
we just read a chapter on harems for my History of Sex class. i thought of you every time they mentioned the empire.

not that i think about you and sex together...just you and the empire.
Send me to Austria!

[ Parent ]
It has to be said... by atreides (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 03:45:48 PM EST
"Lie back and think of the Empire."

Have you seen The Passion yet? Here's a spoiler for you: Jesus dies.
"...compassion is more than a 16 point word in scrabble." - MostlyHarmless

[ Parent ]
Flocking is pretty easy... by atreides (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 07:02:28 AM EST
...I just can't be assed to do it. I didn't know you did model cars...

Have you seen The Passion yet? Here's a spoiler for you: Jesus dies.
"...compassion is more than a 16 point word in scrabble." - MostlyHarmless

[ Parent ]
I haven't done model cars since I was a teenager. by calla (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 07:21:15 AM EST
Kids are my hobby now.

[ Parent ]
How do you get them to stand still by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 07:41:15 AM EST
while the glue dries?

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
dries ?? by sasquatchan (4.00 / 2) #10 Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 09:04:58 AM EST
Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue..

[ Parent ]
Re: Insulation by debacle (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 01:22:23 PM EST
"Anyone ever look at insulating foam? Is it dense enough for this kind of thing? I'll go to Home Depot this weekend and check it out."

Yesh, it is. It's perfect.

If you check out the fantasy counterpart to your 40kness' website, you will see that they, in fact, have articles on the insulating foam and how best to utilize it.

Happy gaming!


Yeah, back when I was a kid . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #15 Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 09:36:05 PM EST
. . . I also used insulating foam for certain . . .uh, diaramas. when I was a kid

I agree with Deb. - works great, just one problem usually. When painting on the styrofoam surface itself in areas where it's flat, water based paint works like shit, as it is soaked in fairly rapidly, or worse, isn't absorbed at all. My solution? Wide "hockey tape" (in amerigo it would be . . . uh, I don't really know). Cover the flat surfaces with this tape(it's usually white) and paint away! Leaves it a bit rougher looking too, more like real terrain . . . and you can tape more temporary shit on with it . . .

My thought here... by atreides (4.00 / 1) #16 Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 03:02:51 AM EST instead of painting on it, I'd get some wood veneer panelling and get some kind of adhesive and put the panelling on both sides and then felt over the panelling. The only flaw in this is finding an adhesive that will stick wood to foam but I'm sure that the dronesnice folks at Home Despot can help me with that. Of course, any advice from people I know is happily accepted.

Have you seen The Passion yet? Here's a spoiler for you: Jesus dies.
"...compassion is more than a 16 point word in scrabble." - MostlyHarmless

[ Parent ]
All Wet | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden)